It really doesn't seem that long ago when the first generation Phantom chassis arrived from NZXT. Back then, the aesthetics were something never seen in the case market, and it took just a little bit of time, and a lot of potential buyers fell in love with the design. Then along came a mid-tower design, which pretty much put the Phantom in the dryer on high heat, and left us with the Phantom 410. Moving onward, with the huge success of the Switch 810, NZXT thought, why not dress it in the Phantom exterior, and offered us the Phantom 820. Due to a flood in my basement, I lost that chassis and it is the only one of the series I did not have the chance to look at in depth.
In every new release of chassis in the Crafted Series to hold the Phantom name, there were some pretty major changes to the interiors. On the outside much has changed besides the addition of USB 3.0 as it became popular and slight tweaks to the buttons or the type of fan controllers that are used. Inside the original Phantom, NZXT was trying their hands at wire management with grommets, removable hard drive cages, and potential to add water cooling. Inside the 410 things were much closer, but you still got all the offerings of the full sized Phantom, just less a few wiring holes and bays. We did look at the Switch 810 which is the same as the Phantom 820, and there was a whole new go at the interior, and introduced the adjustable fans on the hard drive bays, a new way to remove the bays, and a much better motherboard tray layout. Just when you think they had a lock on the design, NZXT decides to try another version of the Phantom.
This is where the Phantom 630 High Performance Modular Ultra-Tower chassis comes in today. NZXT decided that maybe the 820 wasn't what people were wanting, and went about trying to make things even better this time around. There are some pretty slick additions like an eight fan hub behind the motherboard tray, SSD mounts behind the tray, and even a new shape and layout of the tray itself. There are a few more chances that were made for this latest rendition, but if I tell you about all of it now, what will keep you reading?
On that note, get comfortable, as there is a lot to cover with a chassis such as the new Phantom 630 from NZXT.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
Externally the Phantom keeps the mostly plastic front and top that has a high ridge down the middle and is rounded to meet each other at the front of the chassis. The front of the chassis offers a large mesh panel at the bottom, while the top offers a magnetically closed door panel with an SD card reader and four 5.25" bay covers behind it. These covers can be removed from the outside of the chassis resulting in the fact that the front bezel then does not need removed. The top of the chassis has a large mesh panel to the rear of the chassis, and near the front on both sides is the front I/O. Here you are given USB 3.0, USB 2.0, a Super Charge port and HD Audio on the left. The right side has the power, reset, fan controller and power LED. The rest of the chassis is made of steel, and this includes the frame and the door panels. The left panel offers a matching mesh panel and a window to peer in at the top half of the motherboard, while the right panel is plain. What I really like about my specific sample is the gunmetal grey paint used on the inside and the outside.
Inside the chassis you will find three hard drive racks that can hold up to six hard drives, and these cages are fully modular. They can go in two slots next to each other on the floor of the chassis, or rearranged and hung in any configuration you need. There are another two trays specifically for 2.5" drives, taking the total capacity to eight storage drives inside of this case. The motherboard tray has a large access hole cut out of it, offers 13 places to tie wiring up, has four large, and many smaller holes to pass wiring through, and can house motherboards from Mini-ITX all the way up to XL-ATX. That leaves us with the back of the chassis and the nine expansion slots offered there.
Cooling in the chassis is very generous. In the front of the chassis NZXT has installed a 200mm fan to inject air into the front of the chassis. The way the chassis is designed, you also have the ability to install a pair of 120mm or 140mm fans, and if you remove the drive bays, a radiator. The top of the chassis is very similar. There is one 200mm fan installed there, but there is room for two of them in there. On the optional side of fan mounting, you can also go with a pair of 140mm fans up there, or three 120mm fans, and yes you can fit a radiator here as well. The rear of the chassis has a 140mm fan installed, and you can change it for a 120mm fan if you wish, the floor of the chassis offers the option to place a pair of 140mm or 120mm fans in front of the power supply (with some modifications). The last fan found in this chassis is the 200mm fan attached to the inside of the left door panel. What makes this all nice and tidy, it's that with the fan controller and the eight 3-pin connections on the hub, all of these fans plus some can be controlled with the slider fan control on the top.
