NZXT Phantom 820 Review

NZXT Phantom 820 Video Review

  NZXT Phantom 820 Review  


Introduction

Here we are again with another Phantom release, it bring back memories of the original Phantom and even a crazy weekend at i40 when we did the first official public airing of that original phantom and even gave two lucky people a complete system rebuild live at the show before the cases had even made it to the retailers! Anyways here we are at the cusp of another launch and NZXT say the Phantom has evolved, so its time for us to see if its evolved into something awesome. The video review is a long one so, put the kettle on, make a brew, grab something to eat and get comfy!


Specifications

NZXT Phantom 820 Review


Video Review


Conclusion

You really do need to watch the video review for this one, we could honestly write pages upon pages of text to even scratch the surface of this case. The long and short of it is it is a great chassis, it shares many features with the Switch 810, the thing is we still think the Switch is the best case NZXT has ever produced. The Phantom does bring new features to the mix but with some iffy design choices we also feel that it also managed to loose quite a few points too. We have said since the day it arrived the side panel looks like it belongs on an £80 case and we stand by that too, the design is good but the mesh really cheapens the look of a case NZXT want you to pay £200 for, that's a whole £50 over the price of the Switch.

So positive points, its dust filtered everywhere it needs it, its well built, prime for watercooling, has great airflow should you want to stay with traditional air cooling. Talking of air cooling thanks to the in built fan controller you can easily slow down and speed up your fans on the fly should you want silence for a film/late night use or ramp the speed up when playing games, benching or even if you are lucky enough to get a decent summer day! The customisable lights will make it easy for anyone to set them to match their system.

All in all if you liked the original Phantom you will quite simply love this, all the original design features are there but its been brought bang up to date and has some awesome touches. Its just going to take some getting used to that the Phantom isnt the awesome bargain it used to be. Sure its a great case but this time it has a price tag to match. Its gold award worthy but has a gold award price tag too!

     


Thanks to NZXT for including us in the Phantom 820 launch, discuss your thoughts in the OC3D Forums.  

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Most Recent Comments

15-10-2012, 07:32:01

tinytomlogan
http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...141848262l.jpg

So Im sure everyone has seen that the Phantom was evolving, now the time has come to let you all see what it has become.


Continue Reading

15-10-2012, 07:44:59

PEXON
Superb review as always Tom. I completely agree with the price, its LianLi, Silverstone TJ\FT money and for the connoisseur, IMO they are much better suited.

15-10-2012, 08:36:44

SPS
Great review as always.

It's just a bit bland; design is pretty average and doesn't really improve on the Switch's feature set. IMO this should be less than or equal to the price of the Switch.

15-10-2012, 09:30:55

Innocent159
NZXT is just on word: BEAUTIFUL

15-10-2012, 12:08:19

Saltire35
FUGLY!! and 200 quid! no thanks...

15-10-2012, 12:11:32

PEXON
Quote:
Originally Posted by Innocent159 View Post
NZXT is just on word: BEAUTIFUL
LOL... are you serious? There are FAR better looking cases out there.

15-10-2012, 14:03:08

JMMP
Too expensive!!! And iam also referring to the switch 810! Imho i think they are justifying the price by having a very good water cooling configuration but that its not a valid price defense. For the rest of the options ( quality, cable management etc,etc...) for me its almost the same case like an Aerocool Xpredator that is also almost half the price.

15-10-2012, 14:14:40

SnW
Not to bad of a looking case,
not that different from the one before........

15-10-2012, 14:37:02

Jeremy1998
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saltire35 View Post
FUGLY!! and 200 quid! no thanks...
Quote:
Originally Posted by PEXON View Post
LOL... are you serious? There are FAR better looking cases out there.
I am with you guys 100% on that... I hope they don't discontinue the original Phantom. That foot thing on the bottom... I know that its for air flow to the optional rad on the bottom... But its so weird looking. And the window and vents on the side panel are too oddly shaped...

15-10-2012, 15:41:52

nex-s
All that price over the switch for what really? The rgb lights?

15-10-2012, 15:47:46

wotevajjjj
i kinda like the foot thing, but the case is just soo unphantomish, i bought mine because it's long and low, this new one it just too high and short.. Think I'm going to get a raven or something now...

