NZXT Phantom 530 Case Reviewby Dustin Sklavos on July 18, 2013 12:00 PM EST
Introducing the NZXT Phantom 530
NZXT has been on a bit of a tear with new case releases this year. The last addition to their Phantom family, the Phantom 630, turned out to be something of a grand slam: it was in virtually every way a better case than its slightly bigger, more expensive predecessor, the Phantom 820. Meanwhile, the entry-level Phantom 410 had turned out to be a surprisingly solid little offering in and of itself. Seemingly intending to have a Phantom at virtually every price point, NZXT now offers the Phantom 530. At $129 this full ATX enclosure definitely offers a healthy amount of value, but I'm getting the feeling the Phantom brand is starting to get oversaturated.
It's not really any great mystery as to why the Phantom brand would be aggressively pursued by NZXT; it's been good to them. Phantoms are distinctively designed and very feature rich cases, and NZXT has done a fine job distilling the essence of the aesthetic into cleaner and more attractive products. With the 530 we're another step more accessible, and NZXT has definitely played an intriguing balancing act in terms of bringing features and performance to a lower price point.
|NZXT Phantom 530 Specifications|
|Motherboard Form Factor||Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, E-ATX|
|Drive Bays||External||3x 5.25"|
|Internal||6x 2.5"/3.5", 1x 2.5"|
|Cooling||Front||1x 200mm intake fan (supports 2x 120mm/140mm), 1x 120mm/140mm interior fan mount|
|Rear||1x 140mm exhaust fan (supports 120mm)|
|Top||2x 200mm/140mm or 3x 120mm fan mounts|
|Side||1x 140mm fan mount|
|Bottom||2x 120mm fan mounts|
|I/O Port||2x USB 3.0, 1x Headphone, 1x Mic|
|Power Supply Size||ATX|
|PSU||180mm with bottom fan installed|
|GPU||310mm with drive cage / 444mm without|
9.25" x 22.52" x 21.38"
235mm x 572mm x 543mm
USB 3.0 via internal header
Supports 360mm radiator in top
Three-speed, eight-channel fan controller
Rear I/O LED lighting
3-2-1 modular drive cages
Given the $129 price point, NZXT has managed to cram a tremendous amount of useful features into the Phantom 530. My support of integrated fan control is well documented, but I'll admit to being a little bit surprised they opted to exclude their traditional SD card reader. Given the raft of other features and generally high build quality it's tough to be too disappointed, though. Watercooling enthusiasts looking for a less expensive entry point may very well find their needs met by the 530, though anyone spending enough money to build a custom loop might just be better served with either the more expensive Phantom 630 or the much more flexible and only slightly more expensive H630, which supports 360mm radiators in both the top and front of the case.