Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
Enermax is a chassis manufacturer which we have not seen in a while. Last time we saw an Enermax case pass through, it was one of the best they had sent, with the Steelwing chassis in 2017. Before that we had the Ostrog advanced in 2016 which unfortunately did not fare nearly as well. Now we have the Equilence which is a tower much like the Ostrog, and I think it's about time to see if Enermax has continued the trend of improvement with this chassis.
The Equilence comes to market from Enermax with the stated benefits of high-density sound deadening and tempered glass. Everyone seems to be doing tempered glass in various forms these days, so now it's just a matter of seeing if Enermax's formula pays off with a final product that meets market needs.
With many cases these days opting for preinstalled RGB and various lighting enhancements to illuminate a tempered glass enclosure. Enermax boasts their 4mm thick tempered glass as a 'panoramic' experience. Although it's merely a flat glass panel, so we will chalk that one up as targeted marketing to avoid being another me-too product by only having a glass panel.
Enermax also calls out that the tempered glass panel is sealed to the chassis with sound dampening cushioning to help isolate noise. The chassis also comes with a fan controller supporting up to six 3-pin DC fans, which are controlled in three steps via a front panel button. The Equilence supports many fan and radiator fitment options which we will look at after taking a peek at the spec list.
The chassis as previously mentioned is the Equilence, the part number on our chassis is ECA3510, although as you can see by the spec sheet, the ECA 3510 is listed with only a single pre-installed fan. The Equilence we have today has the dual front-mounted 120mm fans in place which means either there was a change or our chassis was mislabeled since the only difference between the two SKUs is the loadout of preinstalled fans. The Equilence comes out of the box measuring 510mm high, 500mm deep, and 235mm wide. This means the Equilence falls well within the mid-tower designation.
Motherboard support for the Equilence is up to ATX, with mATX and mITX of course in the supported field as well. Space next to the motherboard tells me that we could likely fit an EATX board, but it would pretty much close off the gap we used to pass cabled through which we will show in the build section. HDD and SSD fitment is total of two 3.5" drives, while 2.5" drives can natively support up to four, while six total is possible if using the 3.5" trays for SSD's as well.
PSU fitment is only listed as 'ATX Type' which is always an issue for me as companies should list the max PSU length to avoid potential problems in fitting, especially since the adjacent HDD cage is fixed and cannot be moved. The PSU does have a shroud which Enermax amusingly labels as 'PSU-Tunnel design' then appropriately sub-notes it as 'aka PSU shroud' so once again this is just a little marketing fluff to make a PSU shroud inclusion seem like something more. We will look at that as we dig into the Equilence later in the review.
Cooling fitment is one area where the Equilence has quite a good showing. There are four locations where radiators can potentially be placed; first, we have the standard front mounting which supports 120mm based radiators up to 360mm. The top of the Equilence supports 120 based radiators up to 360mm while also supporting 140mm based units up to 280mm. The rear supports either 120 or 240mm. The side as Enermax calls it is adjacent to the front panel and parallel to the motherboard tray where you can mount 120mm based cooling up to 240mm.
One thing to note with the side location is that there is no ventilation on the rear cable management side panel to help vent air from an installed radiator, which means if mounting a radiator in that location, it will merely recirculate air behind the motherboard tray and into the main chassis. This feels like half of a solution rather than an actual area for cooling components.
You would be better off installing a radiator in the front than in the side location as it would have a much more efficient airflow path. Fan fitment, of course, mirrors the radiator mounting sizes, so no real surprises there. Max CPU cooler height is listed as 175mm which will fit most any current cooler I have seen. Preinstalled fans are two 120mm fans in the front working as an intake, while the rear exhaust is a single 140mm unit.
The Equilence comes to market at $95.00 from Amazon at the time of writing. I will go on record saying that this is going to be a tough fight for Enermax at this price point as there are a massive number of cases that fall into that category with some excellent quality and feature sets. To name a few, the cases that Enermax will have to match or beat to be considered in the price range will be the Lancool One Digital from Lian Li, The Masterbox Pro 5, Fractal Design Define C, Phantecs Enthoo Pro, and the Be Quiet! Pure Base 600. All of these chassis have windows and some good quality and features along with being within 5 dollars plus or minus of the Equilence.
With that sort of pedigree to stand up against, Enermax needs to have made one hell of a case with the Equilence if they want to receive a recommendation for your hard-earned dollar.
Shannon's Chassis Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC Z390 (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: Intel Core i7 8700K (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair H100i Pro RGB (buy from Amazon)
- Memory: GeIL Super Luce RGB GLS416GB3600C16ADC
- Video Card: MSI GeForce RTX 2060 Gaming Z (buy from Amazon)
- Storage: SanDisk M.2 256GB
- Power Supply: Silverstone Strider Platinum 1000W (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit (buy from Amazon)