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
Expansion Slots 8
I/O Port 2x USB 3.0, 1x Headphone, 1x Mic
Power Supply Size ATX
Clearances HSF 170mm
PSU 180mm with bottom fan installed
GPU 310mm with drive cage / 444mm without
Dimensions 9.25" x 22.52" x 21.38"
235mm x 572mm x 543mm
Special Features 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
Price $129

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.

In and Around the NZXT Phantom 530
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  • Jumpman23 - Thursday, July 18, 2013 - link

    I had my eye on this case and seems to be everything the 630 is but shrunk. I really like the front door on the 530 over all the other Phantoms. It just doesn't look as flat. My only complaint is that the side fan mount just looks odd there especially without a fan. Reply
  • crimson117 - Thursday, July 18, 2013 - link

    > the fan controller goes a long way towards making things easier. NZXT opts to use a 4-pin molex power connector for it to ensure enough power is available.

    I was more than a little peeved that I need to plug an entire molex cable into my modular power supply /just/ to power the fan controller.
    Reply
  • crimson117 - Thursday, July 18, 2013 - link

    on my Phantom 630, that it. Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Thursday, July 18, 2013 - link

    The problem as I understand it is that the SATA power lead isn't rated for as high a wattage as the molex is, so the molex becomes a necessary evil. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Friday, July 19, 2013 - link

    The SATA power connector has 3 12V pins (and 3 5V and 3 3.3V ones). Each pin is able to deliver 1.5A as per the wikipedia entry and 2 other sites I found via google. That is 54W for the SATA power cable for the 12V rail only (22.5W and 14.85W for the 5V/3.3V rails). Numbers for the Molex/4-pin connector are bit hard to come by. The most common number is 13A maximum (rated by Molex for the connector) and 5A for PC use. So it is between 60W and 156W from the 12V rail (25W/55W for the 5V rail). So, just comparing the 12V rails (which will likely be the only ones used), you have a power delivery advantage of the 4-pin Molex connector of ~6W to 102W. Considering that even the 6 pin PCIe connector is only rated for 75W and that is with more ground and 12V connections, I doubt anything above 5A is save or reasonable. So the actual difference as far as I can tell, is fairly small, with some variation possible. However, apart from some Delta fans, I doubt anything plugged into that control uses more than 5W when fully powered (many fans even use less than 1W if they are 120mm or below). So you can safely run at least 10 average fans off a SATA cable. I'm sure they could have handled it with a SATA connector. Unless they give me a specific reason that would go against it or invalidate my quick calculations. :) Reply
  • JDG1980 - Thursday, July 18, 2013 - link

    Any chance we'll see a Silverstone FT04 review sometime soon? Newegg already sold out of their first batch... Reply
  • kwrzesien - Thursday, July 18, 2013 - link

    The silver is still in stock: $229 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8... Reply
  • Giffs - Thursday, July 18, 2013 - link

    This case looks awesome, but so does the Nox Hummer Zero usb 3.0

    A review on the Nox would be great.
    Thanks
    Reply
  • justaviking - Friday, July 19, 2013 - link

    Looks like a Star Wars stormtrooper. Reply
  • xbaronjagerx - Sunday, November 24, 2013 - link

    Funny you say that... I actually own this case and guess what my computer name is... STORMTROOPER!!! Also, I would like to add something to the review. The reason I'm reading this article is because I just broke the front panel audio jack, due to it being mounted on the front, I went to reach behind the pc and broke it... Just want to throw out there that I'm not happy with the usb and audio in/out being on the top of the case... other than that, the case is fantastic. Reply

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