The North American company with Dutch roots — Phanteks, founded in 2007, became known to the Russian consumer almost 9 years ago, right from the start of its phenomenal Phanteks PH-TC14PЕ supercooler, which to this day remains the flagship of the company and, in general, one of the best air cooling systems. for central processors, which is regularly improved and updated by the manufacturer (by the way, we plan to return to its tests soon). True, the frisky start was replaced by an almost complete calm — until recently, Phanteks did not supply its products to the Russian market.
Today the situation has changed for the better — since this year, major Russian retailers and online resellers can to officially purchase not only Phanteks coolers, but also cases. The latter, unlike cooling systems, are represented by a wide front in all price categories and formats, and the flagship Enthoo series is headed by the new Phanteks Evolv X Glass. This model was provided to us for testing in the Galaxy Silver modification (PH-ES518XTG_DGS).
Evolv X is also available in Satin Black (PH-ES518XTG_DBK) and Anthracite Gray (PH-ES518XTG_DAG) – and in any of them it looks very impressive and unusual. But the most important thing is that the unusual design, tempered glass and lighting in the case of Phanteks Evolv X Glass are only an addition to the maximum possible set of functions, and not vice versa, as is most often the case recently in the field of computer cases. Let’s find out why this case is interesting and whether it justifies its high cost.
|Model name||Phanteks Evolv X Glass Galaxy Silver (PH-ES518XTG_DGS)|
|Type of shell||midi-tower|
|Dimensions (H × W × D), mm||510×240×520|
|Side panels||Both are tempered glass 4mm thick|
|Material||Anodized aluminum (3 mm), black ABS, glass|
|Regular cooling system||Front fans (blowing): 2 pcs. 140 × 140 × 25 mm (PH-F140MP, ~1250 rpm);
rear fan (blowing): 140 × 140 × 25 mm (PH-F140MP, ~1250 rpm)
|Expansion slots, pcs.||nine|
|Motherboard compatibility||6.7 x 6.7” (Mini ITX), 9.6 x 9.6” (Micro ATX), 12 x 9.6” (ATX), 12 x 13” (E-ATX)|
|I/O ports||USB 3.1 Gen2 (Type-C) × 1, USB 3.0 × 2, HD Audio × 2|
|Power supply support||Any PS/2 compatible power supply|
|Maximum length of the power supply, mm||250 (190 — with the second HDD cage installed)|
|Maximum cooler height, mm||190|
|Maximum length of video cards, mm||435|
|Dust filters, pcs.||2 (front and bottom)|
|Possibility of modernization under LSS||Yes|
|Possibility to install fans||Front panel: 3 × 120 mm or 3 × 140 mm;
top panel: 3 × 120 mm or 2 × 140 mm;
rear panel: 1 × 120 mm or 1 × 140 mm;
reason: not provided;
side panels: not provided.
|Possibility of installation of coolant radiators||Front panel: up to 420 × 140 mm;
top panel: 360 × 120 or 280 × 140 mm or less;
back panel: 120 mm or 140 mm;
reason: not provided;
side panels: not provided.
|Additionally||Customizable and syncable RGB lighting|
|Manufacturer’s warranty, years||five|
|Country of Origin||China|
|retail price, ₽||14 500|
⇡# Packaging and equipment
Phanteks Evolv X Glass Galaxy Silver is sealed in a regular cardboard box, on which the case is schematically depicted, and its characteristics are shown on one of the ends of the box.
As our experience shows, the quality and cost of the case can be determined already by the inner packaging. If these are ordinary foam inserts and a plastic bag, then in most cases everything is clear — we are waiting for a budget model or, at best, a middle class. And when the case is carefully wrapped in a fabric bag and firmly fixed between two «shells» made of polyethylene foam, like in Phanteks Evolv X Glass, we can immediately conclude that the product is of a higher class.
