Phanteks Enthoo Pro Full-Tower Chassis Review

Phanteks Enthoo Pro Full-Tower Chassis Review

Phanteks offers its second take on a full-tower chassis with the Enthoo Pro; a simplified, and more refined version of the Enthoo Primo. Here's our review.

| Jul 17, 2014 at 5:10 pm CDT
Rating: 99%Manufacturer: Phanteks

Introduction, Specifications and Pricing

VIEW GALLERY - 39 IMAGES

Of course, Phanteks has been widely known for their CPU coolers over the years. Phanteks took what was essentially a Noctua cooler at the beginning, and did what everyone asked for in the first place by offering different colors than what Noctua stayed true to all these years. What some of you may have missed, or have since forgotten about, is that Phanteks is also in the chassis game, and has been since the release of their first chassis, the Enthoo Primo. This case was oversized, modular, and a perfect chassis to not only hide wiring for a clean finished product, but with some innovative additions to the design, Phanteks also offered the first chassis we had seen that would also hide the majority of a water loop for the ultimate experience in cleanly built PCs.

By sprinting out of the gate with one of the most innovative and unique chassis designs we had ever seen before, Phanteks made their job really tough trying to follow that act. Well, it seems that the original design wasn't such a huge aesthetic hit, but with Phanteks' newest Enthoo, we get a lot of what made the Primo such a hit, yet inside of a completely new design. This new design offers just a bit of styling to distinguish its heritage, yet it has an almost Corsair Obsidian-like appeal.

All of this boils down to the reason you are here, and still reading this article: you are interested in what this Phanteks Enthoo Pro is all about. Well, we are here today to find out just that. If even half of this design is similar to the Primo, and it offers most of the same tricks, we honestly don't see how they could go wrong, but that is part of what we plan to cover as we get up close and personal with this Enthoo Pro full-tower chassis from Phanteks.

Phanteks provides what have to be the most thorough charts we have seen on any product to date. They start by offering the dimensions, form factor, and details on the steel and plastic used to build this full-tower chassis. Inside of the chassis, there is room for the usual Micro-ATX and ATX, but in this design not only is EATX not an issue, but even SSI-EEB motherboards are good to go. We are also informed of the USB 3.0, USB 2.0, and the HD Audio connectivity of the front I/O panel. They also describe the dual windows in the side panel, and that there is an optional PSU cover, which is in the chassis we have.

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The next section covers the eight expansion slots, the trio of 5.25" bays, and the six 3.5" bays. It also explains that all 3.5" locations are ready for 2.5" drives; plus, there is a tray behind the motherboard tray. Moving into the cooling, we find that the front of the chassis can house two 120mm fans, three 140mm fans, or the 200mm fan Phanteks has installed, but of course, not all at once. The front follows the same rules of fit for the 200mm fan they include, but it can house three 120mm or 140mm fans. The rear of the chassis offers room for a 120mm or 140mm fan, and it also has slits to adjust this fan's vertical alignment. The floor has the potential to hold either a pair of 120mm fans or a single 140mm fan, and even the HDD cage has room for a pair of 120mm fans on the inside of the racks. You can also get an idea of the radiator support with the section that follows.

Limitations on this design are not really limitations at all. There is 347mm of room for video cards with the hard drives in play, and without them there is 472mm of room. They also mention the 193mm CPU cooler height limitation, but in our time here, we have yet seen a cooler that tall anyways. The last mention is of the amount of room behind the motherboard tray, and as stated, there is 27mm of room to pack in the wiring and keep everything clean. Outside of the 200mm fan specifications, and the weight of this chassis, at the bottom, we find that Phanteks stands by their chassis for a term of five years.

While the Enthoo Primo was a design that made you dig deep into your wallet for the sum of near $250, when it comes to the Enthoo Pro, things are much different. This full-tower design can be had for just about $99 at just about any location this product is listed, and most places currently offer free shipping as well. That is in no way to say that you should expect to see some stripped down, watery version of the Enthoo Primo in this design. We feel that once you wrap your mind around what is going on in and around this chassis, you will find the Enthoo Pro hard to pass up when looking for a new full-tower chassis.

PRICING: You can find the Phanteks Enthoo Pro for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.

United States: The Phanteks Enthoo Pro with optional windows retails for $99.99 at Amazon, and the Phanteks Enthoo Pro without windows retails for $89.99 at Amazon.

Packaging

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The Enthoo Pro is yet another chassis to arrive in a plain cardboard box with black screen printing applied to it. At the top there is the Enthoo Pro name and a notation that it belongs to the Enthoo series. Taking up the bulk of the panel is the rendering of the chassis inside, with the Phanteks name, and the "designed in Netherlands" notation.

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Under the Phanteks name at the top, there is a chart presented in many languages. Here they cover things like features of the chassis' appearance, six points about its functionality, and four more points about the air and water cooling potential.

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Along the top of the back, there are three views offered of the chassis, where they point out nine of the chassis' features, and where they are located. The bottom the shows the dust filters, and the fan options. The water cooling options are covered as well, so that customers can verify this will hold what they planned to put in it.