15-10-2012, 15:54:38

jimbo32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saltire35 View Post
FUGLY!! and 200 quid! no thanks...
My thoughts exactly. For $250, there are a lot of other cases that I'd look at first. No offense Tom, but I think you dropped the ball with the Gold Award. Considering the price, I think even Silver would be a reach.

15-10-2012, 15:57:44

wotevajjjj
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbo32 View Post
My thoughts exactly. For $250, there are a lot of other cases that I'd look at first. No offense Tom, but I think you dropped the ball with the Gold Award. Considering the price, I think even Silver would be a reach.
It should definately get gold, I think this case is no longer in the sector where you look at what it costs but more at what you want. Same with the cosmos,the tj's and lian-li's entire high end range I think

15-10-2012, 16:00:16

Vicey
I'd say this case is worth about 130 I would not pay 200 for that thing.

15-10-2012, 16:02:58

jimbo32
Quote:
Originally Posted by wotevajjjj View Post
It should definately get gold, I think this case is no longer in the sector where you look at what it costs but more at what you want. Same with the cosmos,the tj's and lian-li's entire high end range I think
That argument might be valid if it wasn't nearly identical feature-wise to the Switch which is much cheaper.

Even then, trying to argue that price shouldn't be a factor when grading higher end cases is highly debatable.

15-10-2012, 20:52:28

Earthmonger
The side panel isn't a consideration for me, since I'd mod it anyway. Maybe there'll be a solid side panel option down the road. What I can't justify is 200 quid for a case that involves so much bloody plastic. For that kind of money it has to be all steel, steel with aluminum, or all aluminum. Plastic is nothing but grotesque fat that needs to be trimmed away and binned.

I would also have to mod away the hideous front foot.

Tom, room on the floor for a 200mm rad?

15-10-2012, 21:14:18

Jeremy1998
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earthmonger View Post
The side panel isn't a consideration for me, since I'd mod it anyway. Maybe there'll be a solid side panel option down the road.
I owuld also be very happy to see a solid side panel option. I would buy one for my Switch 810, which is the same side panel. That way us modders would have a blank slate to do whatever we want to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Earthmonger View Post
Tom, room on the floor for a 200mm rad?
There would have to be. If you can fit a 200mm fan in the front, you can fit a 200mm fan on the bottom.

15-10-2012, 23:08:38

Earthmonger
Without cutting into the motherboard tray?

Actually I think I answered myself there. Given the case has a width of 235mm.

Doesn't matter though. I just watched the Trooper/Stryker review again. I can't think of any reason to buy the 820 for 200 quid, when I can get a better case for just 140.

15-10-2012, 23:27:14

Vicey
I have to agree with the plastic comment above. For this price I'd want a case that was all metal. Indeed my own cases right now are all aluminum and one of those costed almost the same as this case.

I have to think, if you're spending 200 on a case you're gonna want to handle the fans and lighting yourself right? Seems like a waste of our time to make such a pricey case with those features built in when their removal would lower the case cost and better serve the sorts of people who would buy it in the first place.

16-10-2012, 05:43:42

nex-s
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earthmonger View Post
Without cutting into the motherboard tray?

Actually I think I answered myself there. Given the case has a width of 235mm.

Doesn't matter though. I just watched the Trooper/Stryker review again. I can't think of any reason to buy the 820 for 200 quid, when I can get a better case for just 140.
The Trooper costs only 125 and occasionaly pops up at lower prices. Also seems a much better quality cause the new Phantom just looks so fiddly and plastic. TBH I wouldn't even choose this over the Trooper/Stryker or the Switch if it was 120.

16-10-2012, 06:03:29

straydog
Quote:
Originally Posted by nex-s View Post
TBH I wouldn't even choose this over the Trooper/Stryker or the Switch if it was 120.
Neither would I, but i'm sure a lot of people would. At that point it would be a question about preference in design, that's fine. There is a market for it but i'm not sure at that price.

16-10-2012, 08:58:38

CPMFW
nice review tom...
i still prefer the switch 810 with the large window

16-10-2012, 13:35:33

Innocent159
Quote:
Originally Posted by PEXON View Post
LOL... are you serious? There are FAR better looking cases out there.
its just what i like, i didnt say cheap or the best, but it is beautiful

16-10-2012, 14:00:43

ruairi.C
yeah not a big fan of this review tbh

16-10-2012, 14:14:50

jamesriley94
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruairi.C View Post
yeah not a big fan of this review tbh
reason?

