System Building with Phanteks Eclipse P400S
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3
System Memory: 2x4GB 1600MHz DDR3
Processor: AMD Athlon II X2 4400e @ 2.7GHz
Audio: Onboard VIA HD Audio
Video: XFX RADEON HD 4850
Disk Drive 1: Seagate Barracuda 120GB HDD
Enclosure: Phanteks Eclipse P400S
PSU: Corsair CX750M 750W Modular
Monitor: HP 23bw 23″ IPS display
Operating System: Windows 8.1 Professional 64-Bit
System building in the Eclipse P400S was not a problem especially for a basic build. The case does have some flexibility for water cooling as the front could support a 280mm or a 360mm radiator. Because of the sound dampening materials on the side panels, the top covers, and the front panel, the P400S was able to keep the noise level to a minimum. Using the fan control button, it can control up to two fans in order to adjust for performance or quietness. Two 120mm or two 140mm fans could have been installed at the top for improved airflow, but there was not enough clearance between the motherboard and the top panel to mount a radiator with fans.
The straps behind the motherboard tray allowed for easy cable management. Fortunately for this build, the CPU power cable to the Corsair CX750M power supply just barely made it to the top of the case and through to the motherboard without having to route it to the rear of the case. Some power supplies may not have a CPU power cable this long, which means the cable would have to be routed towards the rear of the case. Unfortunately, there were no cable tie-down points anywhere in that location to tie down a CPU power cable.
Here is a 240mm radiator sample installed on the top panel of the Eclipse P400S. There was not enough room to install any fans on the radiator since it was already so close to the motherboard and RAM modules. I did not understand why the top mounts had to be centered instead of having them offsetted slightly towards the windowed side panel as there was about an inch of space from the mounts to the side panel to make this happen.
Now in terms of air cooling, the Eclipse P400S supports air cooler up to 160mm tall. Tall CPU coolers, like the Noctua NH-D15 and the Phanteks PH-TC14PE series, would not fit properly since they came into contact with the side panel during my testing. Although I already knew these CPU coolers exceeded the maximum CPU height this case could support, it would have been great to see support for CPU coolers over 160mm tall especially for a case at a price like this.
The P400S Tempered case is compatible with the Phanteks modular 3.5″ HDD bracket. These modular mounting brackets are sold separately and make a good option for a computer built for storage.
The modular mounting bracket could support 3.5″ and 2.5″ HDD’s and SSD’s. It could then be mounted on any of the four HDD mounts on the motherboard tray. During the build, there was enough room to install a front intake fan and perhaps a radiator, assuming it was as thick as a standard case fan.
With a hard drive installed and the bracket in place, the front fan was just four to five millimeters away from touching the bracket. Thicker radiators may have clearance issues with the brackets installed. If you plan to water cool your system with multiple storage devices installed, you may run into some trouble.
In a situation where there is a 360mm radiator mounted at the front, you will most likely lose the four drive mounts for the modular 3.5″ HDD mounting bracket, the hard drive cage in the power supply chamber, and the mid-plate bracket. This leaves you with only the two 2.5″ drop-N-lock mounts at the back of the motherboard tray. The Eclipse P400S comes with two 2.5″ drop-N-lock brackets, so you are limited to installing only two 2.5″ drives out of the box in this situation.
Our Eclipse P400S sample arrived with a front panel branding logo that was not properly aligned. I just hope this was a small manufacturing mistake with our sample.
If the Eclipse P400S was wider, it would have been able to support tall CPU coolers, like the Noctua NH-D15 and the Phanteks PH-TC14PE, a rear 140mm fan, and water cooling support at the top. But as a budget oriented case, it made sense to keep things simple for new system builders. An enthusiast would wonder why there is no water cooling support at the top, but that is where something like the Enthoo Pro M and Evolv ATX comes in. However, the LED lighting and the option to manually control fan speed settings using the fan control button were nice features to have.
Let’s go ahead and finish up with my final thoughts and conclusion.