Phantoms little brotherWhen it comes to computer cases there are those manufacturers that tend to stay with the more common square tower and those that go for more of a theme to stand out from the crowd. While NZXT has several box style square edge cases they are better known for their stylized cases such as the Phantom. Playing off the success of the Phantom full tower case, NZXT has just released the little brother, the Phantom 410 mid-tower case.
Like its older sibling this case has similar lines and a combination of plastic and painted steel to form the shell. This is one of those cases you either love or feel is a bit too far out for your tastes which is okay as we like the diversity of options. NZXT has released this case in white, red, and black but as of this review we could only find the black and white versions for sale at $99.99 shipped from Newegg with free shipping to boot.
NZXT Phantom 410 - White $99.99 shipped
NZXT Phantom 410 - Black $99.99 shipped
NZXT Phantom 410 - Red $99.99 shipped
NZXT Phantom 410 Case Specifications:
- MODEL: Phantom 410
- CASE TYPE: Mid Tower
- MATERIAL: Plastic and Steel
- EXPANSION SLOTS: 7
- DIMENSIONS (W x H x D): 215 x 516 X 532 mm
- VGA Clearance: Maximum 305mm (w/o fan), 280mm (installed), 230mm (full pivot)
- WEIGHT: 9 kg (19.8 lb)
- MOTHERBOARD SUPPORT: ATX, MICRO-ATX, MINI-ITX
- WARRANTY: 2 Years
- FRONT, 2x120mm or 1 X 140mm (1x120mm included)
- REAR, 1 X 120mm (included)
- SIDE, 1 x 120mm or 1 x 140mm
- TOP, 2 X 120/140mm (1 x 140mm included)
- 3 EXTERNAL 5.25" DRIVE BAYS
- 6 INTERNAL 3.5" Slots
- Screwless Rail Design
- Clearance for top 240mm dual radiator for water cooling solutions
- Adjustable interior pivot 120mm/140mm fan slot for directional air flow
- Removable HDD cage to allow more room for extended video cards
- Innovative right mounted HDD rails for easy hard drive replacement
- Single 120mm/140mm side fan with acrylic window for interior viewing and cooling
- Front Internal 2x USB 3.0 headers, 2x USB 2.0, audio and microphone input
- 30W 3-step fan control for setting up your system for silence or performance
- Wire management support up to 25mm space for easy cable management
- Screw-less 5.25” and HDD trays that secures 2.5” SSD
- Cooling capability of up to eight fans (2x 120mm and 1x 140mm LED fan included)
Unboxing the NZXT Phantom 410The NZXT Phantom 410 showed up in a standard cardboard box that had the familiar bumps and dings from the rigors of shipping. I almost wonder sometimes if shipping companies know these are samples and make an extra effort to beat them up just to mess with the box photos.
The front of the box sports a nice angle shot of the case with no other relevant information.
The left side of the box has marketing text in several languages highlighting some of the features of the case.
On the back of the box is an image of the Phantom 410 with the side panel removed and the same marketing text from the side but in English.
The right side show which color of the Phantom 410 the box contains and covers some of the specifications.
Inside the box we find the NZTX Phantom 410 in white covered by a thin plastic bag and the standard heavy foam blocking on the top and bottom. Unlike rectangular cases the foam for this one is specific due to the odd angles and curves on the top of the case.
Outside of the Phantom 410The outside of the NZXT Phantom 410 is a mix of painted steel on the sides back and bottom with matching ABS plastic on the top and front. This allows NZXT to create this unique theme with the Cadillac like angles and the triangle air vents. The front of the case is clean with the offset front vent covering one of the included 120mm fans for intake air.
Behind the press to open front door are three 5.25" bays with pop out filler panels. The nice thing about the front door is it allows you to have black devices installed but not blemish the pure white front of the case.
Removing the front panel provides access to the front fan and might make installing 5.25" bay devices a bit easier.
Moving around to the left side there is a small clear window to show off your CPU and cooler of choice. Below that window is a ventilated panel with mounting holes for either a 120mm or 140mm optional fan if you want to drive more air over your GPU(s).
Continuing around back we find a fairly standard mid-tower lay out with dual water cooling ports, 120mm exhaust fan installed, 7 PCI slots with ventilated covers, and a bottom PSU mount. This case uses four thumb screws to hold the side panels on which are also seen above.
Like most cases the right side is just a solid panel that covers the back of the motherboard tray and bays.
Looking down on the top of the NZXT Phantom 410 we see the I/O panel and a 140mm installed fan. There is a second fan port to add another 120mm or 140mm fan. Unlike the original Phantom, this one has the fan ports partially blocked by the top causing some of the air to have to flow left out the vent port. Only really an issue with extreme thermal loads but it could cause some air noise depending on how fast you run your fans.
The top mounted I/O panel on the Phantom 410 includes the common headphone and mic jack along with a pair of USB 2.0 ports. Next to those ports, NZXT added two USB 3.0 ports and an integrated three speed fan controller switch. These last two are very nice additions we are starting to see a bit more of from manufactures focusing on gaming cases.
