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NZXT Noctis 450 Case Review

July 24th, 2015 Iain Leave a comment Go to comments

Overview

 

Cases are something that we love looking at here at pcG so we were pretty excited to get our hands on the NZXT Noctis 450 and see how it fared up against the previous pcG Silver award winning NZXT H440 Razer Edition Case. We are told that NZXT have not changed much when it comes to the internal build of the case but have redesigned the exterior to give the case a much cooler performance than the H440 using their new floating panel design. The NZXT Noctis 450 comes with an integrated 8 port PWM fan hub that powers the included three 120mm front fans and the single 140mm rear fan. NZXT have promised us that this will give us ten times more ventilation surface area for increased airflow. There is also space for liquid cooling support that will accommodate 240mm, 280mm and 360mm radiators at the front and top of the case. The Noctis 450 also has an adjustable LED lighting system which enables you to swap between different lighting modes giving you more control over its illumination. The Noctis 450 also features a fully modular hard drive system allowing you to configure the steel trays for full customisation of the case. Along with all of this we have NZXTs PSU Shroud which incorporates the SSD mounts and an effortless cable management system. So let’s see if the Noctis 450 case is as cool as it sounds…

 

NZXT White Logo

‘Designed not for the faint of heart, the Noctis appeals to those who yearn for great challenges and face countless battles. It speaks to the battle-hardened gamer and prepares them for their next encounter. Taking in inspirations from simple yet elegant curvatures featured in streamline designs and bringing them into the modern chassis, the Noctis emanates confidence like no other case in the market. Just arrived from the future, the chassis features futureproofed internals and takes on forms inspired by conceptual external designs. The Noctis mid tower is poised to take your rig to the next level.’

 

NZXT Noctis 450- box front NZXT Noctis 450- box back

 

The NZXT Noctis 450 arrived at pcG in a box fitting with the style of the case inside, the crisp white image of the front of the case with the light blue shading signifying the illumination. I actually felt like the packaging suggested I was getting an air conditioning unit instead of a PC case πŸ™‚ (good sign maybe!?). The front of the box shows a zoomed in image of the floating panels with the tagline ‘Bold is Back’ and it’s the simplicity in this presentation that gives me a sense of quality.

Looking at the back of the box we find a smaller image of the whole case with some smaller pictures around it highlighting some of the Noctis 450 features as follows:

  • 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0 and front audio ports
  • Integrated 8 port PWM fan hub
  • Fully modular hard drive system
  • Signature I/O LED with adjustable lighting switch
  • Integrated power supply shroud with SSD mounts
  • Effortless cable management capabilities
  • Filtered power supply intake and underglow lighting
  • Four included case fans. 3x 120mm (front) and 1x 140mm (back)

 

NZXT Noctis 450- box open NZXT Noctis 450- packaging

 

The left side of the box features an image of the front of the Noctis 450 and the right side of the box has a long list of specifications which can be found below (see Specifications/Features). Apart from this the packaging for the NZXT Noctis 450 is simple, clean and futuristic giving us high hopes for what we will find inside.

 

NZXT Noctis 450 - accessories

 

On opening the box we can see that the Noctis 450 is well protected in a plastic bag and firmly kept in place between two foam blocks. Once the case is removed we find a small white accessories box with NZXT printed on it and a bag containing the Noctis 450 instructions. Within the box there is a small booklet advertising some of the other NZXT products, an additional stand-off and stand-off tool, cable ties, NZXT case badge and the usual assortment of screws which are in separate bags and nicely labelled. I was hoping for a touch of light blue to be included somewhere on the inside packaging but maybe I am being just a little bit greedy here. πŸ™‚

At the time of review, the NZXT Noctis 450 is available from Overclockers UK for approximately Β£110 and comes with a 2 year warranty.

