Enermax Phoenix Gaming Tower

OverviewThe case is the Phoenix Neo, which is a remake of the older Phoenix released about three years ago. The front of the newer model has been slightly redone to a more modern look. The Neo seems aimed at the gamer looking for a fresh, new stylish look, while still being functional. The total opposite of gaming cases we have seen from Coolermaster, Antec and Silverstone. Speaking of functionality, one of the key features of the Neo is the huge 25cm monster fan on the side panel. Lets take a closer look at the new Phoenix Neo.

 

Introduction of the Enermax Phoenix Neo

Enermax is a world leader in providing some of the most powerful and stable power supplies. For years, they have provided the power to some of the world’s best overclocker’s and gamer’s rigs imaginable. A test of the power and efficiency of their power supplies was on demonstration at CES back in 2008. Enermax had a power supply running a wall of fans and another one was powering a huge system that consisted of an ungodly number of hard drives and processors. What a grand sight to see. Today, we will be taking a look at a product from Enermax a lot of people don’t even know Enermax manufactures. The product is a PC case.

The case is the Phoenix Neo, which is a remake of the older Phoenix released about three years ago. The front of the newer model has been slightly redone to a more modern look. The Neo seems aimed at the gamer looking for a fresh, new stylish look, while still being functional. The total opposite of gaming cases we have seen from Coolermaster, Antec and Silverstone. Speaking of functionality, one of the key features of the Neo is the huge 25cm monster fan on the side panel. Lets take a closer look at the new Phoenix Neo.

Enermax on the Phoenix Neo

The Enermax Phoenix Neo is the ideal mid tower case for the modern day Gamer.  The iconic 250mm monster fan can be adjusted in either intake or exhaust configuration with the flip of a switch, ensuring maximum versatility for any air cooled system while maintaining a low operational temperature with whisper silent acoustics.

Packaging and contents

The front of the box has a dark black background and a picture displaces the face of the case from two angles: front and top. From these images, the first thing I noticed is the aluminum curved rails that trim the left and right sides of the case. Very sleek. The back of the box is white to make it easier for the buyer to read the details of the case which are printed here. 

Specifications

Model ECA3162-B
Type ATX mid tower
Dimensions 216(W) X 503(D) X 448(H) mm
Material SEC & Aluminum
Motherboard ATX & Micro ATX
Drive Bay 5.25″ (5)
3.5″ (1 expose) and (4 hidden)
Power Supply Type PS2
Front I/O 1 x eSATA, 4 x USB 2.0, High Definition Audio I/O
Cooling 25cm fan (1) 600~900 RPM, front 12cm LED fan (1), rear 12cm fan (optional)
Expansion Slot

7

 

Close look internally

The original Phoenix came in black and silver. From the Enermax’s web site, I can see that the new Neo is only available in black. This is no issue for me, because I like all my PC cases black. Being of mid-tower design, the Neo measures just under 18 inches tall: ideal for people with space limitations. The side rails engulf the front face are made up of 3mm aluminum, giving the case a hint of aggressiveness.

I truly like the front panel on the Neo. The top half is made up of five 5.25 inch drive bays with the top two consisting of sheath panels for CD-Rom devices. Not being able to see the front of the device allows for better consistency. A single floppy drive bay sits underneath the other bays. Located at the bottom is a 120mm fan opening for air intake. Protecting the fan is removable grill cover followed by a washable filter.

The top of the case is not as eventful as some other cases we have seen lately. The half consist of just what I like to see. Plenty of USB ports, four of them as a matter of fact. Eliminated from the input ports is firewire being replaced with a single eSATA port.

The huge 25cm cooling fan that I mentioned in the introduction is located on the left side panel. This thing takes up most of the panel. From the side up, we can see there will be a blue glow emanating from it when power is one. The switches on the side of the fan control the intensity of the glow as well as the speed of the fan, which is 600-900 RPM.

The rear of the case is the first real sign that part of the case is made of SECC metal. The rear is pretty dull, consisting of the usual top mount power supply opening and seven PCI expansion slots. At the bottom are two rubber grommets for water-cooling tubing.

 

Closer look externally

The interior of the Phoenix Neo is far from being the talk of the town. Even though it’s not exciting, it is very functional and that is more important. The blue retention clips lock down the contents of the expansion slots.

The first part of the case houses all drives and other devices that can be put into the enclosure:a total of five 5.25″ and five 3.5″ drive bays. Each of them requires plastic retention mechanisms to lock them in. The HDD bays are turned outwards for easy access. The Neo comes with one more fan slot at the front intake, which was not installed in our sample, but was in the box.

The rear of the case is very simple, except for the rubber inlet for water-cooling tubing and the blue locking mechanism used to secure cards into place.

 

Installation of the Phoenix Neo

The Phoenix Neo is a very easy case to work inside. With the addition of the locking devices for the drives and rear cards, we were able to assemble a rig in no time. Here are a few images of what we went through to build the system.

 

Conclusion

The Phoenix offers a host of small features that will make it attractive to a lot of people. The first thing that appealed to me was the front face. It has all the fine modern lines that gamers and anyone that want a great looking case would love to have. The diamond aluminum is what really set it off for me. Another super feature is the huge 25cm fan that Enermax integrated into the side of the case. Enermax gives the user full control over the rotation and the brightness of the fan, but what is more impressive is the fan is still quiet at 900 RPM.

I believe the only thing the Phoenix lacks for a $75 case is a rear exhaust fan and front intake. I believe an additional 120mm would not skyrocket the price of the case, but then again Enermax did integrate four USB and one eSATA port into the top of case. I guess that does make up for the lack of fan in the rear of the case.

Good job, Enermax.

 


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