There are similarities inside but a lot of new gadgets too. Sliding cable covers eliminate those unwanted gaps and unused holes by moving back and forth to allow cables to sit snugly, while a single sliding plate gives graphics card cables the same treatment from below in the PSU cover. The cover itself sports a long strip of RGB lighting in the corner that's visible through the tinted side panels too.
Behind the motherboard tray things get even more interesting. Two large plates hide all those ugly cables and have plenty of clearance underneath too. Unlike Cooler Master's recent efforts with its H500 series, these plates are hinged and very sturdy, making them far easier to use. All those little dimples in the plates are 2.5" SSD mounts as well - six in total, with rubber mounts for three more using optional brackets below the CPU area cutout.
You get the standard Phanteks Velcro ties, which work brilliantly, and the majority of cables are already neatly routed and gathered for you. There are plenty to deal with thanks to the RGB lighting, but the three included fans are already wired up to a seven-port fan hub, which can use the PWM signal from your motherboard to control both three-pin and four-pin fans.
The front section includes two 140mm fans as standard and below you can see the side panels - one secured with thumb screws and the other not. the dust filter here pops off easily as does the aluminium door, providing simple access to the fan mounts. There's no space in front of the fans for radiators, but behind them there's more than 60mm clearance between them and the PSU cover.
The front door is pre-fitted with two addressable RGB LED strips that glow either side of the door, with the connection being integrated into the door itself for minimal fuss. Currently, you can use Asus Aura Sync or MSI Mystic light to control the lighting from your motherboard. The onboard controller can switch between a dozen or so colours or four lighting effects including rainbow plus you can also turn them off.
The front section can house either a 360mm or 420mm radiator while the new roof, courtesy of an offset fan mount, has space for the same except you'll need to dip down to a 280mm radiator for 140mm-based radiators.
There's a whole load of accessories for the case too, both included and optional. In the box is an airflow cover that prevents air recirculation if you install just two fans in the roof, otherwise air could spill back down into the case, especially as we're still not talking about mega amounts of ventilation here. You also get an anti-GPU sag bracket and vertical GPU mount. However, the riser cable for this is sold separately. Optional accessories includes Phanteks' pump bracket, and amazingly the Evolv X is also dual system-capable too with an upgrade kit creating a mount for a mini-ITX motherboard in the roof with space for a graphics card too using a riser cable and a removable plate making way for a second I/O shield.
Also included are four modular 3.5"/2.5" brackets. These slot into the base of the case and can be stacked on top of one another. Phantek's has worked in more genius here, though, as there's space for another six of these in the main chamber, attaching to the area where those sliding cable covers are. This not overly massive ATX case, then, not only has decent water-cooling support but can house 10 hard disks and nine SSDs using optional brackets. The only niggle we have here is that none of the drive mounts are tool-free, so if you do end up using all 19 drive bays, that's a lot of fiddly screws.
However, even here Phanteks probably has an answer, as the 3.5" brackets all sport excellent anti-vibration, and we certainly can't argue with build quality either - here or elsewhere.
August 23 2019 | 14:00