NZXT Phantom 530 Review
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NZXT Phantom 530 Red Gaming Case Review & Benchmarks
Posted on December 17, 2013
After our Antec GX700 review and H630 review , we figured it was time to look at something a little more mid-range for the system building market. NZXT's Phantom 530 came out a little while ago (and is included in our impending "how to build a PC" video tutorial), but we haven't had time to properly benchmark the thermals until recently. The Phantom 530 aims to fit between NZXT's Source line and larger Phantom offerings (like the P630 ), landing it at $130, but still packing extra features.
In this NZXT Phantom 530 review, benchmark, & cable management guide, we'll look over the case's build quality and thermal performance. Given our previous history with Phantom cases, things certainly seem promising. Let's start with the specs.
NZXT Phantom 530 Case Specs
Nzxt phantom 530 video review, hands-on, benchmark, & cable management .
NZXT Phantom 530 Features & Specs Analysis
If you're already familiar with the Phantom 630, then you're pretty familiar with the 530 by default. It's a bit smaller and less flashy, but has largely identical build quality and features. For this reason, this review will be a bit shorter than our previous NZXT case reviews -- the chassis has been repeated for several generations now, so check out the Phantom 630 , H630 , and Phantom 820 reviews (slightly different chassis on this one) for info on that.
Features-wise, the Phantom 530 offers about what you'd expect in a $130 case. It's fitted with 1x140mm + 1x200mm fans, basic dust filtration, cable management features, a simple fan controller, and some stylized paneling. As for improvements over the previous iteration of this Phantom, NZXT has added 70% more cable management space, making our lives much easier when sealing the case post-build.
As with all their recent frames, NZXT's modular drive cages line the front scaffolding, so unused cages can be easily removed for improved airflow from front intake. The simple dual-fan design is in a standard push/pull (front/rear) config, like the previous iterations on the chassis, additional internal fans can be mounted to the drive scaffolding and top, side, and bottom of the case. A rear fan hub is mounted to the back-side of the board tray, serving as a central location for fan connections; the fans can be controlled via a 3-speed fan controller (high / medium / low) to help mitigate noise levels. Found next to the rear fan hub is an SSD sled, for a more discrete mounting location away from the larger bays.
NZXT Phantom 530 Build Quality, Cable Management, & System Installation
Again, build quality is about what we'd expect. I should note that on the red case we reviewed, the paint almost made the plastic top and front panels look like "cheap plastic" -- the kind you'd find in a toy for a child. Personally, I'd never want that for my build, but the black and white versions both look just fine.
The metals and plastics are reasonable quality, despite how the paint works, and will hold up will through multiple build cycles. The Phantom 530 doesn't use the level of materials you might see in a $180+ case, but for its price, all seems fair; it's not cheap and will endure movement and rebuilds for many years, but it's not enterprise-class metal, like the 900D would have .
Perhaps an advantage over the other Phantom cases, the new P530 has a significant amount of space dedicated toward top-mounted radiators in a dedicated compartment. A fat radiator will easily fit in the 'overhead compartment' of the 530, and in terms of length, up to 360mm radiators will natively mount. You won't be able to mount a push-pull configuration without installing the radiator below the mounting bar, but the extra room does help accommodate for fat radiators in push configurations (see: H80, stock AMD CLC).
Cable management is also pretty straight-forward: As with all Phantom-class chassis of this generation, you basically just run the cables through the cut-outs, tie them to the anchor points on the rear side of the board, and you're done. Nothing fancy involved here. The case will close easily, even with multiple cables stacked atop each other, and doesn't need much forethought to cable organization (though we recommend it). Try to utilize the deepened channels in the rear side of the board tray to keep the 24-pin and PCI-e power cables less prohibitive when closing the case.
System installation is pretty straight-forward. There's really nothing all that special or anything negative about system installation here.
Continue to page 2 for the benchmark results.
We have a brand new test bench that we assembled for the 2013-2014 period! Having moved away from our trusty i7-930 and GTX 580, the new bench includes the below components:
All of our testing is conducted in a temperature-controlled environment. Ambient is between 21C and 22C for all case airflow tests. The graphs measure temperature in Delta T over Ambient (C) - so the ambient temperature is subtracted from the component temperature.
