NZXT Phantom 410 Gunmetal Installation
The Phentom 410 Gunmetal comes with the following accessories, which will suit all installation needs:
All the different types of screws are labeled in the manual, so you will not have to worry about using the wrong ones. One interesting feature is the wrench adapter that came with the standoffs – this allows you to tighten the standoffs sufficiently even without a screwdriver. I’m sure we’ve all experienced the annoyance of having a standoff come out with a motherboard during uninstallation!
The manual is more of a reference guide than a step-by-step instruction manual, so I feel bad for anyone who has to rely on it while setting up a system for the first time. If there’s one thing NZXT can improve upon, it’s writing a clear and concise manual – some of the pictures are so small, it’s hard to tell what exactly is going on. I’m sure most of NZXT’s clients, like our readership, are quite well versed in system installations, but not everyone is, and I wouldn’t blame them for being confused by the guide included with the Phantom 410 Gunmetal.
The 5.25″ drive bays are “semi tool free” in that one side features these plastic mechanisms that plug into the drive’s mounting holes. On the other side of the drive, you can use the supplied screws to make sure the drives are installed tightly and rattle-free.
Most of the 3.5″ bays are contained within this removable drive pod. You may also notice that there is a 120/140mm fan installation area on this pod. If you have the room to spare after installing a video card (super long video cards will get in the way of a fan), you can use this to maximize cooling performance. The mount can be pivoted upwards as well, which can direct airflow over the memory/CPU/vrm, and make room for some long video cards.
The 3.5″ drive rails are tool-free when using a mechanical hard drive, but if you want to install an SSD, you will need to remove two of the plugs, and use screws from the bottom of the rail. This isn’t exactly the easiest installation method, but since we are in somewhat of a transitional phase where SSD’s are just becoming common, I’ll give NZXT a pass here. Even if it’s not the easiest method, at least they support native SSD installation to begin with!
This is what my installation looked like before adding the power supply. The motherboard being used is the Gigabyte Z68XP-UD4, which in my opinion is one of the most beautiful motherboards ever made, and fits the Phantom 410 Gunmetal colorway perfectly. You can’t see them, but the memory modules also match perfectly – they are the Kingston HyperX Genesis gunmetal kit we reviewed when looking for the best memory for Sandy Bridge. They are unfortunately blocked by the Noctua NH-L12 which we are in the process of testing right now – look for a review soon! Even the MSI video card fits in perfectly here! It’s clear that Gunmetal was absolutely the right color choice for NZXT’s special edition Phantom 410.
And here’s the Phantom 410 Gunmetal fully installed. Unfortunately the only power supply I had available was a non-modular PSU from Thermaltake, with an unfortunately short 8-pin EPS cable. Some higher end cases will include an extension cable, but the $99 Phantom 410 does not. Aside from that though, the installation looks quite clean by my admittedly unrefined standards. The cutouts in the motherboard tray are large and well-placed, including the one that sits behind the CPU area itself, which accommodates heatsink bracket installation without removing the motherboard.
Since there was so much room behind the motherboard installation plate, it was very easy to simply jam all the cables back there, under the other door. This is in stark contrast to the Fractal Design Define R3, which had barely any room back there to fit extra cables.