NZXT’s H-series PC cases are some of the most highly regarded out there amongst the PC building community. These sleek cases are known for their high-level build quality, ease to build in, and value.
Today we are going to be reviewing the NZXT H510, which is technically the “base” model but this is far from basic. The H510 is essentially an upgraded H500, only with USB Type-C and is the “middle child” of the series. This mid-tower sits in between the larger H710 and the mini-ITX H210 cases, making it one of the more popular options from NZXT.
This NZXT refresh is available in a variety of colors, special editions, and alternative models, with the more expensive “Elite” and “i” models featuring RGB fans and an updated fan controller respectively.
Anyway, let’s have a look at what makes this all-round excellent case tick.
Great thermal and acoustic performance
Clean, modern design
Vertical GPU mounting option
Cable management brackets
Elite version is overpriced
Airflow config attracts dust in unwanted places
Screw fittings are too tight
Limited front I/O ports
ATX, mATX, Mini-ITX
460 x 210 x 428mm
2 x Aer 120mm
SGCC Steel, Tempered Glass
Matte Black, White, Black/Red
Front I/O panel
Power Button, USB 3.1 x 1, USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C x 1, Headset jack x 1
2+1 x 3.5″ & 2+1 x 3.5″
2x 140 or 2x 120mm / 1x 120mm / 1x 140mm / 1x 120mm
Maximum GPU length
381mm w/o front watercooler installed, up to 325mm with front watercooler installed
- Front panel USB-C
- Tempered glass, PSU shroud, All-steel construction
- Cable management Bar
- Two pre-installed Aer F120mm fans
- Removable radiator bracket
- “Elite” and “i” versions come with Smart Device V2
- “Elite” version features 2 x RGB Aer fans
Inside the box
- NZXT H510 PC case
- Audio/Mic jack splitter
- User Manual
The design on the refreshed NZXT H510 case is still as sleek as its predecessor, with a matte black, grainy finish. Of course, this texture is one that can attract dirt and often struggles to hide scratches but it is so much better than the glossy alternative you get with many cases. The Elite model features a tempered glass front to show off included RGB fans, whereas this version is a clean featureless panel that oozes class.
At the back, we see a fan vent for one of the included 120mm fans, which is as big as you can go in the fan department here. You get your standard seven expansion slots at the back plus a double slot for vertical GPU mounting if you remove the pre-attached bracket.
Aside from that, there is little to talk about at the back other than the premium feel continues here too.
Despite being quite simplistic in its design you instantly know you are dealing with an NZXT case, with the sharp box-like angles and a small slither of visible ventilation. The tempered glass panel is slightly different from other cases as the bottom quarter is actually part of the PSU shroud leaving the glass completely separate.
The panels come off relatively easy, once you get past the thumb-screws, which, unsurprisingly, shredded my skin, so get the screwdriver out. The tempered glass side shouldn’t just fall out, thanks to the push-to-lock mechanism but be careful afterward! The back panel featured a small amount of ventilation at the front, which is where the negative pressure setup is going to be drawing air from.
Clean, fit-for-purpose, and effective. Classic NZXT.
The top follows the rest of the case’s design; it’s minimal. This is a design choice I quite like, with just a single 120mm fan vent showing towards the rear of the top section. The only gripes I had with the H510 were at the top of the case, unfortunately. The rear fan vent has an insane amount of flex in it compared to the rest of the case which pops in and out. Now, it only moves when I press it so don’t let it put you off, but I had to find something wrong with the near-perfect H510.
The second issue I had actually doesn’t really affect me personally but it’s the front panel I/O ports; or lack thereof.
These consist of:
- Power Button
- 1 x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A
- 1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C
- 1 x Headset Audio Jack
Now, I could argue this is enough ports on the front, plus it keeps with the overall minimalist design of the case. NZXT is far from stingy, you get a lot for your money with the H-series, for example, an included audio jack splitter, but I would have liked to have seen a few extra ports here.
If you are familiar with the predecessor, the H500, then there is nothing that will shock you in this refresh. Regardless, the interior features a logical layout and a surprising amount of room for a mid-tower, or at least that is how it feels.
You don’t get any cutouts with rubber grommets on the NZXT cases, instead, there is a large cable routing slot that is cleverly disguised by NZXT’s trademark cable bar. The cable bar will normally have a contrasting color if you choose one of the models that aren’t jet black and really is an aesthetically pleasing feature. That being said, it isn’t just looks on offer here. The cable bar expertly hides the cables but also acts as a space to mount your reservoir for the water-coolers out there. If you needed extra space inside the case this cable bar can also be entirely removed. Well played NZXT.
