Date Joined: 12/15/12
Pros: -The case is huge, plenty of room for all of your components, including custom water loops, standard All in One setups, or even the biggest tower heatsink and fan coolers. Even with an Asus ROG 2070, there's plenty of clearance between the end of the graphics card and the fans on my Corsair H150i radiator on the front of the case. This also makes working inside of it a breeze since you don't feel cramped.
-Plenty of storage for cables, the cable management options that are there work well, so you can avoid any rats nests or unsightly stray wires. The velcro cable straps are long enough to bundle everything together, and extras are easily removed. The same can be said for the metal doors that will eventually cover your cables when the back panel is closed. If you'd rather show off your cable management skills on the back of the case, the metal covers can be removed and the tinted glass back panel will put your work on display if you so choose.
-On the subject of glass doors, the tinted glass panels look sleek and compliment any RGB components you may decide to include in your build. If you don't have any interest in internal RGB, the panel is tinted enough to appear almost black when there's no light coming from within the case.
-Jumping to RGB lighting now, the case does come with preset RGB colors, patterns, and the ability to turn the case's RGB off by long-pressing the frontal RGB control button. If you have a compatible Asus or MSI motherboard, you can digitally control the case's RGB with either Asus Aura or MSI Mystic Light Sync software to make everything match perfectly, however the preset options in the case's hardware are perfectly fine on their own. I did have one issue with the RGB that I will touch on in the Cons section.
-The case comes pre-equipped with three standard Phanteks 140mm fans, two in the front and one in the back. These are easily accessed, so if you already have your own fans to install, removing these fans is a piece of cake. Also included is a fan controller with six fan headers, but it does link all of the fan speeds together should you attempt to control individual fans in your BIOS. If that's not your cup of tea, removing it is simple enough and installing your own in it's place is easy.
-The box of screws and other optional hardware was a very nice touch, as well as the user manual easily outlining what kind of screws you should use for different components makes this a very first user friendly case. Newcomers to the PC building hobby should feel comfortable using this as a home for their new build.
-The case tears down very easily with thumbscrews on the back to remove the top panel, and a very simple front panel removal is a huge plus for accessibility. The front and back glass panels pull off of the hinges with a bit of persuasion, but do come off.
-There are a LOT of mounting points for SATA SSD's. This is both a pro and a con. I'll cover more on that later.
-Phanteks has a great warranty that's outlined on their website. If the case arrives broken or defective, they will take care of you.
Cons: -This case weighs a LOT. Over 30 pounds to be exact, and that's just by itself. This is a high quality case, and the materials it's made of doesn't let you forget.
-Make sure you remove both glass panels while building your PC, because trying to manuver this case around with them on can cause it to go off-balance and tip over. This issue fixes itself when the PC is fully assembled, but while it's empty, be aware of that.
-The plastic brackets that hold the metal cable covers on the back panel of the case are fragile and can be susceptible to breaking if you're not careful. Likewise, the cable covers can pinch or, in a worst case scenario, damage your cables if you're not careful in your cable management. If the cable covers don't close or you feel excessive resistance in attempting to close them, I recommend looking over your cable management to see what's causing it, or taking them off to avoid damaging your cables.
-The RGB seems to be susceptible to breaking as well. When the case first arrived to me, the RGB worked for about 2 weeks before suddenly breaking. Luckily, Phanteks was able to hook me up with a replacement PCB for the top of the case, as well as new cables for the front panel and RGB, and this fixed my issue. Months later, I haven't had anything break with the case, so I was probably an outlier in that regard. Good on you, Phanteks.
-Fingerprints, fingerprints, and more fingerprints. This thing is a fingerprint magnet, especially on the glass panels and surprisingly even on the brushed aluminum frame of the case. Keep a microfiber cloth handy, because if you're paranoid about keeping appearances, you're going to need it.
-Those SSD mounting points that I mentioned earlier? They're plentiful, but not so easily accessed since a majority of them are on the inside of the metal cable covers on the back of the case. This means that your SSD's are going to be contending for space with your cable management unless you mount them behind the motherboard with the optional SSD brackets. I do NOT recommend storing your SSD's in those mounting points.
-The vertical GPU mounting option that's built into the case is VERY close to the front panel of the case. If you want to mount your GPU vertically, I recommend getting a 3rd party mounting system that backs the GPU further away from the glass to avoid suffocating your graphics card, unless you have a water cooled GPU.
-I feel like there are optional components that should have come included with the case, but aren't. The case comes pre-equipped with verical GPU mounting capability, but a PCI-e x16 riser cable isn't included in the case and needs to be purchased seperately. Likewise, even though it comes included with 4 HDD brackets, it doesn't come included with any SSD brackets, which are needed to mount your SSD's behind the motherboard. This exclusion forces you to either mount your SSD's to the cable covers and risk breaking your SATA cables when you close them up, or not mounting your SSD's at all and simply hiding them in the PSU basement. For 200 dollars, I feel like at least one SSD bracket could have been included, considering you get four HDD brackets.
Overall Review: Overall, the Phanteks Evolv X case exceeded my expectations when I got it in-hand and fully built my new PC. The aesthetically pleasing design coupled with fantastic accent lighting and the full glass front panel makes for a clean and impressive-looking final build. I would highly recommend this case to anyone looking to build the best PC they can. It puts all of your expensive components on a pedestal for you and your friends to admire.
Despite having a few hiccups, I definitely feel Phanteks knocked it out of the park with this one. This case is inclusive enough to be user friendly to the beginner PC builder, and has enough of features packed into it for the advanced builder to take advantage of as well, making it a great option for someone starting out to grow into as they start to expand on their build.
Don't let the price of the case intimidate or discourage you. It's 200 dollars for a good reason, and it could very well be the only case you ever need to get.
Pros: The packaging was spot-on, plenty of protection and everything was accounted for.
The fans, once up and running, are pretty quiet. Not the quietest, but definitely moreso than my old ones. The LEDs are also nice and bright.
Plenty of real estate in the rear panel to work with cable management. Use in tandem with a modular power supply and you end up with a very clean interior. I was very impressed with this.
The overall look of the case is fantastic, it matches well with the rest of my hardware and the glass panels look great. Just make sure you keep some electronics wipes handy, they will attract fingerprints like nothing else.
Cons: The front panel wires aren't color coded OR labelled for positive/negatives. This was very confusing for a beginner like myself. Do be mindful of this if this is your first project.
One of the studs for the motherboard stripped out while I was installing it. Normally this wouldn't be a problem, except the manufacturer only included an exact amount of them. Luckily I was able to remove one of the central ones to support the edge one that stripped out, but it would've been a lot more ideal if the manufacturer included more of these to increase the margin of error, especially at this price range.
I'm not sure if this counts as a con, but the lack of internal CD/DVD drive slot kind of threw me off. I don't really use them often enough to justify having one, so you can just as easily opt to use an external USB CD/DVD drive to fill in the gap if you really need it, however if that is a dealbreaker for you, steer clear.
Overall Review: Overall, this is a great value for the price. I would recommend this case to people who are trying to build within a tight budget. There are a few problems that a new builder might find confusing or off-putting, but it's easy to find wasy around it through trial and error. I would recommend the manufacturer color code positive and negative wires, as well as including a few extra motherboard mounting studs to add a bit more peace of mind if you accidentaly ruin one or lose one.