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Phanteks Enthoo Mini XL Case Review

Building inside the Phanteks Enthoo Mini XL Case
The Phanteks Enthoo Mini XL case stands alone in a field of cases that allow for two builds to be simultaneously built into the same case at the same time and be completely independent of each other. But I can be an amazing case for about any kind of build you want as long as you keep to a Micro-ATX form factor motherboard and or a Mini-ITX form Factor. You have your choice of one, the other or both all without much effort other than a extra kit that doesn’t cost much at all.

Building into this case for dual motherboards were not as easy as many other ordinary builds I have done in the past. The extra ordinary steps that you take with his case first starts with whether or not you plan to go double boards or just one. If you want to go double boarded you will need a Kit for that.

1-Optional M-ITX Accessories of the Phanteks Enthoo Mini LX Case
Kit Number: PH-ITXKT_01
MSRP: $29.99 US dollars

x optional front box

2- I would suggest the Seasonic SS-300TFX Bronze 300 Watt TFX Form Factor Power Supply.
I chose this specific power supply because of its high rating for quality and the most important point that the black power plug is centrally located on the back of the power supply for proper fit into the small hole that is made for the Second power supply

Seasonic SS-300TFX

3- Any 120 mm Fan since the 140 mm that comes with the original back plate does not fit the Kit back plate.
I suggest the Phanteks PH-F120XP_BK 120mm PWM Case Fan.

PH-F120XP 120mm fan

After you have acquired these few extra parts you are ready for a build that is impossible in most cases. Since I did not have a TFX Power supply on hand for this build it is incomplete by one small rectangular box at the bottom front. Adding the TFX power supply made for smaller computers is exactly what you need to power the M-ITX Build at the top but it will get into the way of a second Graphics card unless you are able to fit a 1U type slim server power supply for the m-ITX mounted above.

First thing to do was to change the original equipment back plate with the M-ITX Kit back plate that includes the second I/O shield slot and two PCI Slots for a nice double sized video card and a 120 mm exhaust fan mount. Sadly the Kit does not include the 120 mm fan in the box and the standard 140 mm that is on the back of the original case is too big so follow the shopping list I listed above to get it all together before you start.

Installing MITX kit back

This is so cool. The PSU on the top but in its own cubby hole and thermally separated from the rest of the build and very well ventilated through the back side panel and its even filtered for fine flying particulates.

Installing PSU

Be sure to feed the PSU wires behind the light, fan and control wires running down the back center of the case as you will need to be extra careful with conserving space for both power supply wires.

PSU installed inside compartment

The best time to hang your drives is right now. Make sure you know what drive will go where and how you will route the SATA wires up to the M-ITX.
60cm-black-sata-right-flat-02

(NOTE 🙂 A 60 cm. or a 2 Ft. SATA III wire will be reqired for top M-ITX motherboard as this is a long trip up the side of the case.

SSD hangers

Now is the best time to mount the bottom motherboard. This is the Time that the 4 or 8 pin P8 CPU power wire to be plugged in before adding the other parts of the Kit as the Mini-ITX motherboard tray will get in the way of any plugs at the top of the bottom Micro-ATX motherboard connections.

uATX install

Now came the time to mount the Mini- ITX motherboard tray to the top of the case with the three screws that I have marked here in this diagram. Remember to plug wires into the board and mount the CPU, Memory and especially the CPU Cooler before mounting this motherboard to the tray as there will be not much access to the pin outs after you mount the board to the tray inside the case.

Motherboard M-ITX tray install

At this point it’s time to install the controller kit for the M-ITX top motherboard or secondary computer. This controller will give you full access to USB 3 plugs, microphone / headset mini RCA plugs and power and reset button. Make sure that you plug in all the wires that come out of this controller box before installing the Mini-ITX board into the case.

Controller unit install

Here is a look at the two motherboards mounted in tandem together in the same case. This is the reason I love this case so much. I have always wondered about a case that could hold two motherboards but never thought it would happen on a major case to be purchased without lots of modding involved. Instead just buy the kit and some special parts and you have two independent computers that are completely independent of each other or just a really cool Micro-ATX board with lots of cooling capabilities in so many different ways.

Motherboards installed

As it is evident by the two 120mm Corsair Fans it’s obvious that I have used the available side Radiator Mount that comes with the original equipment. I had to remove the 8 fan screws from the side panel to open the ventilation holes on the covering panel side here. There were no problems with clearance on mounting the fans on the outer part of radiator mounting plate. It was easy to install and didn’t take much effort at all to install.

Backside of full build

In the end, I did add a single one meter light string that has 3M double sided tape pre-applied to mount it on the case walls and a plug that fit perfectly into the lighting circuit daisy chain style, in the back of the case right next to the power supply encasement. The magic of the lighting is its all synced together; so when you press the buttons that controls the included lights down the front of the case, the lighting strip that is installed after to light the motherboard area configures to the same color as the rest of the lights. They all match perfectly and all you need to do is add to the daisy chain even another string of light and press the button on the top of the case to change the color to get 10 different colors. Below is two photo from different angles showing the different colors from the front and side with the RGB Color light strip installed in each lighting setting color.

front view color

side view color

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