Well ventilated Phanteks cases such as the Enthoo Luxe do quite well when pitched against our test gear, but the Evolv range has often struggled thanks to its aesthetic-focussed design. However, with the CPU delta T at least, we were pleasantly surprised, with the Evolv X hitting 51°C, which is only just short of the Enthoo Pro M Tempered Glass and Cooler Master Cosmos C700P, although the Enthoo Luxe Tempered Glass still managed to knock another 4°C off this result. This is maybe due in part to the air in the roof of the case being better able to escape through the larger vents and this area not getting quite as toasty as it has with other Evolv cases.
The GPU delta T was in the lower half of the results, so Phanteks can't have things all its own way. Again, that closed front panel is never going to be able to compete with the high airflow designs such as the Cooler Master H500 series, with the MasterCase H500M managing to dip 5°C lower - and even this is 3°C warmer than our best result. The main issue here are the fans, which were extremely quiet at full speed with the chassis closed up - good for low noise but undoubtedly limited in cooling prowess. Still, our GPU uses a reference blower fan, and the result is acceptable and far from a fail.
The £200 asking price is a lot for a PC case, and it's always worth remembering that there are plenty of cases that cost half the price that do a decent job, allowing you to plough that saving into a bigger SSD or faster graphics card. However, we can't deny that the Evolv X is an absolutely stunning case with cutting-edge features and design, and we believe it warrants its price tag on many fronts. It has the best cable routing system we've ever seen, excellent water cooling and storage support out of the box with even more space for SSDs and hard disks using optional brackets, plus it can even house a second system - not bad considering how much smaller it is than the Corsair 1000D. You get attractive but not in-your-face RGB lighting and reasonable cooling performance too. What you're looking at, though, is possibly the best ATX case of 2018, and we think it will be a while before anything else comes close.
February 17 2020 | 09:00