NZXT H5 Flow & H5 Elite Case Review


So with that all out of the way, let’s get down to the crux of it. How do they perform? Now, if you’ve not seen our video on how we test cases, I’d definitely advise taking a look so you can see how we test and the hardware we use to make it as fair of a test as possible and the link for that is down below.

So what we found at idle was that the H5 flow came in with the worst result we’ve seen but my theory behind that really comes down to the lack of pre-installed fans in the front and instead is reliant on that single fan at the bottom bringing in cool air and that’s clear to see in the testing. While the Elite which has two pre-installed fans fared better as expected at idle.

When looking at the load temperature during the Prime95 and Furmark torture test, the Flow did better here than the Elite and kind of nestles in with the rest of the NZXT H7 cases, while the H5 Elite comes in a little hotter, but still within limits that are completely safe.

Taking a look at our GPU, again, we see the Flow struggling slightly at idle with higher temperatures than any other case we’ve looked at, while the Elite comes in around 6 degrees cooler, and at idle we actually see the Elite coming in with the same temperature as the H510 flow, while the H5 Flow manages to beat the slightly more expensive Corsair 4000D Airflow.

When looking at the chipset, it’s a similar story with the Flow giving us higher temperatures at idle, again with the only reason I can think of due to the lack of installed fans in the front, in its stock configuration. The Elite performs much better, with similar idle temperatures to that of the H510 Flow.

In terms of load, both fare pretty well considering all of the cases that beat them generally are more expensive so make of that what you will, but again, all temperatures are reasonable in the grand scheme of things.

When looking at the SSD temperatures, things didn’t go great for the H5 Elite. Due to the glass design, it clearly hampers airflow putting it as the worst we’ve seen, but at 53.5 degrees at load, it’s nothing worth worrying about. The H5 Flow as expected did better at 50 degrees during load, which puts it slightly better than the 4000D Airflow from Corsair.

During gaming, our CPU definitely fared slightly better within the flow case with very similar temperatures to its bigger brother, the H7 Flow, while the Elite ran less than two degrees hotter and actually ended up performing better than the H510 Flow which may not sound like much, but when you consider that we’re comparing a case dedicated to airflow, and one with tempered glass, I’d say that’s quite an achievement.

The GPU temperatures were again, very close, only separated by 2 degrees between the Flow and the Elite with the H5 Flow besting the H510 Flow by just over 1 degree. Whatever the case, at below 50 degrees, it’s nothing to really worry about.

Without sounding like a broken record, the H5 Flow and H5 Elite again come in performing very close to each other when looking at the temperature of the chipset, and again, sees an improvement over the H510 Flow which I guess is what it’s all about. Making sure that there are improvements overall.

Finally, when looking at the temperature of our SSD, it’s a bit too close to call, and we actually find the H510 Flow performing better, though at 46 degrees, I wouldn’t be calling the fire brigade just yet.

Now having, what I’d say as perfectly reasonable temperatures is one thing but as I mentioned, the H5 series just seem a bit on the loud side of things when you first install your system and boot it up, and that’s somewhat evident in our acoustic testing where both H5 models performed within .8 of a decibel of each other at idle, and 0.1 decibels at load which puts both H5 cases towards the top of our charts, with the H7 Elite being quite a lot louder in our testing.

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Peter Donnell

As a child still in my 30's, I spend my day combining my love of music and movies with a life-long passion for gaming, from arcade classics and retro consoles to the latest high-end PC and console games. So it's no wonder I write about tech and test the latest hardware while I enjoy my hobbies!

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