NZXT Phantom 530 Review
When it was first released back in 2010, NZXT’s original Phantom series caused quite a stir among enthusiasts. Not only did it boast a unique exterior design but the interior was both spacious and well laid out. Gamers loved it and a future classic was born. However, while that first Phantom case has aged quite gracefully, it is now beginning to show its age as newer cases have been launched that surpass its feature set while costing approximately the same amount of money.
Knowing their unique case was falling behind the competition and loosing sales to better-equipped rivals, NZXT is now launching the Phantom 530.
The 530’s aim is quite simple: take everything we know and love about the original Phantom and update key components so they meet with the expectations of today’s consumers. This needed to be accomplished without sacrificing the Phantom’s status as a spacious full tower chassis nor compromise on its relatively low price point. Indeed, the Phantom 530 is still one of the most inexpensive full tower cases around at just $130, making it a phenomenal value in a crowded segment.
The changes done to the exterior can only be called subtle. NZXT has retained the original versions’ distinctive flowing lines and angular surfaces while adding in a few design touches to make the 530 slightly more user friendly. For example, while there’s still a swing-our door that covers the 5.25” drive bays, the front panel connectors have been placed in a more convenient location and add USB 3.0 capabilities. Ventilation has also been improved with a newly designed front intake layout.
While it comes in red and black, this thing looks fabulous when decked out in white but the Phantom 530’s appeal goes far beyond mere color. NZXT is one of the few case manufacturers to integrate a 30W, 10-port fan hub into their design which is controlled via an external controller. The side window also has a new design and is complemented by a discrete meshed area that can accept an intake fan.
The exterior design may look great but the Phantom 530’s real benefits are within. Since this is a full tower chassis, there’s plenty of room and NZXT has taken full advantage of this by strategically placing cable tie-downs and grommet holes for optimal wire routing. Supposedly this new case features 70% more cable management space than its predecessor and we’re inclined to believe that.
The fun continues with the incorporation of fully modular hard drive cages that can be removed in favor of increasing airflow. If that’s the direction you want to take, NZXT provides a convenient SSD caddy behind the motherboard tray.
Naturally, with all of this space, proper airflow is a must if internal components are to stay cool. The Phantom 530 has this aspect covered by including a front 200mm intake fan, a single 140mm exhaust fan and support for radiators up to a size of 360mm. In total, the 530 can be equipped with up to ten fans.
If you want to see what we think of this new case from NZXT, please watch our full video review above.
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