Phanteks Enthoo Pro Case Review

Phanteks is a company founded by a group of engineers and a Dutch design team in 2007 with 2 goals in mind which is “High-end quality” and “Innovative products” in thermal solutions. Phanteks first introduced CPU cooler into the enthusiast market and now they are expanding into PC chassis. Currently, they are releasing 3 types of chassis in Phanteks Enthoo Series namely Primo, Pro and Luxe. This chassis is available in 2 models: windowed or non-windowed side panel. Windowed side panel comes with a PSU Shroud and costs a little bit more. The SRP (Suggested Retail Price) is RM330 (approximately 100 USD). Before diving into the review, let’s take a look at the technical specifications and features it has to offer.

Phanteks Enthoo Pro Overview

Features

  • Phanteks Enthoo Pro includes 1 x 200mm fan in front and 1 x 140mm fan in the rear.
  • Ability to upgrade to additional fans is possible.
  • All fans included are Phanteks’ new redesigned and better performing SP series fans.
  • Budget friendly case, Phanteks’ Enthoo Pro, unleash unlimited possibilities.
  • Brushed plastic with an aluminum appearance.
  • Stealth interior: Hidden Power Supply and Hard Disk Drive.
  • Extreme cooling capacity with 2 included Phanteks premium fans.
  • The PWM hub makes it possible to control all the connected fans (also 3-pin fans) with PWM function through 1 PWM connector and create a better cable management.
  • Extensive water cooling support with up to 4 different installation areas for slim and thick radiators varying from single to triple (120mm and 140mm form factors). Clearance for push-pull fan configurations.
  • Innovative liquid cooling mounting systems: radiator brackets for easy installation.
  • Closed HDD panel strengthens the chassis’ rigidity, even when both HDD cages are removed.
  • Removable Drop-n-Lock SSD bracket that can be installed on 2 different locations. (1 bracket incl.)
  • Removable dust filters for easy maintenance.
  • Pre-installed cable management tools behind the motherboard tray that can be fastened and released.
  • 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, microphone, 3.5mm audio jack

Specifications

  • Dimension (W x H x D): 235mm x 535mm x 550mm
  • Motherboard Compatibility: ATX, EATX, mATX, SSI EEB
  • Expansion Slots: 8
  • Type: Full Tower
  • Cooling Option: Front: 2x120mm, 2x140mm, 1x180mm | Rear: 1x120mm, 1x140mm | Top:3x120mm, 3x140mm | Bottom: 1 x 140mm, 2x120mm
  • Front I/O: 2 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0, Audio Jack, Microphone Jack, Reset Button
  • Power Supply: Not Included
  • Extras: Fan Hub with 6 x 3-pin fan ports. Removable Drive Cage CPU Air Cooler Max Height: 193mm. CPU Water Cooler (AIO) Max Height: 65mm

Phanteks Related Products

  1. Phanteks Enthoo Pro Case Review

Packaging and Unboxing

Packaging-1: Opening up the box, it reveals the chassis protected with 2 large thick foams that absorb vibration and shocks. The large thick plastic bag helps prevent unwanted dirt/scratches.
Phanteks Enthoo Pro Packaging

Unboxing-1: The sides of the box displays technical specification of the Phanteks Enthoo Pro chassis such as the expansion drive bays, air cooling capabilities, liquid cooling capabilities, clearance for graphic card and CPU cooler, and case dimension.
Phanteks Enthoo Pro Unboxing

Accessories

Phanteks Enthoo Pro comes with an accessory box. Inside the box contains a compartmentalize toolbox with screws of different kind, a manual, some zip ties, reservoir bracket and 2 Velcro-straps for cable management. The manual is superb because it has all 5 main languages written on the same page while describing the installation process and in-outs of the chassis. As a result, the manual is thin and easy to navigate.
Phanteks Enthoo Pro Accessories

Top Panel Design

Top Design-1: The top panel external structure is entirely made of plastic and has a minimalist appearance with only a power button.

