XSPC H2 Tower Case Preview

Posted: June 10, 2011 in How To & Misc
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Welcome to one of my first water cooling case previews, the XSPC H2 Tower.  There are a plethora of cases out on the market, yet very few include enough space to really build a very high performance water cooling system (large & quiet radiator/fan combinations).  With water cooling your heat exchanger (Radiator) is user defined or case constrained.  For users willing to have external radiators, you can have nearly unlimited capacity, but users that wan’t a clean and tidy internal system are constrained by the case space.

Radiator size needs are defined by three things:

1) Heat Dissipated – CPU only loop vs multiple CPU/GPU blocks makes a big difference.

2) Fan Speeds – High Speed fans can make a radiator dissipate up to 5X more heat than very low speed fans…BUT!  equal noise gains too.  If you want complete silence, you need to mitigate the fan difference with more radiator.

3) Performance Level – An average system may be happy with cooling performance at a 10 degree delta between water temperature vs. ambient, but an extreme performance level is possible down to 2-3C levels.  While ambient is our theoretical wall, there is room for improvement in radiator capacity.

Bottom line, water does offer the option to address all three, but they all mean more radiator and there simply isn’t enough room in your average air cooling case to get all that and retain an internal design.

I’ve been using a tech station for a couple of years, and while it does meet my ease of use needs (Two quad rads), I’ve grown tired of the exposed/dusty conditions.  I’ve been looking for a means to go back to a computer case, but I also didn’t want to compromise having the ability to use large quad radiators with low speed fans.  I had considered some of the “Cube” style cases, but I preferred something that was more traditional “Tower” in shape and simply large enough to house the quads.  Upon requesting a test sample XSPC Rasa CPU block, I was presented with an opportunity to review this XSPC H2 Tower Case which I thought fit my needs perfectly.

I would like to thank Paul from XSPC for sponsoring this review and my future build!

This initial review I am calling a preview because I haven’t and can’t fill it up until after completing my round of CPU block testing.  I’m planning a rebuild and relocation of my hardware to this massive tower case….the H2! First a picture of the main reason behind my desire to move to this case…factory quad radiator support…no mods needed!

4 x 120mm x 15mm spacing fits like a glove!

SPECIFICATIONS

First let’s take a look at the specifications. The size is very large, in person it’s actually even bigger than expected.

I will note that the bay covers are sold separately.  Unless you’ve got 8X bays worth of gear to fill that up, don’t forget to order the covers. This wasn’t apparent to me until the end of my assembly, but it is spelled out in the specs.

It is also worth noting that the case material is “Anodized” aluminum, so it is fairly light in weight and the anodizing is more durable than paint.  The color is more of a matte black with the brushed finish, so it’s not overly glossy and I think makes a great neutral dark theme for most builds.

Dimensions:
618.9 x 246.6 x 696.8mm (DxWxH)

Shipping Dimensions:
67 x 67 x 20 cm, GW 12.296Kg

Material:
Brushed aluminium – Black anodized

Screw size:
6-32 UNC

Features:
8x 5.25“ bays *
3x HDD bays (6x with optional extra HDD cage.)
1x SSD tray (up to 6x with optional extra trays)
6x 120mm fan grills
– 1x Quad 120mm
– 2x Single 120mm
1x Acrylic window
*Front 5.25“ bay covers sold separately

While the specs don’t mention it, factory it comes with the top  4 x 120mm radiator spot and you can buy brackets to fit a factory 3×120 or 3×140 sized radiator for the bottom.  I sized it up myself and very certain with very minor modifications, you could also easily fit a quad radiator in the base as you can see below:

You could probably even run a quad on one side and a triple on the other adjacent to the PSU, so the potential for very large radiator capacity is definitely there which is what I was after. Let’s have a look at the packaging and shipping protection first…

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Comments
  1. Martin, when I first saw this tower I immediately thought of one quad and one triple rad at the botom since I prefer much more vertically mounted rads, and this tower already has, at least, the side panel holes to do so. Well, the width of the case is 246.6mm the RX series rads are 63mm each and 25mm from each fan that would be 63+63+25+25 = 176mm. What do you think about cutting rectangular hole at the botom with 70mm of width right at the middle and mount each radiator with its fans pulling the air from the botom and exausting through both sides. Would it be doable while using the lower dual bay for a dual pump bay reservoir? That would be great.

    • Martinm210 says:

      The inside dimension of the case I measure is 8-13/16″ or 223.8mm. You could certainly do that. It is vented between lower and upper chamber too so you could probably draw air downward if you wanted as well.

      That should work fine, but I would probably just hole saw a line of holes that size to retain structure in the base for the castors.

      You also probably have options to push air in from the front if you built a screen/fan mount in the front drive bay. It’s not quite tall enough for a 120 in the factory double bay, but there is room to expand that.

      Plenty of mod options in that lower bay, and I’ve always like the idea of keeping water down low where gravity keeps water away from electrical as much as possible..I spill a lot!:)

  2. Alvin says:

    Another great review Martin! Congratulation on your new case & I shall wait for the build log.

  3. Could you please let me know the internal length (depth) measurement for the lower chamber.

    I’m contemplating modding the rear panel to accommodate dual psu’s (2x OCZ ZX 1250w), installing an XSPC dual bay 750 rev.2 pump / reservoir up front, and would like to know if there would be room left length wise to accommodate 2x Thermochill TA 120.2 dual rads (on stands against either side grill), allowing for PSU cabling of course.

    The depth / length specs on the components are 200mm (XSPC 750), 175mm (PSU’s), and 129mm for the rads, totaling 504mm which should, in theory, leave 118.9mm left to play with.

    However, you have stated above that the internal width of the case is 22.2mm less than the 246.6mm stated on the spec sheet, so I’m wondering how this may affect the other internal measurements?

    • Martinm210 says:

      I get roughly this for the bottom chamber using a tape measure and converting (rough):
      606mm Long Internally
      219mm Wide Internally
      182mm Tall Internally

  4. Chris says:

    I have a Mountain Mods Pinnacle 24 and I noticed that several of the panel junctions in the XSPC case look identical to ones on my case. I wonder if XSPC is contracting Mountain Mods to make their cases. MM uses 1.65mm panels, how thick are the panels on the XSPC?

  5. Martinm210 says:

    It’s approximately the same panel thickness, somewhere between 1.5 and 2.0mm (I need to replace my caliper battery, so I’m guessing). I wouldn’t assume any panels are compatible, as far as I know they are independent.

  6. PepeLapiu says:

    EXCELLENT REVIEW! Thanx Martin, I’m buying the case based on what your great review.

    • PepeLapiu says:

      Just one question: If I install the two 120.4 rads and the one 120.3 rad, where does the PSU fit?

      • Martinm210 says:

        I haven’t tried it to confirm, but I think with an average sized triple 120, you can fit both the triple and PSU on the lower left side. There is just over 600mm worth of space there for the two of them to sit end to end. Check your PSU and radiator dimensions to make sure it would work. If those don’t fit, maybe a 2×140 rad would…which would give similar frontal radiator surface area.

  7. OVerLoRDI says:

    Only thing that stopped me from going with this case is that the case is held together by VERY visible external thumb screws. In my opinion in really ruins the sleekness of the case having lumpy thumbscrews everywhere. Perhaps they should have gone with recessed screws of matching color.