Phanteks Eclipse G360A Mesh Front Case Review
The Return of Phanboy?
Many of the long time readers (or at least over the last three years) of my PC enclosure reviews will know that I have shown a great deal of love to several of the Phanteks cases that I’ve reviewed/owned in that time. Phanteks has been one of the innovators in the enclosure market over the last several years and many of the features that they introduced have become the industry standard.
If you like having Velcro ties for cable management and hard drive trays in the power supply section of your PC, you have Phanteks to thank, and before their Evolv line, a case with tempered glass side panels was going to cost in excess of $300 USD.
With all that said, Phanteks has been a bit quiet with new enclosure designs over the last couple of years (not like there was a global pandemic or anything). They have introduced several new models, but they have all been based on an existing chassis with small changes in design elements or appearance. That changed earlier this year with the release of the Evolv Shift XT, a very interesting small form factor enclosure.
Today we see the first of the new G-Line of enclosures, the Phanteks G360A. Some of the benefits of the G360A include places for a lot of fans, good radiator support, a very clean aesthetic, and an MSRP just below $100 US. This new enclosure is what Phanteks is calling a “high value D-RGB gaming chassis.” Is it? Can I offer an objective assessment of a Phanteks product? Let’s dive in and find out.
- Form Factor: Mid Tower
- Materials: Steel Chassis, Tempered Glass
- PCI Slots: 7
- Motherboard Support: ATX, micro-ATX, mini-ITX, E-ATX (up to 280mm wide)
- Front I/O:
- 2x USB 3.0
- D-RGB Color button
- D-RGB Mode button
- Power button
- Power Switch
- USB 3.0
- D-RGB expansion
- D-RGB third-party
- D-RGB Motherboard
- SATA Power
- Drive Bays:
- Internal 3.5” bay 2 (2x included)
- Internal 2.5” bay 3 (2x included)
- Component Clearance:
- GPU Length 400 mm / 15.7 in
- Vertical GPU support: Yes, with optional bracket PH-VGPUKT4.0_03
- CPU Cooler Height 162 mm / 6.3 in
- PSU Length 220 mm / 280 mm (depends on HDD Cage location)
- Cable Management 36 mm / 1.4 in
- GPU Length 400 mm / 15.7 in
- Fan Support:
- Front Fan: 3 x 120 mm / 2 x 140 mm (3 x 120 mm included)
- Top Fan: 3 x 120 mm / 2 x 140 mm
- Rear Fan: 1 x 120 mm
- Radiator Support:
- Front Radiator: up to 360 / up to 280
- Top Radiator: up to 360
- Rear Radiator: 120
- Fan Clearance:
- Front panel fan thickness: 30 mm for fan or radiator
- Front 360 Radiator: 122 x 398 x 65 mm
- Front 280 Radiator: 142 x 330 mm
- Top 360 Radiator 122 x 398 mm with 42 mm RAM height clearance
- Fan Clearance:
- Case Dimensions (DxWxH): 455 x 200 x 465 mm / 17.9 x 7.87 x 18.3 in
- Net Weight 6.7 kg / 14.8 lbs
- Warranty 5 Years Limited
“The Eclipse G360A builds on the exceptional value of the P360A chassis and sets the bar even higher with more fan locations and 360 radiator support to meet next generation hardware cooling demand. The metal front panel features Phanteks’ Ultra-fine Performance Mesh design that combines high airflow performance with dust filtration, all-in-one. With its high performance design, the G360A is ready for powerful gaming setups, offering 360 radiator options in the top and front while having plenty of space for full-length GPUs, multiple HDD and SSD locations, and a vertical GPU mounting option.”
The Eclipse G360A
At first glance the G360A looks a lot like the P400A with its full mesh front panel, three A-RGB fans, and an even greater resemblance to the much more expensive P500A, due to the RGB strip that runs along the top edge of the PSU basement.
At this point I’d like to make a statement about the color of my review sample. Phanteks calls the color Matte White, but the texture of the paint gives it an almost pearlescent quality when it catches the light. It really is a great looking color. I was also impressed that the color of the plastic feet and buttons on the case matched the painted metal surfaces perfectly. On a white enclosure, that’s not something that I’ve encountered often on budget friendly cases, and I’ve even seen some very expensive white cases with trim that did not match the paint.
The three front A-RGB fans and the side A-RGB strip can be controlled by the on board Phanteks controller. In fact any Phanteks A-RGB accessory can be daisy chained into the system and all of them controlled by the buttons at the top front. You can also use the included, standard three-pin 5v A-RGB plug and connect to your motherboard, or another type of A-RGB control. The lighting effects are numerous, and on my matte white sample, they made the entire case just pop with color. Based solely on appearance, Phanteks hit a homerun.
Eclipse G360A Interior
Upon closer inspection, the single stamped steel sheet construction of the internals is more similar to their more budget friendly P300 case family. This isn’t necessarily a drawback, as it allows the manufacturer to save costs without sacrificing rigidity or function.
