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Building With The NZXT Phantom 410

Five Gaming Cases Between $80 And $120, Reviewed
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NZXT designed its Phantom 410 with a removable hard drive cage, expanding the case’s normal 11.8” card space to 16.8” in the top five slots. Builders lose four internal bays as a compromise.

With both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 headers in the mix, NZXT cleans up visible cable clutter by paring back the front-panel audio connector to HD Audio-only. A second bunch of cables connect four of the front-panel fan controller’s six leads to optional fans, while the other two leads are factory-connected to included fans.

NZXT was kind enough to separate all of the Phantom 410’s installation hardware into separate bags.

Hard drives are removed from the reverse (right) side of the Phantom 410.

The Phantom 410 offsets 2.5” drives to one side of the tray. That'd be a necessary concession if the case had backplanes. It doesn't, though. Nevertheless, you still have to take a few seconds to remove the corresponding 3.5” mounting pins from their keyholes prior to screwing the smaller drive in place.

A sliding latch unlocks the 5.25” bays; pulling the latch releases its pins. The Phantom 410 secures external drives on only one side.

An internal fan bracket reduces top-slot card clearance to 10.8”, blocking access to the SATA connectors of our slightly-oversized motherboard. The bracket can be pivoted or removed.

Although removing the fan bracket may have helped our SATA cables fit, the extra width of our motherboard blocked access to needed cable entry holes. We removed the center drive cage to make room for cables to pass through, and didn’t bother to replace the lower cable hole’s grommet when we found that merely bumping it caused it to fall out again.

All cables holes have rolled edges, making the grommets superfluous anyway.

While this editor prefers cases without drive doors, it’s difficult to argue against the look NZXT achieved with the front of its Phantom 410. The upper part of the finished system looks brighter than normal for a different reason…

A multi-colored LED fan adds a little visual excitement, brightens up the look of our installed components, and is lit softly enough to prevent annoying distraction. The lighting can’t be disabled, but turning down the fan speed makes it appear dimmer.

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Top Comments
  • 13 Hide
    TekN9Ne , May 25, 2012 4:53 AM
    The Phantom with the Gunmetal looks smooth.
Other Comments
  • 13 Hide
    TekN9Ne , May 25, 2012 4:53 AM
    The Phantom with the Gunmetal looks smooth.
  • 5 Hide
    hellfire24 , May 25, 2012 4:53 AM
    my vote goes to phantom!
    BTW,i recently saw Antec 1100 and it's a very good case.for 100 bucks,it's best in it's class-
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129178&Tpk=antec%201100
  • 9 Hide
    Ohmybad , May 25, 2012 4:58 AM
    I love the hell out of my 300R! i didn't want a show piece, Stylish and plain is fine with me!
  • 1 Hide
    sirencall , May 25, 2012 5:34 AM
    I almost got the Phantom case but I got the Raidmax Storm case instead....about the price range for this review but has some unique features like the motherboard is attached to a panel that hinges out so you can work on it very easily.
  • 0 Hide
    anxiousinfusion , May 25, 2012 5:40 AM
    I'm contemplating getting the 300r. It would be a big cooling boost over my Silverstone Sugo SG-03. I'm an idiot for trying to stuff a rig into that thing.
  • 2 Hide
    sirencall , May 25, 2012 5:45 AM
    anxiousinfusionI'm contemplating getting the 300r. It would be a big cooling boost over my Silverstone Sugo SG-03. I'm an idiot for trying to stuff a rig into that thing.

    CHeck out the Raidmax Blackstorm....you may find it a very pleasant choice, with good reviews and easy on the price.....and there is plenty of space lol
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , May 25, 2012 6:37 AM
    MSI Stealth now has a $20 MIR bringing it down to same price as the other cases
  • 5 Hide
    Crashman , May 25, 2012 7:10 AM
    sirencallI almost got the Phantom case but I got the Raidmax Storm case instead....about the price range for this review but has some unique features like the motherboard is attached to a panel that hinges out so you can work on it very easily.
    Hey guys, just remember this is the first Five of Fifteen. Your favorite brand could appear in a later part of this series!
  • -7 Hide
    amuffin , May 25, 2012 8:38 AM
    300R=OVERPRICED

    Better cases:
    NZXT Tempest 410
    Antec 300
    CM 690 II advanced
    Cooler Master Storm Enforcer

  • 0 Hide
    ojas , May 25, 2012 8:52 AM
    I wish you guys could review the HAF 912 Advanced ...but that's Asia only...
  • 3 Hide
    s3anister , May 25, 2012 10:16 AM
    Maybe it's time to buy a new case. I am still using my Antec Sonata II, after all...

