NZXT Phantom Review (Page 3 of 4)

Page 3 - Physical Look - Inside

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Removing the left side panel from the NZXT Phantom gives us a good look into the interior of the chassis. Since this case is a full tower case, there is a massive amount of space inside -- from the back expansion card slots, all the way up the drive bays found near the front. As we have mentioned multiple times before, this give more space to work with, even if you don't have an eATX motherboard. Being as open as it is, there is lots of room to maneuver, which makes everything very accessible. In fact, there is enough space for even the biggest and longest graphics cards, such as the ATI Radeon HD 5970. The interior is painted fully black in color, and is built with the same exceptional craftsmanship. A small box of accessories and a bunch of extension cables were included from the manufacturer. The extension cables are all separately packaged, sleeved and 250mm in measured length. NZXT includes one of each of the following: 24-pin motherboard cable, 6-pin PCIE power cable, 6-to-8-pin PCIE cable, 8-pin CPU cable, and Molex to two SATA power cable. These accessories are a great addition to the overall package, and can come in handy when building any computer if your cables cannot reach far enough. The back motherboard panel also features four cable management cut outs that can fit through things as large as a 24-pin motherboard connector for optimized cable management. All of this goes a long way into making this a great build.

As we discussed earlier on in the article, the power supply is mounted at the bottom of the chassis. It draws cool air into the unit through the Phantom's bottom opening. There are a few plastic risers that goes underneath the power supply for some clearance with the bottom panel. The included cables can go a long way in extending cable length if needed due to the size of this case, especially if you want to route them behind the motherboard. Good accessories are hard to come by sometimes, and the fact that NZXT included it is a wise choice -- as it adds both value to the product and enable easier, higher quality builds.

The mounting holes on the motherboard tray were pre-drilled cleanly. The motherboard tray is not surprisingly, not removable (For those of you who think logically, it is not the same thing as 'surprisingly removable', haha), so all installation must be done inside the case as usual. A cutout is found on the tray, behind the area where a heatsink usually goes, so heatsinks that requires backplate changing can be installed without removing the motherboard.

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We can see the 120mm fan and four water cooling openings once again from the inside back angle of the NZXT Phantom. The heatsink backplate opening is included in our photo above once again, so you can have a better look from another perspective. An opening is implemented next to the power supply bay, so cables can be routed through behind the motherboard tray right after it leads out from your PSU. This makes cabling a cinch, and cleaning clutter from the case is a great thing, so it does not hamper airflow or ruin the overall image of the build. In the end, the NZXT Phantom enables excellent cabling without any challenge to any semi-experienced user.

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The five externally accessible 5.25" drive bays all use a tool-free installation system. It is quite easy to play around with, but like most screwless systems, it is far from perfect. It works by engaging the mount found on the left side of the case for each corresponding drive bay. To release the lock, one needs to pop off the front cover by pushing a lever, slide the switch to the right, and then pull on the locking device. To install a device, first insert the drive, push the locking device back in, and then fully lock it by sliding the switch back. It is a workable solution, but there were times when I felt it was just a bit flimsy, so I ended up adding screws anyway.

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Located below the array of 5.25" drive bays are five 3.5" internal drives bays. They also feature tool-free installation, and is probably one of the easiest to work with. All the user needs to do is pop out one of the trays, and slip in the hard drive. It is as simple as that, thanks to the four rubber grommets found on the side; also used to reduce the vibrations of the hard drives. A shorter hard drive cage located next to the main cage supports two additional hard drives. If removed, it can accommodate 2.5" drives such as SSDs. Mounting of 2.5" disks will require screws, since the NZXT Phantom has no tool-free system for such drives.

Adding to the list of goodness is the orientation of drive bays. All of them are perpendicular to the chassis; so the user can have their drive cables routed behind the rack, and connect them from there. This helps contribute to saving space up front for a cleaner build. With all these design features already built in, the implementation of the array of 3.5" drive bays is very commendable overall.

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With the right side panel removed, it shows the back of the motherboard tray, as well as the interior construction of the NZXT Phantom. The heatsink backplate opening on the motherboard tray becomes clearer, and so does the four cable management cutouts. The integrated fan controller and front panel chassis I/O cables are already pre-bundled for you. Adding all these internal features together, I believe NZXT has done a great job at looking after the end user in attention to design detail. Cable management is particular easy with the Phantom; my only regret is that there are no available large clear case window to show off the internals!

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Installation and Conclusion