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Written by Mathew Williams   
Friday, 13 August 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
NZXT Phantom Full-Tower Case PHAN-001BK
Closer Look: Exterior
Detailed Exterior Features
Closer Look: Interior
Detailed Interior Features
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Detailed Interior Features

Now that we've had a peak at the interior of the NZXT Phantom, we'll examine some of the features in a bit more detail as we walk through the installation process. I completed a full installation and did some wire management to see just how user friendly the Phantom is. While many people will only spend a couple hours out of a case's life installing and removing components, a good design can make this process all the more gratifying and ultimately lead to higher satisfaction. That said, I did hit a few snags which I will discuss below, but for the most part, the installation went very well.

nzxt_phantom_power_supply.jpg

Besides the motherboard and processor, one of the first components you are likely to install is the power supply. As we've seen, the Phantom has a bottom mounting point for the PSU and in the photo above you can see the rubber standoffs it's supposed to rest on. Here's where I hit snag one: depending on your power supply, these standoffs may make contact with the fan grill. In my case, the two rear standoffs made contact with the PSU right on the edge of the fan housing where there were two dips in the metal casing. That caused the alignment to be slightly off when I went to secure the screws in the back of the PSU. It's not a major issue, and was easily corrected by shifting the PSU a bit, but it's something to keep in mind should you buy this case.

nzxt_phantom_hard_drive_bay.jpg

Next up are the Phantom's 3.5" drive bays. As you can see above, NZXT went with a tray design. The trays have prepositioned pins to allow for screwless installation of hard drives. I used a 2.5" SSD for this build, though, which required a couple extra steps--and screws. I first had to remove the pins on one side, which was easily done in a few seconds. Then the SSD could then be secured to the tray via four screws on the bottom. After that, it slid in just like a hard drive would have. While it didn't take much for NZXY to put a couple holes in the bottom of the tray, I'm glad they did as it made the SSD installation a bit quicker than having to deal with adapters.

nzxt_phantom_optical_drive_bay.jpg

What NZXT lacked in innovation with respect to the SSD installation, it certainly made up for in the 5.25" drive installation. In my opinion, this is one of the better tool-less 5.25" bays outs there. You simply slide the lock located on the latch, seen above, and pop it open. Then, slide the drive in, align the pins to the holes, and pop the latch and lock back into place. The pins hold the drive in place pretty well, but if you prefer a little extra security, screws (provided) can be used in tandem with the latch system.

nzxt_phantom_install.jpg

Up to this point, I haven't talked much about the motherboard/CPU installation, mostly because the process was fairly straightforward--no gimmicks, no tricks, just motherboard standoffs and screws. The installation of the graphics card was straightforward as well. Their tool-less solution here was simply good old thumbscrews. I'm fairly skeptical of most tool-less expansion card systems, which is why I'm glad to see that NZXT went this route. I just can't see myself trusting a $300+ video card to a flimsy piece of plastic, particularly with how often I move my system around. Once tightened down, the thumbscrews hold everything securely in place. One of the other things you may have noticed in the photo above is how much room there is around the video card. The Phantom should easily be able to handle the larger videos cards on the market. The same goes for the heatsink.

nzxt_phantom_wire_management.jpg

Although I went with the stock heatsink with this build, it could easily be swapped out thanks to the heatsink cutout seen above. Also in this photo, you can see some of the wire management I did. This is where I hit snags 2 and 3. Routing the cables was fairly easy with all the built-in pathways and tie-down locations, but when it came to the rubber lined pass-throughs on the motherboard tray, things weren't so user friendly. The rubber isn't secured in anyway, so I every time I passed a larger cable through, it started coming off. At one point, one piece came off completely and it took a few minutes to get it back on. The other issue was with the cutout at the top of the motherboard tray, intended, I assume, for the 12v motherboard power cable. With the motherboard in place, there just wasn't enough clearance to get the connector through. After removing a couple motherboard screws, though I got the 1mm of clearance I needed. Needless to say, I recommend routing the cable before installing the motherboard. I should also mention that with the cables routed as shown in the photo above, the side panel didn't close as nicely as I would have liked. It took rearranging things a bit and passing some cables further into the other side of the case, to get everything closed up nicely. It's not really a con as far as the case is concerned, but worth mentioning for those of you who like to hide the bulk the excess cables behind the motherboard. There's actually a decent amount of space back there if you're diligent about it.



 

Comments 

 
# RE: NZXT Phantom Full-Tower Case PHAN-001BKDavid Ramsey 2010-08-12 20:31
"It ain't an enthusiast full tower case with < 8 slots..."
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# RE: RE: NZXT Phantom Full-Tower Case PHAN-001BKOlin Coles 2010-08-12 20:33
You're so bitter! One day you'll find the case of your dreams... one day.
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# RE: RE: RE: NZXT Phantom Full-Tower Case PHAN-001BKDavid Ramsey 2010-08-13 09:45
Actually Iooked at a HAF-X in San Jose and it looks as though it might be better (for me) than the FT02. 9 slots! But I really like the FT02, and it looks as if the slot layout of the ASUS Rampage Extreme III _or_ the P6T6 WS Revolution or Supercomputer would work well with it.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: NZXT Phantom Full-Tower Case PHAN-001BKhsew 2010-08-13 12:04
Take a look at some of the Lian-Li cases.
PC-7FNWX
PC-P50WB
PC-60FNWX
PC-8FIB
PC-B25FWB

