Let me first begin by expressing my gratitude towards NZXT as this is the first time we actually receive test samples from them. I’ve always been pulled towards many of their products, never had actually owned one, however I believe this is about to change. Special thanks to NZXT and I do hope that in the future more samples will be available to DVTests and this is just the start.
Without further ado, let me present to you one of the cases we received – Phantom 410. Yes, it is not a new case, not even a recent one, but it is one of those cases which upon their release, grabbed the attention of many users and media as well. On top of all this sequel to Phantom comes in different varieties and color palettes – White, Black, Red, White with Blue Stripes, Black with Orange stripes, Gunmetal, Black with White stripes. I’ve got my hands on the White version and I have to say I was pretty pleased when seeing the case live.
|Phantom 410 picture
Okay, enough introduction, let’s begin by checking out the box in which Phantom 410 comes packed straight out of the factory. Medium sized, mostly black carton box with huge picture of the case itself and a small, modest NZXT logo, located at the bottom right corner. Phantom 410 is written in white text with large letters so that you don’t mistake it for any of the other versions. That is what’s located at the front of the box, where at the back you may find all of the so important information, regarding the technical aspects of the case inside. Interior shot is present as well, so you can take a closer look at the layout.
|First glimpse of the case
||Hard styrofoam and nylon wraps
Cutting the duct tape and opening the box took no more than a minute and afterwards I was able to see what is fitted inside this box. As you can see from the photos, hard style styrofoam is used and is a thick one, so the protection level is not neglected at all here. Additional protection layer is placed in the face of transparent nylon all over the case to ensure the paint is not damaged as well. After peeling off the nylon and removing the protective materials I was able to observe the case in all its charm.
NZXT PHANTOM 410 EXTERIOR
In a typical fashion I will be going around the case, examining it thoroughly and sharing my thoughts about it as well. As I posted in the beginning, this chassis is a beauty indeed and grabbed the hearts of many. If you don’t really like or are fed up with most of the cases being look-a-likes, this is the one of the cases you should definitely consider checking out.
In my opinion this is the best looking version of them all, as black/white combination creates a beautiful contrast and gives the well deserved 10 points for the visual part of our review. I will show you the case’s external view, interior layout, the chassis itself and a fully assembled system, finishing with stress testing and conclusion at the end of the article…but we have some more time before going there, so let’s begin with the external shots of the case.
If there are any Star Wars fans here and I am sure there are plenty, one cannot doubt the similarities between this Phantom 410 and a Stormtrooper’s armor. Anyway, I believe this was not the initial goal NZXT were going after, but definitely it is a nice looking case by all means. Physical dimension of this Medium tower are 215mm(W) x 516mm(H) X 532mm(D) and weighs 9.0 kg. What I feel about the side panel is that the acrylic window should have been made slightly shorter so it doesn’t show the HDD cage and the mesh for the side fan disrupts the overall clean and sleek looks.
|Power and Reset buttons/HDD LED||Audio jacks/USB top ports
Not that it looks ugly, but I believe going with a solid panel and a smaller or differently shaped acrylic window Phantom 410 would have looked even better. NZXT did an outstanding job of matching the white paint where plastic meets metal as usually this is not an easy task. You have to look really closely to see, if you can see at all, any difference between the paint jobs.
At the rear we can see the total of 7 expansion slots, including 2 rubber grommets for external water cooling options.
Bottom is occupied by 6 very well build rubber feet that hold the case into place on your desk or on the floor and they seem to be mounted on rails, not on the case itself. PSU dust filter is present there, which is a nice touch, including the slight height of the case, so the PSU will have access to fresh air.
On the front panel you can find a door, using a push to open mechanism and behind it there are the three 5.25″ drive bays which the Phantom 410 supports. Opening is performed by sliding a small black latch and the 5.25″ cover falls off. The asymmetric design of this case really shines and undoubtedly there are many things to like about it, to be honest.
That sums it up for the external checks, let’s proceed with the interior shots and see what and how much hardware can be fitted inside the Phantom 410 by NZXT.
