Phanteks Enthoo Primo Case Reviewby Dustin Sklavos on August 10, 2013 12:00 PM EST
- Posted in
- Water Cooling
Phanteks has been around for a little while producing CPU coolers, but the new Enthoo Primo is their first enclosure and it's clearly designed to get your attention. There's an almost amusing amount of restriction involved in trying to produce a case that adheres to the ATX standard, and a lot of the more original thinking in case design that's come out of the past few years has been essentially about circumventing the inherent weaknesses of the standard. Corsair's recent Carbide Air 540 is a good example, and the Enthoo Primo offers an alternative take.
What we're essentially dealing with is a standard ATX enclosure design that's been fragmented into semi-discrete chambers. Phanteks is still dealing in the black monolith motif (and this plastic, steel, and aluminum beast is heavy), but the interior of the case segregates the motherboard and primary components from the power supply and from the storage. There's a removable plate that even covers the routing holes to keep the interior looking as clean as possible, while the storage is entirely hidden. Phanteks also gets some mileage out of a bottom intake fan by raising the bottom of the Enthoo Primo and giving it enough clearance for air to enter even while the case is on carpet.
The separate chambers behind the motherboard tray tell you all you need to know. The power supply has been rotated ninety degrees, making the case taller but also cleaning up cable routing by offering a healthy amount of space to tuck cabling into. The two 3.5" drive cages are both removable, and above them are a set of five 5.25" drive bays and two trays that hold two 2.5" drives each. Pay close attention as well to the velcro cable wraps behind the motherboard tray, as well as the unique fan hub. We've seen fan hubs before and this one initially reminded me of the hubs NZXT employs, but the Phanteks offering is different: it connects to a single PWM header on the motherboard, and provided that header can provide enough power, it effectively allows the motherboard's PWM control to control all of the case fans.
|Phanteks Enthoo Primo Specifications|
|Motherboard Form Factor||Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, SSI EEB, E-ATX|
|Drive Bays||External||5x 5.25"|
|Internal||6x 2.5"/3.5", 4x 2.5"|
|Cooling||Front||2x 140mm intake fans (supports 120mm)|
|Rear||1x 140mm exhaust fan (supports 120mm)|
|Top||1x 140mm exhaust fan (supports 3x 140mm or 4x 120mm)|
|Side||2x 120mm/140mm fan mounts|
|Bottom||1x 140mm intake fan (supports 4x 120mm or 2x 140mm)|
|I/O Port||2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, 1x Headphone, 1x Mic|
|Power Supply Size||ATX (supports two)|
|GPU||257mm with bracket; 350mm without bracket|
9.84" x 25.59" x 23.62"
250mm x 650mm x 600mm
Supports 420mm/480mm radiator in top
PWM-controlled fan hub
Toggleable blue LED lighting for trim and front fans
As is the custom for modern cases, Phanteks keeps things pretty modular and there is a healthy amount of room for installing a custom liquid cooling loop. Of particular note is the aforementioned shield in the primary compartment, which is also intended as a place to mount a reservoir. Most of the fan mounts have removable filters (all but the rear exhaust mount), and the case is designed in such a way that if you can put a fan somewhere, you can put a radiator there too.
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Bazooo - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - linkGreat Justin. I can't believe you were already working on it when I wrote to you last week. Thanks a lot!
nleksan - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - linkI have been waiting for a review of this case since the day it was announced. In fact, I've been holding off buying a customized CL TH10 specifically because I just love the innovative design of this new case!
Honestly, I think this is perfect for users like myself who have outgrown their Switch 810 or similar case, but don't have the need for 4 or more 560 rads just yet. Price is right, and I see this very possibly (and rightfully) taking a lot of attention away from the (recycled/boring/overpriced/low-quality) Corsair 900D.
Too bad about the res mount, but that's what modding is for!
f0d - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link900D low quality? thats the first time i have ever heard that, its much higher quality than any other case i have ever seen
its a fantanstic case - a little expensive maybe but it looks AWESOME and worth every cent i payed for it
f0d - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - linkwhile i like the CL cases also they are WAY too expensive in australia, i think the CHEAPEST one shipped is $800 (nobody sells them here - have to import your own) which is twice the price of a 900D
Insanity133 - Friday, November 29, 2013 - linkSame here in New Zealand.
KurtToni - Monday, August 12, 2013 - linkLove my job, since I've been bringing in $82h… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I'm making it online. (Home more information)
JohnVonWar - Saturday, May 28, 2016 - linkIn comparison to a CL(CaseLabs) case, yes—any case made by Corsair is much, much lower quality. Caselabs makes very good, very customizable cases. Generally they require some additional aftermarket parts to truly shine, but the construction is unparalleled by nearly anyone except Thermaltake, who literally copied CaseLabs' designs...and maybe Inwin and a couple of others, but generally with a little more bang for buck. Very high buck though...they're expensive as hell.
hero1 - Sunday, August 11, 2013 - linkYou sir are just like me and I am going to grab this case as soon as it reaches Canadian shores and shove my system into it, that will be IB-E when it comes out with GTX 780 in SLI
Pyrokinetic - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - linkI love a large case, and while I like the Corsair 800D, I was not completely sold on it. This case though, is fabulous. Not too huge (Corsair 900D) and has a classic look with just a touch of style. Build quality looks great. I think I have finally found a case to replace my modded Cooler Master Stacker 810.
techxx - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - linkBe nice to see more mini-ITX case reviews. Full ATX accounts for less than 5% of the tech enthusiast community now.