16-10-2012, 18:55:00

Josh Weston
You seem to be leaving a lot of unexplained negativity, Mr C.

17-10-2012, 02:39:15

Ulijin
Yay! A case review. That was what first brought me here.

Great review as always but like a lot of the commentors I think Gold is too generous considering the price. It's deffo not gonna be on my Christmas shopping list!

17-10-2012, 02:48:13

d6bmg
Not bad. But not a top end chassis. And there are many other better options at that price range.

17-10-2012, 04:50:44

Greenback
I like the look of the case even the top tbh but thats down to personal choice.
The price is a little ott, but I can see someone who is first getting into watercooling getting this as it's an easy option for beginners imo.
My thoughts on the lights, being able to change the colour will save buying new lights when you want to change the colours inside your case thus saving money, Being someone who doesn't change thier case everytime I do an upgrade I can see the possabilities of this case in the long term.

22-10-2012, 11:08:38

Dark NighT
200 quid for that case is just nzxt being exremely greedy.

Rather spend that money on a Xigmatek Elysium if i was thinking about a case in the 150 to 200 range.

22-12-2012, 21:37:09

Etho_7
I don't think it's worth the price considering the plastic construction, but it retains the phantom looks which I like. The lighting is a nice touch but I can't get away from the price. Storm Trooper is much more competitive for the feature set. Looks like my decision is made.

23-12-2012, 00:46:12

grassman
Storm trooper looks like a pure gamer chassis though I hate those abstract looking gamer chassis. Go for the sleek and simple.

23-12-2012, 03:52:00

Etho_7
it may look slightly abstract but it still looks good and the features are great for gamers like the carrying handle and the lockable tray. I do like the Phantom visuals though.

23-12-2012, 04:59:25

PsyTech
The case looks "silky smooth", what else I can say. Great review, Tom.

07-02-2013, 08:28:05

Mihawk
I am - for one - really dissappointed in you Tom.
The simple reason is you missed a blatant design flaw in the phantom 820.

I will show you which:
http://i.imagebanana.com/img/l6604md...b/IMAG0083.jpg
http://i.imagebanana.com/img/w0xg0b8...b/IMAG0081.jpg

As you might see - their is a bar in that should provide stability for the chassis. First of all: This line is bullshit - it doesn't provide stability at all, because at this point of the chassis, stability isn't needed. It's not like it's holding the case in place or something. This bar is just connecting the fanmounting for radiators.

Now to the real flaw behind this bar: If you install two/three 120MM fans, the fan in the middle of those bar can't provide a clean airflow. This bar disrupts it. And what that means is obvious: More sound, less efficent cooling for radiators.

That little bar just destroys the case for me, as i try to run NF - F12s on it and on 50% the fans are just making so much noise, it's unbearable. If I knew about this bar before, i would never have purchased this case. Never. And as I see you as the silent-freaky guy i would have hoped that you would've picked something so dramatic up.

07-02-2013, 09:32:56

tinytomlogan
I think you are expecting a little too much, plus TBF if you dont like the bar.... CUT IT OUT.

07-02-2013, 09:39:43

Mihawk
Expecting too much of you? Never!
I will cut it out, don't worry. I was just a little bit dissappointed that you - out of all people - missed a thing that makes a case non-silent.
Maybe I am expecting too much, but that's how high I rate your reviews as you normally don't miss out on stuff like that.

07-02-2013, 09:42:53

tinytomlogan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mihawk View Post
Expecting too much of you? Never!
I will cut it out, don't worry. I was just a little bit dissappointed that you - out of all people - missed a thing that makes a case non-silent.
Maybe I am expecting too much, but that's how high I rate your reviews as you normally don't miss out on stuff like that.

I cant test EVERYTHING.

Plus personally I dont like the case so wasnt going to spend too much time on it. Certainly was never going to build a big rig in it to find that out.

07-02-2013, 09:47:29

Mihawk
It's not that it's hard to figure that one out. But I get your point. Your time is limited.
Still thought I mention the bar here, so that fellow oc3d'ers are warned about that stupid bar.

Thanks for your reply anyway

07-02-2013, 10:08:25

jamesriley94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mihawk View Post
It's not that it's hard to figure that one out. But I get your point. Your time is limited.
Still thought I mention the bar here, so that fellow oc3d'ers are warned about that stupid bar.

