NZXT recently sent us their NZXT Phantom 410 case. It is a mid-sized version of their famous and coveted Phantom chassis that features two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, and dual audio jacks (headphone and mic) on top. If this wasn’t enough, the designers at NZXT put a fan speed control slider next to the ports on top that supports up to 30 W, which can be wired to several fans. The case also has a side panel window with a grill to fit an optional 120mm or 140mm fan for graphics cooling. The case is made of a steel frame with plastic accents for front and top sides of the case.
Right off the bat the top and front panels are completely removable. This allows easy access to the front fan for cleaning and installation. The case does have a door, and it is the push-pin style, which opens to show the three 5.25” external drive bays. One feature I really like as well is that the Power and Restart buttons are on top rather than in front, and the Power button can be differentiated not only by size and shape, but by touch. It has a ridge on it that provides tactile identification for all those late night gaming sessions in the dark, but enough about the outside of the case.
One look inside the case brings the word “simplicity” to mind. Almost all components inside the case are “tool-less”. The external drives slide into the bays and are held in place by clamps. Below that are the six internal 3.5” slots. However, four of the six slots are part of their own cage which is removable from the case. Inside this cage are four clips on rails for hard drives that can be slid in and out. This way you can remove the cage, slide in your HDDs, and slide the chassis back in. This makes setup a breeze. The cage is also placed in a spot in line with the video card slots on the opposite side, so if you plan to implement the video card behemoths that are extra long, you can simply remove the hard drive chassis to accompany this.
Both the external and internal bays require no tools, and all screws in this case are thumb screws which pays tribute to the tool-less design. Next to where the motherboard is placed are two rubber grommets that allows for wire organization. The spacing between the side panel behind the motherboard and the mount itself is wide enough to thread all wires through the grommets from back to front to reduce clutter. After spending a little time to thread everything, almost all wires are hidden from view when looking into the case.
We also really liked that NZXT maintained their expected attention to detail and still kept all of the different screws individually packaged and labeled. They also retained the rubber grommets that they had in the full-size phantom. When it comes to most mid-tower cases, many manufacturers strip a lot of features normally found in the full-tower cases. We’re very happy to see that NZXT kept many of the same features as the full-tower Phantom and even added a few due to certain issues that could arise in a mid-tower case.
Finally, the power supply is mounted on the bottom of the case instead of the top. To facilitate this, there are exhaust meshes behind the power supply mount and also beneath it, that lead to an airway underneath the case with vents under the power supply and a one next to it which has a fan slot (no fan included). A removable screen is placed on the vent underneath the power supply which can be cleaned. This was one of the best features for me personally as I have an Australian Shepherd who creates his own dog hair hurricanes. I often clean out my case and fans not for just dust but also to remove dog hair that finds its way in. Since switching to the Phantom 410 I have had no issues with dog hair. Most of the roaming hair is caught by the “lint screen” underneath which I simply remove and clean without worrying about my hardware being affected. With exhaust below, above, behind, and in front this case gives breezy a new meaning. To top this off, it supports water cooling just in case (pun intended).
Also, by switching to this case from the old case the system ran significantly cooler and quieter as a result of less hair clogging up the fans and the system having overall better cooling potential. There is no doubt that a simple case upgrade like this could prolong the age of your build by simply allowing for cooler operation.
Overall we were both thoroughly impressed with the changes NZXT have implemented. The Phantom 410 has a sleek look and an abundance of features without going overboard. The NZXT Phantom 410 is without a doubt our favorite mid-tower case to build in and comes within a very affordable price range at $99. Admittedly, at $99 this isn’t a cheap mid-tower, but when you consider all of the features it has and the looks and ease of build, it is hard to deny the value. Currently, this case sells in four different colors with three additional trim models on newegg.
Considering all of the features of the Phantom 410 and the overall quality of the case, we cannot help but give the Phantom 410 our Editor’s Choice Award for Mainstream by simply being the best mid-tower case that we’ve ever used.
This review was completed through a collaboration between Rory Newbrough and Anshel Sag
Original Author: Anshel Sag
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