Introduction and First Impressions
A new ATX version of the Enthoo EVOLV
Phanteks has expanded their Enthoo enclosure lineup with a new ATX version of the popular EVOLV case, and it offers a striking design and some unique features to help it stand out in the mid-tower market.
Phanteks first came to my attention with their large double tower cooler PH-TC14, which competes directly with the Noctua NH-D14 in the CPU air-cooling market. But like a lot of other cooling companies (Cooler Master, Corsair, etc.) Phanteks also offers a full lineup of enclosures as well. Of these the Enthoo EVOLV, which until today has only been available in a micro-ATX and mini-ITX version, has been well-received and has a angular, minimalist look that I like quite a bit. Enter the EVOLV ATX.
With the larger size to this new EVOLV ATX there is not only room for a full-size motherboard, but much more room for components and cooling as well. The internal layout is very similar to the recently reviewed Fractal Design Define S enclosure, with no storage (5.25” or 3.5”) inside the front of the case, which gives the EVOLV ATX a totally open layout. The front is solid metal (though well vented) so we’ll see how this affects cooling, and it will be interesting to see how Phanteks has approached internal storage with the design as well. Let’s get started!
First we have specs from Phanteks:
- Form Factor: Mid-tower
- Materials: Aluminum (3mm) exterior, steel chassis
- Motherboard Support: EATX (up to 264vmm wide), ATX, Micro ATX, Mini ITX
- Front I/O: 2x USB 3.0, Mic, Headphone, Reset
- Side Window: Yes
- Expansion & Drive Bays
- Expansion slots: 7
- Internal 3.5": 8x (5x included)
- Internal 2.5" (dedicated): 3x (2x included)
- Cooling: Front – 3x 120 mm, 2x 140 mm (included); Top – 3x 120 mm, 2x 140 mm; Rear – 1x 120/140 mm (1x 140 mm included)
- Liquid Cooling: Front -Up to 280/360 mm; Top – Up to 280/360 mm; Rear – 120/140 mm
- Clearance – Graphic card: 420 mm (16.54 in) No HDD brackets, 300 mm (11.8 in) HDD brackets installed; PSU: 318 mm (12.5 in); CPU cooler: 194 mm (7.6 in)
- Cable management: 35 mm (1.38 in)
- Memory clearance (motherboard – fan): 120mm: 68 mm (2.68 in), 140mm: 48 mm (1.89 in)
- Dimensions: (WxHxD): 235 mm x 495 mm x 510 mm (9.25 in x 19.5 in x 20.1 in)
- Net Weight:10,2 kg (22.0 lbs)
- Warranty: 5 Years Limited
Our thanks to Phanteks for providing the Enthoo EVOLV ATX enclosure for our review!
- Phanteks EVOLV ATX Enclosure: Available soon – $179.99 MSRP
First off we have the packaging, and as this is my first Phanteks enclosure I’ll touch on it briefly to give a potential buyer an idea of what to expect. The box is glossy and has nice graphics, and more importantly lists the specifications on the side which would help if you were purchasing from a brick-and-mortar retailer (some of us are lucky enough to have a Micro Center nearby, and I am not one of them. I’m talking to you, Morry).
Inside we have the standard dense foam and a plastic bag protecting the enclosure from scratches.
And now… The EVOLV ATX.
This is a striking design, and it feels rock solid. Taking it out of the box it felt pretty heavy, and that makes sense considering this is a hybrid of aluminum and steel (external panels are aluminum, internal frame and additional parts are steel). The case is a little toward the large side for a mid-tower (particularly in width) which translates into a spacious interior and a stable overall look and feel. It would certainly be hard to knock this over if you had it down on the floor, though as nice as this looks you’d probably want it up on the desk.
Now let's talk about the side panels. These are aluminum, extra thick (3 mm) which ensures rigidity, and most importantly they are fully hinged.
You can actually complete the entire build without removing the doors if you wish thanks to these hinges which swing past 180º.
And one final note on the doors, as they are also easily removed by simply lifting them off of the hinge from the top.
These have the potential to become your favorite side panels ever after using them for about 10 seconds.
The accessory pack deserves some attention as well, as I can say this is the best example I’ve seen from an enclosure, period. Hyperbole? Hardly. See for yourself!
Accessories include brackets for 1 pump and 3 HDDs, each wrapped in protective foam
What's this? A plastic organizer with each screw separated? Pretty deluxe. Ok, really deluxe. Oddly there are no labels for each screw type, though I had no trouble identifying what was what (almost like I’ve done this system build thing before…it’s all a blur).
Next we’ll look at the build process with the Enthoo EVOLV ATX.