Thanks for your reply anyway
It seems to me an incredibly trivial thing to me.
It really won't increase noise, or reduce performance by any noticeable amount. If you really think it's the bar causing an 'unbearable' amount of noise then I think you need to re-check things...

And as said, if it really does bother you, it doesn't take much effort to cut it out. You could even file it out easily enough if you don't have the tools.

It's definitely not worth being called 'bullshit line', and it really isn't as 'dramatic' as you say... and if a tiny thing like that would put you off buying the case then you're mad tbh.

Also, considering how many cases these days use similar support bars, I wouldn't really expect Tom to pick up on it.

07-02-2013, 10:19:04

Mihawk
You really have to seem to have no clue about airflow whatsoever.
The bar covers at least 1/5 of the fans blade, which deflects the airflow against it. The air gets pressed against the bar, causing turbulence afterwards which increases the noise you hear.

And most cases using similar bars is plain wrong, get your facts straight. Most cases don't support 2x140/3x120 - it's either 3x120/1x200 or nothing.

If you don't believe what I am talking about: Put a ruler behind one of your high pressure fans and hear it for yourself.

And the fact that I can remove the bar is not relevant. I don't buy a case to mod it. And so do many other people. So this bar, combined with an h100/h100i is a massive design flaw. If you install a 140/280mm radiator it's no problem.

07-02-2013, 10:29:08

tinytomlogan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mihawk View Post
You really have to seem to have no clue about airflow whatsoever.
The bar covers at least 1/5 of the fans blade, which deflects the airflow against it. The air gets pressed against the bar, causing turbulence afterwards which increases the noise you hear.

And most cases using similar bars is plain wrong, get your facts straight. Most cases don't support 2x140/3x120 - it's either 3x120/1x200 or nothing.

If you don't believe what I am talking about: Put a ruler behind one of your high pressure fans and hear it for yourself.

And the fact that I can remove the bar is not relevant. I don't buy a case to mod it. And so do many other people. So this bar, combined with an h100/h100i is a massive design flaw. If you install a 140/280mm radiator it's no problem.
Go careful there dude your replies are starting to seem offensive. Take this as an attitude warning.

07-02-2013, 10:36:46

jamesriley94
Ha, I actually completely understand the point you're making...but theoretical noise increases and actually noticeable noise differs greatly. More so if your fans are running at 50%!

Having done your test - with a credit card, rather than a ruler, so more surface area was actually covered, I honestly could not hear a difference at all.

What do you mean 'get your facts straight'? I'm talking about cases that do have 2x120mm/2x140 or 1x200...
My Switch for example has similar support beams. As does a mate of mine's Thermaltake Chaser (with 2x200m or 2x120mm mounts).

Most cases that support multiple sizes of fans in the roof will at some point in the case block some airflow to the fan. Any case that supports 120mm, and 140mm (or anything larger for that matter) will have to block airflow at some point for one fan or another.
I agree NZXT could possibly have put the support beam in between two of the fans instead, but it really doesn't make that much difference - especially when your fans are pulling through that area.

If you're that bothered about noise, your fans should be running at speeds low enough than you wouldn't be able to hear any noise from turbulence - infact, with mine, covering up the entire fan with a plastic panel made no noticeable difference in noise with fans at 5v.

This is such a trivial 'issue' (if it's even worthy of being called an issue in the first place!)

07-02-2013, 11:25:55

Mihawk
Sorry if my Language Seems to be offensive, which is not my intention after all. I just tried to bring my point across. And English is not my native language, so please go kind on me.

I don't know which fans you tried your credit card on, but first of all they have to produce a high staticpressure, like the corsair sp series or others. Secondly, a creditcard is really not the ideal tool to test that effect, although it has a bigger width then the bar, it has not the same length and therefor will not cover the whole fan, if you get what I mean. I can do a few videos on this issue, so that you can hear the difference, as I have one fan over the bar and one that is not covered at all, I can clearly state that this bar does influence the notice level significantly. Both fans running at 50% and nf-f12s are very silent.

To your suggestion with just moving the bar between the 2 fans. That wouldn't solve anything, as the same problem would arise if you use 2x140mm fans or 1x200mm fan, so you would have to put the support bar on the edges. But tbh, you don't need those bars as they don't support anything after all.
Reply
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