As I type this, the NZXT Phantom 630 has yet to fill any shelves, but expect it to very soon. What I am finding is a mix of pricing. It looks like the MSRP has been set to $179 inside of the USA, and I am seeing pricing over the pond at around 190 Euros. I like the sounds of near $180 pricing for what this Full-Tower chassis offers those who decide to by one.
Sorry for those on the other side of the pond having to pay so much more if I were to do a direct conversion, but for those on this side, there is a serious contender from NZXT ready and willing to have you say, "shut up and take my money".
Over the top of grey square and rectangular columns, there is an image of the black version of the Phantom 630 High Performance Modular Full-Tower.
On the right side there are lists of nine features found with the Phantom 630, and this is repeated in seven languages.
The back allows buyers to look inside of the chassis with the larger image in the middle. The images around the central images is where those same nine features are now listed in English so that potential buyers get to see all of what the Phantom 630 brings to the table.
The left side of the outer packaging offers us the specifications list that covers everything from the materials used, to component clearances, and at the bottom shows you which of the three color options are inside the box. There is a white version and a black version, but I was shipped the gunmetal grey version to look at.
This chassis seems to be one of the lucky few that the shippers didn't play football with, and the box was in great shape. To protect things on the inside, NZXT goes with super thick Styrofoam for the top and the bottom of the chassis, and uses a layer of plastic around the chassis to help protect that paint finish. All of the packaging did what it needed to do and allowed me to receive this sample in perfect condition.
NZXT Phantom 630 High Performance Modular Full-Tower Chassis
Looking the Phantom 630 dead in the face, the top starts with a gentle rolled edge as the top shaping moves to the pointed front section of the bezel. The top half of this panel is a door that swings to the right when it opens, while the lower half has the angled section of mesh to allow the 200mm fan to breathe.
Behind the door you can see two large magnets that "lock" the door against the chassis. On the front of the chassis you can now see the SD card slot to the right of the NZXT name. Then you also have the four 5.25" bays with the removable covers that come out with the flick of those little switches.
Just behind where the front bezel meets the top panel, on the left side of the chassis, you can see half of the front I/O. This section offers two USB 3.0 ports, a USB 2.0 port, one marked SC (I assume is for Super Charge), and that leaves the HD Audio 3.5mm jacks.
Jumping over to the other side of the top panel you can see the rest of what the front I/O offers. Here there is the large odd shaped button for chassis power on the side of the inset black plastic. This is the three stage fan controller, with a button for "tail lights". Near the top is the smaller odd button to reset the system.
Taking a few steps back to include the full panel, you can see how it all comes into play. Behind all the controls is a section of perforated metal that leads you to the mesh at the back. This allows for up to 400mm of fans under it to exhaust air through it easily.
Since we are using angles on the front and the top, why should the window or the mesh panel on this panel be any different? The large mesh panel is backed with a 200mm fan, and the window above it will allow for a view of the CPU cooler, the memory and the top of the video card.
In the back there is the rear I/O area, and next to it, the 140mm fan is mounted, but in slots to allow for slight movement to adjust to CPU coolers or add a bit more room to get to the 8-pin EPS cable. There are nine slots with ventilated covers in place, and next to them is ventilated as well.
The right side of the chassis offers very little as far as something to attract attention, rather you are left with a very large expanse of the gunmetal grey of the painted steel and colorized plastic components, which by the way match very well.
To lift the chassis off the floor to allow the air flow to be increased, NZXT uses large chunky feet screwed to the chassis that have rubber pads on each to keep it from sliding around. With the increased air flow, it is good to see the pair of removable filter to allow users to keep things clean and breathing well.
Inside the Phantom 630
The first look inside the Phantom 630 gives you a good idea of the room you have. You can also see that the wiring has been run down the case and through the grommet to keep them from flopping around, and the hardware box had motion sickness as it is lost its hardware as soon as I opened the door.
