NZXT Hush 2 review
NZXT’s original Hush made its debut back in 2007, but it’s still popping up in PCs today thanks to its near-silent operation and fine features. That’s a hefty legacy to live up to, so we’re pleased to report that NZXT has kept the design broadly the same for the Hush 2.
Both of the thick steel side panels and the door are coated with sound-absorbing foam, and the three preinstalled 120mm fans can be controlled by a switch at the top of the case: they run at 40%, 70% or 100% speed. Both the PSU and hard disks are mounted on rubber pads, and the top 120mm fan mount is disguised beneath a magnetic cover for soundproofing.
New in the Hush 2 is a SATA dock hidden beneath a flap at the top of the chassis. And the two 120mm fans in the front of the chassis are installed in their own modules, which draw power from metal contacts rather than the traditional three- or four-pin plugs. The fans are replaceable – access their screws by snapping off a dust cover – so upgrading and maintaining is a breeze.
The more prosaic aspects are mostly fine, too. There’s a reasonable amount of room behind the motherboard tray with a sizeable gap for installing CPU heatsinks, and the various cable-routing cut-outs are lined with rubber. Alongside the fan control, the top of the case serves up one USB 3 and three USB 2 ports.
You get eight hard disk bays and three for 5.25in drives, and all can be accessed without tools. We were disappointed, though, that the hard disk bays don’t face the side of the chassis: the caddies themselves are tricky to install and, if you’re adding storage to an existing build, you might have to remove components to fit in a hard disk or SSD.
Tricky installations, in fact, became something of a running theme. The Hush 2 isn’t the largest case, and an ATX motherboard is a tight fit: the average PSU will be flush to the bottom of the board, and the SATA dock at the top of the case won’t be far away from it, either. And don’t think about installing a dual-GPU graphics card – the likes of the AMD Radeon HD 6990 simply won’t fit.
These problems will put off enthusiasts, but if you use less powerful components the £82 inc VAT price is fairly reasonable for a silent case. As for the competition, Fractal Design’s Define R3 costs a few pounds less and is every bit as impressive, while Cooler Master’s Sileo will save you around £20 in exchange for less flexibility on the fans. All three have their merits but, although it isn’t perfect, we can see the Hush 2 being popular with manufacturers for all the same reasons as its predecessor.
|Case format||Full tower|
|Power supply rating||N/A|
|Primary case material||Steel|
|Removable motherboard tray?||no|
|Dimensions||215 x 520 x 466mm (WDH)|
Ports and connectors
|Front panel USB ports||4|
|Front panel memory card reader||no|
|PCI expansion card backplates||8|
|Mic in socket?||yes|
|3.5mm audio jacks||2|
|Front 120mm fan mounts||2|
|Rear 120mm fan mounts||1|
|Other fans||1 x 120mm top, 1 x 120mm base|