Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ATX Tempered Glass Mid-Tower Case Review

Phanteks leans pretty hard on the Enthoo name for case branding, and the Evolv name invokes a style that the company has spread across the spectrum from Mini ITX to full ATX. Phanteks even lists EATX capability for its Evolv ATX, though actual motherboard depth is limited to 10.4". The case would need another 0.3" to make it fit the plethora of 10.6" to 10.7" extreme-enthusiast motherboards that have been misnamed EATX by their manufacturers, but rest assured your standard ATX board fits. And now for something to get excited about!

Tempered glass adds a little show without making the case look gaudy, which is why it was used so often in furniture 30 years ago. It's harder than normal glass, more impact resistant, and those unfortunate enough to break it will find a bunch of glass pebbles rather than shards and splinters. Moreover, it does a far better job of containing noise than plastic side panels, while also being flatter and more scratch-resistant. Phanteks chooses a medium tint to help camouflage your uglier internal components while complimenting your external peripherals.

A pop-up door reveals two USB 3.0 ports, headphone and microphone jacks, and a control button for the case's RGB LED controller. Phanteks uses 3mm-thick aluminum for its face and top panels, and the front edge of the top panel reveals that it's a custom extrusion rather than a mechanically formed sheet.

Both side panels are in fact glass, so you'd better be willing to put some time into cable routing if you want to show your finished work to friends. Eight screw slots allow the rear fan to slide up and down to accommodate top or bottom fitting orientation of single-fan radiators of either 120mm or 140mm spacing.

A short dust filter slides under the bottom edge of the rear panel to cover the power supply's air inlet. The front intake filter is hidden behind the front panel, but let's take a look at a few dimensions before tearing into this thing.

Specifications

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One of the greatest features of the Enthoo Evolv ATX Tempered Glass isn't actually a feature, but the price. The MSRP is currently only $10 higher than the standard non-glass windowed version. Conversely, the biggest deficit in the Enthoo Evolv ATX is its inclusion of only seven expansion slots. Several three-way (and all four-way) SLI boards need an eighth slot for the bottom graphics card, and many need 0.2" to 0.3" more motherboard mounting space than the 10.4" provided. While compatible with most enthusiast-oriented hardware, the Enthoo Evolv ATX's combination of "not quite there" dimensions excludes a broad swath of ultra-high-end configurations.

Peeling away the Enthoo Evolv ATX face panel, we find a snap-in filter that's large enough to cover two 140mm or three 120mm fans. Behind it is a partial shroud covering the show-side of a power supply, and the front of that shroud hosts four mounting points for an optional additional SSD tray.

The power supply slides in from the right side, which would be the non-windowed side of the standard version of this case. The Tempered Glass side panel of this version reveals all those hidden wires, along with the two SSD trays on the back of the motherboard tray, plus the two 3.5" drive trays that would otherwise hide behind the power supply shroud.

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  • redgarl
    Almost make me want to swap my Fractal Design XL R2...
  • Crashman
    251426 said:
    Almost make me want to swap my Fractal Design XL R2...

    This sample is so nice it almost makes it worth the wait! J/K, they should have sent samples before this. But it is pretty nice and nicely pretty.
  • falchard
    There is no knocking the tempered glass. Nearly all cases using tempered glass look fantastic. Mine is the inWin 904. It looks absolutely gorgeous, although its liquid cooling options are limited on the initial production run.
  • g-unit1111
    137621 said:
    There is no knocking the tempered glass. Nearly all cases using tempered glass look fantastic. Mine is the inWin 904. It looks absolutely gorgeous, although its liquid cooling options are limited on the initial production run.


    The In Win 904 is sweet. The price was the only thing keeping me from getting it over the Enthoo Pro that I have now. I really like this case though.
  • detroitwillfall
    i didnt get the rgb led strips with mine, but i love it! :)
  • Luay
    Tom I couldn't rap my head around the clearance for the second GPU.

    So in a four slot Z170 ATX motherboard like the Asus WS or Asrock Formula with SLI/CF, the second card would go in the third slot;

    How close is a double slot card to the PSU shroud? What about triple slot?
  • Crashman
    414009 said:
    Tom I couldn't rap my head around the clearance for the second GPU. So in a four slot Z170 ATX motherboard like the Asus WS or Asrock Formula with SLI/CF, the second card would go in the third slot; How close is a double slot card to the PSU shroud? What about triple slot?
    I have no idea what you're asking, but I can answer a bunch of questions until I hit the right one perhaps?

    There's only about 1/2" of clearance between the bottom slot cover and the PSU shroud. You'll never get a double-slot card in the motherboard's bottom slot. But that's usually the third or fourth GPU, not the second.

