Enermax has been a mixed bag as far as cases, same as I mentioned at the onset of this review. It's tough to quantify everything Enermax does as they have evolved as a company. While they made some significant improvements when we looked at the steelwing, I feel like the Equilence is a pretty big slide backward depending on how you look at cases.
The absence of filtration on the inlets means that much more air gets through which resulted in very good CPU thermal results to the tune of approximately 2C over ambient better than the H510i which we felt did very well in our recent review. We saw similar with our GPU thermals as they were a bit lower, which makes sense due to the airflow not being impeded at all by filtration.
First up, let's explore what we liked about the Enermax Equilence. Firstly, the tower is stable and doesn't flex or feel like it would fall apart, getting knocked around a bit. The glass is dark enough to hide any imperfections or issues for wiring which may be present. The gap in the rear is good enough to fit most cabling, especially if you spread it out a bit to give yourself more room. The flip-down rear cable management panel means you can push it to shut if cables are slightly too thick and it can still be closed without laying on the case. The all TG look on the front and side makes for a slick-looking final build, especially being a blacked-out case.
While I would love to say that everything is great and close the review, based on my previous comments, I'm sure you can figure that I have some less than stellar feeling about the Equilence after digging into it. Firstly the absolute lack of dust filtration of any sort except for the PSU is going to cost some points. Enermax invested the money to light the top I/O and their logo on both sides of the front panel while that money could have been diverted to proper filtration and possibly even less than the cost to add the tooling for the light-up I/O and logo.
The alternate 'side mount' where you can add fans or radiators is a neat idea, but Enermax missed a critical step in having ventilation mesh or holes in the rear cable management panel which would allow air to escape from that location. Instead, the air recycles into the main chassis chamber. The bending of the HDD cage while the main chassis was square as can be, tells me that there is some inherent weakness in the base chassis design.
The rear fan having a 4-pin PATA/Molex connector pigtail instead of an adapter is silly when the chassis comes with a 3-pin fan controller. The front panel omitting a see-through glass panel which would advance the aesthetic for those installing LED fans, as this would make for a cool visual as we have seen on several cases in the past.
The 95 dollar price point is going to be a tough spot for the Equilence, and without a doubt there are many cases beyond the ones we initially listed in this range that would make suitable choices which also have some of the features omitted here, and even do a better job of approaching the build and layout from the onset.
Unfortunately, as it stands, I cannot with good conscience recommend the Enermax Equilence as this specific case has too many things working against it at the price point to support it as a tangible solution for a case in 2019. If we see the Equilence enter the $69 territory, I could see it being far more reasonable.
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)
The Bottom Line
A unique looking case with a simple build, the Equilence from Enermax seemed like a great case on the surface. Once we dig in, we find the omissions and lack of forethought at the $95 price point to be too much to accept.