The Drop-in Rad Bracket on NZXT H700i isn’t Quite what I Want
I want to apologize for being a bit harsh, but NZXT’s been getting me excited about something that ends up not being what I was originally expecting for a while. This has mostly been a moot issue since releases, like their new motherboard, are still pretty awesome. On the other hand, the new cases of late have left me just wishing that we could get a new full tower design of the Phantom series, combined with some tempered glass. News just came out about the H700i and while it does have some epic features, the drop-in radiator bracket could use some improvement.
I don’t want to completely harsh on the case because it has some good things going for it. The big one is the cable routing trays for management. The way those are designed and laid out is about as perfect as I could imagine, which is not a surprise coming from NZXT. As always, we have a very nicely laid design that also looks professional, yet still gives the builder a clear tempered glass side panel that shows off the build nicely. After that though, it starts getting cliche. NZXT still hasn’t put a tool-less hinge and latch system on the side panels, the case mostly looks like an H440, and it’s yet another mid-tower release. While cases like the S340 and H440 are nearly perfect case, amazing to build in, who doesn’t like to see huge steps in the direction of innovative design?
That said, the drop-in radiator bracket ended up being a huge disappointment for me. When I first saw the clip, I instantly thought NZXT had brought us a tool-less design for installing CLCs to the case. Simply attach the bracket to the radiator and drop it in. While dropping it in is the concept, it has some caveats. For starters, you still need to screw the rad to the bracket. Sure, it may be a bit easier doing it outside the case, but it’s not a huge difference if you still need a screwdriver. The real kicker though is the combination of how the bracket frame is designed with how it drops in halfway. It basically forces you to separate your radiator from the fans before install and you can probably forget about installing a CLC that’s still attached to your CPU. You’ll probably have to drop the pump block through the fan hole for the hoses. (Unless you use a pull configuration.)
The H700i is a nice looking case, but I hate it when some features look more thrown in for marketing over being thought out for ultra convenience. I could be completely wrong, especially since I haven’t put a build in this case, but that still doesn’t change the four thumbscrew design for the side glass panel. At this point, any high end, $200 case that has tempered glass should absolutely have some sort of latch system that allows you to remove a panel with a touch of a button. NZXT may be loving the smart features, but maybe there’s room to focus on the mechanical features more when it comes to the case department.