You can install motherboards from Mini-ITX up to ATX in the H510 but I found ITX boards look a little lost, even though it isn’t the biggest enclosure. Furthermore, the interior is completely open, so don’t expect some kind of crazy HDD setup in a case like this.
Towards the front, we see a removable bracket for fans if you wanted to change the airflow configuration or mount a radiator. This just simplifies the installation process, especially when dealing with an AIO cooler. The front is the only spot you can install 140mm fans and there is also room for a rad up to 280mm
Towards the bottom of the case, we see the classic PSU shroud which serves a couple of interesting purposes besides hiding the nest beneath. If you were planning on water-cooling the system, the perforated section of the shroud is one of three places you can mount the res. There is also a handy cutout for your GPU power, saving you a bit of room at the back and generally keeping the build looking clean inside.
The Back Panel
The main talking point to the back of the H510 is the included cable management brackets we see dotted around. Experienced builders most likely wouldn’t care about them and they can be removed entirely quite easily if you are one of them. That being said, I was able to cable manage the PC with no tools and if I wanted to rush the process, I wouldn’t need a single cable tie. The system works at the back and encourages new builders to try and manage the cables, so fair play, I’m a fan.
The other main talking point is the wonderful decision to have the FP cables all rolled into one connector, finally. This is down to the fact motherboards are standardizing the FP, so sausage finger builders, rejoice.
Elsewhere, we see the two 2.5” SSD brackets which remain unchanged from the H500 and plenty of cable tie points to prevent the need of tie bases.
Lastly, in the lower section at the back, we see the HDD cage, hidden, as it should be. Of course, the HDD cage can be moved forwards or backward or removed entirely.
NZXT cases are never shy of features but, in general, offer PC builders a high-quality enclosure that simplifies the building process. The iconic H-series cases are some of the cleanest looking units on the market and the H510 still brings the same loveable elements we saw with the H500.
Clean Design – Everything about the sleek H510s appearance is calculated and clean. The professional exterior looks superb when combined with the uninterrupted tempered glass panel. Furthermore, the cable bar and PSU shroud go a long way to making the interior look spotless, giving even the most inexperienced builders something to be proud of.
Airflow – The case is expertly designed and the two 120mm Aer fans that accompany the chassis work in unison to create fantastic airflow. It is worth noting that when it comes to an airflow configuration such as this has out of the box, you can expect dust to build up in unwanted gaps throughout the chassis, so be prepared. Regardless, there are plenty of removable dust filters and a bracket to simplify the installation of a radiator.
USB-C – This type of connector is fairly common among cases these days but when you factor in the price it is yet another feature that makes this a bargain. The Type-C connector is on the front panel, meaning you can easily connect your phone or new gaming headset without having to drag the case from under your desk.
The entire NZXT H510 is feature-packed and it owes its success to the carefully thought out design, get ready for a long line of refreshes on this classic.
So that’s the ins and outs of the NZXT H510, one of the cleanest looking cases currently out there. This base model still offers great value for money, with the “Elite” version being a little pricey to me for just an extra fan and another tempered glass panel, but each to their own.
Just like its predecessor, the H510 is a solid case, it’s been well constructed and reliable materials have been used throughout. If you are going to be adding an AIO or extra fans you are definitely going to want to consider the H510i though. From water-cooling to budget builds, everything will look amazing inside this NZXT case, it is truly a mid-tower for all.
The NZXT is perfect for new and experienced builders alike but what is going to be your next case upgrade? Head over to the WePC community and share the next enclosure for your build with us.
What type of case is the NZXT H510?
One of the major appeals of the NZXT H510 is that it’s quite a small design, making it the perfect, space-friendly case for cramped computer rooms. But it’s this very feature that has led to a lot of confusion in regard to what type of computer case it actually is.
Well, despite its smaller dimensions, the NZXT H510 is still technically classed as an ATX mid-tower form factor.
Officially marketed as a “compact ATX mid-tower”, NZXT has used an intelligent layout in order to cut down on bloat without sacrificing too much space.
The H510 also arrives with nifty room-saving features such as a removable cable bar and a GPU power cutout, so even though it’s smaller, you still have plenty of wiggle room to experiment with your build.
Don’t let the small size fool you. With 15 inches of space for graphics cards, and a four-fan capacity, this diminutive dynamo is capable of housing some insanely powerful systems.
Can the NZXT H510 fit a 280mm radiator?
Yes, technically you can fit a 280mm radiator in the NZXT H510, but quite a few people are struggling with this task.
The problem seems to be that, while their 280mm radiators will mount in the H510, everything just seems a little too snug.
