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NZXT H1 PCIe Riser Replacement Kit Hands-On

btarunr

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In response to reports of the PCIe riser cable of its H1 case posing a fire hazard, NZXT in February 2021 instituted a recall of the case in the U.S. and Canada. The flaw in the component's design came to light in early-2020, but it was only by November that it responded to the issue. In its original design, the PCIe riser component was improperly grounded, and a short-circuit could result in a fire. NZXT's first response to this was sending out non-conductive Nylon screws for the users to replace the metal ones the part originally shipped with. This solution wasn't found to be effective, and resulted in a product recall this February. Regulators in the U.S. and Canada directed NZXT to send out free repair kits to existing owners of the H1, along with disposal instructions for the entire case, if the user wishes to discontinue use. We got our Repair Kit, and decided to go hands-on.

The NZXT Repair Kit, and replacement riser card appears to be one of the most solidly built PCIe risers in the market. Thanks to the crypto-mining boom, the market is flooded with PCIe risers of all shapes and sizes, and the NZXT riser looks to be among the better designed ones. What sets this apart from the original design is that now, the downstream (female end) of the riser comes with grounding rings around the mounting holes, similar to motherboards. These are bits of exposed copper that facilitate contact between the ground layer of the PCB, with the sheet-metal of the case. The original design lacked grounding pads on either side of the PCB, and when installed with metal screws, certain PCB traces could get shorted, causing them to heat up and start a fire. NZXT's first solution to this problem was non-conductive Nylon screws. End users with an H1 case, can request this riser cable from here.



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So some are still filled with cheese holes...

The repair kit GN showed only had the holes for the H1 in the riser PCB.
 
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NZXT, the XT stands for Extinguish
 

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I look forward to the youtubers tearing this one apart too, the original design was baaaaaaad
 
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NZXT is still in shenanigans mode. It's a very different design from the one GamersNexus was sent as a replacement. They will never learn.
 
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NZXT is still in shenanigans mode. It's a very different design from the one GamersNexus was sent as a replacement. They will never learn.
Yup, in this one there are unnecessary extra holes, and the holes are not even pth. Steve at GN is gonna have a field day with this one, considering how NZXT pitched the one they looked at as the replacement part, instead of a fairytale.
 
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In its original design, the PCIe riser component was improperly grounded

That wasn't the issue at all. The issue was that there was a +12V power plane running the entire length of the PCB including within incredibly small tolerances of the screw holes. Running the screw in and out a few times could cut through the PCB enough to contact the +12V line, causing a direct short to the (grounded) case. [PSU +12V->Motherboard->Riser->Screw->Case->PSU GND]

Even with OCP on multi-rail PSUs, there's a good chance that there's enough resistance in that circuit to limit current enough that OCP doesn't trip, while still being far above the current that those tiny riser cables can carry safely. Shit overheats, lights on fire. There's no grounding issue. The riser had an incompetent, defective, dangerous design.

Properly designed PCBs have keep-out zones around things like screw holes where signal and power lines are not allowed to be, in order to prevent exactly this.

NZXT keeps downplaying and acting like the issue was minor. Granted, like most things the riser would have been sourced from a 3rd party and not NZXT designed or manufactured, but I definitely don't trust NZXT after the way they've handled this.
 
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and what does Linus@pooptube say to this? He pluged nzxt often, stupid sell-out channel with buttloads of views :-/

To be honest, if a product poses a true risk to any of your customers you should rectify it as fast as possible or vanish from the market.
A house fire is the worst for anyone and can destroy lives in many ways.


SHAME ON YOU NZXT!

no one should buy anything from the again
 
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