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NZXT: The HUSH Case

Introducing the NZXT HUSH, a chassis designed from grounds up to be quiet while having ample cooling. Game and work without all the noise, thanks to the sound dampening foam that is used on the top, side, and bottom panels of the case. Worried about cooling? Not to worry, the HUSH is equipped with two 120mm fans running at low speeds while still achieving high levels of air flow. High end gaming requires faster hard drives and power supplies, so we’ve installed rubber padding near fans and hard drives to further reduce the sound level. The HUSH also ships with USB 2.0, Firewire, and HD audio support. Bring more silence to your gaming experience with HUSH.

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INTRODUCTION

Cases have come a long way from the big, boxy, plain Jane chassis they once were. NZXT has done a good job previously on their cases making them quiet and cool.  Let’s see what they have to say about their new case the HUSH.

“Introducing the NZXT HUSH, a chassis designed from grounds up to be quiet while having ample cooling. Game and work without all the noise, thanks to the sound dampening foam that is used on the top, side, and bottom panels of the case. Worried about cooling? Not to worry, the HUSH is equipped with two 120mm fans running at low speeds while still achieving high levels of air flow. High end gaming requires faster hard drives and power supplies, so we’ve installed rubber padding near fans and hard drives to further reduce the sound level. The HUSH also ships with USB 2.0, Firewire, and HD audio support. Bring more silence to your gaming experience with HUSH.”

FEATURES

  • 8800GTX compatiblity: Dual NVIDIA 8800GTX in SLI may be installed with three 3.5″ HDD space.
  • Standard Dual 120mm Fans
  • Silent dampening foam reduces noise levels inside case
  • Rubber padding on hard drive and fans
  • Steel Chassis
  • Screwless design for 5.25″ and 3.5″ devices
  • Brushed Aluminum in Silver or Black, pick the style you like
  • USB 2.0, Firewire, and HD Audio support

SPECIFICATIONS

MODEL HUSH SERIES
CASE TYPE Mid tower Steel Chassis
FRONT PANEL MATERIAL Plastic/Aluminum
DIMENSIONS (W x H x D) 191.5 X 435 X 513.5 mm
COOLING SYSTEM FRONT, 1 X 120 mm Blue LED Fan (included)
REAR, 1 X 120 mm Fan (included)
DRIVE BAYS 11 DRIVE BAYS
4 EXTERNAL 5.25″ DRIVE BAYS
2 EXTERNAL 3.5 ” DRIVE BAYS
5 INTERNAL 3.5″ DRIVE BAYS
Screwless Rail Design
MATERIAL(S) Steel Construction
EXPANSION SLOTS 7
POWER SUPPLY 400 WATT PS2 ATX 12V 2.0 ( OPTIONAL )
WEIGHT 6 KGS (W/O Power)
MOTHERBOARD SUPPORT MOTHERBOARDS: ATX, MICRO-ATX, FLEX ATX, MINI ATX

 

CLOSER LOOK

External

NZXT did a great job with the graphical design of the box.  It isn’t too busy and cluttered with images or words and gives the sense of being in a quiet place.  The black also being associated with night which is also usually quiet.  The two cases on the box are the two colors that it comes in.  The images are a good representation of what they look like.

The packaging holds the case tightly in the box keeping it very safe from any damage that might occur in transit. 

The case’s black glossy finish gives it a very prestigious look.  The downside to the glossy finish is that it leaves fingerprints very easily, but man it looks nice.  The front case lid opens 135 degrees and has a very balanced weight giving it a very high end pricey feel.  Any thing you stick in the bays will not look as good as the finish but I do recommend going black if you buy the black case.  The front of the case also features a 120mm fan with a fine mesh grill that allows above average airflow into the case.  Many of the cases out now do not even have a grill on the front panel for the fan and instead expect airflow to come from the sides or the bottom of the front panel.  Poor design in my book.  I will talk more on the fan shortly.

When closed, the lid sits across half of the fan grill.  This does not seem to impeed the airflow much as I did not see a difference in temperatures between it being open and closed.  This also allows the power button and reset button along with the LEDs to be seen if the lid is closed.  As I said before, fingerprints are very easy to see.  The lid is held shut by magnets and has a solid open and shut feel.  It is not flimsy by any means. 

