After the Enthoo Pro M, the Eclipse P400 marks the second time Phanteks has ventured into budget-friendly cases, following on from a consistent string of solid entries in the high-end and mid-range markets. It also marks a new line of cases, one that will presumably be expanded in the future. The P400 still comes in at over £50, so is perhaps not a true budget case, but nonetheless a price of between £53 and £63 (depending on exact model and colour) is still wallet-friendly and puts the P400 in line with NZXT's well-rounded S340.
There are nine different P400 models to pick from, so it's worth briefly outlining the distinctions. The standard P400 is fitted with a window and retails for at least £53, but Phanteks is also producing a silent edition, the P400S, fitted with noise dampening material and available either with or without a window, with both of these models starting at £60. These base prices are for the black versions, but all three can also be purchased in gunmetal grey for £2 extra or in solid white for an additional £3. If you're still struggling to make sense of it, this page over at Overclockers UK should set you straight.
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The last thing to note is that we've been furnished with a pre-production sample in order to meet the reviews embargo. We've been given a list of symptoms that might present as a result of this with the usual promise that they've been addressed for standard retail samples. These include issues with panel alignment and the final paint job, although we didn't think either of these were particularly bad on our sample.
Specifically, we're looking at the black, windowed version of the P400S. Initial impressions are pretty good for a case of this calibre – it's actually quite weighty at 7kg and generally feels nice and sturdy. This undoubtedly has something to do with the outer shell being all metal, and having an outer steel layer on the plastic roof and front panels is definitely appreciated. This is yet another case sporting a minimalist aesthetic, though it aims to ward off dullness with the angular front panel featuring a top grill section and lighting which shines out the bottom for a front underglow effect.
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The I/O ports are neatly integrated into the roof, as is the power button. There are also three additional buttons incorporated under the protruding front lip – reset, fan control and LED control. The fan controller cycles the front intake and rear exhaust fans (both 120mm) through three different speeds, though there's no indication of the current setting. The LED controller, meanwhile, switches the lighting between 10 different colours and a neat touch is that the power LED surrounding the power button changes with it. Phanteks also sells LED strips which can be hooked up to this system if you want an easy way to spruce up the insides as well.
Moving back along the roof we find two magnetic covers for the dual 140mm/120mm roof fan mounts. These are quick and easy to remove and backed with noise dampening material – they're not found on the standard P400. We were also very pleased to find individual magnetic dust covers for these fan mounts in the accessories box – if you do choose to utilise one or both of these fan mounts, then you'll be shielded against dust even when your system is off. This is not a common feature in cases at this price point, so kudos to Phanteks for that. The case is protected elsewhere too, with a simple but mostly effective slide-out PSU dust filter and integrated filters in both the top and bottom sections of the front panel.
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The window in the left panel is basic but gives you a good view inside and is nice and flush with the panel. The opposite panel is flat and featureless, while round back we find a PCI bracket cover – the thumbscrew positions here are changed slightly in the retail version to make hardware installation easier. Lastly, it's good to see a set of foam feet on the bottom rather than just bare plastic which has very little grip.
Dimensions (mm) 210 x 470 x 465 (W x D x H)
Material Steel, plastic
Available colours Black, gunmetal grey, white
Front panel Power, reset, 2 x USB 3, stereo, microphone, 3-step fan control, LED control
Drive bays 2 x 3.5in/2.5in, 2 x 2.5in (4 x 3.5in/2.5in available via optional brackets)
Form factor(s) E-ATX (up to 272mm wide), ATX, micro-ATX, mini-ITX
Cooling 3 x 120mm or 2 x 140mm front fan mounts (1 x 120mm fan included), 1 x 120mm rear fan mount (120mm fan included), 2 x 140mm/120mm roof fan mounts (fans not included)
CPU cooler clearance 170mm
Maximum graphics card length 395mm (280mm with optional HDD bracket)