When I first heard of the Phantom 820 I wondered if it was going to be a brand new design. The 820 has a lot to live up to as the original Phantom was such a success. I think NZXT did a great job taking the best features that were in the original Phantom and Switch 810 and combining them into the Phantom 820. You have the futuristic design that was on the original Phantom, but it has been updated to look even better. This is one of the best looking cases I’ve seen all year! The side panel not only has a window but mesh sections with a cooling fan. We reviewed the gunmetal version of the case, but it is also available in white and black.
Another thing that adds to the overall look of the case are the LED lights. You have the two accent lights on the front of the case plus the HUE lighting system inside the case. This means you can adjust all of the lights on the case to whatever color you want, turn them off independently or all together. The NZXT Hue itself is a great addition to any case and the fact that it is included on this case is a plus! Also if you shut down your system this lighting system remembers the color / setting you were on so when you power your system back on it will remember it. Another thing to note this case has LED lighting on the back by the rear I/O. We first saw this on the Switch 810 and other case manufacturers take note, this needs to be on your case! There are so many times that I have been connecting something and it is hard to see. This simple addition of an LED back there makes things so much easier.
Another thing you can control on this case are all of the included fans. The fan controller works great and uses LED’s to let you know the power level of the selected fans. If you want to add more fans to the case as long as they have a 3pin connector you can add them to the fan controller. Talking about the fans the case comes with three 200mm fans and a single 140mm fan. If that is not enough you still have room for two more 140mm fans! If you want to go to the watercooling route this case has top 280/360mm and bottom 240/280mm radiator support.
As far as a full tower case goes this case has everything you would want. You have room for six 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch hard drives, four 5.25-inch bay devices, USB 3.0 support, front panel audio and more than enough room to route all of your cables. All of the cable routing holes are very large, included the one for your CPU power cable. 10 of the cable routing holes have the rubber inserts so you won’t have to worry about your cables snagging or getting cut. NZXT also includes a CPU power cable extension, which is individually sleeved. I like that all of the front panel connections are on the top of the case, that way it keep the front of the case nice and clean.
The only real issue I had with this case was the hard drive trays. Because of their design they do not always lock into place properly and with a case like this I would have expected something a little better.
Overall this is one of the best cases I have seen this year. Right now it is selling at my favorite online retailer for $249.99, which puts it at the high-end for PC cases, but again with all the features, watercooling support, HUE lighting system and much more you are getting what you pay for. Overall ThinkComputers gives the NZXT Phantom 820 Case a 9 out of 10 and our Recommended Award!
- HUE lighting system
- Stylish design
- Lots of room for watercooling
- 4 included fans (3x 200mm, 1x 140mm)
- USB 3.0 support
- Easy installation
- 4 channel fan controller
- Lots of cable routing holes
- Hard drive trays do not always lock into place