Each test is initiated with a cold boot, where the system will sit idle for 15 minutes and collect thermal data. We use CPUID's HWMonitorPro for thermal logging and tracking. After this idle time, the system will launch a Prime95 instance running four torture threads on Large FFTs for maximum heat generation and power utilization. This is run for 15 minutes, throughout which the logging utility will collect the data we used in the below charts. Another 15 minute cool-down time (idle) is allowed after the Prime95 instance is completed, at which time an instance of FurMark launches and tortures the GPU with its 15-minute burn-in test (1080p). A final round of idle time is allowed to ensure data consistency.
All CPU thermal results are computed using Core 1 (not Core 0) due to its higher thermal reliability on our IB chip.
NZXT Phantom 530 Benchmark vs. Phantom 630, Armor Evolution, Thor V2 , etc.
We kept the benchmarks pretty simple on this one, since I suspect the deltas between additional fans will be largely identical (read: identical) to the Phantom 630 and very similar to the H630. For this reason, the tests were run strictly in the stock configuration with high/medium/low fan control settings. Here's the CPU chart:
Like everything else with this case, the results are what we'd expect. Nothing that floors me, but not bad, either. The 530, 630, and 820 placed about the same in testing (within margin of error), with the 530's overall CPU performance placing center of the pack. I'd probably recommend purchasing an additional top-mounted fan to assist in cooling; mount it as an exhaust fan toward the back of the case so it doesn't steal air from the CPU cooler.
GPU results were similarly center-pack. I suspect a larger video adapter (like a 770 or 7970) would benefit greatly from an added side intake fan and/or added hinge fan on the drive scaffolding.
Conclusion: The Phantom 530 is a Solid Mid-Range Case
There's really not much I can complain about with the Phantom 530. The 'cheap plastic' look that is created from the glossy red paint is pretty dislikable, I guess, but that's easily worked-around by simply purchasing a more standard black or white case instead. Beyond that, I really didn't hit anything that frustrated me.
At $130, the case competes most directly with Rosewill's (aging) Thor V2 , which is a bit larger and (in my opinion) a preferable case for its fan configuration and aesthetic. Other than that, Corsair's C70 is another solid option in the same price range; the C70 uses higher-quality metals and ditches much of the "plastic robot" design, using Corsair's words, so might be favorable to those who really don't care for flair.
The Phantom 530 is worth picking up if you like its appearance, and that's really all it comes down to -- the C70, Thor V2, and P530 are all excellent choices in the price-range, so it'll largely boil down to looks. The Phantom 530 does have better radiator support, though, so if large cooling radiators / CLCs are of interest, the 530 wins.
- Steve "Lelldorianx" Burke.
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NZXT Phantom 530 Review
Written by Matthew Lambert
May 5, 2014 | 10:18
Tags: #atx-case #case #e-atx-case #nzxt-case-review #phantom
Companies: #nzxt #nzxt-phantom-case-review
- Dimensions (mm) 235 x 543 x 572 (W x D x H)
- Material Steel, plastic
- Available colours Black, white, red
- Weight 10.5kg
- Front panel Power, reset, 2 x USB 3, stereo, microphone, fan controller, I/O LED switch
- Drive bays 3 x external 5.25in, 6 x internal 3.5in/2.5in, 1 x internal 2.5in
- Form factor(s) E-ATX, ATX, micro-ATX, mini-ITX
- Cooling 1 x 200mm or 2 x 140mm/120mm front fan mounts (1 x 200mm fan included), 1 x 140mm/120mm rear fan mount (140mm fan included), 2 x 200mm/140mm or 3 x 120mm roof fan mounts, 1 x 140mm side fan mount, 2 x 120mm bottom fan mounts, 1 x 140mm/120mm internal fan mount (fans not included)
- CPU cooler clearance 183mm
- Maximum graphics card length 282mm (310mm without internal fan mount; 444mm without HDD cage)
- Extras Removable dust filters, triple speed fan controller, fan hub
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NZXT Phantom 530 Mid-Tower Chassis Review
If the phantom 630 super-tower is too large for you, nzxt takes it down a notch and delivers the full-tower version with the phantom 530..
Specifications, availability and pricing, nzxt phantom 530 full-tower chassis, inside the phantom 530, accessories and documentation, the build and finished product, final thoughts.
