Project: H440 Recolour

So a while ago I asked about getting a H440 and tearing it apart for the purposes of repainting. I looked up more and more and actually found someone going to do the same thing. So after that final confirmation that it was possible, I pulled the trigger. 

I got the case toady and after a some shopping for paint and supplies I got to work. Took the better part of 3 hours and it looks so bare now. Check it out, pretty comprehensive deconstruction.

Having done it now, this case is amazingly well put together. I had some serious trouble with a few of the screws, not hard to get to, quite the opposite, being incredibly well tightened. They case is fantastically well thought out, everything has it's place and nothing out of place. The cables are really well taken care of from the beginning. It is such a joy to work on, and I have not even begun to put parts in it yet. 

While it is completely possible to fully take this case apart, I get the feeling NZXT really did not intend for it to ever actually be tried, or encouraged. The parts are all easily accessible and and in great positions, but also incredibly well secured. I mean drop it on the floor and it will not come loose. It is solid in the same way a chunk of granite is.

If you want a rock solid, heavy, silent and supremely well thought out case, this is the best I have ever had. 

Enough of my praising. Next time we get decent weather, should be in the next week or so, I will get to preparing it, taping it off and cleaning it, then when it is warm and dry I will paint it. So I will post more on my adventures then. 


EDIT #1: Got some painting done, then ran out of paint.

I like the look so far, and when the black bit are back on it should pop. Don't worry it is not as shockingly bright as it seems in the pictures, I am just not a pro photographer and using my phone.


EDIT #2: Since last time I have applied a second and third coat to varying degrees of success. The outside panels that make up the front, top and two sides were not only the largest but also the worst looking when it was all over.

I had wanted to half ass it just because I wanted to actually have the case done and in use, in the sense that if the coats were smooth and free of imperfections I would just put it back together and press it into action. Unfortunately the skin of the case turned out more than a little scaly and bumpy, I was little annoyed and pissed off. This was mostly my fault as I had not used this paint before and was not familiar with its application. By the second coat I had worked it out but it was too late the damage was done, so I continued and would fix it later with sanding and one last "real" coat. 

Also further down the comment stream I alluded to this paint taking "many ages of man" to dry, this was incorrect, it in fact takes eons (damn acrylic). The upside to acrylic is that being plastic based it goes on relatively thick and takes well to sanding.

If I told you that after the sanding it felt like silk it would be 100% subjective fact! 

I could not be happier, especially as I also messed up with the alluded to drying. It was more than just a little tacky. Strangely you could handle the panels and it would not take up finger prints or feel tacky but leave it face down on news paper? Well it took some headlines with it. This is exactly what happened when it came time to paint the back of the panels. I laid them, recently painted, face down on the paper and hoped it was dry enough to deal with it. It was not. I assured myself that the paper would come off with some white spirit on a cloth. It did not. So sand paper was my only salvation. Thankfully it took the paper off and left a damn fine finish. 

Here is the latest crop of images:

It should be explained that the "dust" on my had at the end was "drying" on to my hand. That is the extent to which this stuff refuses to dry. It was still slightly tacky when sanding off the top surface. It feels like a rubberised mouse covering almost.

There is still a little more sanding to do tomorrow to make it 100% smooth. After that it will be another layer of paint and final wet sanding. This is taking way longer than I expected.

I am seriously considering sticking the panels into the oven on low heat to cure them, just not sure if the foam can survive 75-100 Celsius. Thoughts?

Apologies for the feet...

More next time, hopefully a timely release. 


EDIT #3: Spoiler edition. 

 So as is the way in Ireland when it rains it only pours. The weather broke and now I cannot paint the final coat till it clears up and It only needs the final coat to clean it up it is 95% perfect right now. So I decided to see what it would maybe look like with the black back on the top panel.

Spoiler, it looks good.

I could just put it together right now but there are a few very small flaws that would annoy me simply because I know they are there. So it has to wait but when the final coat is done, IT WILL BE DONE! Unfortunately it looks like another week again before that happens. Sate yourself with these for now.

