System Building with Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ITX SE
With its simple and minimalistic looks, the Evolv ITX SE looks great as a media center PC or just a small computer for LAN events. In this build, I will be focusing on building a basic media center computer with the Corsair H55 water cooling unit and a Z97 based motherboard. I will also be taking a look at the cable management system to see how conveniently the cables can be wired in the case. Let’s take a look at the finished build.
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z97N-WIFI
System Memory: 2x4GB 1600MHz DDR3
Processor: Intel Pentium G3258 @ 4.8GHz
Audio: Realtek ALC892
Video: PNY GeForce GTX 650
Disk Drive 1: Kingston SSDNow V300 120GB SSD
Enclosure: Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ITX SE White
PSU: Corsair CX430M
Monitor: HP 23bw 23″ IPS display
Operating System: Windows 8.1 Professional 64-Bit
I was very satisfied at how clean the interior looked after getting all the cables tied up and hidden. The Corsair H55 water cooling unit fits perfectly without a problem, but a large air cooler like the Noctua NH-D15 would have been perfectly fine as well since the Evolv ITX SE has 200mm of space for a CPU cooler. 330mm of space was available for long graphics cards and the power cables leading to the graphics card could be hidden behind the multifunctional mid-plate. Using the drop-N-lock bracket, the SSD was mounted onto the mid-plate without a problem and everything looked great through the tinted side panel window.
The included Velcro straps cleaned up most of the cables behind the motherboard tray. Cables could be hidden from view under the power supply housing without having to zip tie them together. Because I was not using the HDD cage, those could be later removed to allow more room for a larger power supply or just to give the power supply cables more room to bend and flex. With the large CPU cutout on the motherboard tray, swapping out any CPU cooling unit should not be a problem in the future.
The top radiator bracket, also included in the Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ATX and Enthoo Pro M, makes installing a top 240mm or a 280mm radiator much easier. Removing this bracket can be done by unscrewing four silver screws. Once the radiator is installed onto the bracket, simply slide the bracket back into the case with the motherboard already installed. Two 120mm or 140mm fans would also fit here. Phanteks has designed this bracket so the radiator and fans do not interfere with the motherboard components.
The overall build was very straight forward and allowed adequate airflow to the internal components. The large 200mm fan at the front was positioned to cool not only the upper portion of the case, but also the power supply housing where hard drives could be installed.
This may not be the smallest ITX case since it is just as large as a standard micro-ATX case. However, the potential to add a custom water cooling unit, a tall CPU cooler, and a beefy graphics card all in this compact ITX case does make up for its larger size. Let’s go ahead and finish up with my final thoughts and conclusion in the next section.