Just some suggestions...
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# This is case I am looking for - this review make me one more word DEFINITELYmgph 2010-08-12 21:37
Hey Olin, once again thanks for the detailed review and this is the case that I am looking for once I get decided for graphics card. Now I am using NZXT Tempest Evo which is mid tower casing and a little bit tendius for me to swap in/out hdd or the huge 4870X2 graphics. Your review and score make me more willing to grab this one asap :)
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# RE: This is case I am looking for - this review make me one more word DEFINITELYOlin Coles 2010-08-13 06:10
@mgph: Mathew Williams was the author of this article.
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# RE: RE: This is case I am looking for - this review make me one more word DEFINITELYMathew Williams 2010-08-14 18:29
Thanks. If you do pick one up, let us know how it works out. The Tempest is a good case, but in my opinion the Phantom is set up a bit better, particularly if you're swapping out HDDs or using a larger graphics card.
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# BitterDum de dum 2010-10-11 09:40
I'm rather bitter they only support their own 200mm NZXT fans. Found that out the expensive way...
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# RE: NZXT Phantom Full-Tower Case PHAN-001BKDoug 2010-08-13 01:17
Really nicely done case as far as utility goes. I love the side mount drive bays. Still, I think this older case is the best looking I've ever seen, and it's 99% all aluminum.
##amazon.com/Cooler-Master-RC-830-KKN2-GP-Stacker-Black/dp/B000P4WH98/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1281690805&sr=1-1

803SE Stacker case. I wish it had the new mounting systems the newer cases have, but it's still very good in that respect and has a cable hiding side also. Mounts 7 120mm or 200mm in the side and three 120mm, back, top, front.
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# Wow...Christopher Heisler 2010-08-13 07:40
This is a damn nice case. I just wish it wasn't so FUGLY!!!
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# RE: Wow...Steven Iglesias-Hearst 2010-08-13 12:22
I have to agree that the black version isn't the best looking, but the red (ferrari fan boy) and white (like a storm trooper :P) are definately very sexy indeed :D
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# RE: NZXT Phantom Full-Tower Case PHAN-001BKRio Darmasetiawan 2010-08-14 00:22
it's such a lovely case.. i think i love it more than my HAF 922.. the price is also not that expensive though a little bit more expensive than my current case.. looking forward to having it here.. especially the red version..
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# RE: NZXT Phantom Full-Tower Case PHAN-001BKDWDALLAM 2010-08-14 00:55
The thing is, it's made from plastic and sheet metal. I hate that crap. I wish I could have this case's internals and keep my Black Stacker 830SE :(
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# RE: RE: NZXT Phantom Full-Tower Case PHAN-001BKDavid Ramsey 2010-08-14 07:03
Looks as if the ATCS 840 is the only all- aluminum full tower that Coller Master still makes. It's surprisingly inexpensive, too, at $169.99 at Newegg...way cheaper than the insane $500 Amazon wants for the out-of-production Stacker 830.
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# RE: RE: RE: NZXT Phantom Full-Tower Case PHAN-001BKDWDALLAM 2010-08-14 21:18
I know, it's quite sad. Perhaps it cost a bundle to have a designer do a case, like the 830 series. I still think the 830 is the best looking case ever made. It's also pretty much equal, in cooling, to an open bench, since the entire thing is shrouded in aluminum mesh. It's not a bad case internally, but the new stuff designers are coming out with are just better now. I wish CM would bring back the 830 but update all of its internals. Again, the internals are still pretty damn good. The door on that thing is made from solid 1/4" aluminum. LOL
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# RE: NZXT Phantom Full-Tower Case PHAN-001BKMilby 2011-01-11 05:42
##nzxt.com/new/products/case_fans/fn_200rb

Guys, quick question - NZXT says they only guarrantee fitment of a 200 mm fan if you use the above one linked.

However on their website they say it is 37.25 dBA!!! Doesn't that seem awfully loud to you?
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# RE: RE: NZXT Phantom Full-Tower Case PHAN-001BKOlin Coles 2011-01-11 10:05
Not really. That's actually on the quiet side of fans.
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# WATTKristoffer Halvorsen 2011-04-04 04:23
Quest about WATT. i got a mother card Asus with a i5 intel and 4gb RAm. Video car 4900 ATI and i just got 750WATT is that enough?? plz answare
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# RE: WATTOlin Coles 2011-04-04 07:39
That will be more than enough. You could probably operate with only a 500W PSU.
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# :DDDKristoffer Halvorsen 2011-04-05 13:05
ok :D now i know that but im going to get NEW 3d video card and more space....... :)
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# 200mm fanskeeter 2011-04-19 20:41
Hi,
I just helped a friend install some new fans...(1) 200mm on the top and when I went to install the second one on the side panel the fan is hitting the liquid cooler. Has anyone else had this problem??? If so are there any ideas on how go work around it besides pulling off the 120mm attached to the rad. Any help would be great!!!

Thanks,
Skeeter
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