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)
Expansion Slots 8
I/O Port 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, 1x Headphone, 1x Mic
Power Supply Size ATX (supports two)
Clearances HSF 207mm
PSU 240mm
GPU 257mm with bracket; 350mm without bracket
Dimensions 9.84" x 25.59" x 23.62"
250mm x 650mm x 600mm
Special Features Supports 420mm/480mm radiator in top
PWM-controlled fan hub
Toggleable blue LED lighting for trim and front fans
Price MSRP $249

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.

Building in the Phanteks Enthoo Primo
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  • Bazooo - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    Great Justin. I can't believe you were already working on it when I wrote to you last week. Thanks a lot! Reply
  • nleksan - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    I 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!
    Reply
  • f0d - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    900D 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
    Reply
  • f0d - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    while 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 Reply
  • Insanity133 - Friday, November 29, 2013 - link

    Same here in New Zealand. Reply
  • KurtToni - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    Love 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)
    http://goo.gl/mtEmF6
    Reply
  • hero1 - Sunday, August 11, 2013 - link

    You 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 Reply
  • Pyrokinetic - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    I 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. Reply
  • techxx - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    Be nice to see more mini-ITX case reviews. Full ATX accounts for less than 5% of the tech enthusiast community now. Reply
  • Alan G - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    +1 on the mini-ITX request; I'm starting on my third build with this size board because that's what my friends want. I'm not prepared to spend over $200 for a case like this one as it's truly overkill IMO. Even though the from panel is closed off, what does anyone need with 5 5.25" drive bays? For my photographer friends I don't even put card readers in these days because USB 3.0 readers are cheap and if a pin ever gets bent (and this does happen) they get a new one for $30 and the case doesn't have to be opened and things pulled apart and installed.

    I think there are just too many good alternatives to this case for less money.
    Reply

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