It is great to see Phanteks update their Evolv Shift case. The overall design of the case remains very much the same, but some changes have been made. The internal layout is slightly different, the side panels have been improved, you now get an RGB fan and much more. The case itself is absolutely beautiful with its tempered glass side panels an anodized aluminum front and rear panels. Phanteks has updated the side panels so they are no rivets in them, which overall looks much better.
It is really impressive that Phanteks has come up with such a great looking case that it also very functional. Building inside the case is pretty easy, even though you have limited space. You are going to want to be sure to follow the instructions so you don’t run into any issues. It was a bit frustrating to install our graphics card and motherboard and then realize I could not access the PCI-Express power connections on my graphics card so I have to remove everything to connect them. I think with any mini-ITX build if you make a mistake you have to basically take everything out. I really like that this case supports not only long graphics cards, but 2.9 slot cards as well. So many ITX cases will support long graphics cards, but only ones that are strictly 2-slot. There are not a whole lot of after-market cards that are 2-slot.
When it comes to cooling Phanteks includes a single 140 mm cooling fan and you have the option to install two more (rear & bottom) or install one more and a 120 mm radiator. Cooling in this case is not the best and that is expected with the two glass side panels and solid front and rear panels. There is not a whole lot of ventilation on the case and in our testing things did get a bit toasty. We had an air-cooled build and I think if you are going that route you might want to pickup the “Air” version of this case that comes with two mesh side panels instead of the tempered glass. Air CPU cooling options are limited as you can only install CPU coolers up to 85 mm, which really limits you to low-profile coolers. Even the AMD Wraith Prism cooler is too large for this case. I think that adding a 120 mm AiO for your CPU would be a great option, although it would have been nice to see at least a 2nd fan included with the case.
Overall I really like the Phanteks Evolv Shift 2 and as I mentioned they have improved a lot over the original. Right now you can pick up the Evolv Shift 2 at our favorite online retailer for $99.99, which is a great price considering the materials and what you can install in this case. Overall ThinkComputers gives the Phanteks Evolv Shift 2 Case an 8 out of 10 score.
– Sleek and stylish design
– Tempered glass and aluminum panels
– Supports long and 2.9-slot graphics cards
– Pretty easy to build in
– RGB controller included
– Only room for CPU coolers up to 85 mm
– Not the best thermal performance
– Only a single fan included