Top Design-2: The top panel has brushed-plastic with an aluminum appearance, a large oval power button (25mm x 10mm) with a pin hole to emit LED light and a black mesh with circular holes similar to Cooler Master 690’s top panel. The power button has a tactile feel to it, similarly to a mouse button click whereas the brushed-plastic feels like a smooth wood grain which adds a nice feel to it.

Top Design-3: To remove the top panel, you will need to remove the front panel first which is a hassle. However, both top and front panel requires little effort to pop them out. By placing both thumbs on each side at corners of side panel where power button is facing you, gently push it upwards with increasing strength until it pops out. The top panel made of plastic weights quite light approximately 550g. It helps reduces overall chassis weight which is a good thing for portability. The height of top panel is 10mm, therefore its insufficient to mount regular fan of 25mm in height underneath it.

Top Design-4: Underneath the circular mesh is equipped with a non-removable cloth-thread dust filter sandwiched in between the mesh and plastic. As you notice, there are few unsightly strings appearing from the dust filter. I discovered that if there is dirt or insects that get trapped between the mesh and dust filter, it is very difficult to remove them. Straightening the mesh hook from the top panel allows you to remove the dust filter but may risk peeling black paint layer, therefore it will rust. The dust filter is has wider gaps compared to the dust filter found at the bottom intake, so it’s ideal for exhaust instead of intake. The rather large hexagon design plastic acts as pillars to support the mesh from being bent in, however it restricts much of the air flow. Another point to take note is dust gets stuck between those frames too, making it a hassle to clean.

Top Design-5: Phanteks Enthoo Pro top can mount 3x120mm or 3x140mm or 1x180mm fan combination. It could fit 2x180mm fan if the front 5 inch drive bay is removed. The sliding screw hole design which is a copy from NZXT chassis design makes it very convenient to mount both metal screw and anti-vibration rubber grommets. With this design, you can mount all 4 rubber grommets to the fan itself first, and then hook it up to the sliding fan mounting area. Also, for screw, you can leave it half-way tighten giving some room to move the fan to the position you want it to be before fully screwing them in. The open fan grill provides unrestricted air flow plus reduces the overall of the chassis weight and cost with less metal being used. The holes on the very edges can only fit in 3-pin fan cable as the 4-pin fan cable requires more space.

Side Panel Design

Side Design-1: Here I have the windowed version of Phanteks Enthoo Pro. It’s tinted smokey gray instead of transparent. With this, users can showcase their components especially the ones that comes equipped with flashy L.E.D. lights on the motherboard, graphic card, fans and memory sticks (RAM).

Front Panel Design

Front Design-1: The front appearance is similar to Fractal Design Arc Midi chassis with brushed-aluminum appearance but it’s actually made of plastic which is good as it does not leave any finger prints. There are three 5 inch drive bays that can be used to install items such as CD DVD-W, Hotswap-able HDD-SSD or Fan Controller. The first top slot is used as Front I/O with 2 x 3.0 USB ports, 2 x 2.0 USB ports, an audio jack, a microphone jack and reset button. This design is great as it has a cover to prevent dust from entering it and gives a cleaner overall look to the chassis. The reset button is designed very well as placing finger on it will not trigger a reset, but requires additional pin-point force to push the button down.

Front Design-2: The front supports 2x120mm, 2x140mm and 1x180mm fan. By default, it has a pre-installed 180mm fan on the front. The screw sliding mechanism only provide support for 120mm fans. I noticed that when installing a 140mm fan, the front plastic blocks one third of the air flow. Phanteks could increase the honeycomb mesh area to accommodate dual 140mm fan air intake. Take note that for 140mm fan, it is blocked by the plastic halfway up. As a result, air flow gets choked.

Front Design-3: The front panel has ventilation holes on all four sides which provide better air flow to the front air intake fans. However, one flaw I notice is it is not filtered-proof. The design of having an edge to it makes it easier to have your fingers to have grip on the front panel to pop front panel out easily. The front circular mesh used here is same as the one used on the top panel. It has the same design from CM 690.