Note that Phanteks has two cardboard spacers between the soft shell of polyethylene foam for additional protection of the case. There is definitely something to protect here.
Accessories are placed on top of the case in a separate cardboard box.
Inside it is a colored assembly instructions and four baskets for drives, each of which is wrapped in a synthetic bag.
In addition, inside you can find a plastic box with compartments for each type of screws (a handy thing!), additional plastic plugs and perforated metal strips for PCI-Express slots.
The case is manufactured in China and is backed by a proprietary five-year warranty. True, individual Russian stores often give only two or even one year warranty for this model, but Phanteks Evolv X Glass with a five-year warranty can also be found on sale. As for its cost, as we mentioned above, this is one of the most expensive models of Phanteks cases — the price starts at $14.00.
The silvery Phanteks Evolv X Glass is made in an original design with neat, but not at all boring front panel lines and black mesh perforation inserts on top. Its front panel is recessed inward in the central part and has trapezoidal bevels, which successfully harmonize with the cuts of the upper edges.
Despite the impressive dimensions — 510 × 240 × 520 mm, the case does not seem bulky. On the contrary, because of the transparent side panels, it looks airy, although it weighs 15 kilograms! Having filled it with components, be prepared for considerable physical exertion.
Panels made of tempered 4 mm glass are carefully glued with a protective film on both sides, and a badge is glued on one of them, warning about the need for careful handling of glass.
The front panel is made of 3 mm aluminum — it is deaf, but has wide side openings through which air flows to the intake fans. A sliding cover is visible on top of it, under which connectors and buttons are hidden.
The rear panel is made according to the classical scheme, but has three vertical outputs for installing video cards, a removable bottom plate for installing a power supply and a removable plate on top, where a second system in mini-ITX format can be installed. True, for this you will have to purchase an additional device PH-IT XKT_02.
The top panel of the case has two perforated strips along the edges through which part of the heated air escapes, and the power button is located closer to the front of it.
From below you can see the holes designed to secure the baskets with drives, and a dust filter. It is located under the power supply and slides out for cleaning.
The case is supported by four legs 28 mm high. On each of them are glued anti-slip pads made of dense rubber.
Under the panel that slides up and deep into the front of the case, there are two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 3.1 Gen2 (Type-C) port, headphone and microphone jacks, and two backlight control buttons.
We were pleased with the build quality of the case: all panels are precisely fitted to each other, there are no backlashes or uneven gaps, and the quality of materials and their thickness are much higher than in the vast majority of other cases of this class. Not surprisingly, the empty Phanteks Evolv X Glass weighs fifteen kilograms.
The layout of Phanteks Evolv X Glass is shown in the following diagram.
As you can see, the case is disassembled to the chassis, and no tools are required for this, since all the main screws have a knurled head and are unscrewed by hand (unless, of course, someone has tightened them with a screwdriver before you).
The front panel is removed by deflection towards itself and upwards.
On the inner surface of the aluminum panel, two LED strips along the edges and contacts for their power draw attention. Behind it is a dust filter, fixed on magnets.
Well, right behind it are two 140mm fans that can be moved up or down. Unlike budget cases with blank front panels, Phanteks Evolv X Glass not only eat wide slots along its edges, but the distance to the fans here is 26 mm. In other words, nothing prevents the flow of fresh air flow to the fans, but we will still check the efficiency of the case without the front panel.
The side walls made of glass are interestingly fixed. It is enough to unscrew the thumbscrews from the front — and then the sidewalls can simply be opened like doors.
Soft silicone strips are glued along the perimeter of the side panels, which soften the pressing of the glass to the metal and seal the body from dust.
There is no dust filter on top of the housing, but in most cases it is not required there.
Without the panels, the chassis continues to amaze, this time with the absence of holes for cables and the regular cables themselves. True, this is only a first impression.
In fact, the cables are hidden behind two metal plates, and the holes are behind plastic pads that can be moved by adjusting the screws.
