NZXT Phantom 820 Review

Editor: David Mitchelson  Date: 23-01-13   1 Comment(s) - Join the discussion here


Product on Review: Phantom 820
Manufacturer and Sponsor : NZXT
Street Price: £200 / $249

Back in 2010, NZXT released the first computer chassis to join their new Phantom series. Since its arrival to the market the Phantom has captured the hearts and favour of many due to its unique looks and smooth styling. NZXT have since then brought to market the Phantom 410 which is a smaller variant, making it even more affordable for enthusiasts to consider.

It wasn't long before NZXT began work on the bigger brother to the original Phantom case. The 820 is the flagship to the series, taking size to the extreme and catering for master builders and those who require water-cooling avenues. Today we will be taking a look at the Phantom 820 and discovering if it has the same strengths as its siblings.

VIDEO REVIEW


Technical Specifications
MODEL
Phantom 820
CASE TYPE
Full Tower
FRONT PANEL MATERIAL
Plastic/Steel
DIMENSIONS (W x H x D)
235mm (W) x 650mm (H) x 612mm (D)
SPECIAL FEATURES
Integrated HUE LED lighting system, SD Card Reader, 4-channel 15-watt Fan Digital Controller
FAN CAPACITY
Top: 2x 200mm (One included) or 2x 140mm or 3x 120mm
Front: 1x 200mm (Included)
Bottom: 2x 140mm or 2x 120mm
Rear: 1x 140mm (included) or 1x 120mm height adjustable
Side: 1x 200mm (included)
Pivot: 1x 140mm or 1x 120mm internal pivot fan
RADIATOR CAPACITY
Top: 2x 140mm or 3x 120mm
Rear: 1x 140mm or 1x 120mm
Bottom: 2x 140mm or 2x 120mm
Pivot: 1x 140mm or 1x 120mm
DRIVE BAYS
4 EXTERNAL 5.25" DRIVE BAYS
6 INTERNAL 3.5" DRIVE BAYS
Screwless Rail Design
MATERIAL(S)
Steel, Plastic
EXPANSION SLOTS
9
WEIGHT
15kg, 32lbs
MOTHERBOARD SUPPORT
E-ATX, XL-ATX, ATX, MICRO-ATX, Mini-ITX



Thermal Performance Testing

Since 820 is designed with XL-ATX in mind it’s only fair that we have installed our XL-ATX test system inside the chassis. Inside Interceptor there are 4 pre-installed fans positioned in traditional airflow regions which should create good, positive airflow. Fan speed will be set to maximum for each fan.

To discover the thermal performance of the Interceptor I will record idle temperatures after 20 minutes from a cold boot. I will then stress the system and temperatures will again be monitored after 30 minutes have elapsed.

For the purpose of accurate analysis the idle and load temperatures for CPU and GPU will be recorded and the range between idle and load will be calculated to determine how efficient cooling is.

NOTE: Ambient temperature is 20C

System Components
CPU Intel Core i5 2500K
Motherboard MSI Big Bang Marshal (P67)
Graphics ZOTAC NVIDIA GTX 480 AMP (Different to GPU used in pictures)
Memory 8GB Kingston HyperX Genesis 1600MHz CL9
HDD Samsung Spinpoint 500GB SATA-II
PSU FSP AURUM 620M






Conclusion

The Phantom series has always had a strong following for a combination of reasons. First and probably foremost, its visual appearance lends itself to being unique and one which is highly favoured in hardware circles, other reasons are the excellent cooling and build quality to accompany these distinct looks. So does 820 deliver similar characteristics to its siblings?

Phantom 820 offers a super-sized addition to the family, having support for XL-ATX, E-ATX and lots of water-cooling options whilst still maintaining the style that many still love. Inside, big CPU coolers and long graphics cards can be housed without any issues whatsoever due to the generous clearance. This clearance can also be experienced with cable management too, the distance between the back of the motherboard tray and side panel offers substantial space and there is ample storage for redundant cables.



The computer chassis market is littered with plenty of options and it can be very hard for manufacturers to diversify and stand out from the crowd but NZXT have introduced some significant features in a bid to take bring themselves to the fore. Features such as the hue lighting system is innovative; colours can be adjusted on the fly and a unique rear IO led can be activated to assist with connectivity at the back of the system.

Priced at £200 the Phantom 820 may surprise many by being quite a hike in cost based on the materials used but as soon as you consider the numerous features this flagship incorporates and its something which isn’t too hard to justify.

Pros
+ Unique, distinct visual appearance
+ Brilliant hardware compatibility
+ Excellent stock cooling
+ Hue lighting system
+ SD card slot reader
+ Extended CPU power cable supplies

Cons
- Lots of plastic
- Upper HDD cage riveted



Click here for an explanation of our awards at Vortez.net.


Article Navigation