Friday, February 12th 2021

NZXT Recalls the H1 Case Across the U.S. and Canada

NZXT on Friday confirmed a total recall of its controversial H1 case across North America. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) notes this as a voluntary recall by the manufacturer in light of the fire hazard posed by the mounting mechanism of its PCIe riser, an issue that came to light early since the case's February 2020 release, but was acknowledged by the company by November. At the time, the company released a fix that included replacing metal screws in the mounting mechanism with non-conductive Nylon ones.

As of now, NZXT has halted sales of the H1, and instructed retailers to send back inventory. The CPSC press release notes that about 32,000 units were circulated in the U.S. market, in addition to 1,024 in Canada. Health Canada issued its own notification announcing the recall. Both authorities directed users to seek a free repair kit from NZXT for the affected products, and dispose of the case (under existing recycling/e-waste management guidelines), if the user wishes to discontinue use. Canadian Law prohibits re-sale or giving-away of the affected product in the second-hand market.
Source: U.S. CPSC
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20 Comments on NZXT Recalls the H1 Case Across the U.S. and Canada

#1
Mussels
Moderprator
About time, this stupid fire hazard of a riser cable has been touring youtube for weeks
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#2
micropage7
some people may keep it and sell it in the next few years in "rare" tag
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#3
Turmania
What a sad end to one of the best looking case in the market.
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#4
robert3892
Kudos to Gamer's Nexus who showed this issue in their online youtube videos which no doubt started this process
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#5
Solid State Soul ( SSS )
Turmania
What a sad end to one of the best looking case in the market.
They'll probably re-release it with a complete fix and call it H1-V2, or H2.
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#6
ixi
Funny, americans and canadians got recalled, but outside these two territories they don't recall? Haha, nice handling the damage done :).

In my list this brand should be avoided.
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#7
Sihastru
Can't call it the H2, they have one already.

As someone who bought an H1, after months of waiting, I felt the response from NZXT was lackluster bordering on criminal. It took months for them to even recognize there was an issue, and still downplayed it in a horrible fashion. This product can burn down your house. NZXT, as a company, is in now in my garbage bin. Returned my H1 to the retailer, and got myself a Jonsbo A4. This whole adventure lasted for about 4 months. Happy days.
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#8
ZoneDymo
Turmania
What a sad end to one of the best looking case in the market.
its a black rectangle....how exactly is that so good looking?
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#9
Valantar
micropage7
some people may keep it and sell it in the next few years in "rare" tag
"Rare" because it has a PCIe riser with a fundamental design flaw making it a major fire hazard? Nah, sorry, I don't see that.
Turmania
What a sad end to one of the best looking case in the market.
As @Solid State Soul ( SSS ) said above, it's getting re-released with a new riser cable. The recall is just for products shipped up until now, and IIRC from what GN reported in their last coverage of this the version with the new riser should be arriving around March.
ixi
Funny, americans and canadians got recalled, but outside these two territories they don't recall? Haha, nice handling the damage done :).

In my list this now this brand should be avoided.
That's a bit of a misrepresentation - the recall is handled through the appropriate government bodies, thus it's limited to the jurisdictions of those government bodies. One would then assume a recall in other regions being subject to the relevant authorities in those regions. Hopefully NZXT has been working with the European Commision's product safety branch as well, though sadly I can't find any reports in their database.
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#10
Caring1
ixi
Funny, americans and canadians got recalled, but outside these two territories they don't recall? Haha, nice handling the damage done :).
I would have assumed they are more likely to get sued by Americans than any other nation.
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#11
ypsylon
Expect to see recalled from North America H1 cases in ROW near you very, very soon.

That's how corporate recalls are done. We can't sell it here, we'll sell it someplace else don't you worry...

Good job GN, at least some people can avoid this garbage.
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#12
ixi
Caring1
I would have assumed they are more likely to get sued by Americans than any other nation.
That is true, because only in America people can live from successful courts.
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#13
watzupken
Caring1
I would have assumed they are more likely to get sued by Americans than any other nation.
The damage is already done. Even if they recall it now, they will still likely be sued because they did not take immediate action when they realized the defect.
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#14
FreedomEclipse
~Technological Technocrat~
It took multiple youtubers calling NZXT out for a while before they would do ANYTHING.