A promise of good things to come.


EDIT #4: So got some good weather and did the final painting on the four outer panels, the only ones that needed it. I made a mess.on one of them so it will need some touch up work but the other three are finished where paint is concerned.

Only some sanding to do now, 400 grit for the very few small blemishes, 800 grit to smmoth the scratches out and wet sand 800 to smooth everything out once all is dry.

I also did a test fit with the sides on the tower frame and it looks good if a very tight fit now with the extra layers. I will be putting the pieces back in the tower later today, that fans and their controller, the front panel I/O and switches and the HDD cages will go in along with all the miscellaneous bits. Once the outer panels are dry and finished in another week, sigh, the PC components will go in and it will be finished.

I will put some pictures up of the partial reassembly.


EDIT #5: It has been partially reassembled. and as I suspected with the black accents back in place it looks fuckin' rockin'! It is nearing the point where it will all be over. The exterior panels are drying and have come out damn near perfect, they don't need a final sanding I just need to mount them and be done they are that smooth. 

I am am super hyped for the final parts swap and reassembly and it is not far off. I am just annoyed that I don't have themed parts yet. Damn blue motherboards.

Enjoys for the time of completion nears.


EDIT #6: I swear I am nearly done annoying you guys. 

So it together and finished, just about, just need to do a very quick touch up on the windowed panel. And then put the parts in. I will be rearranging my room for installing the PC. May as well do it while all the cables are out and then hide them proper again.

So glad this is nearly completely done. 


EDIT #6.5: And on the, what is this now, 68th or so day it was done. The parts are in and it is running. Thankfully the primary job of being silent is a huge success, even with a large hole because the window is not back in yet. Result! 

Also I spent the time and did some serious cable management. On that I can say it is as clean as an inside job bank robbery. I am super proud of it, regardless of the mid range parts. 

The link is the same as part 6 but I added in the last images so will drop it again.


I'm looking for a new PC case aswell. I'm currently using a HAF 922 and I bought it with the sole purpose of keeping everything cool in the event of overclocking and a hot summers day. The case is doing an excellent job!

Now that everything is overclocked and it is summer, the noise is getting on my nerves. In the past few years, my opinion on PC's has changed quite a bit. I used to only care about the performance and cooling without giving a rat's arse about looks and noise.

But now that I'm about to graduate university and need to study a lot more while using the computer, noise has become a very important factor.

So, my system looks like this:

  • i7 950 @ 4Ghz (Bus speed @200Mhz & 20x multiplier) cooled by an H70 with 2 Scythe Gentle typhoons (push pull config out)
  • 12GB of OCZ 1333 DDR3 @ 1600 Mhz passivly cooled
  • 2 EVGA GTX 580's (stock NVidia cooler)
  • 3 HDD + 1 SSD
  • 2 x 200mm fans, 1 at the top (out) and 1 in front (in).
  • 2 x 120mm Scyte Gentle Typhoon fans at the side (in) and I've added dustfilters.
  • All Gentle Typhoon fans are 1800 rpm fans that run at roughly 1740 rpm at idle.

Noise levels are at 60 dB (measured with an inaccurate phone app) and the temperatures in a 25C room of the CPU are at 45 - 50C. I might have to tweak the voltage a bit but I think running a 950 at 4Ghz at 1.363v is not bad.

Now that you've got a rough overview of my PC, my question is: how does the NZXT perform in terms of airflow? Are the stock fans as good as the Scythe Typhoons in terms of noise and airflow?

One good thing I've noticed is that the NZXT has good built in dust filters. Since I'm sort of a dust magnet, I greatly value that. The same goes for cable management.

I have not filled the case with parts yet so I cannot tell you about the airflow personally. But my old case has worse air flow and less case fans and it still did a decent job. I would imagine this will be a little better.

The only thing is that the air intake front and exhause up top are a little restricted. The rear exhause is normal and fine for air flow. It has no side intake so the dual GPUs might suffer a little. It can breathe fine but if you want high air flow this might not be the case to get. But it will be near silent. I might suggest something like slowing the fans a little, or getting something noctua's. Dust can increase stress on fans and increase the noise because of that.

