In an exclusive interview with the Noctis 450's designer, Chung Tai, GamersNexus explored differentiating design elements of the N450 enclosure. Tai, who worked on the case through several iterations, noted that “there's no comparison out there,” telling me the N450 doesn't necessarily respond to anything presently on the market. The N450, he emphasized is unique in its appearance and structure, combining simple-but-superior build quality with flashy aesthetics. Listen to that interview below for more insights as to the case's design:
NZXT N450 (Noctis) Specs
|Model Number||CA-N450W-M1 (Matte Black and Red LED Accents)|
|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)
|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 (WxHxD)|
|Material||SECC Steel, ABS Plastic|
|Motherboard Support||Mini-ITX, MicroATX, ATX|
|External Electronics||1 x Audio/Mic
I/O Panel LED On/Off
|Product Weight||9.75 kg|
|USB 3.0 Ports||2|
|USB 2.0 Ports||2|
The N450 is a departure from NZXT's recent design philosophy, which has primarily sought to deliver discreet, quality cases to market while largely abolishing plastic paneling. The N450 uses multi-layered plastic paneling to create a sort of interlaced “X” design on the front panel, applying generous mesh to all exposed surfaces for improved cooling performance.
“[We wanted] a really aggressive design – something that I would say is heavily inspired by concept art, conceptual cars, stuff like that,” Tai told me, furthering that the case isn't necessarily a response to any existing competitors on the market. “This is a premium mid-tower case. Style-wise, there's no comparison out there right now. The chassis – it's been there, people like how the H440 is, and so I think that [structurally], it's all very solid.”
We took the opportunity to inquire as to the interlocking paneling layers present on the front and top of the case, which Tai called “the big, main idea of the Noctis.” Tai exlaborated that “we're trying to have this layering design. Most cases out there are a solid block wrapping around the chassis; we're trying to have different layers [overlapping one another]. It also enhances strength of the panels.”
Cooling support of the N450 is similar to the H440 in almost every respect. The unit ships with four pre-installed fans – three in the front (intake) and one in the rear (exhaust) – with room for add-ons or radiators. System installation and mount points are effectively identical to the H440.
The PWM-enabled fan hub is worth noting. Unlike most fan hubs, the N450's hub routes the CPU's pulse-width modulation control through on-board logic that manages all hub-connected case fans. The unit has over-voltage and other protections built into it, ensuring one of the most impressive on-case fan hubs we've yet discovered.
More on the N450 in our full review, coming shortly.
Full gallery follows.
- Steve "Lelldorianx" Burke.