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Phanteks Enthoo Mini XL Case Review

Inside of the Phanteks Enthoo Mini XL Case
This is quite a long page and really somewhat incomplete still. This case has so many configurations that it would be impossible to show them all in the format of a simple review but trust me; if there is a negative to this case it would be over-engineering.

Starting off is the simple side view of the Motherboard tray side but what you don’t see is the typical drive bays tower on the front. Oh, it’s there but it’s behind the black curtain where it should be. No one wants to see dusty hard drives in a computer build. The wire access holes are all Rubber covered for wire neat wiring and pretty build quality. Also I have noticed that all the screw holes are very well tapped in the Phanteks cases. This is one of the few cases that I have not needed a screwdriver to untighten every thumb screw. The screws go in silky smooth even to the hilt, and the finish is top of the line perfect. The logos on the tool-less ODD 5.25 drive bay area are brushed metal and not cheap plastic logos. They even are covered by a plastic shield so they stay perfect until they get to your destination with no blemishes of any kind.

Front open Case

A closer look at the Motherboard tray shows an exceptionally large CPU back-plate access hole that allows for many different orientations of CPU locations on many different Boards. The motherboard stand-offs are made into the case with perfect taps and a tight fit for the motherboard.

motherboard tray 2

Just above the main motherboard tray of the case is the back plate for the opposite side of the Power Supply. The power supply is uniquely hidden behind this wall on the back side of the case in its own custom made cubby hole and leaves room here for the Optional m-ITX motherboard Tray that is sold separately. Since I have the options all here I will be doing a double Motherboard build to show off just how cool you can be with this case.

back of PSU Bay area

Here is a full frontal shot of the back of the front face panel and the inside of the ODD drive bays and the dual 140 mm fans. Also if you notice the wiring for the outer lighting system is tightly wound and should be opened like a door in this fashion if you need to add wires lights or a front cooling solution. There is plenty of room in this case so the hardest part will be deciding how to configure you particular system. There are so many ways to do this; top, bottom front, back and side you name it you can do it and the custom parts for custom water cooling loops are one of the many things that make this case uniquely special.

Front End open

The top looks almost big enough for a 480 rad but it’s not. A 360 X 120 or a 280 x 140 will fit perfectly in the top and the holes allow custom fitting of the Radiator by allowing the radiator mounting screws to be positioned back or forth for optimal fit for any number of different cooling solutions that are on the market now.

Top Opened

The wire tie down straps are Velcro and very easy to untighten and replace making wire management easy. Just undo them all and then braid the wires in the best fashion you need. The six tool-less mechanical drive bays are both removable and there is plenty of other drive locations to choose from. I will be using the Optional kit for my Mechanical drive Mounting and removing both of the tool-less tower drive bays in the front of the case. For our build I will be using both of the included SSD drop in mounts that are standard with the case and for each of the OS SSDs for each of the two separate Motherboards and I will be using the optional 3.5 inch hard drive mount that comes optional with the lighting and mount kit, sold separately.

Bottom full filtered

A closer look at the Phanteks Mini XL Power Supply housing shows just how unique this care really is. Actually this case is made for two different Power Supplies for two different motherboard and systems but the main gaming or work station type high wattage power supply is housed here in the top back of the case. Another unique part of this is that the PSU will only go mount with the fan facing out position. The pre-installed rubber bumpers on the bottom floor quiets any vibration that could come from the power supply and the large amount of room in the back of the case will make easy the two large 24 pin wires to be tied down neatly into the back of the case but we will see how that works out as time progresses.

PSU 1 holding site

This picture shows how I have rerouted the main wires for my build and I have made the wires a little more clean and straight for the big build ahead. Preparing first for a build is the best way to build a premium looking system. The secret is; do not get into a hurry. Open the case and take it down piece by piece and route your wires the way is best for you all the while imagining your build as you need it to be in the end, before getting started and don’t tie down be afraid to buy more wire ties. You will cut more than you use in the end reworking wires until it’s all together and working correctly.

wire management

Under the top front control and plugs are several different boards that handle different jobs. Each made specifically for a certain thing. The lighting and the reset is in the far left card, the centrally located very touch rubber incased USB 3.0 unit is centrally located and the High Definition in and out ports have the final board on the back right.

under control panel

Electrically engineered is also a great thing. This Phanteks fan/light bus is great for voltage distribution and built to last. The two SATA power plugs are for the separate lighting system and the fan controlling system. There is a time when this Power plug should not be used so consult your manual on if your wiring will need to be plugged in or not plugged in. That is the question.

fan and Light bus

Removing a single or both hard drive cages is very simple to do. First you want to remove both the thumb screws at the top of the cage.

Removing the drivebay2

Then pull the tongue like tab in the center of the cage outward. The retaining thumbscrews can be seen easier in this shot.

Removing the drivebay4

Then its a matter of just pulling the entire cage by sliding it on its bottom and top tracks to then once it’s free put it somewhere that you won’t lose it for another time in the future.

Removing the drivebay 1

Here is a close up of the SSD mount right below the CPU rear access hole. There is one on the left as well. When these screws are tight the mount stays firmly in place but just slightly loosen the four screws and the rubber will hold it fine. This is over engineered in my opinion but that is not a bad thing. Like they always said in the Air Force, you are always allowed to exceed standard but drop below the applied standards as written.

SSD drop in

As I stated before the side panel is unique that you don’t have to work and slide panel clasps into place and use 3 hands to slide them forward to lock. They lock by putting the front lip in place then close it like a door and then clasp it down with the two thumb screws. That is how easy it is. The steel is very strong and not thin. The acrylic window is fit with a frame like bending tabs inside to allow you to change one if you ever damage one or need to remove it for any reason. Replacing the window is just as easy as taking it down.

front of Window side panel

This is the inside look at that side panel. See the lip in the front. IT fits perfectly onto the front skeleton of the case and closes very simply. The bend down tabs can be seen here too.

Back of Window panel

Again we stated how the back or the right hand panel is function only. It works the same as the other with removal and install. The ventilation is a very cleanly done.

back panel

This shows you how the intake power supply air feed is filtered on the inside. Taking this off is easy since it is magnetically sealed and it’s a plastic high quality fine filter to stop all but the minutest particulates from entering into your power supply. This could get clogged pretty quickly in a dusty environment but there is lots of other ways for air to get inside the case so no chance in this causing a loss to the power supply. This is another application of surpassing the rules and not just adhering to them.

Removable Vent on side panel

Finally this part can be unscrewed and the blank can be removed for placement of the side mounted 240MM x 120MM Radiator mount if you so choose to use it. If you are putting your cooling system elsewhere then just leave it closed to keep the dust accumulation down.

Side liquid cooling ventillation

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