For everything else on your wants for a case the next line sounds perfect but the H440 just might not be it. Check out the Phantoms. Great air flow and medium/low noise.

Thanks for the advice! It actualy saved me a lot of time looking through all the options.

I'm tempted to go with the biggest Phantom case (820), but it's pretty expensive. Then again, it will allow anything I wish to fit in it in the future.


So, again, thank you!

No problem. 

any updates on the paint job> i check your imgur every few days to see if you posted anything new XD

Oh yes soon very soon. I did a second and third coat, not really worth documenting as it was just more yellow, but it takes the paint several ages of man to properly dry and stop being tacky (damn acrylic). So tomorrow I will be buying some fine sandpaper and leveling it all out, I will decide if it needs another coat after that. 

It is driving me crazy as I have to see all the parts every day, some drying downstairs in the spare room, the black innards and electronics beside my bed and the screws in holders all over my desk. I am reminded constantly that it has to be done, but rushing the drying would be bad as it might just wrinkle and peel with sanding tacky. 

So hold tight I will put some pictures up tomorrow of some actual progress rather than just painting. 

sweet!!! i can't wait. the H440... there is just something about it.... i don;t know.. but i just love that case. can't wait to get mine! 

will the final coat be matte or gloss?

Semi gloss. Not like a mirror or even like the paint that was on it but not matte either. But I will see after the sanding.

sweet! i can't wait to see :)

really cool coasters


Sorry I throw my hands up. Today ran long and surprise Mojitos happened so no work but I got the materials to tomorrow for sure.

what fans will you be using? you can always just paint the ring on some Corsair AF/SP fans :) 

For now the fans that came with the case, but they look really good might have to look into doing that. I was looking for yellow fans a while back.

yeah. it is especially easy because the rings detach. so makes painting EASY. and the fan can still be in use while you wait for them to dry, assuming you don't get around to it till after the pc is all hooked up. 

Akasa Viper (120 and 14) are black and yellow. 

Reeven Coldwings (120 and 140) are black and yellow.

or you could pick out some enermax fans and paint the blades, asyou are able to pop off the blades on most (if not all) enermax fans, i believe. 

I know of the Akasa Viper fans but the yellow is almost lime on them. I had thought of painting the blades as the fans I have now are white blades with black frame. Unfortunately I looked it up and not only are NZXT fans hard to take apart but also if you do take them apart you are likely to snap the blades.

Also unfortunately while they sell the exact fans that come with the H440, the ones that come with the H440 don't include the rubber silencing bushes that isolate the fans vibrations from the case. So I am trying to find a solution that I can do here at home.

So the case has had some progress. The only parts that really needed sanding were annoyingly the most visible ones, the outside panels. All the internal parts can out great. Thankfully the sanding is beautiful. I am watching some TV right now and imgur on mobile is junk so I will update the original post with a new link and parable of woe. Tune in soon for more, Tales Of INTEREST!

wah! i can't wait! D:

OH! i forgot, sharkoon has a yellow blade fan (only 120mm though)


and it has this 3D effect when spinning too! here it is in a build (this guy used 7 in his build lol)

Oh.. and they come with rubber mounts :)


Those sharkoon fans look great. Shame they do not do 140s. I would love to do a fully themed build with all black and yellow parts, unfortunately I don't have the budget yet. I did a full parts list for a fully and completely yellow and black PC with all matching parts looked kick ass but man Intel stuff is expensive and Yellow stuff is rare and therefore more expensive. 

Also part 3 (or EDIT: #2) is up for you to do and say what you will with and about. 

yeah. wish Sharkoons came in 140 too. 

Dang. i can't wait to see those panels back on the case :) 

Me too man. Nobody wants it finished more than me. It actually seems to be drying faster/better with the sanding but that could just be a placebo effect. Unfortunately it will be at least another week before I can think about putting it all back together. Hopefully the weather is good for the next few days.