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Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV ITX Enclosure Review

Manufacturer: Phanteks

Introduction and First Impressions

The Enthoo EVOLV ITX it is not a new enclosure, but this striking color scheme - black with a glossy red interior - is. We'll take a thorough look at this mini-ITX enclosure in this review, and see how well it performs enclosing a gaming build.

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The EVOLV series from Phanteks includes ATX, micro-ATX, and this mini-ITX versions; with all three sharing a common design language, though some of the features naturally differ. With this smallest design Phanteks decided to retain enough size to permit the use of standard components, with room for ATX power supplies, full length graphics cards, and liquid CPU cooling with up to a 280 mm radiator.

The EVOLV ATX was my first experience with a Phanteks enclosure, and I was impressed with the build quality and thoughtful design touches. There is a different approach to building with mini-ITX that introduces new elements, including the ability of a system to remain cool and quiet with components in much tighter quarters.

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Continue reading our review of the Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV ITX case!!

Before taking a look at the enclosure we'll first check out the specifications from Phanteks.

Enthoo EVOLV ITX Specifications:

  • Form Factor: Mini ITX Tower
  • Materials: Steel Plates, Plastics, Steel chassis
  • Side window: Yes
  • Motherboard support: Mini ITX
  • Expansion slots: 2
  • Front I/O: 2x USB 3.0, Mic, Headphone, Reset
  • Storage: 
    • Internal 3.5”: 2 (1x extra upgrade slot)
    • Internal 2.5”: 1 (1x extra upgrade slot)
  • Cooling:
    • Front: 2x 120/140 mm or 1x 200 mm (included)
    • Top: 2x 120/140 mm
    • Rear: 1x 120/140 mm
  • Included PH-F200SP fan:
    • Speed (rpm): 850 ± 250 rpm
    • Max Airflow: 110.1 CFM
    • Static Pressure: 1.04 mm H2O
    • Acoustical Noise: 25 dB
  • Liquid Cooling:
    • Front: Up to 240 mm radiator
    • Top: Up to 240/280 mm radiator
    • Rear: 120/140 mm radiator
  • Clearance:
    • Graphic card: 330 mm (13 in)
    • CPU cooler: 200 mm (7.9 in)
    • Cable management: 28 mm (1.1 in)
    • Motherboard - Radiator: 
      • 120 mm form factor: 74 mm (2.9 in)
      • 140 mm form factor: 54 mm (2.1 in)
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 230 x 375 x 395 mm
  • Warranty: 5 years

Thanks to Phanteks for providing the Enthoo EVOLV ITX for our review.

First Impressions

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The Enthoo EVOLV ITX arrives in a typical enclosure carton, and inside there is thick styrofoam padding and a plastic bag protecting the enclosure's finish.

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The accessory pack is basic, but everything you need is here - unless you need a second 2.5-inch drive mount (one is pre-mounted in the enclosure).

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Looking at the front, the EVOLV ITX looks like a smaller version of the EVOLV ATX I reviewed last year, with identical design language.

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The enclosure features a large side panel window

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The EVOLV ITX's similiar design to the larger versions continues here with a look at the front.

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Around back we see an opening for a 120/140 mm rear fan (not included), and our first taste of the bright red paint adorning the interior is visible on the expansion slot covers.

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The EVOLV ITX offers a screen filter for the PSU, which slides out toward the rear. There is also a screen filter for the front intake, which we'll check out when we look inside the enclosure.

Finally, a look at the bottom of the enclosure, which sits on four rubber-tipped feet.

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We'll look at the interior of the EVOLV ITX on the next page.

Video News

February 10, 2016 | 02:22 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Looks like Phanteks is gearing up for Zen and Polaris. Look at all that sexy red and black.

Make one with a sturdy built-in carry handle for portability and I'm so in. (Until that comes, I'll probably still be building in a Corsair 380T.)

February 10, 2016 | 02:52 PM - Posted by Jason M (not verified)

Great review this is the case I have been looking at for the past few months to do a build in.

Did you take any pictures of the completed build with the sides on?

I know you did the cooling setup to keep your testing consistent but I have been trying to come up with the best look to cooling setup.

How well do you think or could you test how it would preform with the H75 mounted on the front most mount on the top slide-out bracket?

Think the hot air would push back into the case without adding a 2nd fan to the open top mount in the rear?

February 10, 2016 | 04:17 PM - Posted by Sebastian Peak

I'll have to see if I took any photos of the system with the side panel closed. Mounting the liquid cooler up top would look a little nicer, and I'm with you on the right side location. There's unused space there, and it would look less cluttered.

As far as cooling performance goes, there are small vents at the top along the sides, but I would recommend adding a rear exhaust fan if you're mounting the cooler to the top. There would be some hot air cycling back into the case, but I'm not sure adding a second fan to the tray would make a difference. Certainly a rear case fan would.

February 10, 2016 | 05:21 PM - Posted by Lance Ripplinger (not verified)

The case looks nice overall. Phanteks seems to be a solid case designer company. It was nice to see that the front dust filter is easy to access. I really think they need to address the issue with the GPU. That is a lot of sag. On the other hand, it is hard to get everything desired in small enclosure. Still, I think it might be possible for them to devise a pedestal that the GPU cards can rest on, to eliminate the sagging.

