Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ATX Final Thoughts
The Evolv ATX is a great case with lots of interior space for water or air cooling setups. Although this case is marketed at a much higher price than the Phanteks Enthoo Pro M, Fractal Design Define S, and even the Cooler Master MasterCase Pro 5, the Evolv ATX does make up for it with its premium build quality. The innovated radiator bracket simplifies installation of a top radiator and the idea of not having any ODD or HDD cages in the way of the front intake area is really something I would like to see in future computer cases. The Evolv ATX keeps the internal components nice and cool thanks to the large air intake at the front of the case.
Phanteks Enthoo Evolv Galaxy Silver Conclusion
The Evolv ATX does great in terms of performance. Because of the three pre-installed 140mm fans at the front and rear of the case and the lack of HDD and ODD cages, air can simply flow into the case to cool the internal components without restriction. There is a lot of space to mount a 360mm and 280mm at the top and front of the case giving flexibility to system builders. The 140mm fan at the back can also be replaced for a 140mm radiator and fan; in our system build, I replaced it with a 120mm fan and radiator. The rear of the case is completely ventilated for the best possible airflow and includes a mounting strip for a reservoir as well.
The case looks great with its simple but premium design. It looks similar to the Evolv Micro-ATX and the Evolv ITX, but the entire exterior is made of thick aluminum to give it a stronger and shinier finish. The interchangeable front LED light can be swapped out for a red, green, or blue LED to match a specific color scheme. The side panel window is large enough to display everything in the case. The only thing I did not understand about it was having a cutout on the power supply chamber to show off the power supply just to have that part covered by the side panel. If the side panel was designed similar to the Evolv ITX, this would have made more sense. As of now, this really defeats the purpose of having the PSU cutout on the power supply chamber.
The build quality is one of the best I have seen in a long time. With the aluminum exterior panels that are 3mm thick, the Evolv ATX should be able to last a long time. The interior frame is made of similar materials we see in most computer cases, but it is reinforced by the aluminum exterior. Phanteks PH-F140-SP 140mm fans push plenty of air (82.1 CFM) at just 19db, so having three of these already pre-installed in the Evolv ATX is a great thing to have.
The Evolv ATX supports up to a 360mm radiator at the top or the front giving flexibility to the system builder. Reservoirs can be mounted at the rear of the case or where the modular 3.5″ HDD brackets go to improve the looks of the system. Because there are only two 3.5″ HDD caddies and three 2.5″ drop-N-lock mounts with two brackets available, storage can become limited especially when using a 360mm radiator at the front of the case. This renders the three included modular 3.5″ HDD brackets and the HDD cage in the power supply chamber useless since the radiator is in the way. In a situation like this, a user is limited into using just two 2.5″ drives out of the box. Something I think can be improved is the innovated radiator bracket. I believe making it modular instead of having to screw out the five silver screws (two under the main side panel, three on the opposite side panel) with a screwdriver would save some time when building the system.
As of November 2015, the Phanteks Enthoo Evolv Galaxy Silver ATX case is set to hit the market at a price of $179.99 (Newegg). The less expensive Enthoo Pro M, Fractal Design Define S, and the Cooler Master MasterCase Pro 5 are all cheaper alternatives for water cooling builds. Although the Evolv ATX may not have the most appealing price to most computer users, the overall build quality and the water cooling potential does make up for the price. Overall, the Evolv ATX is a great case for a full-fledged water cooling system with its great features and premium aluminum exterior design.
+ Lots of interior space
+ 3mm thick aluminum exterior
+ Side panels open up like doors
+ Slick and simple exterior design
+ Removable dust filters for easy cleaning
+ Flexible mounting areas for water pumps and reservoirs
+ Supports large 280mm or 360mm radiators at the top and front
+ Radiator bracket, drop-N-lock design, and modular 3.5″ HDD mount
– Limited storage space with 360mm radiator at the front
– Side panel window does not expand towards the PSU cutout
– Expensive to most users, but the features and build quality makes up for it