Building a Gaming / Performance PC
Author: Shawn Knight
Editor: Zahn Funk
Date: 12-20-2010
Provided by: Acoustic PC
NZXT Phantom

As was the case with our HTPC build, one of the most important decisions when building a system is the chassis. After all, it's what you have to look at every day and if you aren't happy with your choice, it can be a real downer, regardless of the hardware within.

For our performance build, we selected NZXT's new Phantom chassis, part of their Crafted Series of cases. The Phantom is a full tower case that follows NZXT's traditional philosophy: extreme angles and unique design elements. Available in three distinct colors, the Phantom features an ample amount of cooling options, plenty of internal storage and an integrated fan controller, just to name a few.

We selected the red Phantom but it is also available in black and white, each with matching painted interiors. The front bezel of the Phantom is plastic with a door hiding five 5.25” drive bays. The door feels solid and is held shut with a magnet. Each bay cover is easily removable via a small button on the right side. Below the door is a ventilation slot should you elect to install a 120mm intake fan (not included).

The left side panel features two black grills, each capable of holding cooling fans. The bottom vent comes pre-installed with dual 120mm fans, each with their own removable dust filter. Additionally, there are provisions for a 200/230mm cooling fan although one is not included.

On the back of the case is the standard I/O cutout and seven expansion slots. A 120mm exhaust fan is included as well as four rubber grommeted holes to accommodate water cooling tubing. The power supply for the Phantom mounts in the bottom of the chassis.

Each side panel is held in place with three black thumbscrews. The top and bottom screws are standard thumbscrews. The middle thumbscrew is spring-loaded and doesn't have to be fully unscrewed to slide the panel off. This is pretty convenient if you are in and out of your system often.

Finally there is a small black button in the top corner that turns the LEDs in the top fan on or off.

More just ahead.

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