Part of the reason is that the H510 only offers 60mm frontal radiator clearance space, meaning that the I/O connectors and cables are a little too close for comfort.
Some have even had to modify the H510’s brackets to prevent the top lip from making contact with the radiator, but these are isolated cases.
For the most part, a 280mm radiator will fit in the H510 just fine, as long as you install it with the correct orientation.
If you prefer a bit of extra room, we recommend choosing a 240mm radiator setup or perhaps even sticking to a single, and it goes without saying that push/pull designs are out of the question.
Does the H510 support full ATX?
It may be smaller than the average mid-tower, but we’re happy to report that, yes, the NZXT H510 absolutely supports full ATX motherboards.
While it is a compact case, it’s by no means designed for micro-ATX and mini-ITX form factors. Of course, the H510 does support these smaller motherboards, but it’s still roomy enough that they can look a little lost and out of place, even amongst a full case worth of gear.
A full-sized ATX motherboard measures 12” wide by 9.5” deep. The NZXT H510 measures 18.1” long and 16.8” deep, so there’s plenty of room to house a full ATX motherboard.
Having said that, anything larger than the standard ATX form factor will not fit inside the H510 in any functional way. If you’ve got a monster dual-processor EATX build in mind, this isn’t the case for you. You’ll most likely need to invest in a full-tower case for a build of that caliber.
Does the NZXT H510 need extra fans?
The NZXT H510 has a pretty decent airflow considering the only ventilation on the whole case is a thin panel of tiny perforated holes in a single panel. It’s not the best, but it’s definitely passable.
The H510 arrives with two pre-installed Aer F120mm fans, and as long they’re not blocked, they’re more than capable of keeping the thermals of a low to mid-power system under control.
It’s only if you plan on overclocking or building something a little more powerful that you may need to make some aftermarket purchases.
The stock fans are perfectly fine, so it’s unlikely you’ll need to replace them with more efficient designs. What you will need to do is use the extra two-fan capacity to boost the airflow.
Incorporating a pair of frontal intakes is sure to keep almost any build running nice and cool, especially as the H510 can support larger 140mm fans if need be.
Do NZXT cases have bad airflow?
For the most part, NZXT cases exhibit a pretty respectable airflow, but there are a few isolated cases where the company has come under fire for poor vent design.
For example, many builders don’t like the fact the H510 only features ventilation in a small section of the right-hand panel, as it reduces air pressure. These vents can also become blocked when frontal fans are installed, due to their proximity to the front panel.
As we’ve already touched upon, this doesn’t mean the H510 has bad airflow, just that it’s not particularly optimized, but it shouldn’t be considered a blunder on NZXT’s part.
The smaller a case, the harder it is to create quality airflow, and the H510 is one of the smaller ATX cases on the market.
For further proof that NZXT does have the ability to craft cases with good airflow, you’d need only look as far as the H710. It’s spacious, hugely popular, and it’s about as cool as they come.
Does the Kraken X63 fit in the H510?
The Kraken X63 is a 280mm radiator, and as we’ve already mentioned, the NZXT H510 does support radiators of this size, but 280 is at the very limit of its capacity.
There has been a lot of confusion about this particular pairing, as the H510 user manual seems to claim that the case isn’t compatible with the X63, while the specs online state otherwise.
As we’ve seen numerous H510 builds utilizing the Kraken X63, we think it’s safe to say that you should believe the online specs and go ahead with the build.
It is, however, important to bear in mind that even though the Kraken X63 technically fits in the H510, you don’t have a lot of flexibility in terms of installation.
It only fits one way, and that’s with the tubing on the top side. Flip it, and the tubing collides with the cable management bar, misaligning the screw holes.
Can NZXT H510 fit RTX 3080?
Some of the 3rd party RTX 3080s are big graphics cards, to say the least, and it’s no surprise. The Nvidia 3080 is an incredibly powerful graphics unit, and it takes an expansive heat sink and cooling system to keep them from overheating.
The good news is that even though the H510 is a decidedly compact case, according to NZXT’s H-Series/Nvidia compatibility guide, it can accommodate most 3rd party 3080 iterations — hurray!
The list references the Founder’s Edition, the Asus ROG Strix and TUF, the MSI Gaming X Trio and Ventis, and the PNY 3080 in particular. So, if you had your heart set on one of these graphics cards, you’re good to go!
The H510 has 15 inches spare for graphics cards, and the 3080 tends to max out at around 12.5 inches depending on the model. Even with a radiator installed, you should still have about 13.5 inches spare to augment your build with a powerful GPU.