NZXT unveils case without optical bays, limited-edition keyboard

CES may be over, but hardware launches keep on coming. This morning, NZXT took the wraps off two new additions to its product line: the H440 case and the Shine 3 mechanical keyboard.

The H440, pictured above in its white and black incarnations, takes an unusual step for an ATX enclosure: it does away with 5.25″ bays, instead populating the front entirely with 120-mm fans. (There are three of them in total, plus a 140-mm fan at the back.) The H440 also hides the power supply under a curved shroud, which has holes for cable routing as well as a pair of 2.5″ drive bays on its surface.

All told, the H440 has room for two SSDs, four mechanical hard drives (via removable steel trays), and two 360-mm liquid-cooling radiators (one at the top and one at the front). That’s in addition to an ATX motherboard and, by the looks of it, a pretty substantial mass of cables. The lack of 5.25″ bays means the 3.5″ trays are situated higher up than on most cases, and there’s more room at the bottom for cable routing.

You should be able to pre-order the H440 from NZXT’s online store starting today. The white and black versions both cost $119.

Now, what about that Shine 3 keyboard? It, too, is coming out in white and black, but unlike the H440, it’s an “extremely limited” edition that will be available “exclusively” from NZXT’s online store (for the somewhat hefty price of $149.99).

Designed in collaboration with Ducky, the Shine 3 features Cherry MX red mechanical key switches, seven backlighting modes, a detachable cable, and a set of DIP switches that let you customize parts of the keyboard’s layout. NZXT says it’s possible to disable the WIndows key, swap Ctrl and Caps Lock, swap the Windows and Alt keys, and set the keyboard to a mysterious “demo mode.”

See the gallery below for more pictures of both the Shine 3 and the H440.

Comments closed
    • Xenolith
    • 6 years ago

    They are removing 5.25 bays on ATX cases, but case makers keep insisting on 5.25 bays for mini-ITX. Fix this.

    • hasseb64
    • 6 years ago

    Wow! improvments in the DIY-segment!!
    Only isolated nerds born in the 60-70-ties THINK they could use a 5.25″ bay in 2014

    Now!
    -Reduce those internal drive 3,5″ bins
    Internal 5.25″?… HA!

      • Waco
      • 6 years ago

      Internal 5.25″ would be more useful than removing them entirely. I was excited about this case till I realized that although you can install your dual 360mm radiators internally…there’s no place for a bay-mounted fan controller. More importantly, there’s no play for a bay-mounted reservoir or pump.

      Dead in the water here for anyone that uses custom water cooling and 5.25″ bay-mounted stuff (which is nearly everyone).

      I have 6 bays in mine and only one is free…and that’s with zero optical drives.

    • just brew it!
    • 6 years ago

    That keyboard sounds like it is essentially the WASD “CODE” keyboard with MX red switches instead of brown. Even costs the same.

    • slowriot
    • 6 years ago

    Stop calling them optical bays. They’re 5.25″ bays. You can put tons and tons of useful devices in these bays. One of the primary useful devices is additional storage via a wide variety of adapters, cages, hot swap bays, etc, etc. Or how about temperature monitoring? How about SD card reader? How about a multi-function bay?

    This NZXT case design frustrates me. They’ve removed the 5.25″ option with no gain. The hard drives you might put in those cages could have gone into the 5.25″ bays via inexpensive adapters. NZXT could have reduced the size… but nope. Didn’t do something like that either.

    In general I think the clamoring for “get rid of 5.25″ bays” is silly. The only possible advantage is a reduction in size and that’s rarely possible due to a variety of other factors. Unless a manufacturer to willing to seriously innovate, removing 5.25″ bays will get you nothing. See the above NZXT case for proof.

      • superjawes
      • 6 years ago

      99 times out of 100 those bays are only used for optical drives, as most 3.5″ bays are for hard drives and 2.5″ bays are very popular for SSDs.

      But I totally agree that with the frustration of no-gain removal. 5.25″ bays are one of the reasons cases are so large, so if you’re going to remove them, you should rotate the hard drive bays to be parallel with the front of the case and slim these things down considerably. Heck, you could lay 3.5″ drives flat from top to bottom and still reduce the volume.

        • Neutronbeam
        • 6 years ago

        My bays have an ejectable boot drive, an optical drive, a digital readout, a fan-equipped hard drive enclosure, and media card reader. Not ready to give them up yet.

          • superjawes
          • 6 years ago

          I’m not lobbying for the elimination of 5.25″ bays. They are still quite useful, and I think most users need at least the one for an optical drive.

          What I am against is removing them without any other gain. You usually have a lot of empty space below the 5.25″ bays since 3.5″ and 2.5″ drives are so much smaller by comparison. If you’re going to eliminate the larger bays, you should at least scale things down to 3.5″ size in front of the motherboard.

            • just brew it!
            • 6 years ago

            Only if it is a case where the internal 3.5″ bays face sideways. Otherwise, you still need that extra case depth to get drives in and out of the bays without removing the CPU HSF and/or GPU(s).

        • just brew it!
        • 6 years ago

        Problem with slimming the case down is then you don’t have room for large, low RPM (quiet) CPU coolers.

          • superjawes
          • 6 years ago

          You can still have enough room for those by keeping the width (size between side panels) the same.

            • just brew it!
            • 6 years ago

            I thought it was the width you were complaining about.

        • hiro_pro
        • 6 years ago

        i use those bays for all the time for card readers. also find that those usb ports on the top of the case do not support the full number of devices. try transferring something from usb2 port one to two and see how fast one of those drops out.

      • bfar
      • 6 years ago

      Fair point. Would like to see more customization options here.

      I’m thinking that drive cages should be individual 5.25 size units and fully removable, such that you could swap out a 5.25 cage for a 3.5, maybe a dual 2.5, or no cages at all. We’ve been seeing something similar for years where 3 or 5 bay 3.5 inch cages can be removed/moved. Why not go all the way and have fully modular cages for individual drives/devices? In addition, the front panel could be swappable for either 5.25 openings, an additional fan mount, or a solid cover.

      • Deijya
      • 6 years ago

      5.25″ bays are dead. It’s all about 2.5″ SSDs these days =p

        • slowriot
        • 6 years ago

        I can fit 6 x 2.5″ drives in a 5.25″ bay. What’s your point?

      • indeego
      • 6 years ago

      /me sits here in the corner, uh mas********, without anything installed in his 5.25 bays in his massive ATX system. I can’t possibly think of a reason to use those other peripherals.

    • [+Duracell-]
    • 6 years ago

    I think I found my next case! Super sexy, and I don’t even need an optical drive any more. If I need to install a fresh version of Windows, I’ll just have to use [url=http://lifehacker.com/how-to-create-a-windows-8-installation-dvd-or-usb-drive-505769939<]a USB drive with installation media on it[/url<].

    • superjawes
    • 6 years ago

    So they cut out the optical drive bays but didn’t reduce the size of the case? For shame…

      • XTF
      • 6 years ago

      Where did find the dimensions of this case?
      No-gain? What about the front-to-back airflow with 3 intake fans?
      Not every case has to meet your requirements, right?

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