Do you like tasteful RGB lighting? Do you like clean, modern design? Love seeing the inside of your builds? Then you’ll love the looks of the H510 Elite, NZXT’s premium offering. This mid-tower PC case has both build and aesthetics down pat. They don’t come cheap, though. It retails at $150 worldwide. Add in twenty to thirty bucks in US markets.
The DNA of the H510 carries over from the older H500. That was a phenomenal gaming case, praised by many. NZXT refreshed it with timely additions to birth the H510. The Elite is basically the H510, with all the features ramped up to eleven. The main difference in look is presented by the front tempered glass panel. The Elite also throws in RGB fans at the front and RGB strips inside. The case includes a Smart Device V2, which is also present in the H510i.
With an impressive history and stellar features on paper, we can expect greatness from this case. The price point is eyebrow-raising as well. But how well does it actually perform, since your thermals don’t care about beauty? How does it fare, IRL, at your desk? We explore the specs, features, design, and usability in this review. In the end, we’ll have a verdict on whether the H510 Elite’s price is justified. And whether you should go to buy it.
Ready? Let’s go.
- Type: Mid-tower
- Compatible motherboards: ATX, mATX, mITX
- PSU type: ATX
- Weight: 7.5 kg
- Dimensions: 210 x 435 x 428 mm (without feet); 210 x 460 x 428 (with feet)
- Drive bays: 3 x 2.5″, 3 x 3.5″
- Expansion slots: 7 horizontal + 2 slots for vertical GPU mount
- Front I/O: 1 x USB 3.1 G2 Type-C, 1x USB 3.1 G1 Type-A, 1 x Audio
- Front fans: 2 x 140/120 mm (or 240/280 mm AIO)
- Top fans: 1 x 140/120 mm
- Rear fans: 1 x 120 mm (or AIO)
- Included fans: 2 x AER RGB 2 140 mm, 1 x AER F140, 1 x AER F120
Design and Build – Interior
As you pull off the front and side panels of this case, the interior greets you. This is almost the same as the H510 and older H-series cases. There is plenty of space inside. This is a well-designed and proven arrangement – achieving a good balance between elegance and usefulness.
A white or black vertical bar may catch your attention. This is the common cable management piece NZXT ships many of their cases with. The space is compact, but enough for an ATX motherboard. Although this package ships with no riser cable, you can mount a graphics card vertically. On this side, you can remove the front RGB fans to install your own. Or install an AIO. The rear and top exhaust fans are also accessible from here.
Turn to the other side panel, and this is where you install the PSU and hard drives. Behind the motherboard mount, there are two 2.5″ brackets. You can actually install them on the top of the shroud in any layout, which is nice. The drive cage is also present here. It is removable, but quite a bit of a hassle to work with. The PSU installation is quite straightforward, and the rubber feet should provide some breathing room.
Besides, there is the Smart Device V2 mounted near the top on this side. Basically, it is a controller for up to three 10W fan channels and two RGB channels. NZXT likes to highlight this feature, but it could do with a couple more channels.
Design and Build – Exterior
At a glance, this case is seductive. Your eyes should be drawn to the front panel, made of tinted glass. Two pre-fitted RGB fans can be seen through this panel. The rest of the case shares the design language of the H series. It’s neither bulky nor compact. The front is held by two tiny screws.
The side panel is also tempered glass, of course. This is secured by a thumbscrew. As is the opposite side panel. The chassis has a thick bezel at the bottom. The NZXT logo appears on the front bottom bezel. On the metal side panel, there is a mesh to intake air. The exterior comes in either matte black or white options.
The bottom of the chassis is propped up by rubber feet. But you can get rid of them. At the back is the standard rear side of mid-towers. The PSU is at the bottom. The power supply’s intake is covered by a removable dust filter. In the middle are the expansion-card slots. Two are even vertical. Higher up lies the exhaust fan, which is a preinstalled AER 120 mm.
There are small front and side filters. However, the top lacks any filter, even though NZXT has started outfitting a top fan in H510 Elites. The roof is otherwise minimal. The port selection is also quite minimal, unfortunately. There’s a power button, but no reset one. One Type-A and Type-C ports each are provided with a combo audio jack. We understand the aesthetic this chassis is going for, but there might be a thing as too minimal.
Benchmarks and Usability
A PC case is not just eye-candy. At the premium segment, users demand performance that wows. And how well it performs is measured by how cool and quiet it is, even under load. Let’s take a look at benchmarks from the reliable hexus.net.
As the charts show, performance is pretty on par. Keep in mind that the front glass panel does skew some of these figures. Removing it should reduce temps even further.
As for usability, NZXT does almost everything right. The cable management is top-notch. There are some brackets included for water cooling. These can also help in running cables if you don’t have a liquid cooling solution. The packaging comes with some helpful zip ties and an audio jack splitter. The provided LED fans and LED strip are controllable via NZXT’s CAM software – which has seen considerable improvements from the past. There are enough slots through the side panels. And the strip helps to hide the wires.
We can only nitpick about the lack of toolless design. It’s standard on many premium cases, so its exclusion is noticeable – on an otherwise easy build process. The nominal front I/O ports also hurt this case a bit.
Thus, we come to a conclusion. The high priced H510 Elite looks striking, but does it deliver?
This is one tough verdict to give. On the one hand, the price looks astronomical, especially compared to the other models NZXT is offering. This is not like the H1, where the bundled goodies included a PSU and AIO. Quadruple fans and NZXT’s fan/RGB controller is not a strong argument for the price hike. If you are budget-conscious and don’t mind some DIY, you could have a similar-looking case at a fraction of the price. Get the H510 base version, then throw in an RGB strip. It’s that simple.
But if you have a bottomless wallet, there is nothing to complain about the H510 Elite. Its performance is convincing, and the utility is doubtless. Its unrivaled gorgeousness will be the envy of all your gamer friends. Throw in more RGB, while you’re at it. Just don’t spend more time staring at your rig than at your screen.