The four 5.25" bays are all functional, even with the I/O wiring above it, and they sport these new latches. To unlock them you flip the front part back at you and it opens right up. When the drive is installed, just push the tab back down to lock it.
Here are the three modular hard drive cages that will hold six 3.5" drives as well as 2.5" drives. Just held in with thumbscrews, and you can remove, rearrange, even add them side by side with the grooves seen on the floor. There is also an adjustable angle fan mount on the top hard drive bay rack.
If you want, you can remove them all together and open the chassis up to more water cooling options. You can easily slide in a dual 120mm or dual 140mm radiator here. If not, you can just open things up to allow less resistance to the 200mm fan pushing through here already.
In the roof of the chassis, NZXT installed one 200mm fan, although two of them can fit. You can also go down to a pair of 140mm fan, or three 120mm fans. There is also a thick offset to the top of the motherboard to allow for radiator support here without conflict.
Even the motherboard tray plays on the angles with the access hole to carry the theme as deep as possible. Around it are a dozen or so wire tie points, four large management holes with grommets in them, five medium size holes without them, and at the top there are a few more behind the tray.
The floor of the chassis has support for medium sized and huge sized PSUs, and is louvered under to allow for better flow through the steel and the dust filter. The plate that is holding the hard drives now can also be removed to give you access to the two optional fan mounts, possibly for water cooling.
In the back of the chassis, if you look above the 140mm fan, you can see that I can move the fan up to get it right behind my air cooler to get a tunneling effect going to remove more heat faster. What is a bit of a surprise is the use of tiny pan head screws instead of thumbscrews for the nine slots.
Behind the motherboard tray there is all the room you are ever going to need. The bundled wiring as they have it set up wasn't even touching the panel, so we should be fine. Also notice the fan hub sitting just left of the access hole.
There was enough room back here, that NZXT offers two slide-in bays to hold 2.5" drives. So if you were to remove the front drive bays, you do still have a way to mount the SSD.
The wiring from the front I/O is very long, and you will have no issues getting these black cables to the connectors on any motherboard. There are two USB 2.0 connections (on is used by the SD card reader), HD Audio, the front panel connections, Native USB 3.0, and a female end of a lead from the fan controller.
Accessories and Documentation
Part of the included hardware is what I have in this image. There is a bag with 16 200mm fan mounting screws, one with eight fan screws, and one with a stand-off socket. The bottom row has 40 5.25" and 2.5" drive screws, four power supply screws and 11 motherboard screws.
The rest of the hardware consists of the pair of extra stand-offs, hard drive tray screws and another type of 200mm fan screws. At the bottom you are given a bag containing 20 cable ties, and with the Phantom 630, you are going to need them.
In another bag you can find the white installation manual and the black paperwork pertaining to all the other products NZXT has that you may have forgotten or still have yet to buy.
The instructions start with an exploded view of the chassis, and the direction the parts are drawn from the chassis is the way the components are to be removed. Right after a list of these 19 components, the manual then goes into a three page parts check list.
After the parts list, the manual goes into fine detail about the front I/O of the Phantom 630 and what each and every button, port, and display is for.
Since my test rig uses an SSD, I figured I would go ahead and mount it in the tray and get an image of it before it was back inside the chassis. It was a very snug fit to get this drive in the tray, but with a bit of work I was able to make it fit.
The Build and Finished Product
Since I have plans to install a small loop in this chassis, I went ahead and popped the top off the Phantom 630. You can see I needed to remove the 200mm fan already installed here, and both dust filters to do what I need to in here. What I really like is that the wiring is not attached to the top.
After a little bit of work, I now have my dual 120mm radiator hanging, and I am running the push/pull configuration since there was already room here for the extra fans.
Without opening the door to see the optical drive installed in the top bay, really nothing changes about the looks in the Phantom 630 from the front when it is completed.
Inside, there is a lot to discuss. The loop clears the motherboard with no issues there. The HDD racks are now out and this opens a lot of cooling potential otherwise blocked off. The finished product looks super clean, and it was relatively easy to do.