 

Specifications/Features

courtesy of NZXT

Model Number CA-N450W-W1 (Glossy White)
CA-N450W-M1 (Black)
Drive Bays External 5.25″: 0
Internal 3.5″/2.5″: 6+2
Cooling System Front: 2x 140/3x120mm (3 x 120mm FN V2 Fans Included)
Top: 2x 140/3x120mm
Rear: 1x 140/120mm (1 x 140mm FN V2 Fan Included)
Filters Front (Included)
Bottom Rear (Included)
Radiator Support Front 2 x 140 or 3 x 120mm
Top 2 x 140 or 3 x 120mm
Rear 1 x 140/120mm
Clearance GPU Clearance With HDD Cage: 294mm
GPU Clearance Without HDD Cage: 406.2mm
CPU Cooler: 180mm
Cable Management: Lowest Point – 17.7mm; Highest Point 32.5mm
Dimensions 220mm x 567mm x 544mm
Material SECC Steel, ABS Plastic
Motherboard Support Mini-ITX, MicroATX, ATX
Expansion Slots 7
External Electronics 1 x Audio/Mic
I/O Panel and Lighting System LED On/Off
Fan Model FN V2 140 (Case Version) – Speed: 1,000 RPM, Airflow: 50 CFM, Noise: 21 dBA
FN V2 120 (Case Version) – Speed: 1,200 RPM, Airflow: 45 CFM, Noise: 21 dBA
Product Weight 9.5 kg
UPC 815671012425 (Glossy White)
815671012418 (Black)
EAN 5060301692712 (Glossy White)
5060301692705 (Black)
USB 3.0 Ports 2
USB 2.0 Ports 2
Warranty 2 Years

* Additional details available here

 

First Impressions

 

NZXT-Noctis-450 NZXT Noctis 450- back angled

 

Cases come in all shapes and sizes but I have to say that I was more than excited when I saw the ‘shape and size’ of this one. The NZXT Noctis 450 definitely has that Wow! factor before you even do anything with it. The Noctis 450 has the look of a PC case that you would imagine an Imperial stormtrooper would have in his private quarters aboard a Super Star Destroyer. I don’t mean to get carried away here but it is a damn fine looking case, needless to say, my initial impressions were more than good! πŸ™‚

 

NZXT Noctis 450- out of the box NZXT Noctis 450- right

 

From the left we can see that the NZXT Noctis 450 is already making a statement with its futuristic design and clear white lines. The finish on the steel panels is exquisite and has a beautiful clean paint job that a high end sports car would be proud of, also, the clear perspex window gives you a clear view of the inside of the case. It’s a shame that they did not make the perspex window a little shorter in width, I don’t think we needed to see that small portion of the drive bays. Looking at the top panel we get a good view of the floating panel design with the honeycomb mesh exposed on the left and running fully along the side. Checking the case measurements we find that at 567mm(H) x 544mm(W), the NZXT Noctis 450 is quite a bit bigger than the NZXT H440 (510mm(H) x 475.3mm(W)).

Looking at the right we can still see those clear white lines along with the cool touch of the finely painted steel panel. The top of the right side has the sleekly designed floating panels again exposing the black honeycomb mesh that sits underneath it. The photos can give you a good indication of the styling of the Noctis 450 but the real thing really is a step above when you can actually run your hand over it and feel the workmanship involved.

 

NZXT Noctis 450-top NZXT Noctis 450- bottom

 

From above you are treated to a real fine bird’s eye view of the floating panel system; the case comes from the front and then wraps over itself. The panel is supported by little pillars giving it the height away from the black honeycomb mesh that it needs for ventilation. The I/O panel is located on the right and lies beneath the main panel itself.

On the underside of the case we find four hard plastic feet in each corner with a rubber anti-slip pad affixed to each. The height of these feet are 26mm which is the same as the H440, I am assuming the feet are on the high side to allow for illumination, let alone more air flow. At the rear of the case we find a large removable dust filter which covers the PSU air intake. The main difference between the bottom of this case and most other cases are the two white bars that run along each side. These are there to provide the NZXT Noctis 450’s under-lighting, no it’s not a pimped out street car I know, but you know this will work and you will want it. πŸ™‚

 

NZXT Noctis 450 - front NZXT Noctis 450 - bay openings NZXT Noctis 450- back

 

The front of the Noctis 450 is almost identical to the top of the case, albeit there is no I/O panel of course. We have the same wrap around floating white panels, exquisite sleek design and black honeycomb mesh. There is a handle at the bottom of the front panel to help you remove it and get access to the front fans. The longer I stared at the front of this case the more I thought it was going to talk to me like some robot sent to earth from the Planet Case!

