Phanteks NV7 Review: A Fresh Approach to a Classic Design
PC hardware is more powerful (and power hungry) than ever before. As such, high-end components are getting bigger than ever. Since the Nvidia RTX 4090 was released last year, only some case companies have released a chassis designed to fit such a giant card. And that’s reasonable to an extent. Does every case have to be longer than an Xbox Series S and big enough to hold a $1,500+ graphics card?
But with that being said, if you’re spending that much money on a graphics card or similar high-end components, chances are good you’ll want to show off your hardware. That’s where his NV7 from Phanteks comes in. This is a complete tower with glass mesh and RGB sprinkles. It may not sound all that different from many other cases released in recent years, but the Phanteks NV7 looks and feels great with plenty of customization, an attractive look, and a modest price tag of $220. is also fresh. However, you must provide your own. Unless you have fans who plan to carry over from previous builds, the cost will naturally increase.
Specifications of Fantex NV7
|type||ATX full tower|
|motherboard support||Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, EATX|
|Dimensions (H x W x D)||20.9 x 10 x 23.1 inches|
|Maximum GPU length||17.7 inch|
|CPU cooler height||7.3 inches|
|internal bay||2.5″ x 6 and 3.5″ x 1|
|2.5″ x 2 and 3.5″ x 2|
|Front I/O||1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C|
|2x USB 3.0|
|bottom fan||3x 120 or 140mm|
Features of Fantex NV7
When I first heard about Phanteks’ NV7, I wished the company had jumped on it. O11 Hype train. However, after spending time building and testing this chassis, it’s clearly not the same as Lian Li’s flagship case line.
The NV7 has the most cooling space of any case we’ve reviewed so far. Cooler Master HAF700EVO, but that case will be bigger in all respects and much more expensive. The NV7 can have 12 fans without sacrificing storage space.
When it comes to fans, none come with a case. This has become unfairly common in cases designed as showpieces, such as Lian Li’s O11 Dynamic. Of course, you’ll need to add your own fans. This will increase your build budget unless you have spinners you want to carry over from previous builds.
That being said, Phanteks sent me a few sets of new products. D30-120 fanThe has a built-in RGB ring that can be clipped on like Lian Li’s Unifans, reducing the need for messy cables and connectors.Fans come in white or black, regular fans or reverse blade. The reverse blade model allows for a more attractive appearance where the back of the fan is normally visible. For those who want the best possible beauty, this is a great option.but Thermaltake’s Swafan EX line This issue is resolved by shipping two sets of fan blades in the box so you can replace them yourself instead of buying two different types of fans.
In this case, installing the Phanteks fans was a breeze. The side fan mount is secured by his single thumbscrew on top of the case. A similarity between NV7 and HAF is the bottom tray. You can rotate this a few degrees to tilt the bottom fan forward if needed.
As usual for Phanteks, the case comes with a plastic box packed with extra screws sorted to get you started. The company also includes an anti-slack bracket for his GPU, but it’s not great. It can be adjusted to fit the width of most GPUs, but it wobbles like crazy and covers his 3rd fan of the Gigabyte RTX 3070 TI Gaming OC. This doesn’t seem to affect heat, but if you’re installing a huge GPU, I’d recommend buying a better bracket.
As is the case with most Phanteks, there’s a splash of RGB here and there, but it’s never overpowering and I love it. The case has his RGB strip running along the edge of the motherboard tray. According to Phanteks, his RGB in this chassis uses his new D-RGB controller which provides dual channel output. RGB is very customizable thanks to his four control buttons on the top of the chassis. However, since he has four buttons, controlling the light show can be a little complicated.
One area where the design feels a little lazy is on the back side panel, which requires a small screw to screw in from the top of the case. The screws are very small and are often lost during assembly, so be careful not to roll them around.
