Building with the EVOLV ATX
First we'll check out the interior of the EVOLV ATX.
The options for radiators with the EVOLV ATX are standard for a modern mid-tower, with dual 120/140 mm fan openings inside the front panel (with a pair of 140 mm fans pre-installed for air intake), as well as the typical exhaust fan opening (again with a 140 mm fan pre-installed) in the back.
And speaking of fan openings, the front mounts have a full screen filter that's easily accessed by popping off the front panel. The screen then snaps out for cleaning.
Given the open layout there is no obstacle to mounting a motherboard, and though this case fully supports larger motherboards you’ll see that I installed a micro-ATX board here (the ASUS Maximus GENE Z97). While I prefer to use mATX boards for flexibility in testing enclosures of different form-factors, the EVOLV ATX provides plenty of room regardless of the form-factor you choose.
I generally install the CPU cooler as the next step in the process, and once again I’m using the Corsair H105 AIO liquid CPU cooler (a 240mm radiator design). Not so typical is the upper fan mount; a removable bracket that slides out once the screws securing it are removed.
After pulling the bracket out and mounting my H105 cooler it was easy to slide it back in and secure the pump to the motherboard.
This is significant. For anyone who has mounted coolers to the top fan mounts you know that it can be kind of a pain, as you hold the cooler in place, trying to line up screws and connect everything without dropping the cooler and breaking something. This was painless: Attach cooler to bracket, slide cooler in to case. All cases should be this way!
With the cooler installed and my MSI Radeon R9 290X graphics card in place (which fit with tons of room to spare in this cavernous enclosure), I looked into the EVOLV ATX’s storage options. These are a little unusual (in a good way).
First we have the basic storage options, visible with a look behind the back panel.
There are two standard 3.5” hard drive bays with toolless plastic trays (quite nice – with an easy latch mechanism on each side to secure the HDD to each tray), and installation of a standard hard drive couldn’t be easier.
Next we have the increasingly common dual 2.5” trays behind the motherboard. Here is another parallel to the Define S, only this time the drive trays have rubber grommets to prevent vibration (just in case you’re using a traditional spinning 2.5” drive I suppose).
Don’t want to hide your fancy SSD behind the motherboard tray? Buck the trend and put that SSD front-and-center courtesy of a front-mounted SSD mount, specifically designed to show the drive through the specially-shaped side panel window.
But wait, there’s more! Included in the deluxe accessory box there three additional 3.5” hard drive mounts, and these mount on the case interior like shelves in the empty space at the front of the enclosure.
Simply remove one of the plastic blanks covering the cable opening and slide the HDD shelf into place (securing it with screws from the other side.
The drives are out of the way without a front radiator with my build, and with the ability to attach one (or all) of these extra drive brackets in any of the available positions gives the builder a lot of flexibility. This is just another example of a well-thought approach to case design with this EVOLV ATX.
Power supply installation was easy as well, and there are four soft feet on the case floor to protect the case and prevent vibrations from the PSU fan as well. This rear location also has a slide-out filter for the PSU.
Next we’ll take a look at the finished build and then see how the EVOLV ATX performed!