Exciting NZXT Partnership!
Today’s OSnap! It’s Friday covers a few different topics. An announcement, and a semi-product review.
First the announcement! We’re happy to announce that NZXT will be sponsoring our booth at PAX South in the form of hardware. They’ve graciously donated what we need in order to show Quasar in all its glory to the attendees in San Antonio in 2016. We simply cannot wait! We’ll have more to talk about regarding that in the coming weeks, specifically what we’ll be showing and why you should come check us out.
They offered to customize some cases for the show to really put the OSnap! Games feel on the hardware in the booth with a laser etching of our logo on the window of the cases. I simply couldn’t wait to see what that would look like, I needed to know just out of pure excitement. One of the things I love about NZXT is their clean cases, especially the ones that eliminate the drive bays in order to provide more space for cooling in a smaller form factor.
For the longest time my PC has lived inside a Coolermaster HAF 932 which I bought a long time ago in a galaxy far far away. The wheels exploded at a recent event and now that I have both a cat and a dog I needed to find a case that would do something to limit the amount of pet hair making it inside the beast. The H440 fit all of these requirements and then some.
In addition to the case upgrade I wanted to give water cooling a try. A few members of OSnap! use it and I decided to take the plunge despite water cooling being something I’ve always been terrified of. The thought of springing a leak and ruining all that hardware was a nightmare I wasn’t willing to risk, until now. I opted to include a Kraken with my new case to hopefully combat the noise some air based coolers can make.
Once I received the new case and cooler it took everything to not start the installation right away. We were in the middle of some major changes to Quasar and I wanted to ensure that if something went wrong with the installation that we wouldn’t lose too much time if I was down for a day or two.
I started by first removing the power supply from my existing case and prepped the H440 for installation. I removed both side panels, the front panel, and the front filter from the case. The PSU is installed on the bottom of this case just like most modern chassis but the unique feature about the PSU housing in the H440 is it also functions as cable management as well as including mount points for SSD’s.
I removed my GPU, motherboard, and existing aftermarket cooler next. I’ll be installing an ASUS P9-X79 PRO with an i7-3820 and an ASUS GTX970 STIRIX with 32GB of DDR3 RAM. I’ve been developing QUASAR on this setup for the last year and it’s been more than sufficient for game development, however the motherboard needs a replacement thanks to dead RAM slots (a story for another time).
The P9-X79 sat perfectly in the H440 and installation was a breeze.
On the back of the motherboard mount is a small PCB board to help organize and manage fan connections. This came in handy when it was time to clean up my cabling. Yet another feature that NZXT has thought of.
Like I said before, I had been waiting a while to do this installation so by the time I got around to it I tore into the Kraken box like a child on Christmas morning and unveiled my first water cooler in all its glory.
I installed the Kraken with no trouble at all however I did later realize that I could have used one of the fans that came with the case to double up the cooling on the radiator so I did end up reinstalling it. Instructions definitely could have been clearer here.
Full shot of the motherboard plus PSU/cable management housing with the lit NZXT logo. I was already loving it at this point.
Just a few of the fantastic touches included with this case. The cable management is just fantastic and I love the SSD mounts. I’ve started using SSD’s heavily for game development because compiling is significantly faster when compared to HDD. Just don’t buy a super expensive SSD because compiling involves a lot of writing and re-writing.
More evidence of the fantastic cable management in the H440. So many spaces for cables to fit through so that they can be hidden behind the motherboard.
What a mess, it’s a good thing this isn’t on the other side of the tray!
A little organized chaos here. Still feels messy but cables are bound and secured to parts of the case.
Cables in the H440 are out of sight and that is simply fantastic. It allows for a lot more airflow to get from intake to the exhaust with nothing really impeding it.
Now as for water cooling how do I feel about it after installing and using the Kraken? I’m so comfortable with it that I’m seriously considering getting another Kraken and the water cooling mount for a GPU so that I can give my GPU the cooling it really needs. As a programmer my processor is almost always under heavy load when I’m working and I have yet to see it jump above 48 degrees celsius when compiling, a CPU heavy task.
I can’t forget the final reason I made this switch. Laser etched windows, they’re a beautiful thing. I provided NZXT with the OSnap! Games logo and they happily sent me a window with the logo etched into it. Forgive the crappy photo, I was trying to avoid getting myself, dog toys, and glare from natural sunlight (hissssss) in the photo.
All in all this was a painless transition.
Oh, and did I mention NZXT’s CAM+ software? Are you obsessive about your computers temperatures or worried about something failing while you’re away? Check it, it’s a pretty cool mobile app!