    Your concern about the second GPU is mostly dependent on the location of the second-card's slot. If it's the third slot position from the bottom, you'll have about 2.8" of space for the graphics card. Add about 0.8" if it's one slot higher. Subtract 0.8" if it's one slot lower.
  • G0nz0
    been waiting on a review for these cases fora long time. im happy they dont dissapoint. pricing really isnt that big of an issue when u factor in component cost aswell not to mention the amount of additional components they offer for the WC crowd to make your life exponentially easier. ill definetly be going with one of their cases for my next build. just cant decide between this one or the dual build case, both are tempting
  • Luay
    Ok I did the math. What I meant was , On a full ATX board with 4 PCI-E slots, how close is the second card to the PSU shroud if installed in the third PCI-E slot from the top. The answer should be 2". I assume that would choke a triple slot video card.
  • Nuckles_56
    That is a very nice case, I'm now very much considering it for my next build, especially if I decide to go with a full custom loop
  • Crashman
    414009 said:
    Ok I did the math. What I meant was , On a full ATX board with 4 PCI-E slots, how close is the second card to the PSU shroud if installed in the third PCI-E slot from the top. The answer should be 2". I assume that would choke a triple slot video card.


    Probably, but hey that shroud is vented so you only need a little space to get reasonable airflow (1/8" should do).
  • Crashman
    2228643 said:
    A big waist of space and the graphics card always blocks any air coming from the bottom!? They couldn't rotate the motherboard 90 degrese upwards to gather all the air from the bottom and release it from the top, stack effect? The front could be used for dvd, blue ray roms and the rear will also be more usefull this way.
    OK, but most of us like our connectors on the back of the case. And you can move the fans around if you want more of the air blowing in at the top. And the space around the graphics card is too large to actually block airflow...and the power supply shroud does have those vent holes...and...well, you got the stack flow part right. I'm glad you're enjoying your Fortress/Raven :D
  • Crashman
    2228643 said:
    8708 said:
    OK, but most of us like our connectors on the back of the case. And you can move the fans around if you want more of the air blowing in at the top. And the space around the graphics card is too large to actually block airflow...and the power supply shroud does have those vent holes...and...well, you got the stack flow part right. I'm glad you're enjoying your Fortress/Raven :D
    You don 't need more than 2 fans at the bottom this way the fan for the gpu can cool it from 2 sides and the 2nd fan can blow the air to the cpu cooler uninterraptable this way, one fan at the top and you done finaly all the problems could be solved much easier this way.


    Mine would constantly be full of pet hair :D
  • toddybody
    Proud owner of an ANTEC Enthoo Evolve ATX...and I have to say the tempered glass version looks great. Not a fan of the glass right panel (motherboard backplate/cablerouting), as few folks take the time to make the cable routing look as pretty as on the front. My only other gripe is that they show the PSU side...I like how they kept the entire shroud hidden previously.
  • gunbust3r
    Having an OCD moment, they could have gotten the front USB not tilting to the side. It's a GD review sample after all,,,
  • Chayan4400
    537231 said:
    137621 said:
    There is no knocking the tempered glass. Nearly all cases using tempered glass look fantastic. Mine is the inWin 904. It looks absolutely gorgeous, although its liquid cooling options are limited on the initial production run.
    The In Win 904 is sweet. The price was the only thing keeping me from getting it over the Enthoo Pro that I have now. I really like this case though.


    You may want to check out the In Win 805. Provided you don't have a very high powered build (Airflow issues), it's a good alternative. It isn't as sleek as the 904, but the wrap-around tempered glass makes sure it's different for sure.Combine it with Hue+ and a couple of LED fans in the front, and it's an absolute stunner. The new version's infinity mirror looks quite fascinating too.
  • Neurodrive
    Sad day...I literally just purchased the standard Evolv last week and swapped my build over to it last night. :(
  • JamesSneed
    Hey crashman any chance you can ask them if they have any USB 3.1 type-c front panel parts coming out? I'm going to be doing a HEDT build this summer and really want USB 3.1 type-c on my front panel since that is going to be a big push over the next 4-5 years.
  • RedJaron
    8708 said:
    There's only about 1/2" of clearance between the bottom slot cover and the PSU shroud. You'll never get a double-slot card in the motherboard's bottom slot.

    The lack of the eighth slot is the bigger restriction to putting a double-slot GPU in a mboard's bottom slot, correct?
  • hellwig
    Is it safe to drive 6 fans off a single port on the motherboard? It bugged me the first time I saw fan power on a motherboard all those years ago. Isn't that a lot of noise? Isn't that a lot of current draw? Even if the mobo has current protection on that port, won't you just have 6 really slow fans?