NZXT has been in the chassis game for some time already, and while not all of their older designs were all on point, at least not as much as I would have liked, along the way they have come up with some great ideas. NZXT is also a company that realizes what else is out on the market, and has had a recent track record of being able to out play and out design most of their competition. Two major wins in their column along the way, in the time that I have been looking at cases, were products like the whole Phantom series of cases, and the development and release of the Switch 810 earlier this year. Without these two culminations of many hours at the design table, it is really tough to say where NZXT would be in the chassis game, but I doubt they would be near the top, as they are today.
The Phantom case series has been a huge hit since day one. The sleek, shiny, plastic outer skin was something that took case buyers by storm. No one had ever produced a chassis with so much use of plastic, which was just truly awesome in appearance. We also saw in the Phantom 630 what happens when you take an exterior design that everyone was already on board with, and gave the chassis a serious upgrade to the interior, making that chassis one of the most feature rich designs I have ever seen from NZXT. Where the Phantom 630 was a super-tower chassis, this new delivery is scaled down to a full-tower. Some of the interior has changed since the 630, as well as trying new things on the exterior to give this newest chassis its own identity, as well as its own chance to make its name.
The latest release from NZXT to arrive at my door is the Phantom 530. While certain things have been reduced in quantity to allow for the smaller form factor, don't write it off just yet. Even with a few little losses along the way of the new interior design, the exterior is yet another very tasteful take on what the Phantom is in the new times.
With every look at a new Phantom, over the years, they get better and better, and from what I have seen in my time with this chassis, the NZXT Phantom 520 is anything but a disappointment. This thing is just super cool and well worth the time to have a closer look over the next few pages.
As with all cases in the Phantom series, we are dealing with a steel inner construction, with a liberal use of plastic on the outside of the chassis. The Phantom 530 still keeps the very shiny finish, a center line down the top and front panels, it offers a front door panel, and receives some fresh touches to keep everything feeling new. Pulling out the tape measure you will find a chassis that stands 543mm tall, sits at 235mm wide and is 572mm deep, and weighing in at 10.5 kilograms. This chassis can house an ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, as well as an E-ATX motherboard. Drive bays are set up with three external 5.25" drives with tool-free lathes, and there is a six plus one arrangement of storage drives. There are six slide-out trays in three bay sections under the ODD section, as well as room for a single 2.5" drive behind the motherboard tray. This is also one of the only cases on the market that will show you up front that there is 26mm of room behind the motherboard tray at minimum, and up to 46mm in some of the deeper sections.
Cooling in the chassis is dealt with by two fans pre-installed into the chassis. There is a 200mm fan in the front of the chassis as the intake. The second fan in the chassis is the 120mm fan in the rear. This isn't to say that you are limited in cooling options, though. The front of the chassis can take on a pair of 120mm or 140mm fans, and of course the 200mm fan that is shipped there. Also keep in mind, with the removable storage drive rack, this could be water cooling territory. The rear of the chassis can use a 120mm or 140mm, so all single radiator AIOs are fair game as well. The bottom of the chassis will hold a pair of 120mm fans in front of the PSU, and again, with the bays removed, this can house a radiator, too. You can add a 140mm fan to the left side panel to go behind the mesh insert if you wish, and then there is the top. There you can house a pair of 200mm fans, a pair of 140mm fans, or up to three 120mm fans - think of all that cooling potential.
Getting to the more important aspect of all case purchases, it has to be available and be at a good price. With the NZXT Phantom 530, all I see currently are listings at Newegg, and I say listings because this chassis is available in three versions. There is black, red and a white version that we were sent to look at, but no matter the color choice, they all list at $129.99 at the time of writing. There is a bit of shipping to include, but the total out the door pricing is $139.98, and is yet another example of a feature rich example of a full-tower chassis that doesn't seem to be gouging our wallets, like some cases do.
It seems to me that over the years, we are finally starting to get more and more tech and development in our case choices, and along with the time, the prices seem to be going down as well. While being a huge win-win scenario for potential buyers, I say we get down to why the new Phantom 530 from NZXT should be in your "must have" list of potential candidates.
The packaging is kept rather simple looking, but still uses shiny covered cardboard to give it a little class. At the top you can read NZXT and the Phantom 530 naming above a large image of the white chassis. In the background, to break up the black, there are some blue Tron-like renderings applied.