    Can't wait to see what other cases Tom's has in store.
  • 2 Hide
    old mann , May 25, 2012 11:23 AM
    No top exhaust fan, no buy. Makes NZXT the best. I have to be honest I always use more expensive cases from Antec or Cooler Master.
  • 3 Hide
    roadrunner343 , May 25, 2012 12:04 PM
    Crashman,

    Since this is just the first 5 of 15, could the last article do a recap of all 15? That would make for an awesome article, and allow us to easily compare all the cases.
  • 5 Hide
    87ninefiveone , May 25, 2012 12:08 PM
    amuffin300R=OVERPRICEDBetter cases:NZXT Tempest 410Antec 300CM 690 II advancedCooler Master Storm Enforcer


    What??? It's overpriced at $70? Really? Did you read the article or do you just hate Corsair?
  • -6 Hide
    ct1615 , May 25, 2012 12:18 PM
    case A fits two 120mm fans up front & up top and one 120mm rear (like every other recently released case out there)

    case B fits two 120mm fans up front & up top and one 120mm rear

    case A comes with three fans yet case B comes with two so lets rate case A as good for internal temps and case B as poor.

    rating temps for a case is pointless. focus more on build quality and the cases ability to prevent dust-balls. a case with two fans has poor internal temps...oh wait i have two fans lying around the house...now the case has four fans and temps are so much better...
  • 6 Hide
    Crashman , May 25, 2012 12:41 PM
    ct1615case A fits two 120mm fans up front & up top and one 120mm rear (like every other recently released case out there)case B fits two 120mm fans up front & up top and one 120mm rearcase A comes with three fans yet case B comes with two so lets rate case A as good for internal temps and case B as poor.rating temps for a case is pointless. focus more on build quality and the cases ability to prevent dust-balls. a case with two fans has poor internal temps...oh wait i have two fans lying around the house...now the case has four fans and temps are so much better...
    1. More fans means more noise
    2. Noise is compared to heat
    3. The noise-to-heat comparison is given more consideration than either the noise or the heat
    4. Adding your own fans alters the price, so this is the only fair way to do a value analysis.
    5. It appears you don't care about performance-to-price. That's fine, the last two paragraphs are specifically what you asked for.

    So, what's the complaint?
  • 2 Hide
    Onus , May 25, 2012 12:41 PM
    I'd still choose the Xigmatek. That drive dock is a great feature; for convenience, space, and cable clutter it beats heck out of using a separate external enclosure. To expand on what ct1615 said, cooling and noise are both adjustable. With a single graphics card and a modest CPU overclock, the Xigmatek will remain cool and quiet even if another [low speed] top fan is added.
  • 1 Hide
    greenrider02 , May 25, 2012 12:50 PM
    I solve the oversized motherboard issue with half the cases in this round-up by only even considering the 12"x9.6" standard. If they can't fit those dimensions, they're cutting corners, IMO.
  • 3 Hide
    ct1615 , May 25, 2012 1:13 PM
    Crashman1. More fans means more noise2. Noise is compared to heat3. The noise-to-heat comparison is given more consideration than either the noise or the heat4. Adding your own fans alters the price, so this is the only fair way to do a value analysis.5. It appears you don't care about performance-to-price. That's fine, the last two paragraphs are specifically what you asked for.So, what's the complaint?

    1. i can stick 10 fans at 10db (scythe 800rpm) in a case or 1 one fan at 35db (scythe 3000 rpm), which makes more noise?
    2. noise is not compared to heat, see above example. one fan even at high speeds will not show better airflow then ten at slower speed.
    3. your test, your considerations.
    4. adding air filters to a case to stop dust bunnies also adds to the price.
    5. performance to price in a case is more theory then fact. some people prefer a case with sturdy sides, fewer fan ports for noise to escape, and filters. some want to stick a fan in every whole imaginable so they can attempt to create an internal tornado. some despise a metallic interior, LED fans, molex fan connectors, etc.,.

    My complaint is, each case has it's pros and cons. what am I giving up going from once case to another?
  • 4 Hide
    ct1615 , May 25, 2012 1:15 PM
    *hole not whole. can't edit
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