NZXT PHANTOM 530 Review
Up Close: Interior Overview and Drive Bays
In addition to the small MicroATX and ITX boards that would look quite frankly ridiculous in this case, the 530 is also able to accept ATX as you would expect, but also the larger EATX. Unlike it's larger brother the 630, you're not going to be able to get an XL-ATX in here though, still, we can't have everything. There's a generous parallelogram of a CPU cut out, making cooler changing so much easier. On the subject of coolers, if you're still into air then you'll be delighted to know that the 530 will take anything up to 183mm in height. There are also four well spaced rubber grommeted cable management holes. NZXT have used the same high quality grommets for this case as they have dome in their more expensive cases and we have to say these are some of the finest quality groments we've ever come across, and not only that being of "soft touch" rubber they feel very naughty to boot. We must however level the same criticism at the 530 as we did at the 630. Why did they not add a grommet to the PSU exit cut ou? The largest and busiest of them all, and surely the most deserving of some form of masking.
We know from out trip around the exterior that we have 3 x 5.25" bays. A few years back it would have seemed ridiculous for a case this size or even smaller to have this few bays, but with the death knell of the optical drive ringing ever louder in our ears we have less and less need for this space, allowing more of it to be given over to storage. The three bays we do have though are well constructed and open, sporting NZXTs buckle down style all metal tool-less fitting method.
Turning now to the 3.5" storage area it's pleasing to see that NZXT have stiffened up their usual HDD caddies, with the newer version appearing much sturdier and resilient and able to accept either 2.5" or 3.5" drive. The storage area itself is split into 3 sections containing 3, 2 or 1 drive respectively. The cages themselves attach to rails at either the top or the bottom and are secured in place from the rear are by means of rather a lot of thumb screws.
As you might imagine this leaves us with quite a few permutations of position (24 by our reckoning but do feel free to correct our maths, it never was a strong point). We've tried to show a few of them below but have first shown the case first with all the bays removed, allowing a better view of the 200mm fan that sits exterior to the metal chassis. The removal of the lower plate inside the case by means of a few screws enables a 240mm rad to be fitted internally in this position. The total space for the rad and fans being determined now only by the distance to the cable management holes and grommets, so pretty much anything you care to lob in there, even the 86mm deep brick like Alphacool NexXxos Monsta shouldn't be a problem. We're not saying you should, we're just saying you could.
Unlike the 630 which has a stand-off rail posterior to the main base HDD rail enabling the drives to be moved back into the case, the 530 does not. so essentially if you want to put a rad in the front, you're going to have to lose all the drive bays. Still, it's nice to have a choice.
Like we say, "you gots choices". I dare anyone to say the storage options don't meet their requirements. As you might imagine, the HDD configuration greatly affects the max GPU length. With all drives in place and a fan in the interior 120mm fan position the max card length is 282mm. This rises to 310mm if you remove the pivot fan location, and maxes out at 444mm with no cages in the way.
And as the underside of the 5.25" bay is also grooved you can hang them from underneath also!