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Phanteks Enthoo Mini XL Super Micro-Tower Chassis Review

By: Chad Sebring | Mid-Tower Cases in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Oct 22, 2015 2:18 am
TweakTown Rating: 95%Manufacturer: Phanteks

Final Thoughts

 

What at first looks like a cavernous Micro-ATX tower chassis with plenty of room for everything under the sun, proves to do exactly that with an optional kit that transforms this into a dual system beast. The styling and build is everything we expected in a Phanteks chassis, and we love that they design the cases with screws, so it is ready to come apart, and not just the bays either. Remember, the entire top of this chassis comes off to ease any pains you might find putting gear inside of this chassis.

 

 

As it is shipped from the factory, there is good air flow from the trio of 140mm fans that at a foot away only touch the 30dB mark. While this is a huge chassis for a single Micro-ATX or Mini-ITX system, even with dual loops, we completely dig the idea of what can happen here, and it was a great way to introduce a whole new way to look at the Enthoo series, as not just huge towers for huge builds.

 

We did find some issues here and there, but some were due to our choices, and others we had no hand in at all. I guess the biggest issue was the wiring on the front panel, but even with the wire severed from its connection, the LEDs still worked as intended, so we are fine with the results but still wish it hadn't happened. Our PSU would not fit with the AIO in there, and even if we moved it, wiring was atrocious as it ran across everything to connect. This brings up three points. It won't count against the standard chassis as it is not part of it as point one. Secondly the PSU would have fit had we not used an AIO, but brings forth that certain layouts can cause clearance issues, so plan wisely. Lastly, we strongly recommend find that PSU with as much cabling as possible, otherwise all of the work for a clean system build at the bottom will look like poop with the standard offerings, even a full set of cable extensions is an option, but keep this in mind as well. That all being said, the PH-ITXKT-01 is likely the best $26 addition to a chassis we have ever seen. Taking a "normal" chassis into a dual system chassis with a little work involved, seems a pretty sweet deal to us.

 

Overall, even with the things we found, we see the path Phanteks was taking, and while many makers won't attempt something like this, we are glad they stepped up and did it. There were many times in the past that a chassis like this could have cleared so much clutter in our office, but back then ITX was still very basic and didn't have half the options afforded today. So as the technology is peaking, Phanteks stepped in and offered one huge chassis for a single system with plans of water cooling grandeur.

 

While slightly more than $180 is a tough pill to swallow for a Micro-ATX chassis, you are getting the full-tower treatment and all the options you could ever ask for. Then add in the second system kit, and now you essentially halve the investment cost as you split it between builds and can enjoy what has to be the largest and most serious Micro-ATX case we have ever seen.

 

 

Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications

 

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Performance95%
Quality including Design and Build91%
General Features100%
Bundle and Packaging100%
Value for Money89%
Overall TweakTown Rating95%

The Bottom Line: While the cost is a bit steep, the Enthoo Mini XL is one case that truly keeps on giving! From a massive water cooling beast to a chassis that supports two systems, and on top of that looks great no matter your choice of layout.

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