Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV ITX Case Review
Posted by Heath Coop on Thursday, March 5, 2015 - 9:31am
Phanteks was founded from a group of engineers with a total of 20 years of international experience in thermal solutions. They paired up with a Dutch design team and established Phanteks in 2007. Phanteks venture into the CPU cooling industry with two goals in mind, “High-end quality and innovative products in thermal solutions.”
Today we are taking a look at the Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV ITX. The Evolv ITX l has long list of features that enthusiasts look for in an ITX case. There are multiple drive mounting points that support both 2.5 and 2.5 drives. There is support for up to 5 fans and dual radiators. The top radiator mount slides out for easy installation. Phanteks even includes a water pump mounting bracket. Top that off with rubber cable grommets, Phanteks' hook-and-loop cable management, and black or white finishes shows that Phanteks is looking to deliver a unique product.
Phanteks' take on the Enthoo EVOLV ITX
Big on features and small in size, the Enthoo EVOLV ITX is a budget oriented chassis that uses a metal exterior. The case introduces a new unique bracket solution for mounting a radiator on top and a multifunctional bracket for reservoir, pump, and SSD/HDD.
Enthoo Evolv ITX includes 1 x 200mm fan in front. Ability to upgrade to additional fans is possible.
- Metal exterior
- Clean and Compact design
- Clean interior
- Optimal airflow - Direct airflow to CPU / GPU
- Comes with 1x PH-F200SP in front (200mm)
- Reservoir mounting points on the Side Bracket
- Pump Bracket with vibration dampers - Mounted on Side Bracket/ HDD base
- Offset radiator brackets
- 1x Drop-N-Lock SSD brackets included
- Equipped with Phanteks’ velcro cable ties
- 28mm cable management space
- Additional cable compartment in bottom
Packaging and Specifications
The Enthoo EVOLV ITX comes in a brown cardboard box with black graphics. The front shows outline of the case itself.
The other side features a blown apart view of the case.
One side of the box there is a list of the specifications.
Some basic information is provided on the other.
The case is wrapped in a protective plastic bag. Two Styrofoam end caps keep the case safe during transport.
Now out of the packaging, we get a look at the Enthoo EVOLV ITX. The case is painted in a satin black textured finish. The side window has a mild smoke tint.
The right side panel is much like the left, but without the window.
The front bezel of the Enthoo EVOLV ITX has the same textured black finish. The panel has 2 USB 3.0 ports, a headphone port, and a microphone port.
Around the back, we see 2 expansion slots. The case includes the option of a rear mounted 120mm or 140mm fan.
The power button is located on the top of the case just behind the front bezel.
There are mesh ventilation slots along each side on the top of the case.
The front bezel hides a filtered 200mm fan. The filter is easy to remove for cleaning and is made from a fine mesh. The plastic snaps that hold it in place appear durable and should provide years of trouble free use. Optionally, two 120mm or two 140mm fans cans be used in place of the supplied 200mm fan.
A Closer Look Continued
There is a large CPU cutout in the motherboard tray. The motherboard standoffs are preinstalled.
The power supply intake is also filtered. Four rubber cushions are used to minimize vibration.
Rubber grommets keep the various wires from chaffing. The front of the case is design to be able to take a 240mm radiator.
Details are abound, like this option secondary drive mount which has the Phanteks logo.
One of the most unique features on the Enthoo EVOLV ITX is this slide out fan mounting bracket. It allows for easy fan or radiator installation. Two 120mm fans or two 140mm fans are supported. Alternately, a 240mm or 280mm radiator can be installed as well.
Four rubber feet provide cushion for the case and reduce the possibility of the case scratching whatever surface it is set on.
The power supply filter is made of the same fine mesh that the front fan filter is made of. It simply slides out the back for easy maintenance.
The backside of the motherboard tray is quite open for an ITX case. The CPU cutout is extremely large. The power supply and drives are both accessed from this side. An optional 2.5 drive case is installed in the upper front section.
Hook and loop straps with the Phanteks logo provide easy cable management. They are adjustable enough for the most unruly cable bundle to be tamed.
Drive installation is completely tool free for 3.5 drives. 2.5 drives do require mounting via screws.
All the cables are black for a stealthy installation and are the proper length for the case.
Three boxes of accessories are include with the Enthoo EVOLV ITX.
The accessories box contains the Quick Installation Guide, as well as all the screws and ties needed for the case.
The HDD box contains an optional HDD mount
The pump bracket box contains just that, a pump bracket. Design to except a wide variety of water pumps, that rubber isolated bracket may come in handy for those who chose water cooling with the Enthoo EVOLV ITX.
System components used:
- ASRock Z97E-ITX/acMotherboard
- Intel Core i7 4790K Processor
- G.Skill Ripjaws X 8GB 2400MHz Memory
- Gigabyte G1 Gaming GeForce GTX 970 Graphics Card
- OCZ ZT Series 550w Silver Power Supply
- 1x OCZ Vertex 460 240GB Solid State Drive
- Samsung Spinpoint F1 HD103UJ 1TB Hard Drive
- Corsair H100 AIO Water Cooler
- 2x BitFenix Spectre Pro 120mm Blue LED Fans (on radiator)
The build went smoothly and all the parts fit in the case without a hitch. The finished build has a somewhat simply yet elegant feel to it
Wire management was no issue. Even though wire ties were include, I found no need for them, a first for me. All the wiring cleared without interfering with the side panel. Only 2 3.5/2.5 drive bays were used. The motherboard CPU cutout is plenty large enough to allow for just about any CPU placement.
The offset build into the upper fan mount allowed the Corsair H100 AIO cooler to clear easily.
All the wiring tucked away nicely. The Gigabyte G1 Gaming GeForce GTX 970 graphics card is the longest one I have on hand and clears with room to spare.
All powered up, the Enthoo EVOLV ITX looks great. The large side window is a nice touch.
From any angle, it is a real pleasure to look at.
Let's wrap this review up on the next page.
Final Thoughts and Conclusion
The Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV ITX has me a bit taken back. This is my first opportunity working with a Phanteks case and I know see what all the buzz is about. Not a single detail seems to have been overlooked. In fact, it seems as Phanteks went out of their way to include many details that most case manufactures would not have even thought of. From the hook and loop cable management to the include water pump mount; I just continued to be impressed at every turn.
The tool-less design and full feature set made the Enthoo EVOLV ITX easy to build in. Being an ITX case does mean that things can get a bit cramped and cable management, though easy, still takes additional time. Power supply length is also limited, so careful part planning is a must. It may also rule out running a dual GPU graphics card, as a large enough power supply to run it may not fit.
It is hard to overlook the price. I was able to find the Enthoo EVOLV ITX for as little as $79.99 at a popular online retailer. This is a price that is not only extremely competitive; it sets a new standard for what a case with this level of detail should cost.
- Solid Construction
- Good Looks
- Good Ventilation
- Support Full Water Cooling with Dual Radiators
- Easy to Work with
- Unique Slide Out Upper Fan Mount
- Power Supply Length May Limit GPU Options