NZXT Phantom Full Tower Case

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Product(s): NZXT Phantom Full Tower Case
Provided By:
NZXT
Price: ~$139.99 USD (At time of publishing)

 


Introduction: 

The NZXT Phantom Full Tower Case that we are going to be taking a look at today claims to be an "Enthusiast Full Tower Case", but does it have what it takes to be "Enthusiast" quality? Today we are going to try and find out.

There are tons of "Enthusiast" cases available on the market today but quite a few of them lack features that an "Enthusiast" demands. The NZXT Phantom has a long list of features to add to its truly unique design and I've been looking forward to getting a chance to take a closer look at this case for quite a while.

The front and top panels of the NZXT Phantom feature quite a unique design and definitely are eye-catching and set it apart from other "square" cases on the market. The NZXT is a big case and should be handle all of your hardware (and more). Cooling has been taken into consideration by NZXT for this case and thanks to the included 4 fans (with the option to add 3 more) airflow shouldn't be an issue.

Let's take a closer look to see what the NZXT Phantom is all about.

 

First Impressions:

The NZXT Phantom case is pretty classy.  It has some pretty aggressive styling that looks pretty cool without going overboard.  While it is a steel-and-plastic chassis, it still looks pretty good and should appeal to a large audience.

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NZXT Phantom - Front View
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NZXT Phantom - Front View

In the next set of pictures you'll see the packaging that the NZXT comes in. On the front of the box they show off the White Phantom case, but for our review we will be taking a look at the Black version (there is also a Red version available). I like the fact that this case comes in 3 different colors as not everyone is interested in getting a black case, I think both the Red and White versions look pretty neat and are both very eye-catching.

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Packaging
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Packaging

The top of the Phantom case is pretty well-unitized as the left side of the top panel features all of your power buttons, USB ports, headphone and mic ports, eSATA port and status lights. The right side features a built-in 5 channel fan controller that will allow you to control all of the fans in your case. This fan controller isn't a simple "On and Off" controller but actually lets you adjust the fan speed by sliding the dial for each channel. When fans are connected to a channel there is a blue status light that comes on to let you know which channels are hooked up. There is also a small picture beside each slider to let you know what fans you're adjusting. Overall I was quite impressed with this fan controller and anyone who loads this case up with fans will be very thankful for the ability to control the speed (and volume) of all the fans.

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Top Panel
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Top View

Next we take a look at the side panels, which as you can see, feature more fans. Included with the NZXT Phantom are 2 120mm fans on the left side panel (which are also controlled by the built-in fan controller). In addition to the included fans on the left panel you also have the option to add another 200mm or 230mm fan (which blows directly onto the CPU area). The 2 fans that are included blow directly onto the hard drive bays (all 7 of the hard drive bays) which is a nice touch since some of these new hard drives have a tendency to run hot and the additional cooling is very welcome. The Right side of the case features a mesh which will allow the fans on the left side to blow air out of the case (which will probably be quite warm if you have a bunch of hard drives installed).


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Left Side Panel
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Right Side Panel

Now we are going to take a look at the back of the case, which as you can see in the pictures features another included 120mm fan on the rear of the case. You also get dual-radiator support (thanks to the 4 holes in the back for tubing) if you want to pull off a huge water cooling setup.

Like most cases these days the power supply is mounted at the bottom of the case. NZXT has included 5 of their premium cables which should help if your cables just aren't long enough to reach from the bottom of the case to all of your peripherals.

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Rear View
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Rear View

In the next set of pictures you'll see the bottom of the case allows for great airflow (pictured left). There is a filter below where the power supply is installed (which should prevent it sucking up carpet lint or other unwanted debris), and also underneath where the hard drives are located you've got mesh to allow for additional cooling.

Also pictured (right) is a close-up look at the built-in fan controller.

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Bottom View
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Built-in Fan Controller

 

Closer Look Inside:

Once we get the side off this case you immediately notice that there is a ton of hard drive slots (7 in total). Also you'll probably notice even more fans (120mm fan in the rear, 200mm fan in the top, with space for another 200mm fan in the top). The inside of the case is all steel and you'll have more than enough room to get all of your hardware into this case without any problem.