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The last panel offers two things worth mentioning: The first is this condensed specifications chart that takes up the majority of the panel. We also see at the bottom that we were sent the PH-ES614P_BK, which means we get the PSU cover, a windowed side panel, and a chassis that's black in color.

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Inside of the box, Phanteks uses the Styrofoam end caps that work so well across the industry to support and protect the chassis from major issues. Inside of that, there is a plastic liner over the entire chassis, along with more on the windows in the side panel to be sure it would arrive in perfect condition, and it did just that.

Phanteks Enthoo Pro Full-Tower Chassis

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The front bezel of the Enthoo Pro is angled on the edges, allowing for a slightly reduced size to the section containing the four brushed covers on the bays and front I/O panel. The lower section is mostly mesh, and features holes large enough that the intake fan is plainly visible through it.

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There is a small tab at the bottom of the first brushed cover, and lifting it up exposes the front I/O panel. In the front I/O panel, you will find the USB 3.0 ports to the left, followed by USB 2.0 ports, 3.5mm jacks, and the reset button to the right.

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The top of the chassis is flat and has much thinner angled edges. Behind the solid section at the front housing the power button, we find a long expanse of that same mesh that was on the front.

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From the left, we can see the vents in the front panel, and as we continue left, we find a small window with a Phanteks name plate visible in it. Then, on the far left, there is a large tinted window to show off the gear you put inside.

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Out back we find the rear I/O, and exhaust fan at the top; notice the exhaust fan can be raised and lowered as well. There are then eight slotted expansion slot covers, with reservoir mounting and venting next to it, leaving the PSU to go in the bottom of this chassis.

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With 27mm of room between this panel and the motherboard tray, Phanteks saw no reason to make an odd looking bump, or anything special here for that matter, as all we see is a large expanse of black painted steel.

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Under the chassis, we can see the plastic runs from front to back, offering three feet on each side, and each foot is padded with rubber strips to give a solid footing. Between those we find the PSU dust filter that will slide out of the back, and a longer dust filter for the optional fan locations in the floor, which is removable through the front of the chassis.

Inside the Enthoo Pro

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With the panel off, we get to glance inside to see that this chassis has been boxed off to where the drives are hidden, the PSU is hidden, and all we can see is the motherboard tray with the hardware box still strapped in place from shipping.

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The six standard 3.5" and 2.5" bays are hidden behind the steel plate, and slide out of the right side of the chassis. There is also the Phanteks name plate that we saw through the window.

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Instead of stacking a pair of HDD cages, Phanteks has set them side by side, and allowed the fans to have mostly unimpeded airflow into the main section of the chassis. This also allows a view of the SSD racks clipped into rails just to the right of the motherboard tray.

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The top of the chassis is removable to access all of the fan or radiator mounting screws. However, unlike a few cases we have recently seen, the top is not thick enough to put fans under it; everything must go on the inside of this panel.

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The motherboard tray is dropped down from the top to allow for 55-60mm of radiator, and to prevent the fans from getting in the way. The tray itself holds nine larger holes for wiring, fourteen wire tie points, and a very wide access hole to account for socket offset on larger motherboards.

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To offer cleanliness on a higher level, this version of the chassis ships with this full metal cover for the PSU and its wiring. There are three screws along the back edge that need to be removed to access the space under this cover.

Inside the Enthoo Pro Continued

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Under the cover we see six large foam pads for the PSU to sit on, with large holes in the mesh under it. We can also see one of the optional fan locations, as the other is behind the steel plate covering the HDD racks, and we also see a couple of screws and grommets that help lock the cover down to the floor and keep it from vibrating.

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In the back of the Enthoo Pro, we find this 140mm fan with white blades to match the larger one in the front of the chassis. To mount cards in these slots, there are screws with hex heads, just like one would use for PSU installation, to secure these covers and potential cards.

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Phanteks has done a lot of the wiring for us, and the thin Velcro straps make adding wiring later a breeze. We can see the HDD trays finally, and we can also see the SSD tray off to the right, under the access hole for coolers.

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Phanteks also provides this chassis with a six-port fan controller; this is a bit different than normal. It is powered with a SATA connection to supply the board with power, but there is also a CPU-FAN connection and lead you connect to the motherboard for PWM functionality across the hub.

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We had to undo some of what Phanteks had done to get this image, and a reference of how long the cables are. There is plenty of cable to get everything where it needs to be, and everything is dressed in black to blend into the inside of the chassis.

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We did have the motherboard in before we remembered to take of the bezel to see what is going on. The mesh on the bezel is screwed in, so it can be removed for cleaning, and we see the provided 200mm fan in the front, with the holes for other options in fan or radiator mounting.

Accessories and Documentation

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Part of what we found in the hardware box is this handy screw caddy. Usually, we tend to lose the extra hardware, but this is something you could even stash inside the chassis in an empty HDD bay, so it can always be found later for when hardware is added.