Spinning the box to the left, the next panel we see covers the names at the top again, but this panel delivers customers the full specifications of what is inside.
The back is a little more involved. NZXT cover features like the fan hub, the 30W fan control switch, rear I/O LED lighting, talks about the top ventilation, shows AIO support, and the fully modular HDD assembly. In eight languages at the bottom of this panel, there is the text that describes what is seen in those images.
On this side of the packaging you will see that my box shows three versions of this chassis. Here is shown a white, black, and a charcoal grey version rather than the red. Maybe there are plans for a fourth? Below the images is reasoning from NZXT on why you should be using this chassis.
Completely out of the box and sitting on the table, my NZXT Phantom 520 in white clothing arrived in perfect condition. The Styrofoam caps, plastic liner and clingy plastic on the window did the job well.
The line down the middle of the front bezel is barely discernible, but you can see how well the black mesh at the bottom of the door, and the black accents on either side of the front door, really "pop" in this design.
As it should, the front door swings to the right and allows you access to the three removable bay covers, offers a reset button at the top, and has the NZXT and Phantom 530 name pressed right into the plastic. The door is supported with sturdy metal hinges, and it kept shut via magnets in the door.
The top of the chassis is one continuous and smooth swoop from the front up and over the top. At the back you find a large mesh panel to allow the multitude of fan options room to flow out of the chassis. Near the front you are offered a two position fan control switch and the button to turn on the rear I/O lighting.
On the right side of the top panel, very near the front of the chassis, you find the rest of the I/O panel. Here is a large power button, a pair of USB 3.0 ports, and some HD Audio 3.5mm jacks.
The left side of the chassis offers you a very large window that is angled like all the rest of the lines on the Phantom. Taking the same angle as it runs near that window, there is also a mesh panel near the HDD bays that allows the option to place in a 140mm fan.
Looking at the rear of the 530, you see the top is very tall and will allow for thick radiators to go under it. You then see the slotted fan mounting holes to let you customise the positioning of it. You also get eight expansion slots, the pair of water cooling holes, and the PSU goes in the bottom of this tower.
The right side of the chassis offers nothing real fancy, just a large expanse of steel that is painted to match the rest of the case. Since there is a minimum of 26mm inside of here, there is no real need for a bump in this panel.
On the underside of the Phantom, you will find four large round feet giving this large chassis sturdy footing. You will also see that the power supply gets its own dust filter that pulls out the back. Under the optional fan mounting locations in the floor, the dust filter pulls out the front.
Unscrewing the panels, slightly pulling them to the rear of the case, and then opening them like a car door, is how these are removed. Out of the way, the interior shot looks impressive out of the box; there is a lot to cover in here.
The top of the bays drives is widened to allow for fans or a radiator above it, and offers room for three drives. The 5.25" devices then get held into place with the tool-free latches on this side, and can be backed up with screws on the other.
The hard drive rack is assembled with a three drive cage, a dual drive cage, and a single cage at the bottom. They are fully removable and customize their position to fit your needs, and the triple bay even offers an angled fan mount on it.
On the flip side of that coin, you could just get rid of all of them, along with the support plate at the bottom. This opens up both the front and the floor of the chassis to more cooling, and water cooling potential.
The top of the chassis has very little steel left with all the options. You can install a pair of 200mm fans, a pair of 140mm fans or three 120mm fans. There are plenty of options and plenty of room for water cooling in there, too.
Even the motherboard tray keeps with the angled theme with the oddly angular access hole. There are seven wire management holes, four of which have grommets in them. To tie up the wiring, this chassis offers over 20 places to do just that.
Under the PSU there are six feet to support it, four for the shorter units, and the two further out are for kilowatt or larger units. Between the feet the floor is louvered to allow cleaner air flow, and the dust filter is much appreciated.
The rear of the chassis has the 140mm white bladed fan to exhaust the chassis. I also like that the expansion slot covers are blacked out. This way they match the newer VGA brackets, and it breaks up the white just like the water cooling grommets to the left of them.
NZXT does offer some very basic management to keep the wiring from flopping around and getting damaged, but the sheer amount of space is impressive, not to mention the two cool features offered here.
