Build Process

Beginning the build process with the motherboard, you can see a pair of grommets above and below the board for cable routing, and there are more out of view to the right.

From this first shot it would appear that wider motherboards would not fit, but that is due to the protruding panel just to the right of the board. This panel can be removed, which also permits the installation of longer GPUs – as I soon learned. As I began to install my XFX Radeon R9 290X DD card, I found the bracket to block this process, with the back end of the card held too far away from the motherboard. A few screws later this bracket was out, and my card fit in perfectly.

As usual my next act was CPU cooler installation, and while the Enthoo Primo offers a ridiculous amount of options, I was a little more limited with an all-in-one cooler due to the length of the attached hoses.

Mounting this Corsair H100i GTX cooler to the upper fan mounts was a simple matter, though a look from the top shows how much unused space the 240 mm design leaves.

The Primo can support a 480 mm radiator on the upper mount, or 420 mm if you are using 140 mm width. A typical alternative is to position the radiator on the front intake, and here we indeed have that option – but not with this cooler.

With the front panel removed (it simply snaps into place) we see a pair of 140 mm intake fans pre-installed. These could make way for a radiator, and there would be sufficient space behind them for fans, but given the size of the case my all-in-one cooler could not reach the CPU from here. The Primo is very friendly to a custom loop.

One quick note, as you can see above the front panel is tethered to the case by a single cable, but this is easily removed with a connector you can just see toward the left.

I'm going to proceed out of order a bit here, as there are some steps you must take to open the Primo to all cooling options. First, however, we'll talk about power supply installation.

If you look closely at the back of the enclosure you may notice the outline of a second PSU mount to the right of the existing one. We will provide a followup to this review soon with Phanteks' dual-PSU adapter, which is a very interesting solution to high system power needs with two lower-wattage PSUs acting as one. The Primo is the enclosure designed to take advantage of this adapter.

Adding our standard ATX power supply on the left side was painless, and cable mess will be completely hidden from view from the other side. I'll point out again just how much room there is on the back side of the enclosure, which makes for a refreshingly simple build process.

Moving quickly to other side of this back panel area, we have the storage area seen in the interior photos on the previous page.

What's important to note is each of the two hard drive cages can be easily removed, as well as the bracket beneath, leaving the area behind them wide open.

There should be no issue with compatibility of any radiator or fan configuration with this much room available.

As to the drives themselves, for their part 3.5-inch hard drives are first installed – without tools – into their plastic trays.

3.5" hard drives lock into place by swinging the latch into position on each side

After being attached to their tray, the hard drives simply slide into place.

2.5-inch drive installation is just as simple, but will require screws to attach your SSD to the included brackets. Once the SSD is screwed in to the mounting plate, it slides into place with the rubber-covered mounts providing a tight fit.

The SSDs also benefit from a clever grommeted opening to the right that allows the power and SATA cables to be routed much more efficiently.

The next page covers the enclosure test setup and methodology, or you may choose to skip to the last page to see the completed build and performance results.

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