Phanteks Enthoo Primo Reviewred454 - January 13, 2014
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Phanteks Enthoo Primo Closer Look: The Case
The Enthoo Primo is a case for the Enthusiast. I capitalize that word because to me it is a class of builders who knows what it takes to build a monster system. They are on top of the latest hardware, the latest software, and what it takes to make them work together. The Enthoo Primo is a case designed for just that group. So let's take a closer look at what makes this case the beast that it is.
Initially looking at the case, it has the familiar tall rectangular shape with a little extra bump out on the right side. The bump or inset area is a little shorter, and sits in a little from the front fascia. This adds some extra width to the case. The side panels are both hinged and are retained with thumb screws. The windowed side panel actually has two windows; the large one to show off your main hardware, and then a smaller angled side window that shows off the Phanteks logo on the builder plate. On the opposite side of the case you notice that there are two vented areas. The larger vented area can handle a side radiator and fans, and the smaller vented area is for the intake of a power supply. The case sits on the floor with almost no clearance, but since the bottom of the case has side vents to allow for air flow (intake), this is not a problem.
The front has a stealthy, understated look and is composed of all brushed aluminum panels highlighted on the right side and bottom by a perforated metal mesh insert. The final accent is a thin blue LED light strip that flows vertically from the bottom right to the top, and then there is a similar thin strip that runs parallel to the top vent panel. We will see that in action a little later.
The rear is a bit busier than usual as we have some unusual features, such as space for two power supplies, a couple of 140mm fans (one included), and mounting holes / slots for a rear water cooling reservior just to the right of the eight PCI slots. The default power supply location is at the lower left. There is an optional mounting location directly to the right and it is disguised as a fan mounting location. Of couse, you can mount either a 120mm or 140mm fan there, but to mount a power supply, you need to remove the dummy vent panel. You can see the hardware box in the default power supply opening on the left.
Along the top is a large vented mesh panel that is removable and is retained with two push-to-release detents. The I/O panel is on the top, along an offset, bumped out section. The bottom has two fine mesh filter panels that are removable for cleaning, and the entire case sits on seven rectangular rubber feet.
The top I/O panel has (from left to right) an LED switch, reset switch, two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, microphone, and headphone jacks. The LED switch controls all the LEDs including the front fans and the decorative LED strips on the front and top of the case. The USB ports each have a protective rubber cap. The caps are not retained, so you would want to put them where they won't be lost. There is actually a nice little solution to this, which we will see shortly. I like the way the USB ports are not stacked on top of each other so you can plug in a few wide-bodied flash drives like my Corsair Voyager GT.