At the rear of the case we find the motherboard I/O cut-out and beneath are the seven expansion card blanking plates, shortly followed by the cut-out for the PSU. In the top right hand corner we have the 120mm/140mm fan mount, underneath are two rubber grommeted porthole cut-outs for water cooling tubing. The NZXT Noctis 450 still features the very helpful thumb screws that attach the side panels and PSU bracket to the case. The thumb screws are partially threaded and designed so that they stay attached when unscrewed enough, thus cutting down your chances of searching for them later (as I usually have to do!). The rear of the Noctis 450 also features I/O illumination which is a nice touch and something rarely found elsewhere. The illumination is made possible by two LED’s, one of which can be found at the top of the I/O cutout and the other just above the expansion slots. The really nice touch at the back of the case is the little button located in the top left corner which is used for illumination configuration. By simply pressing this you can cycle through the five modes of lighting which include underglow brightness, I/O on or off and of course off completely. πŸ™‚

 

NZXT Noctis 450 - top detail 2 NZXT Noctis 450 - top panel NZXT Noctis 450 - top detail

 

The NZXT Noctis 450 features a fairly standard but well designed I/O panel, there are two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, a headphone and microphone jack. The Power button has an unusual shape to it which makes the case more unique and it is also illuminated by a blue surround. The blue light around the power button also doubles up as a storage drive activity indicator, flashing when in use.

 

NZXT Noctis 450 - left (panel removed) NZXT Noctis 450 - right (panel removed)

 

Once the left side panel is removed you can see how much room you have inside to work with, remember that the PSU will be fitted beneath the shroud at the bottom so all the room you see is for the motherboard itself. The case supports ATX motherboards as well as the smaller MATX or MITX variants and can be fitted inside onto the already attached stand-offs. The white theme continues inside the case with the finish of the paint being of a high quality.

Removing the right side panel reveals a very busy looking scene with what seems like a lot of cabling (more on this in a moment). On the left we find the drive rack with five removable sleds, these are affixed to the case using the same partially threaded thumbs screws as we mentioned before. The whole area of the drive sleds is very open allowing maximum air flow with only the drive sleds or storage drives impeding any air flow.

 

NZXT Noctis 450 - hard drive bays NZXT Noctis 450 - hard drive sleds

 

The large amount of cabling that I mentioned before is due to the fact that the Noctis 450 has two built in hubs. In the top right hand corner we find the hub for all the case LED lighting, then in the centre we have the hub which supports up to eight case fans, four of which are already in use. There’s plenty of cable tie off points at the back off the case to help with cable management, but, the nice people over at NZXT have done a lot of the work for us already which is always a bonus. πŸ˜‰

 

NZXT Noctis 450 - fan hub NZXT Noctis 450 - LED hub

 

With the large amount of space provided if you removed the drive sleds, the Noctis 450 certainly gives all the water cooling enthusiasts out there a whole world of options, there is space for radiators of up to 280mm or even 360mm of almost any depth! The other notable area of interest is the motherboard tray and the CPU Cooler cut-out. It’s is very big and in typical NZXT fashion a slightly odd shape too!?

 

NZXT Noctis 450 - rear fan mount NZXT Noctis 450 - front (panel removed) NZXT Noctis 450 - top (panel removed)

 

The rear fan mount of the Noctis 450 comes with one 140mm FN V2 fan pre-installed. A fan that features a fairly low 1000 RPM, but also produces just 21dB of noise and should certainly do the job of exhausting all the hot air from inside the case. The fan mount itself also allows for installment of a 120mm fan of your choosing, perhaps even a 120mm or 140mm radiator if you go down the water cooling route.

Removing the front panel reveals the three 120mm FN V2 fans which have also been pre-installed. These fans will of course feed the gaming rig the cool air it needs so NZXT have again been nice to us and included a large dust filter covering all three fans, held in place by two small magnets.

When you lift off the top panel you reveal the case I/O components, also here we have access to the mounts for roof fans. There is space for three 120mm fans or two 140mm fans or again a 360mm or 280mm radiator.