NZXT PHANTOM 410 INTERIOR
After the exterior examination I wanted to check out the interior layout as well and get a better idea of what everything looks like inside without the obstruction of the side panel, even being a windowed one. So, I undid the two black screws holding the side panel into place and removed it. This is the interior shot of the case…
|Removed side panel
Very sleek and nice looking internal paint job, I have to be honest. I can see some nice rubber grommets there as well as all black I/O cables, so a clean build will be indeed possible here. Another thing to mention is the flat design of the usually big and not-so-easy-to-route USB 3.0 cable.
As you may see there is a small white box inside one of the HDD bays so I checked its contents immediately after opening the side panel. The box is white with a large black NZXT logo to complement the white/black finish. Inside were placed several interesting goodies such as all the necessary screws and zip ties you will need for a system build. A manual about the Phantom 410 was also present there, explaining what goes where, so if you are unfamiliar with cases you can take a look at it as well.
||Black screws and zip ties
Included was also a small brochure with NZXT products so you can see what the philosophy of the company is. There is no way you can mistake one of the company’s cases with another one, as in terms of design, not many other competitors can match the increasingly beautiful cases that NZXT releases.
||NZXT products brochure
That wraps up the first part of the review, so next step is to strip down the case to its bare bones and put it back together to see how it is made and if it is of enough quality. I will be getting my screwdriver and with its help I should be down to the chassis in no time, so let’s get started…
||Behind MB tray
Well, that wasn’t quite hard I have to say. With no more than 10 minutes of carefully removing parts so I don’t scratch the lovely paint I was able to completely strip down the Phantom 410. Overall, I was left with a nice impression as the case didn’t even remind me of any poor quality or such. It is very well put together and the paint has covered the entire chassis quite well, too.
Take a tour around the shots so you can have a better picture of the case itself…
So, after stripping the case down I had to get it back up and running as I get closer to the testing part of this article. Now I will be explaining in detail how the parts are held to each other and pictures will be posted here also. Here is a list of all the parts that I was able to remove from the case:
- 2 x 120 mm NZXT fans
- 1 x 140 mm NZXT fan
- 1 x HDD removable cage
- 6 x plastic drive bays, compatible with 3.5″/2.5″ drives
- 1 x PSU dust filter
- 2 x plastic rails, mounted at the bottom with 6 rubber feet attached
- 1 x plastic panel for the Power/Reset switches with attached cables
- 1 x plastic panel with USB ports, Audio jacks and fan controller
- 2 x side panels
And now I will begin putting back everything on the chassis while explaining it in detail. I will begin by putting the Power/Reset switches as well as the panel containing the USB ports, the fan controller and the audio jacks. A total of 5 screws hold the plastic pieces to the chassis and all of the cables go through a small hole, neatly routed to the back of the case, where the zip tie mounts are.
|Loads of cables
||Mounted on the chassis
Speaking of behind the motherboard tray, I want to say that there is plenty of space there (25mm) and no shortage of zip tie mounts. NZXT did an excellent job of providing us with many, many options on how to improve the cable management. Included zip ties are sufficient enough for a build or two, however in my build I didn’t use any and there were no issues with cluttered cables.
Next step was to install the plastic feet, along with the rubber mounts of the case, which are of high quality as far as I can judge a rubber mount. The case did not feel in any way slippery it was more like glued to the floor. Eight screws are used here for both rails, the rubber pieces are nicely glued to them and quite firmly as well, I have to say.
After installing the rails, I also attached the PSU dust filter which is quite an easy job to do. It is not magnetic sadly, however it is still a dust filter. It is very easy to remove, not that easy to put back in, as there are many metal clips you need to align the filter to. Nonetheless, the filter is nice and dense so no dust should be getting in the PSU there anytime soon.
One of the highlights of this case is the removable HDD cage. It is quite an interesting cage as it holds 4 of the total 6 drive bays and they are all compatible with 3.5″ and 2.5″ drives. In respect to that the cage is tool free to install HDD and the actual cage to the chassis, however when installing an SSD you will need a screwdriver. The removal of the cage will allow you to install GPU with maximum length of more than 300mm.
|Removable HDD cage…
||…just a click away.
