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NZXT Phantom 630 review

NZXT Phantom 630 Review

Manufacturer: NZXT
UK Price (as reviewed): £155.56 (inc VAT)
US Price (as reviewed): Currently unavailable

The last Phantom case we looked at from NZXT, the £200 Phantom 820, won itself a Premium Grade award thanks to an outstanding range of sensibly implemented features and an excellent design. As will be shown, the new addition to the range, the Phantom 630, has had a few cutbacks, but this is understandable with it costing almost £50 less. The question is whether NZXT has been able to keep as many of the benefits as possible from the 820 while cutting the cost.

Externally, little has changed, with NZXT sticking to the same angled wedge design as before. It's a little tiresome, but at the same time it does have an iconic and recognisable look, and at least keeps the Phantom branding consistent. It's still a very large case, with the width being the thing that first struck us. It's actually 10mm wider than the Phantom 820, so unless you're planning to mount Big Ben to your CPU, your tower cooler should have no trouble fitting inside. Otherwise, it's 12mm smaller in terms of depth, and 23mm shorter too, although small and short would be poor choices of words when describing the Phantom 630.

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Click to enlarge

It may not be constructed of aluminium, but we immediately recognised the quality of both the steel and plastic used as we were handling it, especially after all the numerous budget chassis we've had our hands on these past few weeks. We're not quite ready to proclaim from the rooftops that grey is the new black, but the gunmetal finish of our sample certainly holds an appeal.

The front of the case has a door covering the top half, and we like that NZXT has stuck with using magnets to hold it shut. It covers the four optical drive bays and, above these, a single SD card reader, which is always nice to see. Gone are the controls for the HUE lighting, however, which is probably a good thing given that the HUE lighting has also been given the axe. While it did produce a cool effect in the 820, it makes sense for this to be missing in the lower priced chassis. The lower meshed section has a removable dust filter behind it, and covers the 200mm front intake fan.

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Click to enlarge - The Phantom 630 comes with pull out dust filters at the front and rear

The two side panels are flat, and the right one is devoid of features. Meanwhile, the main panel sports a window for showing off your rig, as well as a single lower meshed section which covers the 200mm fan mount. As standard, this mount is filled with an intake fan as well as a 200mm screw on dust filter. In fact, the case can house anywhere up to ten fans, and four are supplied by default.

Round back, you'll find the nine expansion slots as well as a 140mm exhaust fan, the mount for which has a slight twist. As seen before, elongated mounting holes allow you to align your fan so as to better match the airflow from your CPU cooler. Interestingly, there are no holes for external water-coolers, although we have to admit we can't see many people bemoaning their omission.

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Click to enlarge

The case's huge rubber lined feet keep it very sturdy, and both the PSU and two lower fan mounts are protected by separate pull-out dust filters. The longer front one of these, however, can be very difficult to properly secure as the rails which guide it into place are too far back and obviously impossible to actually see without tilting the case on its side. The fight against dust is also continued in the roof, where two 200mm filters cover all the upper fan mounts.

The roof is also where you'll find the I/O ports and case controls, with the left section housing the audio jacks and a pair each of USB 3 and USB 2 ports. The power and reset buttons are to the right, and have a nice resistance, and next to these is the fan control and a button to toggle a nifty white LED above your rear I/O panel. The 30W fan controller is simpler than before, having just a single channel and three speeds, but it can still power and control up to ten fans. The slider is a bit naff, but it's simpler to use than before and the speed indicating LEDs are far clearer too.

Specifications

  • Dimensions (mm) 245 x 600 x 627 (W x D x H)
  • Material Steel, plastic
  • Available colours White, Black, Gun Metal (reviewed)
  • Weight 12.3kg
  • Front panel Power, reset, 2 x USB 3, 2 x USB 2, stereo, microphone, SD reader (behind door)
  • Drive bays 4 x external 5.25in, 6 x internal 3.5in/2.5in, 2 x internal 2.5in
  • Form factor(s) XL-ATX, ATX, micro-ATX
  • Cooling 1 x 200mm or 2 x 140mm/120mm front fan mount(s) (1 x 200mm fan supplied), 1 x 140/120mm rear fan mount (1 x 140mm fan supplied) 2 x 200mm/140mm or 3 x 120mm roof fan mounts (1 x 200mm fan supplied), 1 x 200mm side fan mount (fan supplied), 2 x 140mm/120mm bottom fan mounts, 1 x 140mm/120mm internal HDD fan mount (fans not supplied)
  • CPU cooler clearance 170mm (200mm without side fan)
  • Maximum graphics card length 325mm (507mm without drive cage)
  • Extras Removable dust filters, fan control, rear I/O LED, SD card reader