NZXT Phantom Full Tower Case

Posted by on Saturday, January 1, 2011 - 5:09pm

nzxt phantomNZXT have now released a new case called Phantom, whose styling somewhat reminds us of their Lexa S but with a more futuristic styling and larger size. The Phantom is aimed at the full gamut of DIY builders: gamers, enthusiasts and overclockers. Basically this is for anyone that is looking to build a high-end machine using water-cooling or large heatsinks to attack the heat put out by the CPU. Definitely comes equipped with everything one would want in a new high performance rig, the Phantom is looking to capture the market and do it at a minimum price.

Introduction to the NZXT Phantom Full Tower Case

Over the years we have had several cases from NZXT in our labs. Each one has been totally different in design, indicating that the NZXT designers are always looking for a new way to please the consumers. Thinking about some of the cases I have reviewed for NZXT I am quick to remember the Lexa S, which was one of the freshest cases out at that time and a big seller for NZXT; a true classic now.

NZXT have now released a new case called Phantom, whose styling somewhat reminds us of their Lexa S but with a more futuristic styling and larger size. The Phantom is aimed at the full gamut of DIY builders: gamers, enthusiasts and overclockers. Basically this is for anyone that is looking to build a high-end machine using water-cooling or large heatsinks to attack the heat put out by the CPU. Definitely comes equipped with everything one would want in a new high performance rig, the Phantom is looking to capture the market and do it at a minimum price.

NZXT take on the Phantom

NZXT presents the cutting edge Phantom Full Tower Chassis. Designed with sleek, pristine contours, the Phantom radiates personality and quality. As with all NZXT products, we strive to set apart our customers from the rest with unique, original designs – we run the extra mile so you won’t have to settle with the typical rectangular box.

The Phantom delivers high performance cooling advantages with 7 fan cooling options, dual radiator support, quad water-cooling cutouts, and five 20W per channel fan controls. An innovative 5.25” screw-less system, vast space to encompass 7 hard drives, and five 5.25” bays enable smooth customization. Establish your power, your presence.



Phantom Series


Full Tower Steel




222 x 540 X 623 mm

VGA Clearance Maximum



FRONT, 1 X 140mm
REAR, 1 X 120mm (included)
SIDE, 2 x 120mm, 1 x 200/230 (2 x 120mm included)
TOP, 2 X 200mm (1 x LED 200mm included)


7 INTERNAL 3.5"/2.5" Slots
Screwless Rail Design


Steel with black finish




11 kg




High Performance Cooling Advantages – Phantom’s extensive cooling capabilities include 7 fan cooling options with dual 200mm, single side 230/200mm (NZXT only guarantees fitment with NZXT's FN-200), triple 120mm, and front 140mm fans. For enhanced control and expandability, NZXT includes dual radiator support, quad watercooling cutouts, and an integrated fan controller with up to five 20W channels.

Simple Installation – Phantom celebrates an array of innovative features designed to enhance every stage of the build. Meticulous wire management is easily attainable with large spacing behind the motherboard. The innovative all-new 5.25” screwless rails make installing and swapping HDDs an effortless process. Rubber grommets dampens vibration during operation.

Additional Advanced Features – Further distinct features include an LED on/off button to control fan lighting, rubber PSU and case feet to reduce vibration, easily removable front and top panels, and top mounted USB, Audio/Mic, and E-SATA ports.

Extensive Compatibility and Expandability – Features support for larger heat sinks, graphics cards, and E-ATX motherboards enabling enthusiasts to include any of today’s hottest components. Vast space within the enclosure allows for 7 hard drives with SDD support and up to five 5.25” bays.

Closer look at the exterior
We will begin with stating the Phantom comes in three different colors: red, black and the white like our test sample. NZXT figured they would give everyone a chance to build a system based on their own color theme preference, not being left with only black as a choice. The front panel assembly and top of the case are made of a durable ABS plastic, while the interior is made of high quality steel.

The Phantom is consisting of a single door up front that covers all the exterior drive bays. Not being a big fan of cases with doors, the Phantom is making me change my mind on this style of case. The Phantom is one of the best looking door-style cases on the market. Opening the door you are greeted by five 5.25” bays, but no 3.5” bays. So, no floppy drives in this build. Each drive bay cover is made of mesh and in order to remove each bay cover they are fitted with a small latch on the right side. Below the door is a small mesh area for air intake.

The left side panel has two larger vented areas. The upper mesh area is in vicinity of the GPU and CPU, the lower vent consists of two 120mm fans and can be seen from the outside.

The right side panel has a vented area that mirrors the left side's lower, but in this case (no pun intended) mounting fans is not an option.

We are real fans of the top of the Phantom, as it continues the style that we saw from the front of the case. Looking at the image below, on the right is yet another mesh area. Like the side panel you can again see the white fan, but in this instance is instead a massive 200mm with provisions for another right next to it. To the left side are the power and reset buttons, along with the activity lights for the HDD and power. On the opposite are the controls for the built in fan controller; more on that later.

