Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ITX SE Final Thoughts
The Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ITX SE is a great case for what it has to offer in this price category. Because of this, it is now possible to have a custom water cooling build in a small form factor without having to sacrifice desk space due to a large case. The Evolv ITX SE is really geared towards water cooling setups and towards the consumers who do not want all the clunky HDD and ODD cages. Today, a single high capacity HDD can store large amounts of data and software can be downloaded online without having to depend on CD/DVD’s. Computer users looking for a small computer case with water cooling potential or just a good looking computer to put in the living room would be very happy with the Evolv ITX SE.
Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ITX SE Conclusion
Being able to fit a 240mm or a 280mm at the top, a 240mm radiator or a 200mm fan at the front, and a 120mm or 140mm fan in the rear of the case allows the internal components to stay nice and cool. Ventilation holes are also on the power supply housing to allow cool air from the front intake fan to cool the graphics card. The top ventilation does seem a little restrictive for exhaust, but air can still escape through the small ventilation at the top and through the rear of the case.
The top of the case does not have a lot of ventilation in order to maintain a clean look throughout the unit. The white exterior really makes a nice complement to the dark tinted side panel window and the single white LED fan I installed on the H55 looks really nice behind the tinted window. With its simple exterior design, the overall looks of the case may seem too basic for some computer users but at the same time gives it a modern and stealthy look.
Build quality of the Evolv ITX SE is better than what I expected. The entire structure is rather sturdy even without the side panels installed. Cable management cutouts on the motherboard are in the correct places making it easier to route cables to the motherboard and SSD. The radiator bracket is a great feature to add into an ITX case, but I would have liked to see an easier way to remove it without having to take off both side panels in order to remove the screws holding the bracket in place.
The Evolv ITX SE does exactly what it was advertised to do. There is a lot of flexibility for water and air cooling, but utilizing the front of the case for a radiator with fans or a pump and a reservoir will give access to installing only one storage device. This is because the multifunctional mid-plate and the HDD cage in the power supply housing must be removed allowing only one storage device to be installed; just something to keep note. Aside from that, the HDD cages are removable to allow more room for the power supply cables and some users will be very thankful for not having any 5.25″ ODD bays.
As of September 2015, the Evolv ITX SE is expected to hit the market at a price of $79.99. Comparing it to something like the BitFenix Prodigy or the Corsair Obsidian Series 250D, the Evolv ITX SE may not provide much storage potential but does offer greater flexibility in terms of water cooling at a reasonable price.
+ Removable HDD cage
+ Slick and simple exterior design
+ Excellent water cooling capabilities
+ Excellent cable management system
+ Removable dust filters for easy cleaning
+ Supports large 240mm or 280mm radiators
+ Multifunctional mid-plate for mounting HDD/SSD, pump, and reservoir
– No captive thumbscrews
– Limited work space with large power supply
– Limited storage potential with 240mm radiator at the front