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HARDWARE

NZXT Phantom 530 – Shiny Case

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4/23/2014 11:54:16 AM
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NZXT Phantom 530 – Shiny Case

No skull ring, but a very shiny case with room to move and some great features.

In the past when we’ve looked at NZXT products, they’ve had a distinctly... budget feel. They’ve always been nearly perfectly adequate, but simply unable to compete with the monsters of case design such as Corsair and Silverstone. The Phantom range, while large, may not be all perfect, and even this - arguably our favourite – has a little way to go to really compete, but it’s certainly a very pleasant surprise.

Continuing the legacy of the original, the new Phantom was meticulously designed
from the ground up for a refreshing new design that is uncompromising in every way.

The first thing which is kind of amazing is that despite boasting a very high-gloss finish, we don’t hate it! Some tech that comes to us in over-shiny form simply ends up accruing so much obvious hand-gunk that it’s soon distinctly unpleasant to even look at, but the Phantom’s glossy-coating is impressively gunk-resistant.

Which means you can simply enjoy the rather striking finish. It even comes in three colours - white, black, and a very fetching red.

The external design is likewise striking, with a single, slightly bevelled panel embracing the front upper edge, above black mesh filter material to the back rear and the lower front. The left sidepanel has a window and another, slightly more curious mesh-panel (there are no fan mounts, but it would be useful if you mount a radiator for liquid cooling nearby) inset. The right-hand panel is plain. If it’s not mesh, it’s glossy; even the backplate is nice and shiny.

While creating the Phantom 530, the NZXT design team
painstakingly took every beloved aspect of the original and made it even better

The glossy front fascia is in fact a door panel, magnetically-locked, and swinging this away reveals the external drive bays - probably more than most people need, but handy for enthusiasts who want to have temperature displays or fan control panels on show.

The shiny fun continues inside, too. It’s not quite as glossy, but it’s certainly not matte, and it is definitely very roomy. There’s a generous cutout on the motherboard plate for attaching and detaching CPU coolers, and a lot of room for shuffling cables politely out of the way for maximum airflow. It’s also very modular. Not only does it have a similarly useful HDD cage system that can be swapped out or re-arranged, but even the PSU bracket can be moved backward and forward to suit your build.

The drive caddies all open to the right-hand side of the case, which is an odd choice, admittedly - this means all the cabling mounted to the rear of each drive has to be then tracked back to the motherboard, which could be messy. Each caddy can also fit either a normal HDD, or an SSD, and there’s another hidden SSD slot on the back of the motherboard plate, and the mounting points all feature a rubber grommet to damp down platter noise and vibration. Also back here is a very neat fan hub, so that any extra fans you install can all be controlled by the fan controller on the top of the case itself. There are ten inputs, four of which are already taken.

 

The Phantom 530 introduces 2013 features to its signature design,
including fully modular hard drive cages

All up it’s an impressive effort from a manufacturer we’ve often looked down on in the past. The gloss finish and high design will not be for everyone, but if you want a PC case that breaks clear of the pack on looks, and has some unique features to boot, this Phantom packs a punch.

Specifications:

·         Drive Bays: External 5.25" x 3, Internal 3.5" /2.5": 6, Internal 2.5": 1 + 6

·         Cooling System: Front 2x140mm/ 120mm or 1x200mm (1 x 200mm

included), Rear 1x140mm (included) / 120mm, Bottom 2x120mm, Side

1x140mm, Top 2x200mm/ 140mm or 3x120mm, Interior

1x120mm/140mm

·         Dimensions: 235mm x 572mm x 543mm

·         Motherboard Support: ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, EATX (322x272mm)

 

 

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