Front Design-4: The 5 inch drive bays does not require any use of screws to secure your component such as a DVD/CD-RW or Fan Controller or Hot Swappable Bay. Just slide it in and it auto-locks. To release it from the chassis, simply press and hold the rubberized button clips and pull out the drive bay component.

Bottom Design

Bottom Design-1: The bottom has 2 independent dust filters. One for the power supply and the other for dual 120mm or 140mm fan mounts. These filters can be removed by sliding them out from the front and rear. Removing the fine mesh dust filter reveals large honeycomb fan grill which is excellent for unobstructed air intake. The bottom also uses the same sliding screw design which can be found consistently on top, front and rear.

Bottom Design-2: The chassis feet elevates the housing approximately 30mm above ground, making it suitable to be placed on carpets without choking the power supply air intake. Also, it helps prevent pulling in dust that settled beneath the chassis easily. The highly elevated feet provides sufficient space for your fingers to go underneath it to carry case up with convenience.

Fans

Fan-1: Phanteks 180mm fan is used as front cool air intake whereas the 140mm fan is used as rear hot air exhaust fan. Both fans are closed-corners which makes it not compatible with common anti-vibration rubber grommets. Swapping the metal screws on different side requires lots of effort to mount as you will need to create threads within the closed-corners. The 140mm fan has cable length of 24 inches whereas 180mm fan has cable length of 28 inches. Both pushes great amount of air and requires very little startup voltage to get it spinning. Take note that 3rd party regular fans would have cable length up to 18 inches in length, therefore would be difficult to get the front 2 fans connected to the fan hub unless you the cables are placed on bottom of the case instead of following the provided cable management tie mounts.

Internal Design

Internal Design-1: The front uses metal bent clips to hold the cables in place. It is difficult to manage thick cables such as the ones found in Noctua. Since Phanteks custom fans uses similar cable sleeving as Noctua, it will prove difficult fit. As shown in the picture above, it has a capacity to fit only 1 thick fan cable sleeve from Noctua. This issue is non-existent for flat wires such as the pre-installed Phanteks fans that shares the similar design from Enermax cable wired fans.

Internal Design-2: The motherboard cutout design is same as Corsair Obsidian with width and height of 8 inch x 6 inch (200mm x 155mm) which is very large. It helps a lot when mounting 3rd party CPU cooler and fans.

Internal Design-3:
In terms of CPU Air Cooler Clearance, there is at most 193mm clearance from the motherboard to the side panel so it can easily fit a large 3rd party heatsink such as PH-TC14PE that has a height of 170mm when fitted with dual fans. It was much easier to install in this case as there are no fan grills on top of the case.

Internal Design-4: For CPU water cooler clearance, the internal of top chassis has a clearance of 65mm which only allows either push or pull config for water cooler. The radiator block (30mm) + fan (25mm) leaves room for 15mm distance from the RAM slots. Here is another perspective of the Swiftech H220 Compact Drive CPU Cooler installed in Phanteks Enthoo Pro on top in push config which provides the best cooling option. However, this method has a disadvantage where the dust will trap in between the radiator and fan but this will less likely to accumulate dust quickly as all air intakes are fully dust filtered.

AIO Liquid Cooler Setup

Note: The front and bottom chassis can support push-pull config water radiator. The one I tested here is 4 x 120mm Swiftech fans, 2 for push and 2 for pull, sandwiching the radiator. By having both fans in place, the total height of this cooler is close to 80mm/8cm.

