Series gaming computer cases manufactured by Phantom NZXT currently contains six basic models, each of which may have variations with different color and presence / absence of a transparent window in the left side wall.
We got a body NZXT Phantom 530, which is now only available in the version with a window, but in three colors – black, white and red. To be precise, “title” in the color white and red casings diluted black elements, and slightly tinted acrylic insert in the left side wall of the box. We got a white body, and I must say that the classic black and white combination makes the body very elegant.
Almost all of the external surface of the glossy, but hand prints on white little noticeable – it is clear, if your hands are clean, and the case has not yet been covered with a hefty layer of dust. In general, we got to the option can be described as the most advantageous in appearance, but also the least practical: to support it in presentable condition, have to regularly make an effort. In addition, the glossy plastic (as he is also still quite soft) will be visible every scratch, so you need to be more careful and not without reason plastic surfaces out of the box body are covered with the protective film.
Exterior all Phantom models immediately suggests that this is a body for gaming computers: an abundance of broken lines and oblique lines with a minimum of right angles, as well as “family” feature – convex corner bend top and front surfaces, which occurs in all series of cases, not excluding NZXT Phantom 530.
Plastic elements of external design voluminous, complex shapes, and therefore give a series of housings original appearance. But the originality of the dose is not excessive, as is sometimes the case in buildings declared as a game, there is only a measure, and the body may well come to taste connoisseurs strict forms.
The white painted and all the innards, except in a few details such as plugs or expansion slots fan frames.
The packing box is mainly black, with excellent typography, as well as a description of features in several languages, including Russian. It is quite large and weighty, gross weight exceeds 12 kg, and it is good that the sides of the box has a slot for capturing hands when moving.
NZXT Phantom 530 is claimed to be Full Tower, but mainly because it is possible to set the system board size E-ATX, and the number of slots for expansion cards is eight. And its dimensions is rather miditower, and we met the body of the form factor, can accommodate only ATX motherboard, but the dimensions of which were about the same.
Although E-ATX is not the most common format of motherboards, yet it is encouraging that they are offered a compact body.
From the point of view of the possibility of placing other computer components is not unusual: there are three five-inch slot with access to the front panel – perhaps a bit too much, but not excessively; 3.5-inch devices such withdrawal is not provided, it is also quite in keeping with modern trends.
Seats for the seven disk drives – one for the 2.5-inch SSD / HDD and six universal, for both dimensions. It is not too much, not only for the stated size Full Tower, but even for miditower, but also in five-inch slots, increasing the number of seats up to 9-10 if necessary you can buy adapters and adapter-set wheels.
A more interesting approach to the design of the front panel. The designers decided to equip it with the door, but do not forget about ventilation: the door closes about two-thirds of the area, including a five inch slots, while the lower part remains open space, almost entirely occupied by a vent with a decorative grille.
Inside the body-volume, a separate compartment for the power supply, which we saw in the NZXT H440 model here.
But the approach to installing similar storage: placing generally transverse discs are inserted on the left, but in the NZXT Phantom 530, H440 and sled designed for HDD / SSD both dimensions are inserted from the right. Without long-term experience of operation of such buildings is difficult to say how justified and useful is such a solution.
Another drive, but only 2.5-inch, can be fixed in a removable container for the system board substrate, that is, access to it is also right.
Such economical storage placement system, two on each sled, which we have seen in H440, is not here – step placement of the sled adjustment simply does not allow to implement similar.
However, there is the same pleasant and useful little thing we talked about in the survey H440: lighting slots for ports IO board and the area in which the external connectors are located expansion cards. At the top of both of these places, there are two very bright white LEDs, discover that no power supply is difficult, but they are very well visible in the ON state.
Of course, these point sources will mainly highlight next to them the elements, and more distant world will get smaller, but such concern for consumers who will certainly have at least occasionally connected or disconnected something on the rear wall in low-light, pleasant to itself currently. This care extends so far that light is made switchable – bright light in the rear wall area need not always.
The set has a rich set of fixture, the sorted on bags, twenty disposable ties for cables, assembly instructions in several languages, including Russian, and a small booklet guide to housing the company’s products.
Case dimensions 572 × 235 × 543 mm (H × W × D, including protruding elements). The chassis itself is much smaller, a major contribution to the overall dimensions make voluminous front and top cover, as well as relatively high legs, made of plastic with rubber inserts.