Zooming in quite a bit, you can more easily see, what essentially is the Grid 10-port fan hub - just without the plastic covering included. Next to it you can find the +1 that was listed in the drive bays, and I will be using this for my SSD.
I like that NZXT took the effort to black out all of the cabling, and in it you will find what is shown here. There are the various connections for power and LEDs, Native USB 3.0, HD Audio, and a pair of extra fan power lead extensions for the fan hub.
There is quite a bit of hardware so pay attention to the manual, as it shows everything. That is except for the first bag, which I assume are 200mm fan screws, but are not covered in the manual correctly. The second bag contains 20 or so wire ties, and the third bag holds the stand-off socket. The bottom row then holds a bag if shorter fan screws, the power supply screws and the screws I used to mount an SSD.
You also get six other bags of screws, too. Across the top you have the motherboard screws, 3.5" hard drive and ODD screws. The bottom row offers the pair of extra stand-offs for E-ATX motherboards, 35.5mm 200mm fan screws, and the last bag contains what NZXT show as the SSD screws.
The manual and this product placement guide are found outside of the chassis. Mine was under the plastic liner, but folded over the top edge as most of it hung down the right side of the chassis.
Opening the manual offers you a fold out front page. Inside of it you are offered up an exploded diagram of the Phantom 530. The page to the right of it explains what each of the numbered points is showing.
Then things move into the front of the chassis and how to remove the bay covers. After that bit of information, you are then explained the front I/O sections and what you will find and how to use it.
As the manual continues you are offered up some very clear instructions for installing the components and getting things wired up correctly. Large images with red printing denoting what is being installed really helps as you read the section titles for guidance as to what is being done in each step.
Just so that you have a much better idea of what this chassis has to offer in the realm of cooling options, I went ahead and peeled all of the plastic components so we can see under and behind them. All of the I/O components stay with the chassis, and even without the bays in place, this chassis is very solid.
Since we know what the front of the chassis looks like, and even with the DVD drive installed, with the door closed, nothing changes at all in appearance. I figured I would move in much closer so you can better appreciate the reset button and the naming indented into the plastic when molded.
Look at all the room in this thing. Even with the ATX build in place, a fairly large air cooler, and what is by today's standards an average-sized video card, I still have more than enough for up to four radiators inside of this chassis, and with the +1 drive in the back, you really don't need any drive bays, at least I don't.
There are no surprises to be found in the back of the chassis. The exhaust fan wiring is pretty tight from the factory, and makes the dust shield installation take a look first, but the card and PSU fit in like a glove.
Behind the tray, you can see the SSD in next to the fan hub, and you can get really creative with the wiring. I would like to mention that the USB 3.0 and HD Audio cables are so long, they got wired across the top, down the right side, before they enter the main compartment to the right of the SSD.
Buttoned back up now, the Phantom 530 sits and awaits power. The window offers a good view of the interior, but the angle does cut off the view of the end of the video card. Other than that, I say we get some juice running through her and see what happens.
With power added, there isn't anything that jumps right out at you. Even with the fan controller maxed out, there is very little noise coming from the chassis, in the range of 33 dB. There is a dim light strip on the left side of the chassis, where you put your hand to open the front door. These LEDs are white, and did not show up in the image much at all. You have to be looking almost dead straight at it to even see it.
Shrinking the new Phantom layout from what was the Phantom 630 super-tower down to what we see in the Phantom 530 was a good move in my opinion. While not as roomy as the larger version, the Phantom 530 took every advantage it could with the layout and what is offered. At first, I had not checked the specs of this chassis, when I opened the box; it really was my first look at this design. It was then that I was constantly being impressed at almost every turn. Externally, well it is a Phantom, you either love it or hate it, and there is a defined line in the sand there. Internally, the chassis really stays true to what has made all of the latest submissions since the Switch 810 release, such a huge deal in the realm of any cases on the market.
There really is nothing dysfunctional, or anything about this chassis that I would change. If I were to complain about something, I would have liked a fan in the top, more to the point, I would have liked a 200mm one there. Looking at it from the perspective of NZXT, even if one were included, with all the AIO users, and the guys that are crazy for water cooling, it would likely spend its life in the box after its removal for your own ideas of the perfect cooling solution. I will say that the two fan arrangement works pretty well, but I also know that the open concept of the mesh side panel, the ventilation for the front, and the natural convective flow of air out the top of this chassis play into the cooling efficiency that it displays out of the box. On top of that, the choice of fans here are almost silent, where just a slight hum could be heard from a foot or two away from the chassis.
