NZXT Phantom 820 Full Tower Case Review - HotHardware

NZXT Phantom 820 Full Tower Case Review

9 thumbs up
Unfortunately, many PC enthusiasts tend to skimp on the chassis when building a new system. After all, you can get a decent case with adequate cooling for next to nothing these days, making a splurge on a $200-plus, premium case seem unnecessary. However, as anyone who’s owned a truly high-end chassis can tell you, it's usually worth the extra money for superior construction, additional features, ample cooling options, and sometimes attractive lighting. In addition, a high-end case is something that can last through multiple upgrade cycles.

That’s how the NZXT Phantom 820 is positioned: it's an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink type of chassis, offering all the options and extras you could hope for whether you’re rolling with the stock fans or want to put in a monster liquid cooling solution.


NZXT Phantom 820
Specifications & Features
MODEL:

CASE TYPE:

FRONT PANEL MATERIAL:

DIMENSIONS (W x H x D):

SPECIAL FEATURES:


COOLING SYSTEM:


Fan Capacity:






Radiator Capacity:




DRIVE BAYS:



MATERIAL(S):

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WEIGHT:

MOTHERBOARD SUPPORT:
Phantom 820

Full Tower

Plastic/Steel

235mm (W) x 650mm (H) x 612mm (D)

Integrated HUE LED lighting system, SD Card Reader,
4-channel 15-watt Fan Digital Controller

Front: 1x200mm@800rpm, Top: 1x200mm@800rpm,
Side: 1x200mm@800rpm, Rear: 1x140mm@1100rpm

Top: 2x 200mm/2x 140mm/3x 120mm
Front: 1x 200mm
Bottom: 2x 140mm/2x 120mm
Rear: 1x 140mm/1x 120mm
Side: 1x 200mm
Pivot: 1x 140mm/1x 120mm

Top: 2x 140mm/3x 120mm
Rear: 1x 140mm/1x 120mm
Bottom: 2x 140mm/2x 120mm
Pivot: 1x 140mm/1x 120mm

4 EXTERNAL 5.25" DRIVE BAYS
6 INTERNAL 3.5" DRIVE BAYS
Screwless Rail Design

Steel, Plastic

9

15kg, 32lbs

E-ATX, XL-ATX, ATX, MICRO-ATX, Mini-ITX 




This full tower case is made from both plastic and steel and is truly an extra-large chassis at 235mm (W) x 650mm (H) x 612mm (D) and a whopping 32lbs. You can put almost any motherboard you like inside, as the Phantom 820 supports all form factors from mini-ITX to E-ATX.

  

NZXT stuck with its cool and sophisticated white fans for the Phantom 820, and the case can accommodate plenty of them. Four large ones come standard--200mm fans on the top, front, and side panels, and a 140mm exhaust fan at the rear--and they’re operated by a 4-channel, 15-watt digital fan controller.

  

There are nine expansion bays to accommodate even the bulkiest multi-card graphics configurations, and the case has four 5.25-inch and six 3.5-inch drive bays. One of the 3.5-inch bays (the lower one, which has two trays) pops out easily with a pair of squeezable tabs, and both bays are angled at 90 degrees to offer access from the side panel instead of from inside the main compartment of the case.



One of the highlights of the Phantom 820 is its lighting design, which features multiple color choices, front-mounted controls, and white LEDs illuminating the rear I/O ports.



Accessories for the Phantom 820 are simple yet sufficient and include a helpful user manual with detailed schematics of the various parts of the chassis, an 8-pin cable extender, and a convenient white box that houses all the screws and zip ties.
 

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Wow, they even included the zip ties!  Talk about a full package!  

But seriously, I love the cable management on this thing.  My Antec only allows cables to ran through certain holes, this thing has holes galore along with the rubber that usually accompanies only water cooling.  Although, I typically go for performance over looks, and this thing just isn't the best performer.  

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That case looks really classy. I was curious about the noise level with all those fans running, but seems like it wasn't an issue. I still think if I ever do a rebuild I'll go for a cheaper case, but some day I'd like to splurge on something like this.

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sackyhack:

That case looks really classy. I was curious about the noise level with all those fans running, but seems like it wasn't an issue. I still think if I ever do a rebuild I'll go for a cheaper case, but some day I'd like to splurge on something like this.

Never go cheap on a case, and never go cheap on a PSU.  4 years ago I spent the extra money and bought a quality case, and a quality PSU.  Since then I've swapped a lot of parts out as I found them, and have never had to even consider buying another case or PSU.  The extra money spent is a much larger savings in the longer run, rather than buying a new case and PSU every time you upgrade.  I'm just not sure this NXZT is it, i'd like to see a review where they moved some fans around and optimized the cooling.

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If you like this case, but want something slightly smaller and less expensive check out it's little brother the Phantom 410. At only $99, it offers many of the same features, but is much more in reach.

Here's HotHardware's take on that case:

http://hothardware.com/News/NZXT-Takes-a-Shrink-Ray-to-Phantom-Chassis-Introduces-Smaller-Size-Phantom-410/

And to give you an idea of what kind of room it has take a look at my build with it:

http://hothardware.com/cs/forums/t/64248.aspx

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Nzxt makes amazing cases, but i think i like the simple design of the 810 better and newegg was offering the 810 for only $130 as a black Friday deal.

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I got one of these in Gun Metal for my wife's next build. Way overkill for her, but it's super quiet in person.

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So was this a purchase that turned into a review, or a review that turned into a purchase? =)

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Heh. Review was totally separate. It was more like me seeing early pics of the gun metal version and having to have one. I bought a handful of the original Phantoms and a couple 410s and have been really pleased with them. It's complete overkill for my wife, but since she married a tech geek, she's gonna get the goods once in a while. :)

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I have been seriously debating, if I had the money to build a new 5000$ rig, if I would build it in this based on the looks, or something from caselabs because of the pure amazingness...

In the end, if I wanted something that looked really nice, and not just black & elegant, I would go with this case, and no other.

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This thing is seriously a behemoth at 32lbs.

I have an Antec 1200 for my case and that thing is incredibly large and heavy as well.

The most impressive about this case is either the variety of slots for cable management which can be a hassle and require people to buy more cables at specific lengths to have things look clean, but with the amount of routing options I'm pretty sure the same result could be achieved with the cables people have on hand.

The fact that they have ties and accessories labeled, bundled and organized, although it might seem like a small thing sets its self aside from others since every other case I've bought just has everything in a plastic bags.

Full ATX cases have many more options and are designed for configurations with extensive water cooling and multiple graphics cards but I think for most people the cases are just too huge for regular setups.

Or at least that's the way I've felt.

I absolutely love NZXT and the Phantom series but if I ever make a case upgrade it'll be to a mid tower like the Phantom 410

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