Weight body a little more than 10 kg. design elements are made of steel thick enough: almost all the details of the chassis and the side covers have a thickness of 0.8 mm, thinner unless basket drives – 0.75 mm, but the motherboard is slightly thicker substrate: 0.85 mm. Thus, the stiffness was quite satisfactory, with the possible exception that the upper part of the – almost the entire top surface of the chassis occupy the holes for the fans, and the decorative cover more than half occupied by the grille.
The front panel is secured by six plastic clamps, remove it will recess at the lower end of the gripping hand. There are no wires, preventing removal, no. The same can be said about the top cover.
Controls are located at the front of the top panel, they are soldered on small boards, fixed directly to the chassis.
On the right are the connectors – closer to the front panel are two USB 3.0, then two audiokonnektora. The gap between the USB ports allow simultaneous connection it is to him wide device.
Slightly to the left Power button is located, has a rather peculiar shape.
Near the left edge is a three-position switch fan speed, followed by a shutdown button backlight mentioned above.
Considerable body height and sitting next to him on the operator control panel bodies will not be visible. That is meant the computer’s location on the floor or on a low stand.
We now turn to the front panel. We have already said that the upper part of the door is closed. Form unusual door: the lower edge is not horizontal and sloped at an angle of thirty degrees, and on the left side there is a small recess – for it on the front panel is a light guide, which fit inside the white LED power and disk activity indicator.
Over the door, in the upper right corner, hiding Reset button. It is unusually large, but, you know, the response from accidental touches virtually eliminated.
The design of the door itself deserves a separate description. Firstly, it is a two layer: outer plastic white, inner – black, and both layers have a rather complicated shape. The second: the loops are made so that the door can not be hanging around an axis and can be fixed not only in the fully open or closed, but in the intermediate state. Next: a closed door holding magnets, the force that pertain to its opening, chosen wisely and does not cause discomfort. Finally, the inner surface of the door is equipped with rubber shock absorbers that reduce knock at closing.
The door opens at an angle of just over 90 °. Perhaps her only claim to: hinged on the right, another option is not provided, and if you set any device with access to the front panel, it is a convenient way to only one computer accommodation – the right of the operator. If you recall what was said earlier about the control panel, it turns out that the choice of the place very much narrowed down: only the bottom right, and other options will be linked with the inconvenience.
Disc stand consists of three independent baskets and various single, double and triple. That is, the collector, depending on the configuration of the video, and disk subsystems of the computer is given the freedom of choice: you can keep only one of the baskets (any) to secure it to the bottom or below the five-inch bay and two baskets, too, and all with different types of accommodation.
And, of course, have the option to delete all three baskets, if a computer is only one 2.5-inch drive, located behind the motherboard substrate.
The package includes only two fans, both own production: 200 mm at the front and exhaust blast of 140 mm at the rear.
It should be noted that the regular front fan is able to serve only four lower place the disc in the basket, but on a video card it will not affect practically, even if the basket under the five-inch compartment no.
Move it can not be higher, and if you need any other configuration of the air flow, it is necessary to replace the fan with one or two 120/140-mm, for which the provided mounting holes.
The rear fan can be replaced with 120 mm, with mounting holes for both options are not round and oblong, and allow the fan to shift by 25 mm vertically.
Fans can be installed on top of three sizes plane chassis, one or two of 140/200 mm, and up to three 120-mm. They are placed on top and covered with a plastic top panel.
At the bottom of the case has openings for two fan size 120 mm, but if in the middle of some obstacles to accommodate not (except that the wires coming out of the back of the power supply wall), you have to remove the existing in this for the installation of the fan toward the front panel site support to the drive cage, as well as to refuse the placement of the basket at the bottom of the rack, or the flow of air from the fan will be largely blocked by its solid bottom.
But that’s not all: the 140-mm fan can be placed on the left side wall, and one 120/140 mm – on a special bracket, available on the sidewall of the triple basket. The design of the bracket allows you to orient the air flow from this inner fan, deflecting it at an angle of about 15 ° from the vertical.
Total number of fans in the enclosure can reach ten – though the feasibility of the installation of the front bottom is in serious doubt. Included is a considerable amount of the corresponding screws and self-tapping screws.
The housing has an embedded controller, allowing you to connect up to 10 fans. Mentioned for the switch control panel allows you to select one of three speeds, and power is supplied via the peripheral slot ( «Molex» male), total fan of the controller and the backlight.
But, of course, staff housing and fans can be connected directly to the motherboard or some other controller speed because they are equipped with a cable with a standard 3-pin connectors.
