Testing Methodology

For testing Micro-ATX and full ATX cases, we use the following standardized testbed in stock and overclocked configurations to get a feel for how well the case handles heat and noise.

ATX Test Configuration
CPU Intel Core i7-2700K
(95W TDP, tested at stock speed and overclocked to 4.3GHz @ 1.38V)
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-Z68MX-UD2H-B3
Graphics Card ASUS GeForce GTX 560 Ti DCII TOP
(tested at stock speed and overclocked to 1GHz/overvolted to 1.13V)
Memory 2x2GB Crucial Ballistix Smart Tracer DDR3-1600
Drives Kingston SSDNow V+ 100 64GB SSD
Samsung 5.25" BD-ROM/DVDRW Drive
Accessories Corsair Link
CPU Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo with Cooler Master ThermalFusion 400
Power Supply SilverStone Strider Plus 750W 80 Plus Silver

Each case is tested in a stock configuration and an overclocked configuration that generates substantially more heat (and thus may produce more noise). The system is powered on and left idle for fifteen minutes, the thermal and acoustic results recorded, and then stressed by running seven threads in Prime95 (in-place large FFTs) on the CPU and OC Scanner (maximum load) on the GPU. At the end of fiteen minutes, thermal and acoustic results are recorded. This is done for the stock settings and for the overclock, and if the enclosure has a fan controller, these tests are repeated for each setting. Ambient temperature is also measured after the fifteen idle minutes but before the stress test and used to calculate the final reported results.

Thank You!

Before moving on, we'd like to thank the following vendors for providing us with the hardware used in our testbed.

Assembling the NZXT Phantom 630 Noise and Thermal Testing, Stock
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  • 3ogdy - Sunday, January 20, 2013 - link

    Oh, look these cases look so much better than NZXT's Phantom:
    They're awesome

    With these modern and stylish cases, I still don't understnad how NZXT can make such ugly cases

  • lockdown571 - Sunday, January 20, 2013 - link

    Yeah I don't really get all the criticisms about styling. I find most cases are either too plane or horribly gaudy. I think this strikes a nice balance. I also HATE how most computer cases leave the optical drives exposed. That's actually one of the major reasons I bought the NZXT Phantom. To each their own though.
  • Stan Zaske - Sunday, January 20, 2013 - link

    Very nice styling. Excellent functionality. Too expensive. Nice article.
  • HisDivineOrder - Sunday, January 20, 2013 - link

    That, padding, and you've got a great silent case. I do like the hd cage design where you decide if you want a lot of hd's or just the 1 SSD+ 1 HD config a lot of gamers will go for.
  • Tech-Curious - Sunday, January 20, 2013 - link

    Excellent review, as usual.

    Have you reviewed any interesting cases with a top-mounted PSU lately, Dustin? Any of those cases in the pipeline? Just curious.
  • pdjblum - Sunday, January 20, 2013 - link

    Do not get why you continue to refuse to list the materials in the specifications.
  • londiste - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    only the single-bay drive cage was installed for the tests? how much would more drive cages affect the cooling performance?

    are the drive cages interchangeable, i.e. can you only use the 2-bay cage at the bottom of the case?
  • beepboy - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    I wouldn't shell this much for a case that's not made out of all aluminum. 27 lbs for an empty case is a little too heavy for my taste.
  • HardwareDufus - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    It's the least offensive of the current crop of robot/transformer like cases. Great function...not so hott form...but then again..I recognize there is an audience for a case with these looks.
  • Magichands8 - Thursday, January 24, 2013 - link

    I know I'm a little late commenting on this so I probably wont' get any kind of response but I'm a little confused about the results for this case. I'm comparing this one with the Nanoxia DS 1. Looking at the results for the noise and thermals (CPU, overclocked) it appears that the Phantom 630 is doing a better job at cooling than the Nanoxia DS1 at the same noise levels. Then, in the review for the 630, Dustin says:

    "If noise is your utmost concern you're never going to really beat the Nanoxia Deep Silence 1..."

    How can this be the case (ahem!) if the results show the same noise readings at the same distance?

    Also, he states:

    "The windowed side panel looks better than its predecessor and obviously contributes to the case's killer performance..."

    How could a windowed side panel contribute to the cases performance? I would think that a solid steel side panel would be better at reducing noise and even slightly better for heat dissipation.

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