On the cage itself lies one more feature of the case – 120mm fan mount with a pivot point. What that means is if you want to install not so big of a GPU you can use this fan slot to aid with the cooling and greatly decrease temperature of the motherboard, RAM and GPU, even the south bridge. And by mentioning fans, let me describe you the situation…
Of course, a case with no cooling in mind, being water cooling support or mainly air cooling is not a well thought case in the first place, however this is not the case with Phantom 410. In the next step I installed the three included fans and this means sufficient cooling out of the box, at least for a mainstream user. For the more advanced users or the ones that tend to overclock their systems additional fan mounts are available as well.
Above the HDD cage sits the ODD bay, which is also tool free for use and has 3 x 5.25″ bays.
In total seven fans can be installed here, and the next best thing is that you have control over them with a handy slider at the top panel, but more on that in a bit.
Both 120 mm and 140 mm fans can be accommodated inside, at the front 2 x 120 mm or 1 X 140 mm, at the rear only 1 x 120 mm can be mounted, 1 x 120 mm or 1 x 140 mm on the side panel, 1 x 120 mm on the bottom and at the top 2 x 120 mm or 2 x 140 mm. Included fans are 1 x 140 mm at the top, 1 x 120 mm at the rear and 1 x 120 mm at the front.
Another great feature of the case is the included fan controller, supporting up to 30 Watts. At the back of the case there are seven 3-pin fan connectors, so if you fill all of the fan mounts with fans you’ll be able to control them via the slider at the top panel. There are three settings – Low, Medium and High.
All of the fan cables are black, flat cables and are routed quite neatly I can say, providing no obstruction for additional cables. Opportunity for water cooling is also an option here, as the case is spacious and can be fitted with 120mm, 140mm and 240mm water cooling radiators if you choose to do so.
|Top panel installed
||Front panel installed
As the top panel is hollow and doesn’t touch the chassis, except at the mounting points, a radiator can be installed underneath it, allowing only the fans to be actually in the case, which will save you space and allows for more compatibility. The last thing I did was to put the top and front panels into place, where the top goes first and the front panel clips to the chassis and the top panel as well. Both are made of hard, durable plastic and have some heft to them, I was pleased with their quality.
||Black stand offs
Before building my system inside I had to install the stand offs for the motherboard as they are not pre-installed here. Motherboard sizes of ATX, Micro ATX and Mini ITX can be installed in Phantom 410, and the stand offs are explained via engraving near the PCI-E slots. NZXT includes a small tool in the accessories box and with it that job is made very easy, even without using a screwdriver. The screwdriver I needed to mount the SSD to the rails, but for the HDD I only used the rubber mounts, which are already there.
The plastic rails are sturdy and don’t feel like breaking at all, even though I abused them a bit, when trying to install the HDD, before realizing that I had to slightly pull off the metal/rubber pieces that hold the HDD into place. And with that last step I conclude the examination of the Phantom 410. What remains is still to assemble my system inside and test the performance of the case and write my conclusion and thoughts on this piece of hardware.
NZXT PHANTOM 410 TESTS
For the testing I will use an Intel based system with Z97 chipset motherboard.
Intel Z97 Test system
- CPU: Intel i5-4670K
- At standard frequency 3.400 MHz (Voltage set to Auto when not OC-ing)
- At low overclock frequency of 3.900 MHz (at 1.24V)
- At medium overclock frequency of 4.300 MHz (at 1.25V)
- Motherboard: ASUS Maximus VII HERO Z97
- Video card: MSI AMD R9 280X GAMING 3G
- Memory: A-Data XPG 8 GB Dual channel, 1600 MHz
- Solid State Drive: Intel 530 Series, 120 GB
- Hard drive: Western Digital 640 GB Black Series
- Case: Antec Nineteen Hundred
- Power supply: Corsair RM750 W
- Cooler: Noctua NH-U12S
- Thermal paste: Noctua NT-H1
The test was conducted in a closed system with:
- 2 x 120mm NZXT fans, rotating at maximum RPM range at 12 volts.
- 1 x 140mm NZXT fan, rotating at maximum RPM range at 12 volts.
