Today we’ll be reviewing the Phantom 410 Gunmetal by NZXT – a new Special Edition colorway for the popular mid-tower ATX chassis.
Since we have yet to review the Phantom 410, we’ll be taking a very close look at it, including installation, ease of use, and some of the features of the case.
As you can see, the Phantom 410 Gunmetal is distinctly styled by Johnny Hou at NZXT’s Headquarters in Los Angeles California. While the style is way ‘out there’ you certainly won’t be mistaking this for a cheap knockoff. That doesn’t mean the price is out of reach though! The Phantom 410 is available in Gunmetal and several other colorways for just $99 at Newegg.com. As you’ll soon see, this is a very good price for what you get. What you don’t get is a power supply, of course. That is something you will want to choose specifically to meet your needs.
For $100, you aren’t going to get an aluminum chassis of course, so the Phantom 410 Gunmetal is constructed of steel and plastic. The steel is fully painted with the gunmetal color inside and out, to create a very high end look. You will not find a single sharp edge in this chassis whatsoever, by the way.
While the Phantom 410 Gunmetal is manufactured in Shenzhen, China, NZXT holds their manufacturers to a high standard, so everything fits together very well. It would be a lie to say that the fit and finish is identical to what you’d see in a high end product from Korea or Japan (some pieces may ‘jiggle’ a bit, particularly the way the window is mounted with pressed metal tabs, and some of the mounting components such as the drive bay adapters feel somewhat ‘flimsy’), but it is definitely up to Taiwanese standards at least, and for the price you can’t complain.
We’ll get started with a tour of the entire case, then install a system in it before drawing any conclusions.
First thing of note is how many fan mounting positions NZXT included in the design – There is room for up to nine 120mm fans throughout the chassis. If you want, you can use 140mm fans in some of the positions instead, in which case you’d have room for eight fans total. The Phantom 410 Gunmetal includes three fans in its stock form – a 120mm front intake, a 140mm intake at the top (with an LED light built in), and a 120mm exhaust fan in the back.
One cool thing to note about the included fans is that they are all clearly visible when you look at the case. This seems to have been a deliberate design choice by Johnny at NZXT, and it was a good one in my opinion. Combined with the use of white fans (and a white LED in the top fan) the effect is really cool and ‘expensive’ looking, even on a $99 case. Unfortunately this means that none of the fans are filtered, and will require you to run a vacuum over them regularly to maintain a clean look, and keep dust off the system components. This is especially critical if you keep your case sitting on a hard floor. It also means airflow is less restricted, so it’s a give-and-take scenario. Overall I think it was worth it just for the looks.
All three of the included fans – in addition to three more you can add and connect via the included headers – are controlled by the three speed switch you see at the top right of the picture above. Below that are a pair of USB 3.0 ports, a pair of USB 2.0 ports, and a headphone and mic port. On the right side are the power and reset buttons (I actually found the power button somewhat difficult to press, although I rarely ever use that button) and the power and HDD LED.
Moving to the backside of the Phantom 410 Gunmetal, you can see that this is a bottom-PSU mounted case, which is all the rage these days. This is a good thing, since it has two beneficial effects to do with heat. First of all, by giving the PSU its own intake and exhaust, it keeps any heat generated away from the other component. And likewise, it doesn’t allow other components to heat up the PSU, causing it to lose efficiency. You can also see rubber grommeted ports for external cooling installations, and you may also note that the Phantom 410 Gunmetal is quite wide – 215mm to be exact. We’ll get to why this is important later (and it is very important!)
Now that we’re fairly acquainted with what the Phantom 410 Gunmetal has to offer, let’s install a system in it and see how it looks after!