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Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ITX Case Review


Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ITX Case Closer Look:

The front panel of the chassis comes off to show that Phanteks included an air filter for the 200mm fan in the front of the chassis. This Phanteks 200mm fan is rated to push 110CFM at 25 dB. The fan filter, again, is easy to remove once you pull off the front decorative plate. A small LED lights up the power light on the front panel. Light flows through a channel on the back side of the front cover to carry the light to the blue lens. The look is understated and provides a great visual to the chassis. The front I/O panel gives the user a pair of USB 3.0 ports, a reset button, and headphone and microphone jacks. Sweet and simple.




Once you get to the inside of the chassis, it is amazing just how much room there is. A shroud is used to hide the bulk of the power supply and wiring from view while leaving a mounting opportunity for 3.5-inch drives towards the front of the chassis. The motherboard mounting tray has a large opening that accommodates just about any cooling solution back plate on the market. Many ITX form factor boards are using M.2 solid state drives on the back of the motherboard as a means of shrinking the platform size. The large opening should make the use of a back mounted M.2 drive a non-issue from a space perspective in the Enthoo Evolv ITX. A series of rubber grommets are used to improve the look of the build and hide excess wiring where wires are routed from behind the motherboard tray.

If you plan on going with an air cooler, you can use tower style coolers up to 200mm in height. Wire management looks to be a primary objective with a pair of Velcro strips on the back of the motherboard tray that hold the I/O panel wiring in place. There is just over an inch worth of space behind the tray to hide the power supply and disk drive data cables. On the back side of the shroud is the room for the power supply and wiring, a solid state drive mount at the upper left, and a pair of 3.5-inch drive mounts that give you the possibility of using up to five drives when using an M.2 drive on the motherboard.



There is nothing wrong with air cooling. It's been used for years and just works. However, the latest rage is either AIO liquid cooling solutions or full on liquid cooling to keep the processor cool. Phanteks equipped the Enthoo Evolv ITX with a plethora of options to support liquid cooling solutions, custom or AIO. The top of the chassis has a bracket that supports a single 240mm or 280mm radiator. Pulling the 200mm fan out of its front position makes room for another 240mm radiator or fans, while the back fan position can handle a single 120m or 140mm radiator. That's a ton of cooling capacity in a small box. A multi-function mid plate bracket can be used as a mounting area for a solid state drive, a liquid cooling pump/reservoir combo, or removed entirely. Even with it in place, you can install a video card of up to 300mm in length without interference.



The Enthoo Evolv ITX has a full inch of space behind the motherboard tray to hide the wiring of the system. While not a novel innovation, using Velcro for wire management makes a lot of sense, not to mention that it is reusable, unlike wire ties. The wiring that feeds the I/O panel includes your basics, like the HDD lighting, power light, reset and power buttons, front panel audio, and USB 3.0 connectivity. Tool-less mounting cages are used to install up to two 3.5-inch hard drives. The drive cages support both 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch drives, although mounting a 2.5-inch drive will require screws to hold it in place. A small accessory bundle is included with the Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ITX. Inside it are the screws needed to mount the motherboard and drives, plus a few wire ties for additional wire management. A quick install guide is included if you need to validate the number and type of screws in the accessory bundle or need help understanding some of the accessory functions.




Installing my system into the Enthoo Evolv ITX chassis proved uneventful for the most part. There was plenty of room for my not so small hands to work with. The slotted screw holes on the back of the chassis helped position the radiator on the Corsair H90 in the best position. One potential challenge that I thought I would have to deal with turned out to be a non-issue. While installing the GTX Titan X into the motherboard slot, I thought that the mid plate bracket would have to go. As it turns out, there is about a half inch worth of clearance above the top of the PCB of the video card.

The other challenge was the wiring. I would recommend that you purchase a modular power supply if you intend to use the Enthoo Evolv ITX chassis. Now the Thermaltake 750w PSU I used was not modular in design by purpose, as I wanted to see if I could stuff all the wiring into the chassis and still be able to close the side panel up without buckling it. This was something I was able to do thanks to the added room behind the motherboard tray. In the Node 304 I had to clip some of the PSU wiring to make it all fit in the chassis. The overall result turned out quite nicely, offering a good looking build through the side window.



Overall I have to say I am pleased with the construction and build of the Enthoo Evolv ITX. The ease with which the system was installed with room to spare makes a huge difference in how well the build goes together. The ability to fit in a custom water cooling solution just adds another dimension to the chassis. Let's see how it performs in this configuration.

  1. Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ITX Case: Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ITX Case Closer Look: Working Components
  3. Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ITX Case: Specifications & Features
  4. Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ITX Case Testing: Setup & Results
  5. Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ITX Case: Conclusion
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