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Phanteks Enthoo Primo Full-Tower Enclosure Review

Manufacturer: Phanteks

Introduction and Specifications

The Phanteks Enthoo Primo is a massive full-tower case with a monolithic appearance, and a ton of cooling support. It's tall, heavy, and certainly looks every bit the premium enclosure the price tag indicates. So how did it perform? Read on to find out!

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We've reviewed other cases in the Enthoo series from Phanteks, and these have been a solid choice in their respective price ranges. The cases we've looked at offer excellent construction, nice appearance, and excellent component support. The Enthoo Primo sits at the top of the lineup, and it looks it; a nearly 26-inch tall case that is nearly as deep, it's so large it even has a second ATX power supply mount (a dual PSU adapter is offered as a separate purchase).

So what market does this Enthoo Primo case serve? It could house any sort of enthusiast or high-end workstation/server setup, supporting EATX and even SSI EEB motherboard form-factors. There's a ridiculous amount of liquid cooling potential, though given its size the average all-in-one cooler will need to stay close to the processor given the length of typical AIO cooler hoses. This thing is begging for a custom watercooling loop (sorry, I didn't oblige in this review).

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The Enthoo Primo is fitted with an aluminum faceplate

Continue reading our review of the Phanteks Enthoo Primo enclosure!!

Before moving on, here's a look at the full specifications for the Enthoo Primo (our sample is the black with blue LED):

  • Model PH-ES813P_BL
  • Form Factor: Full Tower
  • Color: Black - Blue LED
  • Materials: Aluminum Faceplate, Steel Chassis, Plastic
  • Side Window: Yes, split-window design
  • Motherboard Support: ATX, EATX, mATX, SSI EEB
  • Front I/O: 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, Mic, Headphone, LED Switch
  • Expansion and Drive Bays:
    • Expansion Slots: 8
    • External 5.25”: 5
    • Internal 3.5”: 6 (2x 3HDD cages)
    • Internal 2.5”: 12 (2x 3HDD cages + 2x doublestack SSD brackets - expandable to 3x)
    • Power Supply Mounts: 2
  • Cooling:
    • Front: 2x 120mm, 2x 140mm (2x included with LED)
    • Top: 4x 120mm, 3x 140 (1x included)
    • Side: 2x 120mm, 2x 140mm
    • Rear: 2x 120mm, 1x 140mm (1x included)
    • Bottom: 4x 120mm, 2x 140mm (1x included)
    • HDD: 2x 120mm
  • Liquid Cooling:
    • Front: 120mm width, up to 240mm
    • Top: 120mm width, up to 480mm; 140mm width, up to 420mm
    • Side (without HDD cages): 120mm width, up to 240mm
    • Rear: 120mm or 140mm
    • Bottom: 120mm width, up to 480mm; 140mm width, up to 280mm
  • Clearance:
    • Graphics Card: 
      • 257 mm (reservoir bracket installed)
      • 277 mm (reservoir bracket installed w/o cover)
      • 350 mm (no reservoir bracket)
      • 390 mm (HDD cages in front position)
      • 515 mm (no HDD cages)
    • CPU Cooler: 207 mm
    • Cable Management: 30 mm
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 250 x 650 x 600 mm (9.84 x 25.59 x 23.62 inches)
  • Weight: 17.9 kg (39.46 lbs)

Thanks to Phanteks for providing the Enthoo Primo for our review.

First Impressions

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The Enthoo Primo is an imposing tower at 25.6 inches tall, and a stark black finish. The front panel is covered with aluminum trim, and there are subtle openings up front for intake fans on the lower half.

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Looking to the sides of the enclosure there are a pair of windows to show off the build on the primary side, with some interesting vents on the back panel.

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Things get more interesting for an enclosure these days when we open the door on the upper half of the front panel:

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What's this? 5.25-inch drive bays? And five of them?? Yes, the Enthoo Primo supports optical drives, fan controllers, water cooling pumps, and whatever else you might fit in five external 5.25-inch bays.

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Looking at the top we see the usual assortment of I/O, and the USB ports each come with rubber plugs (presumably to prevent dust from entering?).

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Looking at the back we see an included 140 mm exhaust fan, and if you look closely at the bottom there are actually two ATX power supply mounts. One is open on the left side, and the other is hidden behind a removable steel panel on the right.

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The bottom of the enclosure is plastic, and offers more than the usual four rubber feet for better support and contact (this is a heavy case).

Finally, we'll take a look at the included accessories. Phanteks is as good as anyone in the business in this department, and I wasn't disappointed here:

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Not only do we have full separation of all included screws and components, but we have the outstanding little plastic organizer I first saw with the Enthoo ATX. There is also an optional side radiator bracket, which can be positioned on the back side of the enclosure where the side panel is vented.

Next we'll take a close look at the interior.

September 6, 2016 | 01:06 PM - Posted by HEXiT (not verified)

Hardware Canucks ‏did an aio test in this case and got 7'c difference between the case being open and closed.

so either they deliberately skewed the results to favour the aio or this case has air flow issues.
reason i mention it is my old antec 902 barely shows any variation in temps (1-2'c max) whether the case is open or not.

so saying as you have the case at hand could you confirm Hardware Canucks ‏results.

September 6, 2016 | 01:11 PM - Posted by RadioActiveLobster

I have this case an I love it.

Only issues I have with it (and this isn't specific to this case) is that the brushed aluminum gets marked up very quickly. Would honestly rather have plastic that looks like brushed aluminum that can't get marked up or maybe matte or flat aluminum/metal.

September 6, 2016 | 03:02 PM - Posted by Penteract (not verified)

I really don't understand why cases this large aren't designed to hold 10-slot mainboards. Yeah there aren't many of those around, but what I want in a huge case is to be able to install the largest MB's in it.

Thanks for the review Sebastian, nicely done as usual. :)

September 7, 2016 | 02:51 AM - Posted by biohazard918

"We will provide a followup to this review soon with Phanteks' dual-PSU adapter, which is a very interesting solution to high system power needs with two lower-wattage PSUs acting as one"

Seems like this makes more sense as a way to provide a system with a redundant psu with out being limited to enterprise grade hardware and pricing.

September 8, 2016 | 12:47 AM - Posted by Brett from Australia (not verified)

Good write up Sebastian

Just a query interesting choice of installing Windows 8.1 x64 instead of Windows 10 latest build x64??

September 9, 2016 | 02:28 AM - Posted by JC (not verified)

.... better late than never I guess, considering this case was a rather high profile release soon to be three years ago.

It is one of not even a hanful of "consumer" cases that will accomodate a 2 x 480 radiator setup and still have room to spare.

It s an awesome case and it s not that humonguous and I have zero issues with thermals considering side panel on or off, it s a couple of degrees so dont know what HC did in their review.

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