My personal desktop consists of an Intel Core i7 3960X, 32 GB Ram, and 3 NVidia GTX 680 in Triple SLI. As you might be able to imagine, it produces a ton of heat. It was originally built inside a beautiful red Phantom case but eventually I wanted to add another GTX 680 for quad SLI and so I needed another case with 8 expansion card slots. Not only that, but I was going to be hitting a cooling limit with the Phantom, there was now a rats nest of wires bumping into the immovable hard drive rack, and the bright red case grew less appealing over time.
I moved the parts over into a Phantom 530 in a Stormtrooper-esque white. The first thing I noticed was the modular drive rack system. What a great idea. I only have a 480 GB SSD and a 2 TB drive in my computer and there’s no need to block airflow with a rack capable of holding four times as many drives as I need. With a few thumbscrew twists I cut down the rack space to 2. Another thing I noticed: The Phantom 530 drive rails can hold 2.5″ drives too! Gone are the shoddy adapters that often come with SSDs. Additionally, the cable passages are significantly wider. There is I/O port lighting. 8 expansion card slots! A 2.5″ drive mounting point on the rear of the motherboard tray. A built in fan hub. What haven’t they thought of?
As for cooling, there are spaces for 3 200mm fans. You can stick an enormous 360mm radiator up top. If you wanted, you could cool your CPU with a Kraken X60 and three GPUs with Kraken X40s. And with the new NZXT G10 system, why wouldn’t you?
All-in-all, the thermals of my CPU under load went down 3 degrees C and my top GTX 680 temperature fell by 2 degrees C. The NZXT Phantom 530 met all of my needs: A sleek, updated look to the iconic Phantom design, even better cooling potential than the original, incredible customizability with cable routing and drive cage placement, and a very reasonable price. If you are looking for a sleek full tower case, it’s hard to recommend anything over the Phantom 530.