The blue led at night looks very nice and is not so bright that it deters from looking at a monitor if the computer sits on the desk.  The side panel is off in this picture.

Here is the case from the front.  You can see the headphone, mic, USB and 1394 ports toward the bottom of the case.  This adds to its sleek look keeping them out of the way and in a less viewable spot.

 

There were a few accessories that it came with: an instruction manual, stand offs, and screws.

CLOSER LOOK

Internal

Now for the good stuff.  The foam is really what makes this case silent.  Why case manufacturers don’t do this to all of their cases, I don’t know.  But it is an excellent idea.  To me, adding the foam also makes it look nicer.  But hey, we’re talking about quiet here.  Foam lines pretty much everything in the case.  The sides of the case have foam, the top and bottom of the case have foam and even the inside of the drive bays have foam on them. 

Next we have another ingenious design by NZXT, the drive bay clips.  These are the easiest attachable clips I have ever seen.  Turn the nobs left or right and they come right off.  This makes installing hard drives and 5.25 bay drives a snap, or twist I should say.  Seriously though, this is the quickest, easiest installation of hard drives I have ever done.

The case allows for 7 slots in the back.  There was one option that I wanted to see on this case that wasn’t and that was thumb screws on the slots.  This means that you do have to use a screw driver at some point.  It is not that big of a deal though.  Everything else is tool-less.

This case also sports two 120mm fans, one in the front with blue LED and one in the back which is a standard black fan and they both have 3 pin connectors.  This is the other peice to the puzzle in making the case silent.  The smaller the fan the higher RPM it has to go to keep a case cool.  The 120mm fans can move at slower speeds because they are able to push more air and result in a much quiet fan.

 

TESTING

Test Platform

Processor

Intel E4300 Core 2 Duo at 3.2GHz

Motherboard

EVGA 680i 122-CK-NF63-TR

Memory

2GB G-Skill DDR2
(4-4-4-12 @ 2.0 volts)

Drive(s)

250GB Western Digital SATA 3.0Gb/s 16mb cache

Graphics

XFX GeForce® 7900GS

Cooling

Zalman 9700 110mm

Power Supply

Ultra 500 Watt

Display

Dell 2007FP

Enclosure

Test Enclosure #1:  NZXT HUSH

Operating System

Windows XP Pro SP2

 

The HUSH case so far has been an excellent case as far as aesthetics and installation, lets take a look now at how the case cools at idle and load.  Idle system and CPU temperatures were achieved by allowing the system to run unimpeded for a period of 30 minutes prior to measurement. Running Command and Conquer 3 with all setting at “Ultra High” was used as the load for 30 minutes.

CPU & System Board
Temperature Test Results
Case Fan Speed System  (° C) CPU  (° C)
Idle Load Idle Load
NZXT HUSH High 38 42 35 46

 

Video Card  (GPU)
Temperature Test Results
Case Fan Speed GPU   (° C)
Idle Load
NZXT HUSH High 51 66

 

Conclusion

The HUSH has proven itself in every aspect.  The design is sleek, and prestigious leaving that awe factor.  Temperatures stay cool with the help of two 120mm fans spinning at low RPMs to also help make this a silent case.  The foam adds not only silence to the case but also adds a certain cleanliness to the case.  It just adds that extra nice look to the interior of the case.  This is a case that you would want to take to a LAN party to show off.  It gives the impression that you paid a whole lot of money for it.

The HUSH retails for around $90 to $110.  I believe this to be an excellent price for the quality of the case.  I would expect to pay $120 or more. 

PROS:

+  Excellent cooling
+  2 120mm fans
+  Very quiet with the foam
+  Light for being a steel case
+  Nice gloss black finish
+  Excellent design of mesh metal front fan grill
+  Excellent cable management
+  Drives are easy to install with the drive bay clips

Cons:

-  fingerprints easily
-  No thumb screws for the expansion card slots

I would highly recommend this to any one that is looking for something simple, sleek and nicely priced.  The HUSH case offers nice cooling and silient operation.  What more could you want?

This case gets a 9 out of 10.  It also deserves the Bjorn3D Seal of Approval.

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