February 10, 2016 | 08:38 PM - Posted by David Gilmore (not verified)

You forgot to mention the build quality, or lack thereof - many other reviewers noted the extreme thinness of the chassis' steel structure, allowing it to bend at the slightest pressure, and that the PSU cover is made from a low grade of recycled beer cans, which dimples in at the slightest touch. I understand that you guys need your sponsors and advertisers, but nobody respects a bought and paid for reviewer. THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE! Don't say you didn't notice these things, that would only mean you are incompetent as a reviewer...

February 11, 2016 | 10:48 AM - Posted by Sebastian Peak

I'm only responding to this comment as you've chosen to accuse me authoring a 'paid' review. By the way, have you noticed all the Phanteks advertising on the site? There isn't any? Odd. Manufacturers send review units to websites, we review them. That's how the industry works. If they don't like a review, I suppose they could choose to stop sending cases. It's not up to me. I have no financial interest in the matter. I like enclosures, and I'm usually the one reviewing them.

For the record, though I covered this point in the review, this doesn't have thin construction. I was impressed with the build quality - which is why I said I was impressed by the build quality in the review. The only thing I didn't like was the limited space around the GPU, which caused my GPU to run warmer and with a higher fan speed, and I mentioned that.

It's easy to make accusations against a stranger's character online, David. It's not easy to comprehensively review an enclosure and write an impartial review. Your remarks - "the PSU cover is made from a low grade of recycled beer cans, which dimples in at the slightest touch" - indicate a fundamental lack of objectivity. If I had such an objection to an enclosure, it would be my duty to point it out in the review - or else the entire point of publishing the review would be lost.

Reviews aren't ads. They are reviews. Sadly, the internet is full of sites on various topics that have taken money to publish articles written by and for advertisers. They are required to disclose this, and if you look into it you'll find these disclosures. Read WebMD's disclosure sometime if you're bored.

February 11, 2016 | 11:01 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Sebastian is much more polite than I am. Kudos to him for that - and for his very well thought-out, honest, impartial reviews that I always seem to enjoy reading.

You, however, should just go away. You're almost as bad as the anonymous shill running around spamming the AT article about Carrizo gimping all over the comments of articles that have nothing to do with computers at all. If you don't like the reviews here, go read the other sites that you DO like. No one will miss you.

Better yet, why don't you go and start your own review site so that you can show us all how it's SUPPOSED to be done? I mean, you obviously know better than the people who run this very-well-regarded and very-successful website. Surely you can do better, right? Why don't you?

Of course, you're less interested in reading reviews you actually like, and more interested in trying to show the world that you're better than someone. There is absolutely zero purpose to this comment other than to say, "Hey look everybody! Sebastian is an idiot and I'm waaaaaay smarter than him! Why aren't you worshipping me yet?"

You don't like the reviews here? Then go the fuck away and stop smearing your shit all over the comment threads in your effort to ruin the enjoyment that rational, intelligent people find in reading this site.

February 16, 2016 | 11:14 AM - Posted by Justin150 (not verified)

Sebastian your response to class A troll was perfect.

I admit to have a real liking for the case but a few thoughts occur to me:

1. A number of the motherboards have the M2 adapter on the rear of the board (ASRock style) - bit worried about the compatibility of this with the case

2. How thick a 240mm radiator could you fit up top?

3. Not a big fan of the bottom red enclosure does removing it have any impact on noise levels as it looks as though it breaks up airflow from front fan

4 Drooping graphics card - despite last point, it looks to me that it would be easy to fix something to bottom red enclosure to prop up the graphics card, even a small piece of cork would do it

February 25, 2016 | 09:05 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

hMMM Nice enuff .. but Im not sure that exact shade of red, which looks washed out is great. I reckon a good racing green would be better. Also I have no real interest in water cooling anyway so maybe this is not for me.. I do like the front.

March 1, 2016 | 11:44 PM - Posted by PylonSquelch

This case is cool

January 18, 2017 | 05:01 PM - Posted by Evan Senicar (not verified)

Thanks for the review. It helped me decide to buy one.

I love almost everything about this case. The one thing that drives me nuts though is the sliding upper rad mount. The specs say a 280mm radiator fits but the rails that support the mount make it about 2mm too short for my rad. Without the sliding function, it would be fine.

To answer Justin150's questions,

1. I have a Asus Z170i motherboard with a rear M.2 port that is perfectly accessible from the back.

2. Any thickness should work as far as I can tell. I can't say for sure since I have a 280mm.

3. The bottom red enclosure is riveted in place. They could be drilled out to remove it though.

4. Not a question, but that is exactly what I did. Stuffed a small piece of eraser in the space.

December 1, 2017 | 10:40 PM - Posted by Mike W (not verified)

Very well-done review Sebastian! I appreciate the careful process you follow to help us make informed decisions on the parts that we consider purchasing. I found your review very thorough and professionally done. It has helped me significantly in making my choice for an enclosure. Thank you and keep up the great work!

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