The fan controller uses a single four-pin Molex connector to the power supply. The connection to the each of the five channels are three-pin connections.Each channel has a max of 20 watts per channel. Each fan is selected and then a slider next to it gives you control over their speed. Also as you can see, each slider has a corresponding image which indicates the fan's location in the case that you are controlling. 

What captured our eye in the rear of the Phantom is the four inlets for water-cooling tubing. NZXT built the Phantom to be very water-cooling friendly and this is a sure sign. NZXT made sure there was a lot of ventilation in this case as well. There is an additional 120mm, but then there are the mesh expansion slots covers to compliment everything else.

The bottom of the case reside a series of rubber channels, should you have the case on your desk in order to keep any vibrations from transferring. Finally, to assist the ventilation of the power supply is a dust filtered... you guessed it, mesh opening!


Closer look of the inside

I know this is a surprise to most of you. The color of the interior is the same as the exterior. So, if you purchase a red case you get a red interior. That is a nice touch.

 On the side panel is where we find what hides on the other side of those vents. To the bottom left we have two of NZXT's Performance 120mm fans and require only 1.92W for a whisper quiet operation. The big opening, that no doubt have drawn your attention, is not just a vent. Not only can it fit a large 230mm into the outer mounting holes but you can remove the grill and fit in a 200mm fan as well. Either is a great option to have since it will blow air onto the whole motherboard, including the expansion slots for much needed airflow in a multi-GPU configuration.




Viewing the motherboard tray we first see first the large CPU cut-out. The cut-out makes the removal and re-install of the CPU cooler much easier as you don't have to remove the motherboard to do so. The Phantom supports ATX, micro ATX, baby AT and extended ATX for factors. NZXT has also included enough zip-tie points for even the most 'neat freak' cable management people will be able to route cables however they want.

Cable management is an absolute breeze in this new case as there are multiple areas to route cables to where they are needed. Here you see also see all the fan connections, the 4pin Molex for the fan controller, and all the typical motherboard case connections.

The Phantom has two separate HDD cages that can house a total of 7 drives between them, five in one and two in the other. The half height cage can be removed in order to install a longer PSU. Above the HDD cages are the five 5.25” bays. Any drives used are secured in there bay using the plastic locking mechanism already installed.

Once installed, the power supply will sit on these four small rubber bumpers so to prevent it from vibrating on the bottom of the case. Because of this case's size you will not have any issues with the longer length power supplies like many of the 1200 watt, or true dual rail , models out there (which for CWT built units are essentially two full smaller PSUs).

The top of the case houses a single 200mm NZXT cooling fan, with a place for one more to be added should you require. For those that plan on water-cooling the case the top panel should have not have too many problems with supporting a 360mm radiator.

Here you can see the mesh vented expansion slot plates that NZXT has included. To allow warm air to escape or cool air to enter, a rear mounted 120mm cooling fan is in place.


One of the reasons we requested the white version of this case was to match the white color of the NZXT HALE90 power supply we reviewed a month back. From afar the two look to be a nice match, however up close you can see the ever so slight difference in paint jobs. The white of the power supply is a little bumpy due to the shell of the power unit. The paint job on the case is more shiny and cleaner.

The installation of the motherboard shows us that there is plenty of room for an standard motherboard. Again, there is even more than enough room for an eATX motherboard but it's size will result in it partially covering the first row of cable management ports.

The Radeon HD 5870 is not the longest GPU on the market but it still causes a problem in some cases. Not the Phantom, you have plenty of space to house even the much longer Radeon HD 5970 or GTX 580.

The mounting of the hard drive in this case is similar to that of some Coolermaster cases. The hard drive is mounted into a plastic bracket, and then sled into the hard drive bay. Rubber grommets eliminate vibration.


NZXT has placed a new standard on cases that fall into the mid-range price market. Over the last month or so we have seen the Phantom priced anywhere from $99 to $139. At the price it is hard for other cases to match what the Phantom offers. It all starts with the quality of the case. It is well built and about as sturdy as you can get. The styling is one that we can not deny here, and that front bezel is different from anything else on the market. In a time where everyone is going toward heavily mesh fronts, NZXT combined it with a front door panel that flow very well together.

Functionally the Phantom has everything one would look for in a case, and more. Starting with the top mounted fan-controller, to the cable management possibilities, you can't go wrong. One aspect of the case we like is its water-cooling possibilities.You can easily place two water loops, or even radiators, in this case without modification.

NZXT made the Phantom to appeal to everyone, being able to choose the color that you want between red, white or black. The black model will be the most neutral of course, but we bet that the red model if combined with a motherboard like the Crosshair IV from ASUS and with AMD video cards would be a great match. We loved the way the white model looked with some of the ASRock and Gigabyte motherboards. There is something for everyone with this case.

The only issue we found, and we can't say they all will be this way, is the white paint job of the case was not a perfect match for the HALE90 power supply, see as both are from NZXT. Chances are many will not care, but we are putting it out there for those that do.

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