Meet NZXT's Phantom 820 Case
Surely you've run across this conundrum before: you know how much you're willing to spend on a new case, you have some idea of what you want it to look like, and you have a rough idea of the hardware you'll be putting inside. And yet, you still don't know which chassis to choose.
This is partly because there are so many PC cases for sale. It doesn't help that many of them are very similar, too. Oftentimes, all that distinguishes one from the next are a few small details and slightly modified aesthetics. That's why we like to approach chassis coverage in a round-up format, allowing us to to compare competing models side by side, making the differences as apparent as possible.
Overall, there aren't many actual case manufacturers, and most of them use the same factories in Asia for production. As a result, any time we see the announcement of a brand new, revolutionary enclosure, we're apprehensive, to say the least. Through no fault of its own, then, NZXT's Phantom 820 was received with a bit of skepticism. Nevertheless, we dusted off a pile of high-end hardware that'd make the chassis sweat and put it through its paces.
The Phantom 820 looks a lot like some of NZXT's other PC cases, leaving us to wonder whether the company extended a mid-tower design or re-worked the insides from the ground up. Whatever it did, for $250, we're expecting it to impress us.
We want to point out that this review went live on Tom's Hardware DE in time for NZXT's launch back in October. Because we received our sample in advance of that introduction, we were fairly sure it was a pre-production unit. Although we were unable to get confirmation in time for the German review, we did confirm with NZXT that, indeed, the Phantom 820 we originally reviewed was just slightly different from the shipping version.
As you read through this story, there are certain aspects of the case we mention because they're truly representative of the review sample we have in the lab. However, we're also updating with feedback from NZXT regarding the parts that were purportedly improved before the Phantom 820 became publicly available.