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Inside View
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  Inside View

The front panel of the NZXT Phantom opens up to reveal the 5 5.25" bays on the front of the case. This panel closes and has magnets in the door to prevent it from swinging open on its own.

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Front Panel (Open)
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Front Panel (Open)

One of the interesting features about the front of the Phantom is the 5.25" drive bay covers. Normally these covers on most cases just pop out (and you usually have to reach around to pop them out), but the NZXT Phantom case offers covers that easily pop out from the front by release the clip on the right hand side. While this might not seem like a big feature, as someone who installs a lot of different systems in a lot of different cases I can't tell you how many times I've cut myself fighting with 5.25" bay covers trying to get them removed, I actually almost cried when I saw how easy these panels went in and out.

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5.25" Bay Cover (back)
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5.25" Bay Cover (Front)

Another feature that adds a bit more value to the NZXT Phantom case is the inclusion of 5 NZXT Premium cables (pictured below). Included you'll get:

  • 1 - 24 Pin MB Individual Sleeved Extension Cable (250mm)
  • 1- 6 to 8 pin Video Card Individual Sleeved Adapter (250mm)
  • 1 - Molex to 2 SATA Individual Sleeved Cable (200mm)
  • 1 - 8 pin MB Individual Sleeved Extension Cable (250mm)
  • 1 - 6 pin Video Card Individual Sleeved Extension Cable (250mm)

 

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5 NZXT Premium Cables Included

 

These cables are pretty nice and a great "added value". You can buy these cables individually online for anywhere between $3.99 and $7.99 per cable.

So there we go, that's what the NZXT Phantom is all about, let's move onto the next section of our review.

 


NZXT Phantom Specifications:

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All specifications taken from NZXT.com

 

Features:

• High Performance Cooling Advantages – Phantom's extensive cooling capabilities include 7 fan cooling options with dual 200mm, single side 230/200mm (NZXT only guarantees fitment with NZXT's FN-200), triple 120mm, and front 140mm fans. For enhanced control and expandability, NZXT includes dual radiator support, quad watercooling cutouts, and an integrated fan controller with up to five 20W channels.

• Simple Installation – Phantom celebrates an array of innovative features designed to enhance every stage of the build. Meticulous wire management is easily attainable with large spacing behind the motherboard. The innovative all-new 5.25" screwless rails make installing and swapping HDDs an effortless process. Rubber grommets dampens vibration during operation.

• Additional Advanced Features – Further distinct features include an LED on/off button to control fan lighting, rubber PSU and case feet to reduce vibration, easily removable front and top panels, and top mounted USB, Audio/Mic, and E-SATA ports.

• Extensive Compatibility and Expandability – Features support for larger heat sinks, graphics cards, and E-ATX motherboards enabling enthusiasts to include any of today's hottest components. Vast space within the enclosure allows for 7 hard drives with SDD support and up to five 5.25" bays.

 

Specifications

MODEL Phantom Series
CASE TYPE Full Tower Steel
FRONT PANEL MATERIAL Plastic/Steel
DIMENSIONS (W x H x D) 222 x 540 X 623 mm
VGA Clearance Maximum
350mm
COOLING SYSTEM

FRONT, 1 X 140mm
REAR, 1 X 120mm (included)
SIDE, 2 x 120mm, 1 x 200/230 (2 x 120mm included)
TOP, 2 X 200mm (1 x LED 200mm included)

DRIVE BAYS 5 EXTERNAL 5.25" DRIVE BAYS
7 INTERNAL 3.5"/2.5" Slots
Screwless Rail Design
MATERIAL(S) Steel with black finish
EXPANSION SLOTS 7
WEIGHT 11 kg
MOTHERBOARD SUPPORT E-ATX, ATX, MICRO-ATX, BABY AT

 

 

 

NZXT Phantom - Installation and Testing:

In this section of the review we'll install one of our test systems into the case and see what happens.


