Today, we bring our analysis of the Phantom 530, a full-tower case from NZXT, targeted to users who want to build a high-end computer in an aggressive look case. Let’s see what this product has to offer.
The NZXT Phantom 530 is available in three choices of color: black, red, and white. We reviewed the white model.
Figure 1: NZXT Phantom 530 case
Figure 2: NZXT Phantom 530 case
The NZXT Phantom 530 has very aggressive lines, with a door on its front panel and a transparent window on the left panel. Actually, it looks as if it was designed for a sci-fi movie.
[nextpage title=”The Front Panel”]
The front panel of the NZXT Phantom 530 has a big door, hold by magnets, and a meshed area at the bottom. Opening the door (which has high-quality metal hinges), you can see three 5.25” bays with solid covers. The covers have small levers to remove them. The reset button is also located behind the door, on the top right corner. The power and HDD LEDs are located at the left.
The reviewed case comes with one 200 mm fan installed on its front panel (no technical specifications for this fan are provided). If you remove this fan, you will be able to fit two 140 mm or 120 mm fans. The front panel also supports radiators up to 280 mm in length.
One of the highlights of the reviewed case is the ability to remove the bottom air filters from the front panel, without the need to lift the case, as you can see in Figure 6.
[nextpage title=”The Top Panel”]
The top panel of the NZXT Phantom 530 has a big meshed area, as shown in Figure 7.
Removing the plastic cover, you can see that the top panel supports the installation of two 200 mm fans, two 140 mm fans, or three 120 mm fans. The case also supports radiators up to 360 mm in length.
At the right side of the top panel, you will find the audio connectors and two USB 3.0 ports. The power button is located close to them.
Figure 9: USB 3.0 ports and audio connectors
At the left sid of the top panel, there is a fan speed controller and a button that turns on and off the LEDs located at the rear panel.
Figure 10: Fan speed and LED control
[nextpage title=”The Bottom and Rear Panels”]
The bottom panel of the NZXT Phantom 530 has two air filters, one for the power supply fan and another for the optional bottom fans. These filters can be removed from the rear and front panels, respectively, so you will not need to lift the case to reach them.
The rear panel and the interior of the NZXT Phantom 530 are painted with the same color as the exterior of the case: red, black, or white, depending on the model you buy.
This case comes with eight expansion slots (with vented covers), allowing you to install up to four video cards (as long as your motherboard supports four video cards, of course). (Tower cases usually have seven expansion slots.)
There is one LED that lights the expansion slots and another that lights the motherboard’s rear panel, making it easier for you to install and remove cables. You can turn these LEDs on or off through a button located at the top panel.
On the NZXT Phantom 530, the power supply is installed at the bottom of the case.
The product comes with a 140 mm fan installed on its rear panel (no technical specifications are provided), and you can move it up or down. This fan can be replaced with a 120 mm model, which means that you can replace it with a 120 mm or a 140 mm radiator.
The case also has two hole for hoses of liquid cooling solutions, protected with rubber covers.
The air filter for the power supply fan is accessible through the rear panel, so you do not need to lift the case whenever you want to clean it.
Figure 13: Air filter for the power supply fan
Let’s now take a look inside the NZXT Phantom 530.
[nextpage title=”Inside the NZXT Phantom 530″]
Both panels are attached to the chassis using black metallic thumbscrews. The right panel is solid, but the left one has a big transparent window and room for a 140 mm fan, as you can see in Figure 14.
The motherboard tray has a huge cutout for you to access the backplate of the CPU coolers without having to remove the motherboard from the case, several holes (four of them with rubber covers) for you to route cables behind it, and several clips for you to fasten cables using cable ties. Another highlight of the case is the presence of a 1” (27 mm) clearance between the motherboard tray and the right-side panel, allowing you to store thick cables behind the motherboard tray. The NZXT Phantom 530 supports E-ATX motherboards.
Figure 16: A view behind the motherboard tray
In Figure 14, we get another overall look inside the case. Notice how expansion cards are fastened using black metallic thumbscrews. The NZXT Phantom 530 supports video cards up to 12.8” (325 mm) long on its default configuration or up to 18.1” (460 mm) long if you remove the hard drive cage that is in front of the place where you want to install the video card. You can install CPU coolers up to 7.5” (190 mm) tall.
[nextpage title=”Inside the NZXT Phantom 530 (Cont’d)”]
The NZXT Phantom 530 supports the installation of one 120 mm or 140 mm internal fan. You can tilt the bracket where this fan is installed in order to better direct the airflow to the component you want to cool down.
