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Hands-on with NZXT's revamped H1 Mini-ITX PC case

The redesigned cased is slightly bigger to future-proof your gaming PC needs.
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Written by Jason Cipriani, Contributing Writer on
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Left: The original H1. Right: The new H1. 

Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

NZXT on Wednesday announced its second-generation H1 Mini-ITX PC case. The new case carries a slightly higher price, more room for the ever-growing size of next-gen GPUs, and a 750W PSU to ensure it has enough power for your next PC build. 

One of the most appealing aspects of an H1 build is its compact design. However, because the first-generation case is so small, users complained about poor thermal performance, leading to some owners getting creative and adding more fans and even custom covers on the case's housing. 

For the new H1 case, NZXT not only increased its size to accommodate larger GPU cards but also to increase airflow and add room for an additional fan. Specifically, NZXT increased the size of the ventilation holes in the panels and added a 92mm rear exhaust fan specifically for the GPU. 

The new case measures 405 x 196 x 196 mm, up from 387.7 x 187.6 x 187 on the previous model. Other changes include the additions 92mm PWM fan, an additional USB port on the top of the housing, an increase from an SFX650 80Plus Gold power supply to an SFX750 80Plus Gold PSU. 

You can now put a GPU up to 324mm in length and 58mm in thickness in the H1, up from 305mm and 50mm, respectively. Finally, the GPU riser now supports PCIe 4.0, and the housing includes NZXT's fan controller that integrates with the NZXT CAM app. 

In Feb. 2021, NZXT issued a recall for the original H1 case due to a potential fire hazard. The company discovered that a couple of metal screws that attached the PCIe riser for the GPU card to the chassis could cause a short, in turn possibly overheating the board and causing a fire. 

Owners of the H1 were asked to stop using the case until the company could send out different screws and a new riser. Following the recall, NZXT sent owners replacement nylon screws and a new riser to fix the root cause of the issue. 

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There's an extra fan in the new H1 case to help keep the GPU cool. 

Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

For the new H1 case, NZXT re-engineered the entire PCIe riser, including developing a new PCB for the riser cable that will fix the problem and eliminate the potential for any shorts. 

I've used a couple of different H1 builds now, and my biggest complaint about the case is that most of the ports are on the bottom of the case and are difficult to plug or unplug accessories. While that complaint still remains, NZXT did add a second USB port to the top of the housing, giving users easy access to two USB ports and a USB-C port without having to tip over the PC. 

While the case is bigger than the previous model, it's still relatively compact. I haven't seen any temperature issues or performance with the added space and extra fan. If anything, it's slightly quieter than the original case. 

The H1 will start shipping in Europe and the Asian Pacific on Feb. 8, with a launch in the US starting in March. 

The H1 will cost $399.99, a slight increase over the first-gen H1 due to tariffs. While that may sound like a lot for a PC case, remember that it includes a power supply and an AIO CPU cooling system with a fan controller. If you're looking for a mini-ITX case for your next gaming PC build, the NZXT H1 is definitely worth considering.

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