Setup-1: Phanteks Enthoo Pro spacious interior provides sufficient room to install dual 120mm liquid cooler such as the Swiftech H220 (2 x 120mm) on the base of the case using push config, where you push the hot air out of the case. This method is easier to install since you can align the holes of the radiator to the sliding screw mount. It does not obstruct you from mounting additional front fans which includes the 1 x 180mm, 2 x 120mm and 2 x 140mm fans. However, positioning the water cooler at the bottom will require you to remove the bottom drive cage, leaving you with only 1 drive cage with 3 drive caddies. If you are planning to water cool both CPU (processor) and GPU (graphic card processor), it is possible by installing a water cooler on top of the chassis linking to the CPU while the bottom custom water cooler linking to your graphic card. Do take note that when you install AIO (all-in-one aka closed-loop) water cooler at the bottom, it will obstruct the installation of the PSU Shroud. However, a customize water cooler loop will easily bypass this issue by rerouting it based on your creativity. It also block part of the bottom rubber grommet which is crucial for pulling in essential power supply cables behind the motherboard tray.

Setup-2: Here is the bottom view of the chassis. I used 2 metal screws to temporarily hold them in place so it would be easier to mount the remaining screws to provide a secure fit. Notice that the fan mounts almost can support dual 140mm fan but there isn’t sufficient space, therefore only 1 x 140mm can be positioned either side (left/right). Phanteks could easily remedy it by extending the length of the sliding mounts from the center and the ones closer to the power supply area.
Here is an image on the bottom of the chassis with push-pull config water cooler. I discovered during the installation, you can’t pre-installed the longer screws to hold fans to the radiator as the semiphere screw head prevents the radiator from sitting flat on the base. Therefore, you have 2 options. Use short screws to pre-install fans in place, and use more short screws to hold fans to the base. Since I’m short of screws, I used 4 long screws (2 for each fan) to grip both the base of the chassis, fan and radiator in place while 4 short screws (2 for each fan) to fasten to the radiator.

Setup-3: Here is behind view from the motherboard. It has sufficient space to mount front fans and 1 top drive cage. Moving on to front installation AIO water cooler, it requires to remove both drive cages. This option is available for those who are not planning of SSD-HDD Raid or having multiple hard disks to store their data. Here is an internal view of the push-pull radiator. With this setup, you can only install 1 x 120mm or 1 x 140mm fan that is closer to the power supply. If the radiator isn’t sandwiched (push or pull but not both), you can fit in dual 120mm fans on the bottom of the case for extreme air flow but it still doesn’t provide sufficient room to install a drive cage as the radiator and fan takes a considerate amount of space. Here is the front external view of the chassis. Phanteks Enthoo Pro had some extra space from the dual 140mm fan mount to provide some space for water tubes protruding out of the radiator. Here is the side view of the push-pull config in front of the chassis. It’s really massive, which uses almost half of the drive cage width.

Fan Hub

Phanteks brought over some ideas from NZXT and implemented into their chassis and one of them is the fan hub which supports up to six 3-pin fan or 4-pin fans. Do take note that plug-in 3-pin fans to this hub will run at full throttle because it can’t be controlled via CPU 4-pin PWM. The fan hub is powered by a SATA 12V Power Input. There are 2 positions where this fan hub can be mounted. One of it is the one shown in the picture and the other is closer to the motherboard cutout. You will need a screw driver to unscrew it to reposition it. One way to improve this design to become tooless is having a magnetized base, so it can be moved flexibly and conveniently.

Cable Management

Personally, I find it easier to just tuck the massive cables especially for a non-modular power supply in the front instead of tucking them behind the motherboard tray. As this chassis comes in with a PSU cover (power supply unit shroud), it helps hide the messy cable mess. There isn’t much room to work with behind especially when the chassis already comes with lots of pre-installed cables for the front I/O and 2 fans as seen in the picture above. I do like the Velcro straps provided as it helps alignining the cables at position you need them to be. The pre-installed cables blocked some of the motherboard rubber grommets, so you will need to adjust it abit to have your PSU cables and SATA cables maneuving in easily.

Drive Cage and Caddy

The chassis includes 2 removable drive cages where each cage host 3 drive caddies with 10mm gap in between to provide better airflow. These drive cages are secured with 6 thumb screws which is good thing to prevent drive cage from slipping out from position. The drive caddy uses a wing-like design and 2 mini plastic base hook to secure the hard disk without having to use screws but for SSD, it will require screws.