 

NZXT Noctis 450 - PSU cover NZXT Noctis 450 - PSU mount NZXT Noctis 450 - SSD mounts

 

One of the big plus sides to the NZXT Noctis 450 in terms of aesthetics has to be the PSU bay cover. The fixed cover is not only big enough to hide the PSU itself but also to help with any cable management issues as there is plenty of room underneath there. The PSU shroud also features some illumination with the NZXT logo lighting up in glorious blue when the system is powered on.

The PSU bay features a mounting plate system which also incorporates the same thumb screws as mentioned before (you wont lose them!). The mounting plate attaches to your PSU and then the whole thing attaches to the case itself. This is a well thought out system but it does leave you a little bit tight for space at the back it seems, hopefully this will not cause to much of an issue when I do my installation?

On top of the PSU bay cover there are two removable drive sleds for your choice of 2.5″ storage drives, with cut-outs enabling easier cable management. It’s a nice touch and a nice way of showing off your SSD’s especially now that we have illuminated ones on the market.

Everything so far has impressed me no end with the NZXT Noctis 450. It is a well made case and a well designed case for that matter with a great deal of thought gone into the internal layout. It will be interesting to see how the build goes and then subsequently what the thermals will be like? Only one way to find out…

 

Hardware Installation

 

  • Test Rig Setup

  • Case NZXT Noctis 450 Power Supply Corsair Professional Series AX760i
    Motherboard ASRock Fatal1ty Z97X Killer CPU Intel Core i5-4690K
    CPU Cooler Raijintek Themis RAM HyperX Savage 2400MHz 8GB Kit
    Graphics Card XFX AMD Radeon R9 290X DD Black Edition SSD HyperX Fury 120GB

     

    I found the installation of the NZXT Noctis 450 quite straightforward. The instruction booklet featured some clear and concise diagrams which showed what screws were needed for each part (it helped that the screw bags were also clearly labelled). The booklet also walked you through each process for the connecting of the hubs, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, electronics power, HD audio and electrical systems.

     

    NZXT Noctis 450 - SSD installed

     

    The storage drive installation was my first port of call. So one of the 2.5″ display sleds atop the PSU shroud came out and I installed the test HyperX Fury 120GB SSD with no problems at all. After I finished installing the SSD I connected the hard drive by means of four screws and attaching it to one of the trays provided. The quality of the workmanship and paint job never failed to impress me, every component seems to be of the highest quality.

     

    NZXT Noctis 450 - PSU mount attached NZXT Noctis 450 - PSU installed

     

    Next went in the Corsair Professional Series AX760i, this was made easy because of the PSU plate which enabled a solid foundation for the power supply. I thought about attaching all the relevant cables beforehand as there is not much space at the back to work with but I actually attached the cables after installation and didn’t really run into too much trouble, to be honest.

     

    NZXT Noctis 450 - installed side i5-4690K - Test Rig - motherboard assembly NZXT Noctis 450 - installed side with graphics card

     

    With the Power Supply installed the next step was to fit the motherboard I/O shield, shortly followed by the ASRock Fatal1ty Z97X Killer, i5-4690K, Raijintek Themis and HyperX Savage DDR3 test kit. Whilst I still had some space to work with I started to plug in all the relevant power cables, front panel and SATA cables, I don’t know if I have been working with extremely small or awkward cases before but I found that I had plenty of room to work with when installing in the Noctis 450. I found that the three rubber grometted cable cut-outs gave me plenty of options for cable management and even after attaching some cables I would go back and change the cut-out they came in from with no problem to satisfy my build.

    This just left the XFX Radeon R9 290X DD Black Edition and Creative Sound Blaster Zx to install. The installation of the GPU was pretty straightforward despite its length and I did not even need to remove any of the drive sleds whilst doing so. Once I had plugged in the GPU power cables the Gaming Rig was ready to be fired up.

     

    NZXT Noctis 450 - illuminated left side NZXT Noctis 450 - PSU bay logo and underglow

     

    The NZXT Noctis 450 powered up and the fans and illumination kicked in with a much better affect than I expected. The Underglow illuminated the surface underneath the case to a good affect and even seeing the NZXT logo illuminate brought a smile to my face.