Interestingly, both plates perform not only a decorative function, since six 2.5-inch drives can be fixed on their inner surface.
Four more such drives can be installed in universal baskets at the bottom of the case or behind the front wall, and in total, Phanteks Evolv X Glass can include nine 2.5-inch SSD / HDD or ten 3.5-inch HDDs (you will have to buy additional additional baskets). In the standard configuration of the case, these are six SSDs and four HDDs, which will be more than enough for a home system of any level.
There are seven horizontal and three vertical slots for attaching expansion cards to the case.
Each of the slots is covered with a perforated plate, fixed with a knurled screw.
The power supply unit is located at the bottom of the case. The PSU is supposed to be installed with the fan facing downwards and suck in cool air from below through a dust filter.
The length of the power supply can reach 250 millimeters, but if you install all four baskets for drives at the bottom of the case, then the power supply unit “only” 195 millimeters long will enter.
Since we’ve touched on the issue of length, let’s add here that video cards up to 435 mm long will fit into the case, and the height of the CPU cooler can reach 190 mm (read: any cooler will fit).
And here are the holes for the cables: there are two such holes at the base of the motherboard tray, and almost in the center of the cut-off casing of the power supply there is a hole for the video card cables, which is closed with a sliding plastic plug.
It looks like we forgot to add that Phanteks Evolv X Glass is compatible with any motherboard (mini-, micro-, E- and just ATX), but we think you already understood this perfectly.
⇡#Cooling system and retrofit options
In terms of cooling system and retrofit options, Phanteks Evolv X Glass will outperform many cases in its class. Regularly, two powerful 140mm PH-F140MP fans are installed on the front intake (but without PWM support and soft silicone inserts in the corners).
Behind the blower, another fan of the same type is installed.
These “turntables” are distinguished by a high level of static pressure and durability (a resource of 150 thousand hours, or 17 years of continuous operation, is declared). They are now installed on the Phanteks PH-TC14PЕ instead of the frankly unsuccessful PH-F140.
The problem is that the case does not provide independent fan speed control, and in order to control them through an eight-channel controller, it must be connected to the motherboard.
Then speed control will be available through the voltage regulation board or by a PWM signal. If the controller is not connected anywhere, then the fans will rotate at a constant maximum speed of 1240 rpm (according to monitoring data). This is not always convenient, and we would ask the Phanteks engineers to provide for the possibility of independently adjusting the rotational speed of the case fans.
As for their total number in Phanteks Evolv X Glass, a total of seven fans can be installed in the case: three in front, three on top and one on the back wall.
The panel on top of the case is not just perforated, but has four rectangular openings.
Moreover, this was done for a reason, but so that when installing two 120- or 140-mm fans on top, one of the openings could be closed with a magnetic cover, thus directing all the air flow into the fans.
Equally impressive is the Phanteks Evolv X Glass’ ability to accommodate liquid cooling systems. To list them for a long time, so we will give a visual diagram from the instruction manual.
It is convenient that Phanteks engineers give not only the possible length and width of the coolant radiators, but also their depth. We double-checked these data with our own measurements, and the thickness of the radiator can really reach 65 mm from the top, and even 70 mm from the front.
In addition, the case has holes for filling custom coolant and draining the coolant (marked above in the diagram). In general, everything is thought out to the smallest detail.
To simplify the assembly of the case, detailed and beautifully designed instructions are provided. We fully believe in your professionalism and dozens of assembled cases in the luggage of an overclocker, but still we strongly recommend that you read this manual, since Phanteks Evolv X Glass is fraught with many useful features and nice features — it was designed by professionals and can surprise even experienced builders.
Soft silicone inserts and special screws are provided to secure the drives in the baskets.
They securely hold 3.5″ drives and minimize the transmission of vibrations to the case. The baskets are connected in pairs with the help of hooks and have soft pads at the points of contact with each other.
The procedure for placing drives in the Phanteks Evolv X Glass case is clearly shown in the video.