SSD Drive Mount and Bracket.

Enthoo Pro provides 1 SSD bracket which can be positioned in 2 areas behind the motherboard tray. First is the one closer to the bottom of the chassis and the other is just slightly above it depending on your cable management. Sadly, it only it doesn’t come with 2 SSD brackets. Therefore, SSD RAID will require the front drive cage to be installed.

Verdict

There are a few flaws with Phanteks Enthoo Pro but are compensated with the rather excellent innovative design and ideas obtained from other famous brands such as NZXT (fan hub, sliding screw mounts), Corsair (motherboard cutout, open air fan mount), Fractal Design (brushed-plastic aluminum chassis, plastic clips for removable dust filter) to name a few and improves on them. This simply reminds me on how they came out with their first CPU cooler which is similar to Noctua NH-D14 with minor overall improvements based on customers feedbacks. This full tower chassis is solidly built with many great features while priced reasonably well compared to other competitors in the computer chassis market.

I would recommend this case for those who wants a noob-friendly cable management case where they can store multiple solid state drives or hard disk for RAID or common video-music storage, or those who wants a case that can fit in their 3rd party AIO water cooler or large air cooler, or those who are looking for a case with three 5 inch drive bays for their fan controller, hot swappable bay and DVD-RW drive. The chassis is rather large and if you want to place on a table, make sure you have sufficient room to place it.

Pros

  • High elevated chassis feet to prevent dust going in and provide space for fingers to carry it up.
  • Fully dust proof chassis.
  • Has side-window panel to admire your computer components.
  • Lighter than most full tower chassis.
  • Innovative designs on side panel, chassis feet, drive caddy, drive cages and sliding fan screw mount.
  • Chassis can be dissembled as each part is screwed instead of being riveted.
  • Large CPU Motherboard cut-out for installing CPU cooler bracket easily for both Intel and AMD.
  • Variety of water-cooling mounting options for front, top and bottom.
  • Well-packaged accessory box with compact manual, Velcro straps and extra water reservoir bracket.
  • Has PSU shroud to cover PSU and cables from dust.
  • Has a fan hub to centralize all fan cables.
  • Has SSD bracket to place SSD behind motherboard tray.
  • Drive caddies are separated at least 1cm gap for better air flow.
  • Removable drive cages to provide better air flow or provide more space for longer graphic cards.
  • Open air fan mounts for top and front for free air flow.
  • Uses sliding screw mounts for most fan mounts which makes it easier to mount rubber grommets.
  • Front I/O is covered with a plastic cover to prevent dust from entering and provides a cleaner external look.
  • Priced competitively while providing variety of customizations and packed with features.
  • Many water cooling mounting options for both close and open loop water cooler.

Cons

  • To remove top panel requires removing front panel first.
  • Bottom dust filters are not smoothly removable, requires aligning to place back.
  • Top dust filter is non-removable and it’s not fine enough prevent smaller dust from entering.
  • Chassis comes with many cables for front I/O that blocks the rubber grommet motherboard holes.
  • Side panel opens in wing direction similar to drive caddy, difficult to close back unless chassis is placed sideways.
  • Front and top panel has hexagon plastic that obstructs air flow.
  • Circular mesh provides better appearance but impedes air flow more than hexagon mesh.
  • Removing PSU shroud requires unscrewing 3 screws from behind the motherboard tray instead of front.
  • The metal plating where Phanteks logo is placed blocks user from viewing handling fan from the other side.
  • Fan hub does not provide feature to manually control fan speed but only with CPU PWM for 4-pin fans.
  • Front fan mount is screwed within the chassis, therefore to swap these fans, you will need to remove both drive cages.
  • The tool-less 5 inches drive bays prevents mounting dual 180mm fan, therefore to equip those, you will need to dissemble that part to make room for it.
  • Bottom of chassis unable to install dual 140mm fan.
  • Only 1 SSD bracket provided behind the motherboard tray instead of 2.

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