     

    NZXT Noctis 450 - control panel illuminated NZXT Noctis 450 - illuminated above angle

     

    Overall I would say it was a pretty straightforward build and compared to experiences that I have had before, this went very smoothly. I had no problems managing the cables and even went back a few times and changed where they were coming from just to satisfy my OCD nature. Apart from the slightly tight space behind the PSU I never felt cramped or short of space, it was also great that NZXT did most of the wiring and cable management for both of the hubs. All in all I enjoyed the build and I put this down to the case being a well designed case with a well thought out interior, now onto the thermals… πŸ™‚

     

    Testing Methodology/Setup

     

    At pcGameware we use Prime95 and CoreTemp to evaluate CPU temperatures and we use MSI Afterburner to evaluate the GPU temperatures. Of course Prime95 being a CPU stress test also helps to generate heat for us to check the case thermals. We also use UNiGiNE Heaven 4.0 for GPU temperature testing.

    CPU performance testing is carried out using Prime95 (Small FFT) to stress the CPU. Each run is timed for 15 mins and the maximum temperature is recorded for all cores and then the average core heat is taken. Testing was carried out with a small overclock on the i5-4690K of 4.0GHz courtesy of the MSI’s OC Genie.

    GPU performance testing is carried out by running UNiGiNE Heaven 4.0 for 15 minutes and then by recording the maximum GPU temperature.

    * All case fans (x4 in the case of the NZXT Noctis 450) and the CPU Cooler (Raijintek Themis) are run at 100% throughout testing. To ascertain case noise levels, the GPU fans are set to their lowest setting and the CPU Cooler fan is unplugged, whilst the dB is recorded from 1m away.

     

    Hardware Performance

     

    CPU-Z - NZXT Noctis 450 - 4.0 GHz NZXT Noctis 450 - core temp

     

  • CPU RESULTSNZXT Noctis 450 with Raijintek Themis and Intel i5-4690K @ 4.0GHz
  • Case Ambient Temperature Max CPU Temperature (core average) Delta Temperature
    NZXT Noctis 450 23.00 58.00 35.00
    BitFenix Colossus Venom Window 23.50 60.00 36.50
    Cooler Master HAF XB 24.00 61.50 37.50
    NZXT H440 Razer Edition 24.50 64.00 39.50
    Thermaltake Core V51 22.50 62.25 39.75
    NZXT S340 22.00 62.00 40.00

    * Thermals Explained

     

    As you can see from the test results, not only does the NZXT Noctis 450 look the part but it also does the business when it comes down to being cool! With a maximum average core temperature of 58.00 and 35.00 Delta it sits bang at the top of our currently tested ATX cases. NZXT did promise us that they were going to pull out the stops for keeping this case cool and they have done just that. The floating panels allowed maximum air flow through the honeycomb mesh to keep our hot hardware cool throughout testing.

     

  • GPU RESULTS – NZXT Noctis 450 with XFX Radeon R9 290X DD Black Edition
  • Case Ambient Temperature Max GPU Temperature Delta Temperature
    NZXT Noctis 450 23.00 72.00 49.00
    Cooltek W1 24.00 74.00 50.00
    BitFenix Colossus Venom Window 22.00 73.00 51.00
    Cooler Master HAF XB 24.00 80.00 56.00
    BitFenix Aegis 23.50 81.00 57.50
    NZXT S340 22.00 80.00 58.00
    BitFenix Prodigy M 22.50 83.00 60.50
    Xigmatek Aquila 23.50 84.00 60.50
    In Win D-Frame Mini 24.00 85.00 61.00
    NZXT H440 Razer Edition 23.50 85.00 61.50
    BitFenix Pandora 24.00 87.00 63.00
    In Win 901 22.50 89.00 66.50
    Cougar QBX 26.00 94.00 68.00
    Fractal Design Core 1100 24.00 94.00 70.00
    BitFenix Phenom 22.00 94.00 72.00
    Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ITX 23.00 95.00 72.00

     

    Again the NZXT Noctis 450 comes up trumps when it came to the Graphics Card cooling. The maximum GPU temperature of 72.00C (49.00C Delta) shows that the Graphics card is well within its 94.00C throttle limit, just think how cool the Noctis 450 would be if you added more fans or water cooling, remember what I said about air conditioning! πŸ™‚