The tempered glass side panel is attached with two thumbscrews at the rear, and is easy to remove and reattach. On the back side of the motherboard tray you will find two removable sleds for 2.5 inch drives, with a spot for a third sled. In the power supply basement there are two 3.5 inch drive bays that can be adjusted further towards the front of the case, or removed entirely. Given how rare it seems to be for people to use 3.5 inch drives in modern gaming systems, most might be better off by removing the bays and using that space for cable management. Even with the 3.5 inch drive bays in place, there is still plenty of space to organize or to hide your cables away.
One area that I wasn’t extremely happy with the G360A is the rear PCI expansion slot design. Phanteks opted to use single stamped sheet here as well. This again is a method they’ve used on their more budget line of cases. I’m just not a big fan of it.
With the additional rigidity offered by more traditional designs here, it just feels a bit flimsy, and I had some difficulty in getting the bracket holes to line up with two of the three GPUs I test fitted inside the case. I’m also not a big fan of the screw on, locking plate that is commonly used with this design.
The top panel is covered by a magnetic dust filter boasts support for up to a 360mm radiator. The 360mm compatibility is a little snug and is suitable for most 360 AIO coolers, or if you’re one of those custom loop people, I’d recommend one of the more narrow models (like the HardwareLabs L series radiators which are only 120mm wide) and nothing more than 30mm thick.
In the front of the case, behind that wonderful mesh front, are three 120mm fully addressable RGB fans. The mesh front panel can be removed easily by pulling from the bottom, and the removable fan/radiator bracket is attached with six screws. There are three open ports on to the side of the fans that can be used for cable routing and these keep your fan and RGB cables out the main chamber of the case.
I’m not certain why Phanteks did not route the cables through them from the factory, but as there are zip tie loops here, it is obviously what they are designed for. If doing a build in this case, the first thing I would do is re-route the front fan cables through these holes and you’d never need to see them through the glass side panel again.
You can mount up to a 360mm radiator at the front either behind the fans, or by moving the fans to the inside of the brackets, you can fit a radiator just behind the mesh as I’ve shown in the photos. In the accompanying literature, Phanteks says that using a 360 radiator in the front and top simultaneously is not possible, but if you place a 30mm thick radiator in front of the fans, and then use one of the smaller 360’s in the top, I’m certain it can be done.
Speaking of the included fans, I was disappointed that the G360A did not include a rear exhaust fan. In its stock configuration the G360A doesn’t have a method to exhaust the heat that builds up during high load situations like gaming. You could move one of the front fans to the rear, but my testing shows that this case really benefits from having three intake fans at the front.
Test System Specs:
- AMD Ryzen 7 3800x [@4.0 Ghz, all core, 1.138 volts (1.08 Vdroop under load) 90 watt package power]
- ASRock X570M Pro4 Motherboard
- Be Quiet! Dark Rock TF2 CPU Cooler with middle fan only fixed @ 1400 rpm
- 16 GB (2×8) G Skill Trident Z 3333 (@3600) Memory
- Zotac GTX 1080ti Amp Extreme fans speed fixed @ 1200 rpm
- WD Black Edition 500 GB NVMe SSD
All tests conducted at a controlled ambient temperature of 23.5° C.
- Standardized Airflow Test: 3 x Be Quiet Pure Wings 2 120mm Fans (2 intake, 1 exhaust at 1000 rpm)
- CPU Temperature Testing: OCCT set to Small FFT Extreme Steady for 30 minutes
- GPU Temperature Testing: Unigine Heaven set to Ultra Detail, Extreme Tesselation, and 8x Anti Aliasing at 1440p for 30 minutes.
Sound Testing: Testing conducted with microphone placed 30 cm from system. Measured ambient noise floor is 28.5 db. All fans set to same speeds as with temperature testing.
Normally during testing, I will leave a cases fans at 100 percent, but the three included fans with the G360A are quiet loud at their max 1600 rpm, so I did two batteries of tests with the stock fans, one set at 1600 rpm, and another at 1200 rpm, where the fans have a much more pleasant noise profile. There was so little difference in the temperatures from these tests that I don’t see any reason someone would need to run the stock fans at full speed.
I was also impressed by the performance of these fans. As I mentioned earlier I was concerned by the lack of an exhaust fan, and while I still think the case would benefit from one more fan in the rear, the stock fans outperformed my standardized airflow test (2×120 intake, 1×120 exhaust) by a large margin.
Even after testing, and building a few test systems in the G360A, I still had some questions to answer. It is not as well built as the P400A, although the two are very close in price, but it does offer a lot more fan and radiator support than the P400A.
In terms of performance and compatibility the G360A is actually on par with the P500A, which is 1.5 times the price. Then again, the G360A did take a few shortcuts in its construction to hit that lower price point. It’s not badly built, it just does not have as premium construction as some other cases in the price range, but it still has wider support for radiators, fans, and in the long run, the ability to support a more powerful system than most of those competitors.
In the end, I had to look at it as someone who’s going to purchase this enclosure, build their PC in it, and then never have to fuss with the PCI expansion brackets, or anything else again. In that situation, the G360A is an excellent enclosure that offers much higher end performance than its $99.99 US price tag. Because of that, I’m giving it the PC Perspective Silver Award.
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How Product Was Obtained
The product is on loan from Phanteks for the purpose of this review.
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