You can also use a liquid cooling system. For external CBO on the rear wall of the openings are provided with rubber plugs.
Filters are equipped with only the front and the bottom plane of the chassis, above and to the side there is only decorative metal grille to protect unless from the dust of fairly large lumps so small items from falling from the top.
Established filters are plastic frame with fine-mesh netting kapron. The most convenient to maintain the bottom, there are two: one covering the installation location of the lower additional fans, pulled out of the body forwards, the second is designed for protection against dust PSU towards rear.
To get to the front of the filter, it is necessary to remove the front panel. Due to the lack of suitable wires to it, this procedure is not difficult, but the filter itself is mounted inside a panel with plastic latches. We also note that the slot for gripping the bottom of this panel sequentially, and therefore crude air leak through it removed.
Cooling drives in the drive cage from the front air flow fan provided by the presence of wide slits in the side surfaces of the baskets, as well as the configuration of the lower planes openwork sled. A 2.5-inch SSD / HDD substrate for the system board has a direct thermal contact with the metal chassis through the metal container installation.
The width of the housing it allows the cooling system processor 183 mm in height and according to the manufacturer, in our measurement of perhaps slightly more, depending on the system board and processor.
Side covers are removed towards rear, which helps stamped tabs on their rear edges. Although a considerable amount of covers, any deformations that prevent the installation does not occur – the effect is quite thick metal in combination with a rectangular rolling of the perimeter. Cover fixing pairs thumbscrew.
Devices in the five-inch compartment on the left side mounted latches staff, if you wish, you can add one or two screws on the right. Decorative covers the front panel are provided with accessible outside snaps, so you can remove them easily.
Runners disc plastic, fitted with comfortable handles that allow removing them with one hand. 2.5-inch drives are attached with screws from the bottom, and 3.5-inch – side pins, equipped with small rubber bumpers. As already mentioned, the slide in the rack are inserted on the right, are available on the sides of the latch securely fix them completely, although the possibility is provided and additional fastening of the set screw. But the side pins into the holes kept landing is not very tight, so you should make sure that they are recessed to stop if their heads protrude a little, this will prevent the slide in slide rack.
The illustrations in the manual recommended target drives connectors to right, that is, when installed in a slide connectors should be directed toward the handle. This is logical in terms of laying the cables for the system board substrate to the same fix 3.5-inch drive in the sled pin in a different way and never will. But the 2.5-inch HDD / SSD collector can optionally turn connectors, and in the other direction. In all cases, you can use the SATA-cable with both direct and with L-shaped connectors.
2.5-inch container for the system board substrate is very similar to the ones that we have seen in H440, but here it is in black. Secured with container protrusions and recesses system fixed one thumbscrew, and the drive it is attached with four screws. Positioning it better connections down (although not excluded, and the opposite position), and the cables have to be used with straight connectors.
The power unit is screwed directly into the rear wall, without any frame. On the bottom there are six projections that help to position BP of any size installation. I wonder: H440 building, positioned as a “low-noise”, has no cushioning gasket in place fixing the power supply, and NZXT Phantom 530 are laying there.
PSU fan may be oriented up or down, and its installation to produce both before and after installation of the motherboard. Some restrictions on the length of the block is not – of course, within the available range of different manufacturers.
Not less opportunity to select a video card, just have to properly configure the disk rack. If there is a five-inch compartment basket, then the maximum length of video cards cannot exceed 310 mm according to the manufacturer, and our measurements showed three millimeters less, but in any case it is enough for almost any modern video card. And only if this triple basket, and besides, with fixed on it additional fan, the length limit will be reduced to 282 mm, and then even more, if the fan is installed with a slope. It would seem, then the choice will come down to a few graphics cards the most compact models, but there is nothing stopping to place a basket with a fan in the lower rack.
If the upper basket is not present, then the space will increase to 444 mm, but close to this value over the length of video cards we have not seen, even with the end located in the additional power connector. Therefore, to remove the upper rack for the installation of video cards have hardly, except that the collector deems useful to add at this point an additional front fan airflow from which will greatly hamper basket.
Disc baskets attached thumbscrews located on the right. At two and three baskets of four screws, from single – or two.
To lay the cables and loops of the system board substrate left a lot of space, and provides six holes for wires and cables, four of which are equipped with rubber plugs with split petals, and for fixing ties provided stamped ears.
