The Ultimate PC Case for the RTX 4090: Hyte Y40

Finding a suitable PC case for large GPUs like the RTX 4090 has become incredibly challenging. We’ve all witnessed these monstrous graphics cards being crammed into cases without much thought, resulting in melted power cables and potential fire hazards.

Luckily, I stumbled upon the Hyte Y40 case, which is specifically designed to accommodate large graphics cards like the RTX 4090. With its unique “fish tank” design, inspired by the popular Y60 case, and its affordable price of $150, the Hyte Y40 is undoubtedly the most sensible choice for RTX 4090 owners.

Hyte Y40: Designed for the RTX 4090

The Hyte Y60 with an RTX 4090 installed.
Image: Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

The key feature of the Y40 is its vertical GPU mount, specifically engineered for massive graphics cards like the RTX 4090. Just like its predecessor, the Y60, this case prioritizes vertical GPU mounting. In fact, the GPU can only be mounted vertically using the included PCIe 4.0 riser.

Unlike other cases with horizontal mounts, the Y40’s standard PCIe slots are only half height. This deliberate design choice may deter some builders. However, modern gaming PCs no longer require multiple expansion cards. You typically install a single GPU that blocks access to other PCIe connections, relying on your motherboard for additional connections such as sound and Bluetooth.

While the Y40 may not suit those who need more space, it offers a lot of potential by providing four vertical GPU slots. Unlike the Y60, the RTX 4090 is no longer cramped against the side of the case, allowing ample breathing room for the card.

Moreover, the vertical design ensures that the card remains cool and prevents overheating issues. In my previous PC case, I had to squeeze the RTX 4090’s power connector against the side panel, hoping it wouldn’t melt. With the Hyte Y40, there is plenty of space for the cable to hang freely without any worries.

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It is worth noting that the concept of a vertical GPU mount is not exclusive to the Hyte Y40. Several cases, such as the Corsair 5000D and Fractal Design Meshify 2, offer vertical GPU brackets. However, these mounts are usually limited to two slots, require the purchase of a PCIe riser cable (which can cost over $50), and require a separate mounting solution. If you desire a vertical GPU setup, the Hyte Y40 is tailor-made for your needs.

Less is More

Hyte Y40 case sitting on a coffee table.
Image: Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

The Y40 is an evolution of the Y60 design, surpassing its predecessor in many aspects. Having built PCs in the Y60 for friends during the holidays, I realized how the Y40 streamlines the building process and further enhances the original design.

Gone are the two thumbscrews that held the side panel in place. Instead, the Y40 features a series of clips, making the case completely tool-less. You can effortlessly snap off the top and side panels, providing unhindered access to your PC in less than 30 seconds. This level of convenience is usually found in prebuilt desktops like the HP Omen 45L.

Building inside the Y40 is a true pleasure, not only due to the minimal number of screws you have to handle but also because of the internal design. For instance, the top portion of the case, where you can mount a 360mm all-in-one liquid cooler, typically blocks access to critical motherboard connections such as the 8-pin CPU power and CPU fan header. In cases like the NZXT H510, you must carefully plan your build to avoid locking yourself out of making final adjustments. However, with the Y40, there is a designated cutout for these headers, allowing easy cable access even after installing the cooler.

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Similarly, routing front panel and USB connections to the bottom of the motherboard can be a tedious process in most cases. However, the Y40 features generous cutouts for cable management and a unified front panel connector, eliminating the usual mess of separate audio jack, power button, and LED cables.

Room for Improvement

While the Hyte Y40 sets the standard for PC cases in 2023, it does have a few minor shortcomings. The cable management could be better. Although there are tie-down points and routing channels to tidy up cables, they lack the rubber covering found in the Y60 and other cases like the NZXT H510. As a result, your cables may hang somewhat untidily, regardless of your efforts to manage them neatly.

Fan support is another area that could be improved. Unlike the Y60, which has dual 120mm intakes at the bottom, the Y40 only allows for a single 120mm fan at the bottom. The case comes with a preinstalled fan in this slot, along with a 120mm exhaust fan in the rear.

On the side, you can install two 120mm or 140mm fans, either individually or as part of a liquid-cooling setup. Additionally, there is space for up to three 120mm fans or a 360mm radiator at the top. However, additional space under the case or on the side would greatly facilitate mounting a 360mm radiator on the side and ensure optimal airflow throughout the case.

That being said, it is challenging to find another case configuration with two side intakes and three top exhausts.

CPU cooler installed in the Hyte Y40 case.
Image: Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

While it is possible to add fans in all available spots, it may not be advisable. Due to the Y40’s extensive ventilation, every inch not covered in tempered glass leads to an audible hum of fans, even when your PC is idle.

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However, the advantage is that your PC doesn’t suddenly become noisy when all the fans start spinning at once. Compared to my open-air Praxis Wetbench, the RTX 4090 and Intel Core i9-13900K installed in the Hyte Y40 didn’t experience any significant increase in temperature. The case effectively manages thermals, despite having two glass panels, but it may be slightly noisier as a result.

SSD bracket for the Hyte Y40 case.
Image: Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Finally, let’s talk about storage space. The Y40 includes a bracket at the rear that supports either a single 3.5-inch HDD or two 2.5-inch SSDs. Although there could have been additional 2.5-inch SSD support on the top of the PSU basement, it is not a significant drawback. With space for two SSDs and M.2 slots on your motherboard, storage limitations shouldn’t be a concern for most builds.

Despite a few downsides, the Hyte Y40 offers an exceptional package that far outweighs any limitations. It not only provides the desired Instagram aesthetic that PC builders seek but also ensures optimal thermals and an enjoyable building experience. While there is an abundance of PC cases available, the Hyte Y40 stands out in the 2023 market saturated with tempered glass and massive graphics cards.

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