The layout and options given in this case are what really sold me. The hard drive bays, everyone is offering them not, but not the way NZXT does. You can completely re-arrange them, hang what you want, where you want, and you even get a place to mount another fan if you keep the triple bay section in the chassis. The wire management is top notch as well, and even with the SSD in the back, and all the wiring sans the two PCI power leads, the right panel is no issue to place back on. I mean it when I say that NZXT gave you their all in this design, solid construction, tons of options, great cable management, all in a chassis that looks this cool.
This chassis is very stiff competition to any chassis in the full-tower lineup, I don't care who made it. I know I just raved about how much I liked the S71, but all Phantom cases hit you in a different way aesthetically. You honestly do get your money's worth in this chassis, and the only thing missing in comparison to the S71 is the HDD dock, but in most other aspects, it beats the Thermaltake Urban chassis. With the sweet and gentle pricing of just less than $140 to get this chassis to your door, I only have one question at this point. Why are you not shopping for yours right now?
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
Chad joined the TweakTown team in 2009 and has since reviewed 100s of new techy items. After a year of gaming, Chad caught the OC bug. With overclocking comes the need for better cooling, and Chad has had many air and water setups. With a few years of abusing computer parts, he decided to take his chances and try to get a review job. As an avid overclocker, Chad is always looking for the next leg up in RAM and coolers.
What's in Chad's PC?
- CPU: Intel Core i7 13700K
- MOTHERBOARD: ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero Eva
- RAM: TEAM DDR5-7200 32GB
- GPU: ASUS GeForce RTX 3090 Eva
- SSD: addlink m.2 2TB
- OS: Windows 11 Pro
- COOLER: Fractal Lumen S36
- PSU: be quiet! Dark Power Pro 1500W
- KEYBOARD: ASUS ROG Strix Scope TKL Electro Punk
- MOUSE: ASUS ROG Strix Impact Electro Punk
- MONITOR: ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ
- Phantom 530
NZXT Phantom 530 Full Tower Computer Case, Glossy White (CA-PH530-W1) › Customer reviews
NZXT Phantom 530 Full Tower Computer Case, Glossy White (CA-PH530-W1)
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NZXT Phantom 530 Full Tower Case Reviewed – An Affordable Full Tower Case
Continuing the legacy of the original, the NZXT Phantom 530 was meticulously designed from the ground up, resulting in a refreshing new design. While creating the Phantom 530, the NZXT design team took every beloved aspect of the original and made it even better. With up to 70% more cable management space, more airflow and even more liquid cooling support, the NZXT Phantom 530 features phenomenal support for even the most extreme performance builds.
Along with its fully modular, interchangeable hard drive cages, the Phantom 530 features all of the latest NZXT technologies including a discrete SSD mount behind the motherboard tray, signature rear I/O LEDs, single channel 30W fan control with integrated 10-port fan hub, and steel 5.25” optical drive latches.
The NZXT Phantom 530’s extensive liquid cooling support includes Kraken X40/X60 compatibility and radiators of up to 360mm in size on top, 240mm in front and 240mm on bottom. Additionally, the new Phantom also features the largest window the Phantom line has ever seen, letting you show off the true beauty of your masterpiece, inside and out.
NZXT Phantom 530 Features
- Single channel, 30W fan controller with integrated fan hub
- Up to three 200mm fans for maximum airflow
- Discrete SSD mount behind motherboard tray
- 34mm of cable management clearance
- Fully modular, interchangeable hard drive cages
- Signature rear I/O LEDs + Latest USB 3.0 connection
- Large acrylic window
- Extensive liquid cooling support includes Kraken X40/X60 all-in-one solutions and radiators of up to 360mm in size
- Durable steel constructed 5.25” optical drive latches
- Eight motherboard expansion slots offer comprehensive expandability
Price and Where to Buy
The Phantom 530 is now available in glossy white, black and red locally as well as online. It has a suggested retail price of $129.99 only.