Hex stands for ATX motherboard is already installed, other dimensions of them will have to rearrange or delete. To facilitate this procedure, the set includes the appropriate adapter on a Phillips screwdriver. As usual, there is a hole in the substrate, which allows to remove and install a cooling system of the processor without dismantling the system board.
Opening for input-output ports on the rear panel and front outputs five inch slots do not have plugs, which would have had to break out; eight slots for expansion cards closed reusable plugs. Fastening and plugs, and expansion cards themselves – thumbscrews.
Connecting the front connector is made with shielded cables with monolithic connectors for audio only HD Audio.
The edges of the chassis neatly seamed or rounded, which reduces the possibility of damage to the collector’s hands.
Noise measurement is carried out in accordance with our method using a sound level meter Octave Eco-110A in a soundproof room with a typical noise level of 20 dBA. During the measurement, all appliances in the room are turned off.
To control the fan voltage supply used independently controlled converter.
The level of noise cooling body varies in a relatively wide range from 20 to 34.5 dB, in the same range and its performance varies. When powered fan 5V noise is very low, even when the microphone arrangement in the near field. However, with increasing voltage the noise level increases. Typically, the range of voltage regulation 7-11 The noise varies from low (24.5 dBA) to medium (32.5 dB) level with respect to the typical values for premises in the daytime. However, even when powered fans 12 V rated voltage noise level of the system is very far up to 40 dBA.
At greater distances the body of the user and placing it, for example, on the floor under the table, the noise can be described as minimally noticeable when powered fans between 5 V and when powered fans from 12 – as close to the reduced level for the premises in the daytime Times of Day.
The body is equipped with a full-time single-channel fan controller on the basis of semiconductor power supply (PWM) with a three-position mechanical control; two-channel controller power supply: 5 V and 12 V. The controller can regulate the speed of fans 10, the controller is powered using the peripheral connector. No additional overtones of the controller job is not followed.
If fan control through regular controller and when placing the microphone sound level meter in the near field noise is at a reduced level in the second stage (M) and on the average level in the third step (H) of the controller, and while working on the first stage (L) noise can be named unobtrusive. At greater distances from the user’s body and placing it, for example, on the floor under the table, the noise can be described as minimally noticeable for the first and second stages of the controller and a third controller for low level. the controller’s output voltage is: 5,4 (L), 8,3 (M), 11,87 (H) V when the input voltage 12.06 V. Selection of voltage variation range here is quite adequate.
Quality fans can be evaluated as a very worthy – minimal sounds from the drive when powered fans from 5 volts.
In general, acoustic ergonomics of the body is at a very good level when powered fans from both the regular controller, and from the system board or external controller, while providing a relatively wide range of variation of the performance of the cooling system housing.
The case NZXT Phantom 530 cannot be attributed to cheap, but for the stated size Full Tower, its price is not excessive.
In terms of equipment model it turned out quite controversial. On the one hand, there is a speed controller that can manage not only complete, but also all additional fans and switchable backlight ports on the rear panel. On the other – only two external USB ports and a small size for such a number of places for storage.
But the presence of only two full-time fans, we refer to the downside will not: for many possible configurations that will be enough, but in the presence of components with high heat generation is still better to leave the choice of cooling system and its components to the discretion of the collector. Moreover, the potential for this in the design laid considerable.
Although no upper filter phenomenon is quite common, occurring in very many cases of different price categories, but we traditionally remember: Computers rarely work in “365 days 24 hours” mode, and when the power is off there will be no obstacles to the dust from the top – no flow air from the upper fan, if any, of any excess pressure from other fans. In the case of the NZXT Phantom 530 it is necessary to remind the absence of a filter for the optional side fan.
Long time no less traditional is the lack of slots for 3.5-inch devices with access to the front panel. Of course, the use of such devices is no longer a necessity, but the need for them is sometimes available, and it is a pity that in the NZXT Phantom 530 is not even a stub with the appropriate slot and adapter-adapter into the five-inch slot – details of the penny, but some potential buyers they might I would come in handy. In addition, this adapter can be used to accommodate another disk drive, a small number of seats for which we have already spoken.
Our impression of the body design, we have described in detail at the beginning of the review, but here only add: NZXT Phantom 530 as a whole is made quite soundly – both in terms of study design, and for its implementation. But still there are little things that reduce quite favorable assessment: for example, a close look will notice that the top joint of the plastic panel from the front door is not made very carefully.
However, once again repeat: we inherited body in white and black color scheme looks very elegant and moderate use of the exterior “architectural excesses” makes it attractive to buyers with different tastes.