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NZXT Phantom - System Installed
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NZXT Phantom - System Installed


As you can probably see in the pictures, everything fit into the NZXT Phantom without any problems whatsoever. Seeing as this is a full case I was expecting to have more than enough room, and even with 2 dual-slot video cards installed we still had tons of space to work with.

Cable management is really quite simple thanks to the holes in the motherboard tray and hiding cables is simple. Most cables are easily able to be run in behind and it almost looked bare inside the case when we were done installing our system. For someone who wants to keep the inside of their case nice and neat, you'll be very impressed with what you can do with the NZXT Phantom.

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NZXT Phantom - System Installed
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NZXT Phantom - System Installed


Unfortunately I don't really have anything exciting to say about the installation of our test system into the NZXT Phantom case (which makes this section a bit boring). You've got tons of space to work with and cable management in a breeze, overall I'm sure most system builders would kill to be able to work with a case like this all day long.

Let's move onto the final section of our review where we will share our final thoughts about the NZXT Phantom and award it a final score.

 

 

NZXT Phantom Final Thoughts:

There are a lot of things to like about the NZXT Phantom case and as I compiled my list of things I liked it became pretty clear to me that this case was a winner. Probably my top 2 things I liked are the unique design and the reasonable price (available online for ~$139.99). There are a ton of "enthusiast" cases in the sub ~$150 dollar range but I think the NZXT Phantom has enough features to help set itself apart from other cases in its price range. While the design might not be for everyone, it definitely has a unique shaping to it and sets itself apart from the other "box-shaped" cases available and shouldn't have any problem catching eyes.


One feature that really adds extra value to this case is the inclusion of a 5-channel fan controller. This fan control is not just a "On and Off" controller but is a slider that allows you to adjust your fans speed. Not only does the fan controller control the 4 fans that come included, it also allows you to add your own fans to the controller. NZXT also gives you 5 of their "Premium" cables that will help you make your system look a bit cleaner inside which is a nice addition as these cables can range anywhere from $3.99 to $8.99 online individually.

The construction of the NZXT Phantom is pretty decent, the main chassis of the case is steel and seems to be extremely sturdy. The front and top panels are all plastic, which is understandable for a case in the sub-$150 dollar range, but at the end of the day its still plastic and some people might be turned off by that fact.

Installation of a system into the NZXT Phantom is pretty simple thanks to all the space inside the case and the inclusion of some great cable management features. There is room for a ton of components in this case (7 Hard drives and 5 5.25" drives) which can make for a ton of cable clutter but with all the cable management slots you should still be able to make things look nice and clear. When we installed our test system into the NZXT Phantom we installed 2 dual-slot video cards and it was still amazing how much space we had (we could have easily installed 4 video cards), for someone looking for lots of room for future upgrades, you'll be very happy with this case.

One of my biggest complaints about the NZXT Phantom is the fact that the plastic front and top are super sensitive to fingerprints, chances are good you'll want to keep a lint-free cloth handy to avoid having greasy fingerprints all over your case. Other than it being a fingerprint magnet I really didn't have any other major complaints about this case (which is a good thing).

At the end of the day we were very happy with the NZXT Phantom and had no problem whatsoever awarding it our "Editor's Choice - Gold" award. Thanks to tons of features, multiple color options, and great value, we have deemed this case a winner. If you need a case with a ton of features and tons of room without spending big money then you'll want to give the NZXT Phantom some serious consideration.

 

Pros:

  • Very Unique Design
  • Lots of Room Inside - Easy Installation
  • Built-in Fan Controller
  • Great Value - Affordable MSRP
  • Available in Multiple Colors (Red, White and Black)
  • Excellent Airflow
  • 6 NZXT Premium Cables Included
  • Great Cable Management

 

Cons:

  • Fingerprint Magnet
  • Front and top are plastic
BCCRating

 


Gold 
 

 

I'd like to thank NZXT for sending us their Phantom Full Tower Case. If you have any questions, comments, or general feedback, please leave it at the "Comments" link below.