Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV ITX Review

May 20, 2015 // 12:21 p.m.

Tags: #best-mini-itx-case #mini-itx #phanteks #phanteks-enthoo-evolv-itx-review

Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV ITX Review

Manufacturer: Phanteks
UK price (as reviewed):
£42.12 (inc VAT)
US price (as reviewed): $69.99 (ex Tax)

Having taken the full tower case market by storm with some fantastic chassis like the Enthoo Primo and Enthoo Luxe, and also demonstrating some serious skill in the micro-ATX arena with the Enthoo EVOLV, Phanteks has finally turned its attention to the mini-ITX market. With an impressively low price tag of just over £40 (or just under for the windowless model), the EVOLV ITX is coming out swinging.

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While the EVOLV ITX is hewn partially from plastic, it has an exterior dominated by steel – it's fairly thin steel, but the panels do not creak and there's little flex to them. There's no more aluminium, as there was with its bigger brother, but that's understandable given the significantly lowered price tag. The shape is very similar to the original EVOLV too, with a clean, angular design, minimalist panels and an indented front section with some small cutaways for airflow. Likewise, the roof has a few small vents cut into it, but by and large this is again an insulated, low airflow case. Even the dimensions are very similar to the original – only the height as really changed, shrunk by 75mm.

The chassis grants easy access to the front I/O ports and reset button, with the roof-mounted power button also simple to find without looking. The white power LED is used to light up the front Phanteks logo.

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The steel front fascia pulls away easily and cleanly – it doesn't bring the I/O ports or LED cabling with it. This exposes the front dust filter, which guards the large 200mm intake fan. This can be swapped for two 140mm or 120mm fans instead, and is the case's only default fan. It is good to see so large a fan included with such an affordable chassis, but having an exhaust is fan is usually always better when you're limited to one fan – a rear or roof 140mm would quite likely offer better cooling.

The windowed version's left panel is dominated by the feature, which has a slight tint to it but otherwise gives you a great view of the clean internals. Otherwise, the flat sides and roof panels are empty, though you can install a pair of fans in the roof and these will push air out of the small vents along the side.

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The rear 140mm/120mm fan mount is empty by default, but the elongated struts mean you can adjust the height of any fan or radiator you install there. The back is also where you access the plastic slide out dust filter protecting the PSU, which you can easily replace once cleaned without lifting the case up. There are no other features on the bottom besides the set of foam feet – rubber would be better but it's a decent compromise given the case and still gives the EVOLV ITX more grip than standing on bare plastic or metal, and a little extra clearance too.

Specifications

  • Dimensions (mm) 230 x 395 x 375 (W x D x H)
  • Material Steel, plastic
  • Available colours Black
  • Front panel Power, reset, 2 x USB 3, stereo, microphone
  • Drive bays 2 x internal 3.5in/2.5in, 1 x internal 2.5in, 1 x optional 3.5in/2.5in (bracket purchased separately)
  • Form factor(s) Mini-ITX
  • Cooling 1 x 200mm or 2 x 140mm/120mm front fan mounts (1 x 200mm fan included), 1 x 140mm/120mm rear fan mount, 2 x 140mm/120mm roof fan mounts (fans not included)
  • CPU cooler clearance 200mm
  • Maximum graphics card length 330mm
  • Extras Removable dust filters, Velcro cable ties

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