In turn, the power supply is first fixed in a removable frame and then installed in the case.
Convenient and fast.
The assembled configuration has never looked as neat as in Phanteks Evolv X, and for perfectionists, perhaps only black SATA cables and the length of an 8-pin power cable for the motherboard were missing.
Installed and closed, the case looks modern and stylish, and the choice of three colors will fit it into any interior.
The backlight is built into the front panel and into the side edges of the power supply housing. You can adjust it using the buttons on the front panel — both in color and in operating modes. Or you can turn it off completely.
At night, the illumination of the case looks concise and unobtrusive.
In dynamics, it can be estimated from the following video from the Phanteks website.
⇡#Configuration, methodology and testing
We evaluated the cooling efficiency of the components in the Phanteks Evolv X Glass system unit case and its noise level on a test configuration consisting of the following components:
- Motherboard: ASRock X299 OC Formula (Intel X299 Express, LGA2066, BIOS P1.60 as of 11/01/2018);
- CPU: Intel Core i9-7900X 3.3-4.5GHz (Skylake-X, 14nm, U0, 10×1024KB L2, 13.75MB L3, TDP 140W);
- CPU cooling system: Phanteks PH-TC14PE (two 140mm Corsair AF140 Quiet Edition at 690~1110 rpm);
- thermal interface: ARCTIC MX-4 (8.5 W/(m K);
- RAM: DDR4 4×4GB Corsair Vengeance LPX 2800MHz (CMK16GX4M4A2800C16) (XMP 2800MHz/16-18-18-36_2T/1.2V or 3000MHz/16-18-18-36_2T/1.35V) ;
- graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition 8 GB / 256 bit overclocked to 1615-1900 (1995) / 15600 MHz;
- for system and benchmarks: Intel SSD 730 480 GB (SATA III, BIOS vL2010400);
- for games and benchmarks: Western Digital VelociRaptor 300 GB (SATA II, 10000 rpm, 16 MB, NCQ);
- Phanteks Evolv X Glass (three 140mm PH-F140MP, 660-1240 rpm, two blow-in, one blow-out);
- Thermaltake Core X71 (six 140mm be quiet! Silent Wings 3 PWM [BL067]990 rpm, three — for blowing, three — for blowing out);
- Power supplies:
Of particular note, our reference case has had all six 140mm be quiet! fans replaced. Silent Wings 2 at be quiet! Silent Wings 3 PWM [BL067], which differ in a different impeller and increased static pressure. Therefore, it is incorrect to compare today’s Thermaltake Core X71 test results with earlier ones on our website.
To increase the heat dissipation of the processor and increase the dependence of the efficiency of its cooling on the ventilation of the case, we overclocked the CPU simultaneously in all cores to a frequency of 4.3 GHz with an increase in the voltage in the BIOS of the motherboard to 1.072 V (at LLC 1), and the frequency of the RAM was fixed at around 3.2 GHz at a voltage of 1.35 V with an additional setting of secondary timings.
To warm up the components inside the cases, we used an individual load for each individual component. The CPU was loaded with the Small FFTs test from Prime95 29.4 build 8. Temperature monitoring was performed by the HWiNFO64 v6.11-3915 program.
In addition to the CPU, we also overclocked the video card, increasing the base frequency of the GPU by 100 MHz, and the effective frequency of the video memory by 1600 MHz.
The video card was loaded with the Fire Strike Extreme stress test from the 3DMark package version 2.10.6771 64, and MSI Afterburner version 4.6.2 Beta 2 was used to monitor it.
The temperature in the room during the tests was controlled by an electronic thermometer and fluctuated in the range from 24.2 to 24.9 degrees Celsius. We measured the noise level of the cases with an OCTAVA-110A electronic sound level meter, fixed on a tripod at a distance of exactly 600 mm from the case of the system unit. The lower measurement limit of this sound level meter is 22.0 dBA.