Removing the rear side panels reveals the NV7’s unique storage caddy. Instead of a regular cage, nearly all mid-tower and higher cases have both 2.5″ and 3.5″ drives mounted inside removable doors if you’re going the m.2 route. I really like the look of the “storage door”. It is very beautiful. By today’s standards, the number of drives that the NV7 can accommodate is more than enough: 6 x 2.5″ drives and 1 x 3.5″ drive, or 2 x 2.5″ drives and 2 x 3.5″ drives.
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You’re probably wondering where the power cable is connected. Everything from the power cable to the motherboard IO is hidden behind a mesh door, with cables looping from the bottom. While I appreciate Phanteks thinking outside the box, I found this annoying as it adds an extra step to assembling the build. Connecting a thin USB cable is another matter, but running a thick power cable through the cable channel is cumbersome and I don’t like it.
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Getting a full tower is often IO rich, but that’s not the case with NV7. There are two USB 3.0 Type-A ports and one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port, flanked by a headphone/mic combo jack slanted down the front. The power and RGB buttons are on top, and the controls there are nice, but it would have been nice to have some ports there as well.
Phanteks NV7 is big, measuring 20.9 x 10 x 23.1 inches (LWH). This makes it about two inches taller than the Lian Li O11 Dynamic XL. So obviously the NV7 doesn’t limit your GPU length or CPU tower cooler height options. The NV7 can accommodate GPUs up to 17.7″ (450mm) and CPU coolers up to 7.28″ (185mm). But with that much space, I would opt for one of the best AIO coolers here.
That being said, this case could certainly hold its own in terms of air cooling, which is evident in later test results.
Our test hardware uses Intel’s 12th Gen ‘Alder Lake’ platform, specifically the Core i7-12700KF, cooled by a Noctua U12s air cooler. Our graphics card is the Gigabyte RTX 3070 Ti Gaming OC.
Phanteks NV7 Acoustic Results
Our acoustic tests consist of three scenarios. Run the CPU at full load, run the CPU and GPU at full load, and run in optimized mode. The CPU full load test runs the CPU and case fans at maximum speed. The CPU and GPU full-load acoustic tests also focused on the Gigabyte RTX 3070 Ti Gaming OC, with the fans set to 75% speed. This is because the fan never runs at his 100% in games and when it does it is too loud.
Optimized mode runs the GPU fan speed at 30% and the CPU and attached case fans at their lowest rotational speed.
The Phanteks NV7 doesn’t include fans, so I installed two Noctua AF120 fans (one on the side and one in the back for exhaust) for testing. As you can see, the NV7 isn’t the quietest case on the market, at least in our test configuration. Maybe there’s a reason fans didn’t join the Phanteks after all.
Phanteks NV7 Thermal Results
The thermal test sets all case and CPU fan speeds to 100%. The Core i7-12700K is set to a fixed 4.7GHz clock of 1.3v across all performance cores to ensure consistent power consumption across test scenarios. Running the GPU at 75% fan speed allows you to maintain your power target while maintaining one set good fan speed, so temperature is the only variable.
Despite having such a long, non-traditional airflow path, the NV7’s thermal performance was excellent. As mentioned in the acoustic test, I installed one fan on the side and one on the back. Our fan setup wasn’t ideal for a case this big, but considering the airflow direction is he L-shaped, the thermal performance is surprisingly good, and with the addition of the fan You can expect great potential.
Phanteks has released some interesting affordable cases over the last few years, but none have been as groundbreaking as the Enthoo Pro II. But despite the odd cable routing design, the Phanteks NV7 is a breath of fresh air in a showcase PC market that has been largely dominated by O11 variants and the Hyte Y60.
The NV7 also pairs nicely with Phanteks’ many custom water cooling components, with an inlet on top and an outlet on the bottom rear, plus multiple radiators and plenty of room for tubes for all major components. The $220 price tag is also attractive. You have to spend more to bring your own fans. However, if you can afford the kind of high-end components and custom cooling options this case was designed for, you might also be able to afford a few good fans for a little extra.
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