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Phanteks Evolv Shift SFF Chassis Review

By: Chad Sebring | Small Form Factor Cases in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Jul 25, 2017 3:00 pm
TweakTown Rating: 99%Manufacturer: Phanteks

Case Build & Finished Product

 

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Once built, the front of the chassis does not look much different from where we started. We did not need to use the straps for any of our wires, but at the bottom, we can see the Corsair H80 GT sitting there, which eliminates the option to fill the front, optional fan hole with a fan.

 

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Looking into the left side of the Shift, we can see the motherboard installed with the I/O panel at the top, the RAM at the bottom, and the PCI-e slot on the left. Keeping wires out of the intake fan is a concern, but we managed, and if using an AIO to cool the CPU, the tubing can get in the way, and we found it best to strap them down to aid in replacing the glass panel later.

 

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Had we installed an HDD on the back of the Shift, we would have used the hook and loop straps, but as of now, we did not need to use them either. At the bottom, we did have to install our PSU backward, drawing air from inside of the case, and that was due to the location of the power switch on our unit to conflict with the chassis support bar that runs across the middle.

 

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The 350mm measurement of clearance for the GPU is without any cooling at the bottom of the chassis. We tried cards we typically use for builds and found they were too long to go into the Shift. However, we were able to use a thick radiator at the bottom, and still, have room for this NVIDIA GTX 980 Ti. There are fewer issues if you do not have a custom cooled video card.

 

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At the top of the case, we have filled in all the holes with the rear I/O panel of the motherboard, and the dual slot video card. You do have to route the LAN cable, the video cable, audio cable, and any USB cables through the back, but we found no issues with the height of the connectors causing the top not to close properly.

 

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The bottom of the chassis now has the Corsair fan installed near the front of the case, cooling the radiator just above it. At the back, we find the PSU, which the adapter cable has been plugged into here. We also see the support bar near the adapter cable, which cause the issues with PSU orientation.

 

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This is the optional way the Shift can be used, for something like an HTPC where horizontal devices fit easier than vertical ones. The dense foam pads are to be installed around the grommets on the glass, which keeps the grommets from cutting into whatever surface they rest on, and also adds grip to the case.

 

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We feel this to be the better option though, as you can see in the glass side panels of the chassis much easier. While the tempered glass is ever so slightly tinted, the view of the components is relatively unimpeded, and any additional lighting would make it look that much better.

 

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The view from the other side can be just as good. If you have a card with a fancy backplate or fancy side lighting, the card can be shifted towards the back, allowing the lighting to show through the glass here. We also show only one wire, which is powering the GPU, as SFX PSU wires are not that long, but an adapter cable would come in very handy to hide it from view completely.

 

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Once the Shift is powered, we found the front fan to deliver 30 dB of noise at full power, and the sides have to be off of the case to get that reading. Closed up, the Shift can barely be heard, as all noise is directed out the top of the chassis.

 

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Since we do not have additional RGB lighting to add to the Shift, at this time the RGB LED button on the case only works the power LED on the top of the Shift. There are nine color choices that it can run through, and you can turn it off if you wish. Since this tiny stripe of light is hidden from view most times, there is not much to see where lighting is concerned as it is.

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