They are pretty much on my blacklist now
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#15
BSim500
This is why I avoid cases that need riser cables. It just adds needless compexity / introduces another point of failure for the sake of what, an inch or two? Makes sense in low profile cases like the Fractal Node 202 that are supposed to be short in height, but this H1 is even taller than half the ordinary MATX's out there like the Focus G Mini that are 1/6th of the price (and a reminder of why after dipping my toes in form over function M-ITX for one generation, I went straight back to function over form MATX...)
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#16
bonehead123
Well, I never had one of these cases, but I have used some of their other products in the past, which all seemed to be well made and worked fine IIRC.

Having said that, ANY company who refuses to acknowledge AND correct design flaws/QA-QC issues immediately goes on my POS/NO BUY list, at least until the matter is resolved to MY satisfaction :D

However, if I were an H1 owner, I would immediately demand a brand new case with the reworked riser set-up, as well as a technician home visit to transplant my current rig from the old one to the new one, plus a 50% refund, as compensation for my time to initiate the claim, and also for the hassle & aggravation over something that never should have happened in the first place...

And yea, I could initiate legal action, but then that would cost NZXT a whole buttload moar moolah than the above solution :)
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#17
Valantar
BSim500
This is why I avoid cases that need riser cables. It just adds needless compexity / introduces another point of failure for the sake of what, an inch or two? Makes sense in low profile cases like the Fractal Node 202 that are supposed to be short in height, but this H1 is even taller than half the ordinary MATX's out there like the Focus G Mini that are 1/6th of the price (and a reminder of why after dipping my toes in form over function M-ITX for one generation, I went straight back to function over form MATX...)
That's an ... interesting take. While it's true the Focus G mini is shorter in the vertical dimension (by a whopping 4mm!), it's overall nearly 3x the volume of the H1. Did you miss the part where the H1 has a square 187mm footprint, which is not only narrower than the front of the Focus G, but literally just 40% of its depth? Remember, the H1 is a vertical layout, with the GPU running from top to bottom, so its footprint is tiny. Also, 1/6 the price, but the H1 included a 650W SFX-L 80+ Gold PSU (easily a $100 value) and a 140mm AIO (same) in that price, so as a value proposition it actually wasn't bad. Oh, not to mention that the Focus G mini is a cheaply built low-end case, which shows in the materials and build quality. It's fine, but it doesn't compare to most $100 cases even.



That being said, it's good that these are finally getting recalled, but IMO it's too little, too late. NZXT definitely lost a lot of respect by handling this the way they did.
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#18
Rakhmaninov3
Turmania
What a sad end to one of the best looking case in the market.
Ditto! I love monolithic cases. Had an old Chieftech-style Enermax one with an Athlon 2100+, Radeon 8500, 4 massive gigs of RAM and and oceanic 160GB HDD setup that was a beast in its day. Loved that machine.
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#19
BSim500
Valantar
That's an ... interesting take. While it's true the Focus G mini is shorter in the vertical dimension (by a whopping 4mm!), it's overall nearly 3x the volume of the H1. Did you miss the part where the H1 has a square 187mm footprint, which is not only narrower than the front of the Focus G, but literally just 40% of its depth?
No, I didn't miss that. I've long learned that comparing volume / footprint matters more for ITX vs ITX, but means little when an MATX / ATX case under the desk is out of the way and not taking up any usable desk space whilst a "space saving" case on the desk can end up looking absurd when it's as tall as the monitor. There was a guy at work who had a really tall small footprint case. Wasn't this one but looked something similar like a Silverstone FT03-Mini. The number of people who almost knocked it over with elbows, bags, etc, when walking past due to a higher centre of gravity, LOL. Ergonomics were poor too. If USB ports are on the front panel but right at the top of a tall case with little depth, then inserting a USB stick can also cause the case to tip backwards. And if the ports are directly on the top (as they are with this H1 case), then depending on desk / seat height and assuming the case is near the rear of a desk, you may actually have to stand up every time you want to plug something in...