NZXT Phantom 530 Specifications
Dimensions (WxHxD): 235mm x 572mm x 543mm Material(s): Steel, Plastic Total Weight: 10.5 kg Motherboard Support: ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, EATX (322x272mm) External Connections: 1 x Audio/Mic, 2 x USB 3.0
Bays and Expansions: External 5.25”: 3 Internal 3.5” /2.5”: 6 Internal 2.5″: 1 + 6
Cooling: Front: 2x140mm / 120mm or 1x200mm (1x200mm Included) Rear: 1x140mm (Included) / 120mm Bottom: 2x120mm Side: 1x140mm Top: 2x200mm / 140mm or 3x120mm Interior: 1x120mm / 140mm
Clearance: CPU Cooler: 282mm (With Pivot Fan) VGA Card: 310mm (With Cage) / 444mm (Without Cage) 26mm (Lowest Point) / 34mm (Highest Point)
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Uncomplicating the complicated
NZXT Phantom 530 Case Review
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.
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.
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.
[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.
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.
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.
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.
[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.
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.
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.
[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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NZXT Phantom 530 Full Tower Case Glossy White (CA-PH530-W1)
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- Fully modular, interchangeable hard drive cages
- Single channel, 30W fan controller with integrated fan hub.Eight motherboard expansion slots offer comprehensive expandability.Motherboard support: TX, Micro-ATX, ATX, EATX (322x272mm)
- Discrete SSD mount behind motherboard tray.CPU Cooler: 183mm/VGA Card: 282mm (With Cage & Pivot Fan), 310mm (With Cage), 444mm (Without Cage))/Cable Management:26mm (Lowest Point), 34mm (Highest Point)
- Durable steel constructed 5.25" optical drive latches.Extensive liquid cooling support includes Kraken series all-in-one solutions and radiators of up to 360mm in size
- 34mm of cable management clearance.
- Kraken X40 / X60 support
- Up to 34 mm cable management space
- 8 expansion slots
- Modular hard drive cages
- Steel latches
- Fully filtered intakes
- Cases with ATX Full Tower Type
- Cases with White Color
- Cases with 3 External 5.25" Drive Bays
- Cases with 6 Internal 3.5" Drive Bays
- Cases with 73 L Volume
- Cases with 8 Expansion Slots
While creating the Phantom 530, the NZXT design team painstakingly took every beloved aspect of the original and made it even better. Meticulously designed from the ground up, the Phantom 530 offers a timeless, avant-garde design that is uncompromising in every way. Along with its eye-catching styling, the Phantom 530 features phenomenal support for even the most extreme performance builds.
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NZXT Phantom 530 Case Review
Conclusion: It Just Works
However I feel about NZXT's too frequent recycling of the Phantom aesthetic and design, it's still very hard to argue with results. I'm reluctant to fawn over the Phantom 530 because it feels extremely iterative instead of progressive. When the Phantom 630 was released, it was almost directly superior to the Phantom 820; NZXT created a great case in the 820, and then boldly obsoleted it not long after. It's too much to ask that they do that again going from the 630 to the 530, but the 530 itself has no sizzle. You were already essentially able to buy this case, now you can just buy it cheaper if you're willing to sacrifice a feature here and there.
All my can't change the fact that at $129, the Phantom 530 is practically bulletproof. NZXT was able to execute effectively on a very tenuous balancing act in bringing the 630 down to a very accessible price point. Thermally it nips at the heels of Corsair's wonderfully outlandish Carbide Air 540, but acoustically it surges past. Anyone who feels like the ATX design standard is long in the tooth, and I include myself in that lot, would probably do well to give the Phantom 530 a second look.
Of course, there's a fly in the ointment. Despite the Phantom 530 review samples being out to media right now, the case itself doesn't actually become available in retail for a month and a half. NZXT runs the risk of losing business in the interim; users who are willing to make some compromises can get an Antec Eleven Hundred for $99 on NewEgg right now, while people looking for something with great performance that they can tinker with will be able to snap up the Corsair Carbide Air 540 at the end of the month. A month and a half is a long wait, especially for a component that's not easily upgraded, and NZXT may have seriously jumped the gun here.
Either way, though, when it does come out, the NZXT Phantom 530 is going to be tough to beat for the money. I wish they'd taken the design a little further, but if you're looking for performance and features, this is pretty much it.
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