- Room temperature of about 21 degrees Celsius.
And here I want to describe my testing method.
I will install my test rig inside the case and do CPU and VGA stress tests using AIDA64 and Prime95 stability test for about 10 minutes with these settings:
- CPU: Intel i5-4670K – running at stock voltage and frequency.
- MSI AMD R9 280X GAMING 3G – running at stock voltage and auto speed control of the fans.
For the CPU load I will be using Prime95 with custom settings of minimum FFT size (in K of 128), max FFT size (in K of 128) and Run FFTs in place at standard frequency of 3.400 MHz on the CPU, at low overclock of 3.900 MHz and at medium overclock frequency of 4.300 MHz.
Of course, before doing any tests I had to install the system in Phantom 410, which was a breeze to do. Even though the case is not a huge one, there were no issues with clearance or any cable management hassles. In fact while installing the system I almost forgot that I had to look for something to bother me or to address as a problem with the case’s construction of features. Fortunately such a problem was not found and overall I loved the time spent to install the hardware components inside…so that’s about 15 minutes, including the cable management. Right side panel closed with no obstruction and for the sake of more airflow I removed the HDD cage.
Here is the end result with the build and what an assembled PC looks like in NZXT Phatom 410:
||System ready for tests
I have to say I am quite impressed with the end result and that satisfaction is coming mostly from the well built chassis. NZXT has installed an LED fan at the top (140 mm) which glows in Blue and looks really well.
Very nice lighting effect and if you add more LED fans at the front or back the case will be definitely even more impressive than it already is. I wonder why NZXT decided to include only one LED fan, as the end result would have been quite beautiful.
Here are the result from the stress tests I conducted:
|Phantom 410 Idle @3.4GHz
||Phantom 410 Load @3.4GHz|
|Phantom 410 Load @3.9GHz
||Phantom 410 Load @4.3GHz|
I have to say I am quite pleased with the temperature readings, so now comes the time to write my conclusions and thoughts on the case.
NZXT Phantom 410 CONCLUSIONS
After I spent several hours disassembling, assembling, reviewing and later testing the case, I believe it is time to express my thoughts regarding the product.
1. NZXT Phantom 410 performance – So, I will be telling a big fat lie if I say something negative regarding the performance of the case. Equipped with 3 fans straight out of the box is something common nowadays, however that by itself cannot be a measure of a case’s performance level. In Phantom 410’s story those 3 fans are completely sufficient even if you push the hardware to high overclock to squeeze a bit more performance out of it. The case is well designed and very well put together so a water cooling radiator is almost a must to find its place inside. There isn’t a ton of space, however with some creativity a nice triple radiator water cooling setup could be possible here.
If you are a fan of super quiet air cooling setups, space is found in Phantom 410 to suit the needs of many. A dedicated fan controller is enough to power quite a few fans in a silent and well balanced workstation or gaming rig.
2. NZXT Phantom 410 appearance – One of the main things with which NZXT is popular among many users is the visual representation of their cases and products. Not just a copy of another manufacturer’s case, but a unique product in its own range and category. That is what NZXT is all about and keeps providing it till this day.
Phantom 410 is definitely a beautiful case, and the right word for it is indeed beautiful. It is not aggressive, it is not seamlessly designed or perfectly streamlined and symmetric, it’s just beautiful and appealing. High contrast color options and unobtrusive LED light win the appearance prize for Phantom 410.
2. NZXT Phantom 410 noise level – All of the test were conducted with all of the fans spinning at maximum RPM. While not being dead silent, the case delivers excellent noise level/performance balance. The good thing is that there are three settings on the fan controller, so users like me can turn the fans down to barely spinning and get dead silence in the room. Keeping the fans down doesn’t impact the cooling capabilities of this case and doesn’t bring any disturbing high temperatures. No noise dampening is present in this case, which would have really helped in terms of sound isolation, however I do not consider this as a minus.
Excellent job, NZXT!
I believe NZXT Phantom 410 deserves the following reward:
Official price (MSRP): NZXT Phantom 410 – $99
Warranty: 24 months
Special thanks to NZXT for providing us with a test sample.