Today we will compare the cooling efficiency of the components in the Phanteks Evolv X Glass ($230) and its noise level with the indicators of the Thermaltake Core X71 ($140) reference case, retrofitted with six 140mm be quiet! Silent Wings 3 ($21.5) at 990 rpm. In turn, the Phanteks Evolv X Glass case fan controller was connected by cable to one of the connectors on the motherboard. In its BIOS, we configured the fans in such a way that they rotate at a speed of about 660 rpm without load on the processor, and when under load they accelerate to a maximum when the temperature of the central processor core reaches 75 degrees Celsius. We add that we additionally tested Phanteks Evolv X Glass with the front wall removed (marker open on diagrams).
Let’s look at the results of testing the temperature regime of the main components assembled in two cases of system units in the diagram.
Judging by the results, Phanteks Evolv X copes with the cooling of the CPU and motherboard elements very confidently, providing active airflow to the components and losing only 2-3 degrees Celsius to the Thermaltake Core X71. But the case copes with video card cooling worse than its competitor, losing 5-7 degrees Celsius in peak GPU temperature with automatic control of the speed of the video card cooler fans and 8-10 degrees Celsius at their maximum speed.
The reason is quite simple — on our board, the video card is installed in the second PCI-E x16 slot (in the first it conflicts with the processor cooler), which is located quite low. And if in the Thermaltake Core X71 case there is still a large margin in distance to the power supply shroud, then in Phanteks Evolv X there is no more than 45 mm, so the video card gets less fresh airflow from the front fans. Hence the modest performance in terms of GPU temperatures.
On the positive side, when removing the front panel of Phanteks Evolv X, the cooling of the components improves by only 1-2 degrees Celsius, which means that, unlike the vast majority of cases with a blank front panel, here Phanteks engineers have thought through everything and achieved combination of high cooling efficiency and beautiful panel.
Now let’s look at the noise level of these cases.
If the fans of the Phanteks Evolv X case are configured via the motherboard, then it can achieve a quite comfortable noise level and a confident victory over the Thermaltake Core X71 in this indicator. However, if for some reason this is not possible and the case fans will operate at maximum speed, then the noise level of Phanteks Evolv X goes far beyond the comfort limit. In simple terms, in this mode, the case is quite noticeably noisy. And one more interesting fact: with closed side walls in the case at maximum fan speed, aerodynamic rumble is clearly audible, but as soon as they are slightly opened, it immediately disappears.
We can call the Phanteks Evolv X Glass the highest level case, which is ready to provide its owner with the widest possible options for equipping configurations with liquid cooling systems and additional fans. The case has a well-thought-out cable management system that allows you to hide all cables as much as possible both in the main working area and on the back side of the motherboard tray. In addition, it has two dust filters, it allows the installation of any video cards, power supplies and processor coolers, allows you to place up to 10 different drives at the same time, and also features customizable backlighting and an original side panel opening system.
It is noteworthy that for all its equipment, Phanteks Evolv X Glass is not at all a faceless “box”, as one might think. This is a beautiful and unusual case, which is made of tempered glass, thick aluminum panels and plastic, assembled on a steel chassis. Of particular note are the three color schemes and the backlight, which can not only be configured as you like, but also synchronized with other components of the system unit.
- the widest possible opportunities for the placement of LSS;
- Efficient cooling system expandable up to 7 fans;
- the ability to adjust the fans to a low noise level;
- compatibility with any video cards, processor coolers and ATX power supplies;
- possibility of simultaneous installation of 10 drives;
- the ability to assemble two systems in the case (+ mini-ITX);
- advanced cable management system;
- stylish appearance and high quality materials;
- customizable and synchronized backlight.
- the fan controller does not have a manual control mode;
- high noise level at maximum fan speed;
- requires connection of two SATA-type power cables (fans + backlight);
- no reset button and drive activity indicator;
- big mass.