While reports of Xbox Series X fires seem to have amounted to nothing after it turned out people were blowing vape smoke through the cases, reports of NZXT’s H1 PC cases catching on fire—the ones that kind of look like an Xbox Series X—are real. As reported by TechSpot, the company is advising H1 owners who have yet to experience problems to power down their PCs until it can send a repair kit. The company has also paused sales of its H1 case until it can implement design changes to units they plan to ship in the future.
In a recent statement, NZXT said the issue currently affects fewer than 10 cases, and the probability of it occurring in your H1 case is next to nil, but NZXT is not taking any chances. The issue is with the PCIe riser assembly to the chassis, specifically the one that allows users to mount their GPU vertically. NZXT says the two screws that attach to the riser “may cause an electrical short circuit in the printed circuit board (PCB).”
In other words, the screws are too close to the PCB, and since screws are made of conductive metal, and PCBs conduct heat and electricity—I’m sure you can see where this is going. Flames bursting from the side of your PC is a rare, worse-case scenario, but an electrical short can do some serious damage to one or more of your PC components.
The issue first came to light two months ago when a Reddit user posted a photo of what appeared to be a burnt and melted screw from part of the riser assembly. NZXT issued the user a new case, and thankfully there was no damage to any of the hardware components. Another Reddit user made a similar post less than a month ago with attached photos of what appeared to be a melted riser assembly. The user also claimed flames came out of the H1 case. Several other Reddit users commented on both posts saying they too experienced the same thing, some reporting smoke emitting from the case after powering up their PC.
“We are working closely with the US Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) and the proper global authorities to ensure that we are doing everything we can to help NZXT customers,” the company said in its statement. “We take this issue seriously and are working as quickly as we can to address it.”
There’s no word yet on if an official recall will be issued.
For what it’s worth, I’ve owned an NXZT H700i for a few years now, and I’ve had zero issues. It’s super rare to hear about anything like this happening with a traditional case, mainly because there’s more than enough space for all the components and GPUs are mounted horizontally. But as cases get smaller, extra care should be taken to make sure components, cables, and screws aren’t touching in such a way that could cause damage. Unfortunately, when a case ships with a design flaw, there’s not much that can be done to prevent it on the consumer side.
Update 12/4/20 3:08 PM ET: NZXT has provided more information on a temporary fix. Users should: Power down the H1; Unplug the H1; Remove the graphics card; Remove the lower riser card retention screw from the H1.