A Look Inside
We go ahead and remove and carefully set aside all four panels just like the first giving us complete access to the internals of the Shift X. One very nice feature is that all of the thumbscrews are captive. If you’re like me and you have a habit of losing thumb screws, this feature eliminates that entirely.
With the panels removed you are basically left with a bare skeletal chassis. On the back you will find a cut out for the PSU and some SSD mounts, the front has radiator/fan/HDD mounts.
We find the miniature motherboard tray at the very top of the case. There is a 140mm exhaust fan directly right of the motherboard as well as a channel below it for cable routing. To the left is a cutout with a thin riser cable snaking through.
Following the cable we find it leads to a PCIe slot mounted horizontally on the back side of the motherboard tray. This mount means that the card is attached at the top right on the back side of the I/O panel from the motherboard. It also means that you can install graphics cards of basically any length. You are unfortunately restricted to cards up to dual slot in width. The bracket that the card installs in can itself be installed in either direction allowing you to show off whichever side of the card you like. It also accommodates GPU blocks and the required fittings and tubing.
The tray at the bottom of the motherboard actually flips down for access. There are two small cutouts with grommets in the bottom as well as a tie down.
On what is sort of the back of the case you will find the PSU mounting area as well as the partial PSU cover. Phanteks claims that the Shift X supports full size ATX power supplies up to 160mm however with the short height of the cover there is now way to fit a full size PSU into the space provided. While it may be possible you will certainly have to abandon the shroud.
At the very bottom of the case is another 140mm fan set as intake. Unfortunately there isn’t a fan controller included with the Shift X and they must be plugged into the motherboard or otherwise powered with an adapter (not included) from your PSU. This is especially problematic since we are limited to Mini ITX motherboards which typically have few fan connectors. Below the fan is a removable dust filter.
Opposite the PSU mounting area are cutouts for additional cooling or HDDs. There are three 120mm cut outs with support for all radiator sizes up to 360mm. There are also holes for mounting two traditional HDDs, unfortunately you must choose if you would like drives or cooling installed as they share the same mounting position.
With the case you will receive three additional items. A full color high quality manual, the small guide to unpacking the case, and a little brown box containing the accessories. The manual that comes with the Shift X is so far above and beyond anything I’ve received with any PC product it’s astounding. High gloss print combined with full color 3D images to deliver an unmatched installation experience. It really adds to the feeling that this is a high end chassis.
Unpacking that little brown box we find a few nice items. An 8 pin extension cable, soft foam pads to serve as feet when displaying the case on it’s side, several zip ties, a Phanteks logo, a box full of screws, a watercooling pump bracket, and a contact card. I always love the touch of the plastic parts organizer that comes with all Phanteks cases, not a bad little round up.