Phantek Enthoo Mini XL Super Micro Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


A few months ago, I reviewed the gorgeous Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV Micro-Tower Chassis and I loved it enough to award it with our Editors Choice Award. This week, we’ve gone a lot further up the Phanteks range, to take a look at their mighty Mini XL Now, the world mini might not imply that this is a big chassis, but it certainly isn’t mini at all, and we’ll show you why that is in just a moment.

Features

Enthoo Mini XL includes 2 x 140mm fan in front and 1 x 140mm fan in the rear. Ability to upgrade to additional fans is possible. All fans included are Phanteks’ new redesigned and better performing SP series fans.

Appearance

  • Sandblasted aluminum faceplates with matte finish
  • Multi-color LED light strips
  • Stealth interior design

Cooling

  • Extreme cooling capacity
  • Support for up to 14x 120mm / 8x 140mm
  • Comes with 3 Phanteks premium fans
  • PWM fan hub plus 2x y-splitters allow for 8 fan connections* (11 fans max with additional y-splitters sold separately)
  • Extensive water cooling support. Provides up to 5 different installation areas for slim and thick radiators varying from single to triple (120mm and 140mm form factors). Clearance for push-pull fan configurations.

Functionality

  • Dual removable harddrive cages
  • 2x removable Drop-N-Lock SSD brackets
  • Fully equipped with dustfilters (1x top, 1x front, 2x bottom)
  • Removable top panel for easy fan installation and dust filter cleaning
  • Compartment for fan installation in top panel
  • Clean cable management using Phanteks’ preinstalled Hoop-N-Loop cable ties
  • Mod friendly structure uses screws NOT rivets
  • 10 color ambient lighting controller
  • 2x USB 3.0, microphone, 3.5mm audio jack

The Mini XL comes with support for Micro-ATX motherboards, despite being a little bigger than most mid-towers and almost as tall as some full-towers. It also comes with support, through the purchase of some additional brackets which I have at my disposal today, for mini-ITX motherboards. What’s important to mention is that this isn’t an either-or situation, as it’ll support both a Micro-ATX and a Mini-ITX motherboard simultaneously!

“The MINI XL introduces a new form factor, super micro ATX. With its unique power supply location, the Mini XL case has been redesigned with optimal cooling in mind. Resembling the Enthoo Primo, it offers extensive water-cooling possibilities and supports the thickest radiators in the market (80mm). The case brings modularity to a new level. Almost every single panel or bracket can be removed or relocated to serve different purposes. For the ones who desire even more, the Mini XL leaves options for additional upgrades. Pherhaps the most interesting one is the possibility to transform the MINI XL into a dual motherboard system.” – Phanteks

One of the biggest features of this chassis is its water cooling support and the best way to demonstrate this would be the video below. It’s obvious that water cooling enthusiasts are going to love this chassis!

In the box, you get everything you need to get you started, from hard drive and water cooling adaptor brackets, as well as a lovely mini component box for all the screws you’re ever likely to require.

First things first, I’m pretty sure this chassis is coated in some kind of military grade paint used for stealth jets. In a well-lit room with a camera flash for extra light, it still manages to look dark black; that’s not a bad thing, but it’s terrible for some of my photographs. The left side panel features two windows, the larger one on the left, then a smaller one on the right to show off two extra SSD mounts and the Phanteks logo on the inside of the chassis; a great way to show off your fancy SSDs.

The right side panel comes with two ventilated sections with magnetic dust filters on the interior. The one near the front can be used for cooling fans or radiators, or just passive cooling for the hard drive bays dependent on your internal configuration of choice. The section at the rear is for the PSU, which is side mounted in the top right of the chassis.

The front panel looks really cool, with a mixture of curved edges and bold shapes. You can see that the has an extended took to it, with the main section sort of floating from the bottom and right sides of the chassis, which comes with a ten colour LED light strip, further adding to that “floating” effect. This extended design means the chassis is quite wide, but that will help drastically with radiator support, as well as the dual motherboard configurations that are compatible.