Back up on top we pulled the top plastic bezel off exposing the dual 140mm fan ports. There is enough room up top to mount a pair of 25mm thick 120mm fans if you wanted to mount a 240mm radiator in the top of the case. However if you try to mount 140mm fans that are 25mm thick or more between the top of the case and the plastic bezel they will not fit because there are several screws holding on the top mesh in the way.
Flipping the case over to see the bottom reveals a filtered port PSU fan intake along with another 120 / 140mm optional fan mount point. Also notice the six rubber feet on rails that provide 3/4" of airspace for these intakes. Like most cases with bottom intakes make sure if you place them on carpet there is sufficient airflow.
Inside the Phantom 410After unscrewing the thumb screws holding the side panels on the NZXT Phantom 410 we get a better look inside this mid-tower. Like most cases in this price range the panels are thin steel that simply has some metal tabs holding all the edges together.
Looking inside the left side we find a nicely painted interior that matches the exterior with contrasting black accents. Above the motherboard mounting area you can see the edge of the 25mm deep 140mm top mounted fan. This gives you an idea of the room above the motherboard and something to consider if you are planning to try water cooling this case. The motherboard tray comes with screw patterns for ATX, MICRO-ATX, and MINI-ITX boards. Notice the blue USB 3.0 cable from the top ports. Be aware that if your motherboard does not support the newer 20 pin USB 3.0 header you will not be able to use those two USB 3.0 ports. The CPU cut out provides ample space to mount your cooling solution after mounting the motherboard and there is room for six drives of either HDD or SSD variety in the hard drive cage area.
To accommodate the longest of video cards on the market today, the NZXT Phantom 410 allows you to remove the top HDD cage leaving you with two fixed drive bays.
Another option on this cage is a 120 / 140mm optional fan mount that is able to tilt up at about 45 degrees to point right at the CPU cooler. Obviously this would intrude into the top GPU slot and would limit the length of the video card you could use but it is an interesting feature.
Focusing on the 5.25" bays the first thing you notice is NZTX's version of a tool free design brackets. You slide the little bar back to unlock and then press on the rubbery corrugated part to pop the head back exposing the dual pins.
On the back side of the case there are several zip tie mount points to help with cable management and both grommet and grommet less cable pass through ports. This is also the side you access the hard drive trays from which is the opposite of most cases.
The drive trays have rubber mounts with silver pins to hold in standard hard drives and they have screw holes to bottom mount SSD drives. The pins can be removed when mounting an SSD so they don't press up against the case and the SSD shell.
Putting the gear into the boxLike most mid tower cases, the NZXT Phantom 410 was a little tight but had plenty of room for that gear that most people would be putting in a PC.
The HDD trays and tool free design of the 5.25" bays made installing components a breeze just make sure you remove the silver studs from the HDD trays if you install a SSD or they won't slide into the rails. The 5.25" tool free mounts are some of the best we have seen and firmly hold the device in the 5.25" bay. We do however have one complaint with the type of rubber grommets NZXT choose to use in the Phantom 410. They are very soft rubber and popped out every time we ran any cable through them.
One issue we had was how to get the ATX power cable run without going across the front of the motherboard since NZXT did not provide any real port at the top of the Phantom 410. We were able to just squeeze the connector through the back corner where that top 140mm fan had its cable run. This was not easy and resulted in a few smacked knuckles but it looks much nicer.
We did not take the time to do cable management but you can see we were able to keep all the wires behind the motherboard tray and could have used those zip tie mounts to clean them up. Also notice we once again had to use an extender for the ATX cable and that little corner we pushed it through.
Finally we wanted to show that we would have been able to keep the cabling nice and neat with 7/8" of room between the rear of the motherboard tray and the panel.
Final build gives you a nice look with our hyper 212+ showing through the window. The all white presents a clean appearance that is sure to make a statement.
NZXT Phantom 410 ConclusionThe NZXT Phantom 410 pays homage to its big brother in a smaller package sporting similar lines and angle theme. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and these styling features tend to divide people into a love it or hate it camps.
We liked several of the included upgrades such as top mounted USB 3.0 ports and the integrated fan controller. The tool free 5.25" bay brackets are some of the best we have encountered and did not make us add a screw to actually hold the drive in place. Finally the cooling options were plentiful for a mid-tower design with several included quiet fans and the space to add a 240mm water cooling solution.
While NZXT made a fine case in the $100 price range there are a few things we think could be improved in the Phantom 410. First, we liked the look of the grommets to keep the inside clean but they are so soft they pop out with very little pressure and are very difficult to work with. Next we would have liked a better access port at the top back corner of the case to pass our ATX power line through without busting our knuckles.
A two year warranty and a list price of $99.99 shipped from Newegg make this a very approachable case but we have reviewed several mid-tower cases recently, such the BitFenix Outlaw or the BitFenxi Shinobi, that are $20 - $50 lower in price. Some of the Fractal cases also provide USB 3.0, fan controllers, and multiple cooling options. We liked the Corsair 500R in white a little better than this case but it runs $30.00 more. This makes your purchasing decision based on a visual love of this case rather than feature set.
Legit Bottom Line: A great follow up to the NZXT Phantom full-tower for people looking to get the same look in a mid-tower form factor. However, the price point is slightly above competitors with similar feature sets and build quality.