The back fills out nicely and again, no real issues to discuss. The dust cover went in pretty easy, the card lines up and installs fine, and the power supply is easy to install resting on the large feet placed on the floor.
As I mentioned, there is a ton of room back here. As clean as the front of the build looked, here is the reason why. It may look a bit all over the place, but if you take your time, and lots of cable ties, you will eventually get to a maintained and out of the way setup similar to this.
All sealed back up, the NZXT Phantom 630 doesn't look much different from this angle when completed either. If it weren't for the peek at the video card through the window, you really don't see much change.
When you do add the power to this chassis, you have to swing over to the right side to see the lights as you push the power button. Since the fan is set to the highest of three positions in this image, all three lights are lit under it. The bar on the right side denoted the PC has power, but I never did find anything flashing to denote the SSD was active.
There is a little button near the fan controller that will turn on a set of "tail lights" on this case. This is so that even if the room is dark, if you need to swap mice, or possibly need to rearrange your monitor inputs, with this pair of LEDs, it can be done with ease.
Since this is the side of the chassis that will likely be facing you when it is on the desk, you really don't see anything to say that the PC is running. In this image, the only give away to it actually running is the rear exhaust fan you can see through the window.
Okay, I think I will start by covering the "wow factor". In the Phantom 630, there are quite a few things that fit this category. Outside, you have the aesthetics that most people are used to, but with it being ever so slightly refined, and to me, the gunmetal grey paint is a great option to go with. Moving to the inside, well I'm going to try to recall it all. In the front, fan options aside, there are the easy to use, new tool-free mechanisms on the optical bays. There is the three cage HDD rack that will allow these cages to go in any way you can think of. If you do want the use of the angled fan mount on the three bay cage, you will need to figure out where you want that cage and keep it securely mounted with the thumbscrews. The motherboard tray is laid out well and designed just right to hide everything behind it. Cooling options above and below the tray are amazing as well. The modular nature of this chassis really plays well for those who want the bare necessities, but plenty of room for water cooling madness. On the flip side, you could be a huge fan of lots of storage drives, a XL-ATX board, and maybe you like air cooling. Either way you go, the Phantom 630 has your back.
Even the testing went well. From what I gathered, the fan controller in the chassis is only capable of 30W across all channels combined. I loaded all the fans in the chassis on it, including the four Swiftech fans. I had no issues controlling all seven fans with this switch and hub. Of course water cooling will give this chassis lower numbers, but with the shear amount of air flow going through this chassis, there would be great results in here if I were using an air cooler as well.
With all of that goodness, there is a little bit of the bad. Once I started removing the hard drive bays, and the plate on the floor to hold them, the Phantom 630 does get a little "soft" in its construction. What I mean is that once everything was out, the case would twist and warp as I moved it. I have seen other cases with removable drive bays that were still rock solid, so I know it is possible to be done. Most that don't are built with thicker steel out of the gate, which helps this matter, but I will say this chassis is much lighter than the chassis I am thinking of. I just wanted to put that out there before you bought this and wanted to put in another fifty pounds of components and water cooling gear into it and finding this out for yourself.
While I find it hard to justify cases that get close to or exceed the $200 mark, this is an example of one I am going to try to help you understand that the Phantom 630 is one that's worth it. You already know you like the outside, and have since the original Phantom released so no surprises there. Once you get inside of this full featured kit, you start to realize that it is worth it to sacrifice fancy LED fans, a hot swap dock, and ditch the plain black and white offerings out there. This gunmetal grey is stunning, and allows the components inside to "pop" rather than blending in much like white does, but without the cleaning nightmare that white products pose. The fan controller and hub allowed me to have full control from near silent operation, up to 45 dBA on the highest setting. The lights are designed not to blind users, the door swings the correct way, and out of the box, the fans included are some of the best offerings I have seen yet.
The Phantom 630 High Performance Modular chassis was worth it to go to the fourth level of design, and to me is worth every penny. The modularity and offerings in this design are just too good to pass up, especially if you love the Phantom aesthetics.
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