NZXT PHANTOM 530 Review
Here at OC3D we often complain about manufacturers simply providing one big "Bag-o-screws", assuming that we have all the time in the world to go rooting through the thousands of screws (ok not thousands, but lots and lots) to find the ones we need. Not so with NZXT, they have had the presence of mind to realise that we value our time and that by separating all the screws into labelled (yes labelled) bags they make us feel all warm inside. Seeing that NZXT had also cross referenced the labels on the bags to the instructions brought us very close indeed to a mangasm. The instructions themselves are good and clear with a nice fold out exploded diagram inside the front leaf to help you understand how it all fits together.
Having discarded the instructions as they won't be needed, (cross referenced or otherwise, we are men after all) it's time to lob the PSU in. We still can't help but think how nice it would be to have a rubber grommet down here, have we mentioned that yet?
Untangling NZXTs loom of fan and I/O cables enables us to get a better idea of what goes where. Sure there's plenty of room back here, but that's no excuse for a shoddy job. With the mobo in we can see how perfectly the management holes fit alongside it.
We already know this case can take rads in the roof space, but if you feel you needed to have the fans up top and the rad under slung then you'll need to know that you've got 42mm between the roof and the edge of the mobo. The screw holes aren't greatly off set so that really is all the space you have, but still plenty of room for any AIO on the market as well as a good many of the sub 40mm rads such as those listed on the previous page. We've shown the case with a 34mm think XSPC rad, but it's entirely feasible to extend into the 5.25" bay area. provided you don't mind losing the top slot. We think you could also fit a sub 40mm thick 420 (140.3)under slung, but the case is not pre drilled for the last set of screw holes and again you will lose the top 5.25" bay.
With all the hardware in it's time to get things all neat and tidy round the back. So Where did all the wires go. I can assure you that everything you saw in images 4 and 5 of this page have been taken care of, thanks in no small part to the excellent distribution of management holes, no less than 25 cable tie points (we used 7) and a good 26mm of space to work in. As always, a decent sized trough at the base of the case allows for the stashing of unused lengths
Not to shoddy round the back and we're pretty pleased with the results up front. A perfectly placed 8pin CPU power cable hole allows us to bring the cable through at just the right point, whilst also allowing exit for the top fan and rear I/O LED cable
The 530 will accept CPU coolers up to 183mm in height which means there's very few if any on the market that won't fit in. It also means that our NZXT Havik 120 that we use for comparison looks totally lost in there
We've said through this review that the case will take a rad up to 43mm in the roof, in measuring the space we actually found the highpoint at the rear to be 60mm. The reason for the quoted 43mm is that the case top slopes towards the front and as such the low point measurement is the one that must be taken. As it also cuts in at the sides, especially towards the front we can see why with the 140mm based rads, only a 280 can be used. Fact is, if you're planning on using an AIO there's nothing that won't fit in here, and if you're into custom water then you have quite an extensive choice of rads.
Door off or door on, the 530 makes for a tidy and impressive sight.
We have to say we're so pleased that NZXT have decided to go with a large window and ditch that absurd peep hole that they previously thought qualified. The acrylic they have used is clear and almost has the impression of glass making for a quality feel. We're still not to sure about the fan mount at the bottom though, or why the main window extends to show us a glimpse of the 5.25" bays. Still a victory for case windows all round and a drop in the sales of dremmels as those who buy the phantom 530 no longer have to cut their own.