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Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV Review


Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV Conclusion:

Let us recap my reasoning and scoring method before diving into my final words. First I look at what the company is saying it offers. For example, say the company states the case supports large / long graphics cards or ten quiet fans. In this example, I examine what is advertised versus what is actually offered. Most of this becomes uncovered as I take pictures to document the product. If the company does not stay true to its word, then it loses points because no one ever wants to be sold on false advertisement. Next I look at what the product is marketed for and put it into perspective. An example of this could be trying to overclock a CPU in a Mini-ITX case and expecting a low temperature. This would contradict its target market and something I try to catch so it does not affect the score. The last bit is my own interjection. What could the case offer in its price range, and what do other companies offer. This category may include an extra fan, cable management, different color paint, or support for larger video cards. This list is endless so let's move on to the conclusion.

Phanteks has once again brought something unique to the market while building upon its already established Enthoo chassis line-up. Many of the great features and quality Phanteks is known for is still present and accounted for, but it's not the perfect chassis I was hoping for. A few things hold it back from being my first choice, so let's jump right in and wrap up this review.

Following suit with my previous reviews, I like to start with the negative things about the chassis and leave on a good note. The issues I have could be considered a deal breaker to many, as they present noticeable annoyances. To start; the strange placement of the I/O ports makes finding a suitable place for this chassis to sit a problem. Having ports on the left requires the customers to have the chassis on the desk. Every other solution presents a problem, like having it on the floor, left or right of the desk will either block the I/O ports or the side window. I'm not sure what the design team was thinking as the ports could have easily been placed in the front, either on top or bottom, with a little rearranging.

This brings me to my next complaint, which is the rear 5.25" bay. Having this bay is still very necessary and the fact that the optical drive still has plenty of life left in it. In fact, trends come and go, but the certain design choices are still relevant in future use. Until all software comes on USB sticks, the optical drive will not become obsolete. I'm glad Phanteks has left the option for a 5.25" bay, even if it's not in the correct place. This issue I have is very similar to the I/O ports where placement of the chassis comes increasing hard to think of places for it to sit. I feel the design team could have also found a way to place the bay in the front, even if it was just an optional setup. Of course the front panel design would have to be changed, but it would solve two problems that should be considered when buying any chassis.

Since this list is very long, I'm going to cover two more things that really makes the chassis stand out: The hard drive cages are a step in the right direction for evolving a simple design. There is no point in having hard drive bays removable by the front, as all the wires are connected to the back. Some chassis, most notably Thermaltake's Level 10 series, have hot-swap bays for easy installation. The downside is that it adds extra costs to a simple solution. By allowing the bays to be removed from the back, things can be installed or replaced in a much easier and effective fashion. Already I'm starting to see other companies going this design route.

Phanteks went above the standard by including a dedicated fan hub that supports up to five fans without a splitter. It is not often that a company is willing to add a device of this type. Rather, companies usually let the consumer fork over even more money, just to use the chassis to its full potential. With such a small setup, it's almost essential to have, as many ITX and mATX motherboards do not have a lot of fan ports. The only downside to the hub is that it requires the CPU fan header to operate as explained on the previous page.

Having support for large aftermarket CPU coolers and video cards does a great deal for desirability. Even if a large cooler is not necessary, the extra space gives the interior a spacious feel and sells the professionally built look even in such a small chassis. This brings me to my final thought of the extremely well design layout behind the motherboard tray, with SSD mounts and Velcro for every cable. It's a little bit of overkill considering all cables can be hidden next to the power supply, but since cables don't always comply to your will, its nice to see a method to tame them.

To conclude, the Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV follows suit of quality with the rest of the chassis Phanteks has to offer. Unfortunately, this does not translate to a good chassis design this time around, which really hurts the potential it has to offer. It's sometimes hard to define what makes an excellent chassis, because of the wide range of desired setups. In the EVOLV, it's easy to see how the majority of my complaints directly translates into issues across many setups. Therefore, the Enthoo EVOLV may have to be skipped if the potential issues are a deal breaker. 


  • Water cooling support
  • Well built metal frame
  • Support for large, aftermarket CPU coolers (193mm)
  • Support for large, high-end graphics cards (318mm)
  • Long internal cables
  • Easy cable management (24mm behind the tray + Velcro ties)
  • Excellent manual
  • Dedicated fan hub


  • Price
  • Strange I/O placement choice
  • No front 5.25" bay
OCC Silver

  1. Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV: Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV Closer Look: The Case
  3. Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV Closer Look: Working Components
  4. Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV: Specifications & Features
  5. Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV: Testing & Setup
  6. Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV: Conclusion
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