Introduction, Specifications and Pricing
Unless you live under a rock and have never seen what Phanteks has been delivering when it comes to chassis design, you would know that their cases are always slightly ahead of the curve, they are very modular, and all of their cases are designed with water cooling the components in mind. We have also see many iterations of what they can come up with, and the Enthoo series of cases has been one that has never failed to impress us. The only thing that has stopped some buyers from looking to Phanteks for a chassis is that most of what they offer is truly huge, and if you were looking for compact and space savings, they really had nothing to offer.
Well, that is until now. With seemingly everyone making the move to build something much smaller than what most gamers and enthusiast are used to, Phanteks had been missing out on a lot of potential sales. Of course, there was the Enthoo Evolv ATX, but even that was a mid-tower design, and while it can house a Mini-ITX motherboard, that chassis just isn't small enough to cut it for many builders out there. So, how exactly is Phanteks solving this hole in their lineup? They are offering their first attempt at building something with smaller form factor builds in mind, specifically for Mini-ITX users.
The chassis we are going to be looking at today is indeed the smallest chassis that Phanteks has attempted, and the Enthoo Evolv ITX that we have now loses nothing that we are used to seeing in Phanteks cases. They did eliminate ODD bays, and even with a much smaller foot print, this ITX chassis is still very well equipped. There is still plenty of modularity to make the chassis suit your specific needs, option parts for water cooling delivered in the box, and they even came up with a cool slide out rack for the top of the chassis to simplify radiator or optional fan mounting. So, while this chassis may be smaller in stature, it can still run with its bigger brothers and deliver a chassis so well appointed, it may take you a few trips around the chassis to find them all.
The chart provided by Phanteks starts with the physical dimensions where we find the Evolv ITX is 230mm wide, it stands 375mm in height, is 395mm in depth, and is designed specifically for use with Mini-ITX motherboards. We are then told that the frame and panels are made of steel that are painted black, and bits like the feet and bezel surround are made of ABS plastic. It is also at this point that we are shown the front I/O panel offers a pair of USB 3.0 ports, HD Audio jacks, a power and reset button, and there is even a side panel window in this design as well.
That leaves us to discuss the limitations inside of this twelve pound chassis. There is 330mm worth of room for a video card, but removal of a components is required for such room. There is an astounding 200mm of room for a CPU cooler, even though this case is definitely designed with water cooling in mind. They also show us that there is 28mm of room behind the motherboard tray for any and all wiring you can get to go back there. The last of the limits we see is that for water cooling, the radiators at the top of the chassis can only be 74mm thick including fans for 120mm based solutions, and 54mm overall for 140mm based radiators. And all of this comes with a five-year warranty.
The thing is, even with all this love packed into a smaller foot print, many hours of trial and error to get things just right, the cost to make new stampings for the parts, all of that costs major dollars to get to the point of selling a product. Even though this is not a weak, flimsy, or cheaply made chassis, the pricing we have found will just blow your mind. Both Amazon and Newegg have the Enthoo Evolv ITX chassis listed at the same price of $69.99 currently, and both are sold with free shipping as well. So, while pricing may allude to this being a simpler, less robust design, this simply is not the truth. What the truth is, is that you are getting one hell of a chassis for very little investment, and there isn't anyone out there with a Mini-ITX board looking for a new well equipped chassis that will not appreciate what Phanteks is offering, especially at this amazing price.
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