Figure 18: Bracket for internal fan
The reviewed case comes with a “fan power hub” behind the motherboard tray, allowing you to power up to 10 fans through a single power connector.
The power supply is installed at the bottom of the case. It can be installed with either its bottom fan facing up or facing down, so you can decide if you want the fan of your power supply pulling air from inside the case or from outside of it. As shown before, there is an air filter for the power supply fan.
The case supports the installation of two 120 mm fans on its bottom panel, also supporting radiators up to 240 mm long. As already shown, the case comes with an air filter for these optional components.
If you install a 120 mm fan close to the power supply, you will be able to fit power supplies up to 8.2” (208 mm) deep, which is more than enough to accommodate most power supplies available on the market.
Figure 20: Power supply compartment
[nextpage title=”The Disk Drive Bays”]
The NZXT Phantom 530 has three external 5.25” bays, one internal 2.5” bay (behind the motherboard tray), and six internal 3.5”/2.5” bays in three cages. You can install 5.25” and 3.5” devices without the use of screws or tools.
Figure 21: Default configuration of the disk drive bays
Figure 22: The 2.5” bay behind the motherboard tray
The 3.5”/2.5” bays are accessible from the right-hand side of the case, and not through the left-hand side as usual. See Figure 23.
Figure 23: Default configuration of the disk drive bays
The NZXT Phantom 530 provides a very flexible configuration for its hard drive cages, as you can move and remove them as necessary, to either allow the installation of video cards longer than 12.8” (325 mm) or to improve airflow.
Each 3.5”/2.5” bay is actually a small drawer, and they come with rubber rings to reduce the vibration and noise produced by 3.5” hard disk drives.
Figure 24: One of the 3.5”/2.5” bays
[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]
The main specifications for the NZXT Phantom 530 include:
- Style: Full-tower
- Application: E-ATX, and smaller form factors
- Material: Zinc-coated steel (SECC) body
- Power supply: Doesn’t come with the product
- Available colors: Red, black, or white
- Side panel: Transparent window
- Dimensions: 22.5 x 9.3 x 21.3 inches (572 x 235 x 543 mm) (H x W x D)
- Net weight: 23 lbs (10.5 kg)
- Gross weight: NA
- Bays: Three external 5.25” bays, one internal 2.5” bay, and six internal 3.5”/2.5” bays in three cages
- Expansion slots: Eight
- Maximum video card length: 12.8” (325 mm) on its default configuration or 18.1” (460 mm) if the corresponding hard drive cage is removed
- Maximum CPU cooler height: 7.5” (190 mm)
- Fans: One 200 mm fan on the front panel and one 140 mm fan on the rear panel
- Optional fans: Two 120 mm or 140 mm (if the 200 mm fan is removed) on the front panel; three 120 mm, two 140 mm, or two 200 mm fans on the top panel; two 120 mm fans on the bottom panel; and one 120 mm or 140 mm internal fan
- Extra Features: Support for radiators up to 240 mm long on the bottom panel, support for radiators up to 280 mm long on the front panel, support for radiators up to 360 mm long on the top panel, and LEDs with on/off switch on the rear panel, fan speed controller
- More Information: https://www.nzxt.com
- Average Price in the U.S.*: USD 130.00
* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.
If you are looking for a case with eight expansion slots, aggressive look, ample internal space, and sturdy construction, the NZXT Phantom 530 is a terrific choice. With a price tag of USD 130, we think this case provides an outstanding cost/benefit ratio for what it has to offer.
- Eight expansion slots with vented covers
- LEDs to illuminate the rear panel
- Top-notch construction quality
- Excellent price for its features and construction quality
- Air filter for the power supply and bottom fans, removed from the front and rear panels
- Supports six 3.5” and seven 2.5” devices
- Support for video cards up to 12.8” (325 mm) on its default configuration or 18.1” (460 mm) if the corresponding hard drive cage is removed
- Very flexible configuration for the hard drive cages
- Support for radiators on the top (up to 360 mm), front (up to 280 mm), and bottom (up to 140 mm) panels
- A huge cutout in the motherboard tray for accessing the backplate of the CPU cooler
- Holes with rubber covers for routing cables behind the motherboard tray
- Clearance of 1” (27 mm) behind the motherboard tray for routing cables
- Clips for fastening cables using cable ties
- Anti-vibration rings for 3.5” hard disk drives
- Could have USB 2.0 ports on the front or top panel, in addition to the USB 3.0 ones
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