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Inside of the caddy, all of the sets of screws are isolated and easy to find. While we could list what each is for, rest assured, you will not be wanting for any hardware, as Phanteks makes sure to supply you with everything for the chassis, as well as screws for mounting some water cooling hardware.

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In the box is a steel plate with holes in it that mounts to the bottom of the ODD bays, and hangs inside the chassis, down the HDD bays. This plate is designed to offer pump mounting locations, and there is room for two on this plate. We also see some extra Velcro straps for wire management, along with around ten zip ties for the same purpose.

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The last thing found in the box is this multilingual user's manual that Phanteks has provided to easy any installation woes.

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One cool feature of this chassis is that all of the bays will come out to allow for whatever plans you had for up here to come true. It is much easier to tell from the rendering that not only do the bays come out, but the metal section of the top of the chassis is also removable.

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Just in case the rendering on the back of the package, or the discussion of it in the specifications section, didn't deliver the full picture, here we have a rendering to go with the fan chart to really drive its cooling options home.

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Here we have the 2.5" drive tray from the back of the motherboard tray. It uses the keyed holes in the center to grab grommets on the tray in two locations. Remember, we saw it right by the cooler access hole, but in the build we show it in its optional location.

Case Build and Finished Product

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While we do not usually opt for water cooling in our test build to try to keep our thermal testing closer to others, we find that this is one of our top five cleanest builds, and likely in the top three for ease of getting it done. You can see the amount of room allowed above the motherboards, and with the covers at the bottom and right sides, we see very little other than the larger components.

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The rear I/O cover snapped right in, and while the card aligned pretty close, we did have to force the back of the chassis in slightly to get the screws lined up. For the PSU, once the cover is out of the way it practically falls into place, and is ready to be screwed securely to the chassis.

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Since we had the wiring out for the image way back in the review, we decided to go ahead and rewire the entire chassis. What we found is that there is plenty of depth for almost anything to pass behind the tray, and there are plenty of tie points and options to keep everything running without balling up at choke points. Also, notice where the SSD is now.

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As we get everything back together, we find that the tinted side panels do restrict the view inside of the chassis a bit, and will likely spawn the purchase of some form of LEDs to get a much better view of the gear inside if that is the desired effect. We like that it is sort of hidden, yet still in plain view.

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Powering up the system, we could easily tell that the Enthoo Pro was indeed on. Not only was it visible with the light around the power button taking on a white glow, but the noise level registered at a foot away was 41 dB, and could be heard from the distance of this image, which is right near three feet away.

Final Thoughts

From front to back, and top to bottom, the Enthoo Pro definitely shows its lineage, yet it does so in a unique way that shows the Phanteks team really pays attention to the market, and offers what the customers beg for on forums or social media. Normally, we see a chassis in this price range that offers some cool LED fans, some removable hard drive racks, decent management, and usually aesthetics that can be dealt with for the price we were going to pay to get them.

The thing is, this has to be the most feature rich chassis we have seen in a long time at this segment. It brings to mind the H440 from NZXT since we saw something similar there, but even there, it is like night and day when comparing the two.

The chassis is modular, and we have seen that a lot lately in cases like the Thermaltake Urban T81, but Phanteks also does this to allow complete customization of the air cooling capabilities, and to give the option to load this chassis with water cooling gear. The bonuses here, and what drives this chassis to the top of the list, are additions like holes at the back of the chassis for a tube reservoir setup next to the video cards, and the optional plate that can be hung off the ODD bays for dual pumps if you need them.

Of course, it will all fit in most other designs, but Phanteks takes things to the next level in more aspects, like the Velcro to manage wires, the room afforded behind the tray to get things done properly, and even the slightly positive pressure airflow of this design as it arrives stock allows. But keep in mind, in our build, most of that 200mm fan in the front was blocked. The only real downside to anything is the 41 dB noise level we recorded, but then again, once gutted for water cooling gear, stock cooling is no longer an issue.

At this point we are only left with two points to make. The more important point is that for the near $100 pricing that the Enthoo Pro can be found, we feel they not only filled the feature set and delivered it in a chassis anyone can like, but they even surpassed what we expected at this price. The second point is more of a question. With everything you have just seen about what Phanteks has to offer in their Enthoo Pro at this seriously reasonable price: why are you still here reading, instead of shopping to get this case to your door ASAP?

PRICING: You can find the Phanteks Enthoo Pro for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.

United States: The Phanteks Enthoo Pro with optional windows retails for $99.99 at Amazon, and the Phanteks Enthoo Pro without windows retails for $89.99 at Amazon.

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Last updated: Apr 7, 2020 at 12:32 pm CDT

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR -

After a year of gaming, Chad caught the OC bug. With overclocking comes the need for better cooling, and Chad has had many air and water setups. With a few years of abusing computer parts, he decided to take his chances and try to get a review job. As an avid overclocker, Chad is always looking for the next leg up in RAM, cooling, as well as peripherals.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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