ITX is at its best when it makes cases smaller in all 3 dimensions without sacrificing ergonomics. It's at its most stupid when it charges 4-6x more for an ergonomically crippled case purely on "looks" only for it to still end up a fire-hazard (and for the manufacturer to try and ignore it until it becomes too big to ignore...)
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#20
Valantar
BSim500
No, I didn't miss that. I've long learned that comparing volume / footprint matters more for ITX vs ITX, but means little when an MATX / ATX case under the desk is out of the way and not taking up any usable desk space whilst a "space saving" case on the desk can end up looking absurd when it's as tall as the monitor. There was a guy at work who had a really tall small footprint case. Wasn't this one but looked something similar like a Silverstone FT03-Mini. The number of people who almost knocked it over with elbows, bags, etc, when walking past due to a higher centre of gravity, LOL. Ergonomics were poor too. If USB ports are on the front panel but right at the top of a tall case with little depth, then inserting a USB stick can also cause the case to tip backwards. And if the ports are directly on the top (as they are with this H1 case), then depending on desk / seat height and assuming the case is near the rear of a desk, you may actually have to stand up every time you want to plug something in...

ITX is at its best when it makes cases smaller in all 3 dimensions without sacrificing ergonomics. It's at its most stupid when it charges 4-6x more for an ergonomically crippled case purely on "looks" only for it to still end up a fire-hazard (and for the manufacturer to try and ignore it until it becomes too big to ignore...)
Well, this is smaller in all three dimensions, it's just that it's rotated so that what would have been the depth is instead the height. Of course if you prefer a horizontal layout there are tons of options there (that are often also much smaller than the H1) like the Dan A4, Ncase M1, Loque Ghost, etc., etc. I get your argument concerning size not mattering if it's out of the way, but it's a rather weird one - if you define a situation in which size doesn't matter, then obviously it doesn't. That hardly serves as an argument in cases where size does matter. The example of your colleague is also rather silly... I mean, having a top-heavy, small footprint case in an exposed position in a heavily trafficked area is just PEBKAC, and in no way a fault of the case (nor is it a situation applicable to the majority of enthusiast-built PCs). You might as well complain that large ATX cases are problematic if you place them on the floor in a hallway and people stumble over them. But not everyone has room to put a huge mid-tower on the floor next to their desk, and not everyone wants the tons of dust a floor-standing case will inevitably suck in. I would also seriously struggle to find a monitor shorter than 38cm, though that might just be me. A cursory look at cheapo 24" monitors show all of those at 40cm or taller. As for whether that looks silly ... well, that's a matter of taste. I can agree with the point about ergonomics, but that only applies if you frequently plug things in and out of the front I/O. In which case I would personally rather get a hub and place it in a more accessible position, regardless of whether the connector was on the top of a desk-standing case or on the top of a floor-standing one - for the former I'd need to reach, while for the latter I'd need to roll my chair over to the side. Neither are optimal.

Of course, none of this actually backs up the statement I initially responded to. The H1 (and similar cases) saves far more than "an inch or two" unless you are in a situation where only the height of the case matters, in which case ... well, don't get a vertical layout SFF case. That's rather obvious. There are plenty of horizontal options that save far more than an inch or two. And in the other dimensions, it's still much, much smaller. Riser cables aren't always necessary, and they definitely come with some drawbacks, but they're also necessary if you want a case with a layout that doesn't match the traditional ATX component orientations. And that's fine. It might not be a worthwhile tradeoff for you, but it is for many others. Either opinion is equally valid, and neither invalidates the other.

You're making this out as if SFF is generally useless, which ... well, sorry, but while that might be true for you, it definitely isn't generally true. And thankfully your opinions on that don't dictate case availability. Nor are the flaws of this riser cable inherently tied to it being SFF - risers are used for vertical GPU mounts i ATX cases too after all. The fault lies with NZXT's (or their supplier's) shoddy engineering. Obviously the potential for such a fault wouldn't have been there if there wasn't a riser, but ... so what? That's like arguing that we'd reduce the number of traffic accidents by banning all kinds of mechanical transportation.
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