Phanteks PH-ES217E_AG EVOLV Shift Mini ITX Dual Tempered Glass for AIO Water Cooling Anthracite Gray Cases Gray
- Full Metal Body, Clean interior –PSU Cover & HDDs, Tempered Glass Panel both sides, Anodized Aluminum Panels, Powder Coated Steel Chassis. Small Footprint (274mm x 170mm), Compact and Powerful
- Multiple Orientations. 360 degrees of accessibility for convenient installation
- Main I/O within arm's reach. Integrated RGB Illumination (MSI, ASUS, Gigabyte RGB sync). Fully equipped with dust filters. Includes PCI-e x16 Risercable
- Supports 120/140 AIO water cooling. Supports Dual 120mm AIO Radiators. Convenient reach to your water cooling components
- Motherboard Support: Mini ITX. PSU Support: SFX. Front I/O: 2x USB 3.0, Power Button, RGB Button. Side Window: Yes, Dual Tempered Glass both sides
- Graphics card length - 350mm (13.8in)
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Efficient Space Utilization
Reach in to your hardware from every angle. With a 360° access to the internals, the Shift X brings you the best Small Form Factor installation experience with clean cable management.
The Shift can hold ups to four SSD brackets and two 3.5" HDD mounts. Two are included with The Shift.
Convenient reach to your water cooling components, supports up to 280mm radiator, pump bracket is included.
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This case is primarily focused on aesthetics, not performance. Therefore, do not expect amazing temps for your GTX 10XX or RX 4/5XX + 6-8 Core Coffee Lake / Ryzen. Instead, focus on how to improve your build in a way that keeps acceptable performance with the best looking view possible!
- Gorgeous Case! High quality aluminum, small mesh filters, slightly tinted tempered glass side panels that don’t hinder your view or black out your lighting effects.
- One of the best installation booklets for any PC component ever.
- Accepts 120 (and some 140) radiators, and all 120 / 140mm fans.
- Has a cool cable bar that hides your wires directly beneath your motherboard, with two rubber grommets for PSU cables.
- Allows for 3.5” and multiple 2.5” drives
- 3 fans, mounted in good locations for a divided-chamber concept
- Can also show off GPU on backside of motherboard.
- Glass panels and side panels are easy to remove, but need some extra oomph to slide / snap into place before tightening down.
- Clearance between SFX / SFX-L PSU and GPU is tight, make sure to choose your card carefully to not block your card from being installed / being forced into one orientation rather than both options (being able to show it forward into the glass or backward into the mothotherboard). This is mainly due to the GPU’s location for PCI-E power connector cables and the PSU, but can also be affected by radiator positioning.
- Cable Management is a chore, just like any SFX case, and especially for those that want to use RGB products. I mounted my RGB controllers behind the back panel, and it bulges a bit but I got it to fit, mainly due to the sata power connectors. The fan cables were routed via the Phanteks cable bar below the motherboard directly past the PSU and into the backside panel (where the 3.5” drive would go, I don’t use it).
- Price to invest. While the case is pretty inexpensive compared to other Mini itx cases with glass or of good quality, the SFX ecosystem demands SFX PSU, higher quality fans, and potentially downgrading to a smaller AIO if you had anything above a 120/140mm radiator AIO. In my case, I had to buy a Corsair SFX PSU, 3 new RGB fans with either static pressure or airflow focus, a 120mm AIO, AND the case. All for the aesthetics. A hefty investment but one for the future.
- Case airflow is an issue, specifically for the motherboard and GPU. Try different fan orientations and see which one provides the best cooling, or consider getting fans with strong airflow as intake to push heat upwards and dissipate out the top. A blower-style (reference) GPU is a good idea for this case, but not if you want a pretty display. I’m looking into Silverstone’s Air Penetrator fan for its direct airflow concept to better cool the GPU and motherboard. CPU temps are fine, and so far no VRM issues.
Overall, a well designed case with a beautiful display. Just make sure you do your research! I included some pictures to help understand the case layout.
The case is perfectly built so no matter how many time to open and close it, it'll hold up.
TIPS (after one month of testing and changing HW):
- Definitely go for CPU water-cooling. However CPU *and* GPU water cooling will be extra tricky (I didn't even try)
- Go for a blower style graphics card since the case gets real hot otherwise.
- It's best to have the AIO fan blow upward to sucks the cool air and flow it to the top -- since hot air tends to run upwards anyway.
- Measure components BEFORE buying (especially water-cooling and graphics card)
- You can install a fan for water cooling UNDER the case (whether or not you opt for dual fan)
- I used a 8700K + H100i v2 120mm water-cooling. Without overclocking it's blazing fast and dead silent. The tiny amount of performance gained by overclocking isn't worth the potential extra noise.
- You can flip the graphics card outwards for extra show-off value. HOWEVER, if you use a full-sized graphics card, the 6 or 8 pin connector wont fit between the card and the PSU. You can get a 90-degree (backwards) 8-6 pin convector (ordered from modDIY, $15 in 10 days from China) and save 1/4" and put everything together.
And enjoy! This was my best experience of putting a PC together after 15 years of using laptops. Truly Lego for adults.
However, while it looks wonderful, it requires some careful thought as to hardware, cable routing and cooling. Building in it was also a time consuming endeavor for me, so make sure to 'plan your attack' prior to just slapping components in there. Phanteks includes a really great instruction manual that details the steps that you should take to assemble your system.
The case comes with a single 140mm fan; my final configuration consisted of two 140mm fans on the sides, and a Kraken M22 AIO CPU cooler in a push/pull configuration pushing air out the bottom (you can attach a fan between the bottom of the case and the case feet). The case is meant to be used for AIO usage; it provides space for two 120mm AIOs (in case you want to use one for your GPU); using a air cooler is a bad idea for the CPU because there is not much space between the tempered window and the motherboard. Similarly, Phanteks recommends that the GPU bracket be configured so the GPU faces the glass in a liquid cooled config (for sweet bling factor) and facing the inside for more plebian air cooling. My overclocked configuration runs my Ryzen 5 1400X at a max of 46 degC under load, and my GTX1060 with air cooling runs just under 80 degC. These aren't the world's best thermals, but are average and in line with what I am able to achieve in other cases. I would definitely recommend if you were looking at a higher TDP graphics card like a GTX 1080 to look for a blower style fan (Founder's edition) or to use an AIO with a Kraken G12 bracket or the like.
This case also begs for a good RGB application, part of the reason why I went with a Kraken M22. This cooler is not the cheapest out there, but it's the best RGB implementation in a 120mm fan format and fits perfectly inside the Shift- almost like it was meant for this case. The case also comes with an integrated 12V controller that works perfectly with Phantek's own Halos, installing one right over the AIO makes for a pretty nice setup (I left the side fans unlit), especially when you finish the look with RGB memory.
Overall, I really like this case. I would not recommend this to anyone who is relatively new or can't be bothered to plan their builds out, because it does require some effort in component selection and consideration as far as cooling and the like. But if you're patient, the payoff is a beautiful and unique system.