Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV ATX Tempered Glass Edition Review (Page 2 of 4)

Page 2 - Physical Look - Outside

Is the Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV ATX Tempered Glass Edition designed by someone with a ruler? I doubt it, but it is not because it does not have straight lines. In fact, it still does. Rather, it is probably because they used computer-aided design software. Cracks aside, we have seen our share of chassis composed completely of straight lines, and the difference in results can be drastic. While the Fractal Design Define R5 looks like a fridge, the In Win 805 is minimalist and simple without a thread of boring. With the Enthoo EVOLV ATX Tempered Glass Edition, a few extra straight lines were added to create an octagonal shape, which has not changed since the creation of the EVOLV ATX we reviewed last year. The front panel is a three-dimensional interpretation of this design theme; where gaps on the side provide ventilation for the two 140mm intake fans in front. A clear strip lit by a ten color RGB LED can be seen near the bottom. Meanwhile, tinted full sized tempered glass panels on both sides of the EVOLV ATX provides a full, unobstructed view inside. Both glass panels are attached to the main frame by four thumbscrews, thereby foregoing the hinged panel of the original model. The rest of the chassis is made out of high quality, 3mm thick aluminum panels.

Measuring in at 235mm width, 495mm height, and 510mm depth, the Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV ATX Tempered Glass Edition's dimensions are about right for a mid-tower chassis. It tips the scales at 28 lbs, which is a few pounds heavier than the regular version. All in all, I found the design to be clean and unique looking at the same time. Our particular version is in Satin Black, but the colors Anthracite Grey and Galaxy Silver are also available. I think Phanteks found the right balance between conservatism and design risk with the Enthoo EVOLV ATX Tempered Glass Edition. If you want something that is visually appealing and does not look ridiculous, this chassis will fit the description of an eye candy for many people.

The Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV ATX Tempered Glass Edition's front panel connectors are literally on the front panel, rather than on top like many new chassis. It sits behind a rotating door to keep the ports out of sight and protected from dust when not in use. The layout configuration is pretty standard; starting from the left, we have two horizontally oriented USB 3.0 ports, two 3.5mm audio jacks for microphone in and headphone out, respectively, and an RGB LED control button. The RGB LED control button replaces the reset button found on the non-tempered glass version of this case. Holding it down turns the LEDs off, while a short press cycles between then ten available colors, and holding it down for two seconds cycles between static, breathing, or color cycle mode. If you purchase the optional internal LED strips from Phanteks, this button will provide synchronized integrated control for your computer's internal lighting as well. Otherwise, it will only change the color of the light in front of the case and the illuminated perimeter of the oval power button at the top.

Unlike its vanilla brother, the EVOLV ATX Tempered Glass Edition has an HDD activity indicator. The two integrated LEDs on the case doubles as the HDD activity indicator, and blinks upon drive activity. Our photo above shows the front panel removed, held in by four tabs, which can be released by a quick tug at the top. Taking it off reveals a space that can accommodate up to three 120mm or 140mm fans; two of which -- a Phanteks PH-F140SP -- is included from the factory. The stock fans are black in color. A removable washable dust filter is present to keep the nasty stuff out, which is something I definitely appreciate.

Meanwhile, the top panel is a solid piece of aluminum, but has accommodation for fans or radiators. Traditionally, case designers install top mounted fans to efficiently draw heat away from the processor. This makes a lot of sense, since heat rises, so we are only adhering to the natural laws of physics. Unfortunately, this is a two-way street, as it is also very easy to get a lot of dust in the system that way when it is turned off. Some users really like it, but personally, I never install fans in this area, so usually I will be complaining at this point if I see an unrestricted opening. However, Phanteks cleverly created edges at a 45-degree angle with five ventilation slits on each side enclosed by a mesh grille for airflow. An additional opening protected by an integrated grille at the back - more on this later -- ensure the chassis design's impact on thermal performance is minimized. Needless to say, I like it.

Painted black to match the rest of the chassis, the back of Phanteks' Enthoo EVOLV ATX Tempered Glass Edition is pretty much standard for a case with a bottom mounted power supply bay. We can expectantly spot an included black colored PH-F140SP 140mm fan placed adjacent to the motherboard I/O backplate. Normally, you will only get a 120mm fan here, but the fatness really pays off. Much to our surprise, there are no radiator pipe openings, but I think external water cooling systems are practically non-existent nowadays. Instead, we have two vertical slits in the adjacent ventilated area to mount reservoirs for custom loop water coolers. Both side panels are held closed by four thumbscrews each as mentioned earlier. There are no quick release mechanisms, but this is totally understandable, considering these are pure tempered glass panels. Meanwhile, the ventilated plates enclosing the seven expansion card slots are also painted black, as shown in our photo above. The eighth one is missing for some reason, so those planning to install a dual slot graphics card at the bottom motherboard slot is out of luck.

Large aluminum brackets with small rubber strips can be seen at the bottom of the Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV ATX Tempered Glass Edition. The legs provide the chassis about 2 cm rise over the surface it resides on. For those who have custom loop water cooling in their systems, the bottom panel has four additional slits for you to attach your equipment. The washable fan filter for the power supply intake fan can be seen in our photo above, which can be pulled out for easy cleaning at the back.

Overall, the Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV ATX Tempered Glass Edition ATX case is one of the most solid cases I have seen with regards to build quality. All the panels fit together extremely well with minimal panel gaps -- in fact, it is pretty darn close to perfection in refinement. With that out of the way, nothing feels flimsy or cheap. Sharp edges are out of the question. The amount of attention to detail is very noticeable. Too bad there is no sound insulation material anywhere, but at no point did I doubt the manufacturing quality of this product.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Installation and Conclusion