     

  • Acoustic Performance
  • I was a little bit worried about the acoustics test because the NZXT Noctis 450 prides itself on having ten times the ventilation, I thought this might give it ten times more noise!? But the results were not as bad as I thought they would be and the Noctis 450 produced a maximum of 42dB with all the fans on their maximum setting. With the fans turned down to their lowest setting the Noctis 450 fans produced a high of 37dB giving us a drop of 5dB. Considering how cool the machine was during all of the thermal testing and the fact that the Noctis 450 is so open due to its floating panel system I think the results are very impressive.

     

    Final Thoughts

     

    If you are a Gamer who wants a true gaming case then you certainly wont go wrong by getting a NZXT Noctis 450. It has the looks, it has the space and it certainly has the right temperatures to keep you and your Rig cool…

    The NZXT Noctis 450 came to pcG in a sharp, clean and well designed box, truly reflecting on the product that was inside. The case was well protected in a clear plastic bag and securely supported between two foam blocks.

    Once the Noctis 450 is out of the box you can truly appreciate what you have, with its futuristic look and a feel of quality to it. The case is not small by any standard and you won’t want it to be, this is something that you want to stand out and take precedence in the room you are Gaming in.

    The NZXT Noctis 450 has plenty of room for whatever you want to bring to your case. Apart from the four fans that you already have per-installed in the case there is room for four more which are all supported by the fan hub. If you want to go down the water cooling route then you have options at the top, front and rear of the case to support radiators. There’s seven drive bays, two SSD sleds, support for multiple graphics cards and it’s compatible with Mini-ITX, MicroATX and ATX motherboards, the list goes on. Of course, apart from all of this you have the build itself…

    The installation of my test rig was easier than I thought it was going to be, this is because all the cases I have built in previously have been on the smaller side. The fitting of the PSU went like a dream, although if you don’t like working in tight spaces you might want to fit your power cables first and thread them through before screwing everything into place. I did not and found that if I added my cables from the furthest away to closest to me then it was not a problem at all. Installing the SSD HDD was made very easy with plenty of cable management room. The ATX motherboard installation went smoothly and securing it on the pre-attached standoffs could not have been easier. Lastly I found that there was plenty of room to fit the GPU and manage all of its cables, very effortless indeed. All in all it was a pleasure to install our Test Rig into the Noctis 450, with plenty of options for cable management and again thanks to NZXT for doing half the work for me when it came to fans and lighting. πŸ˜‰

    So with the build finished I went on to check the thermals which turned out to be more than impressive. With a maximum core average temperature of 58.00 and a Delta of 35.00 in our overclocked 4.0GHz Prime95 test the Noctis 450 shot straight to the top of the table. The Graphics Card testing also came up trumps with a maximum GPU temperature of 72.00 and a Delta of 49.00, I joked earlier about this looking like an air conditioning unit but to be honest I don’t think I was far wrong! These results are very impressive, especially when you consider that you can add four more fans and/or water cooling.

    The NZXT Noctis 450 is marketed as a super cool case and not necessarily as a super silent one. You would expect the case to be noisy with such openness that the floating panels bring to the party. Thankfully this is not the case, for a case that is so open with this much airflow the acoustic results were more than impressive. The Noctis 450 measured a maximum of 42dBA with all the fans running at their full speed and this dropped by approximately 5dBA to 37dBA when the fans were turned down to their lowest settings. You certainly cannot complain about those figures when your case is running at such cool temperatures can you!?

    I have more than enjoyed my experience with the NZXT Noctis 450, sleek futuristic design, great illumination, a pleasure to build in and on top of all that it is super cool and relatively quiet. If you want a true Gaming case and you’re happy to spend a bit more money then this is the one for you!

     

    Verdict

    Please Share, Like & Comment below, we really value your thoughts and opinions…

    Overclockers UK






    NZXT Noctis 450

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    Design/Quality pcGameware awards the NZXT Noctis 450 a Platinum
    Performance
    Value
    Overall

     

    Many thanks to NZXT for providing this sample for review

     


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