Around the back, you’ll see all kinds of crazy things going on. There’s a PSU mount in the top left corner, a universal 120/140mm spacing fan and radiator mount on the right, then down at the bottom you have your Micro-ATX motherboard mounting. Now, it’s worth mentioning that the radiator panel as well as the small panel in the bottom right corner can be unscrewed completely, lifted out of the chassis and replaced with an alternative panel to allow you to install an SFX PSU and Mini-ITX motherboard on top of all the usual hardware; don’t worry, we’ll be doing that shortly.

The top panel is vast, allowing huge amounts of ventilated airflow for a wide range of fan and radiator configurations as you saw in the video at the start of this review.

The front panel is tucked to the right side of the top of the chassis and comes with the usual power controls, two USB 3.0 ports and HD Audio jacks.

Instead of smaller feet, the chassis has two long feet that run the full length of the chassis, giving it extra stability; There are six tough rubber pads to help keep it firmly planted on your surface of choice. There are two dust filters that cover the full length of the chassis, and what’s really nice is that these filters can be removed from the left side of the chassis, making maintenance a much easier task.

ASUS Created Safer CPU Installation for Their Z170 Boards

Not every user that builds PC systems is equally skilled and bent pins have been a problem on Intel motherboards for quite some time thanks to that. The research and development department at ASUS also noticed that and the amount of warranty cases they have in this regards and as a result they came up with the new CPU installation tool.

The new CPU mounting system will be available on the companies Z170 motherboard and are due to be launched very soon and that I’m sure some of our readers already have their eyes on and wallets in their hands – they do look amazing.

The new system works by placing the CPU bottom side up and sliding it into a CPU bracket first. Then that bracket is placed onto the socket before finally being secured with the ledge. With the new bracket, it’s only possible to put the CPU in the way it also fits and it should help reduce the amount of warranty cases that come in with bent pins.

ASUS Hong Kong shared this on their Facebook page without much more information, but I think we can safely assume that this new mounting system will make its way onto their entire range and not just the flagship boards.I b

Corsair Releases Hydro Series HG10 GPU Liquid Cooling Bracket

Corsair announced the immediate availability of the Hydro Series HG10 A1 Edition GPU liquid cooling bracket for AMD Radeon R9 290X and 290 graphics cards. The HG10 isn’t just an AIO bracket with a fan, it’s also a heatsink at the same time, a thing that has been missing on current competitor offers.

You can combine a Corsair AIO cooler with this black anodized aluminium bracket to create an effective full-coverage GPU liquid cooling solution for all the vital parts of your graphics card. Adhesive heat-transfer pads have been aligned to cover RAM and VRMs while a fan blows cold air over the entire PCB in the same fashion a reference cooler would; but a lot less force is needed and a huge sound reduction is achieved.

The HG10 solution is said to be so effective that it can drop peak temperatures as much as 50 degrees while having significant lower noise levels. This should eliminate any form of thermal throttling as well as increase the overclocking headroom.

It also looks like the fan is a lot easier to remove and clean than what we’ve seen up until now on the Kraken G10, a small but very useful feature.

The Hydro Series HG10 A1 Edition GPU liquid cooling bracket is designed to support all stock reference versions of AMD Radeon R9 290X and 290X graphics cards. A full list of compatible cards can be found at corsair.com. New HG10 editions compatible with NVIDIA GeForce Titan, 7 Series, and other GPUs will be available in early 2015.

The MSRP is set to just $39.99 and should be available now or very shortly.

Thanks to Corsair for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Corsair

Sapphire R9 270X Toxic Vs NZXT Kraken Cooling Review

Introduction


Managing the thermal performance of a graphics card is no easy task, manufacturers extensively research their cooling solutions in a bid to offer the best performance and value vs their competitors products. Most graphics cards are created equal; take the Sapphire R9 270X that we have here today, it features a chip that is pretty much the same as any other R9 270X, but it also features one of the best coolers in its class. The extra cooling performance that Sapphires’ Tri-X cooler gives, allows the card to be overclocked for increased performance. Overclocking can make the card more powerful, but this also means it’ll generate more heat and you’ll have to add a better cooler. By adding a better cooler you reduce the heat of the card and leave more room for overclocking and so the cycle continues.

Overclocking is one reason for running a high-end cooler, but there are other benefits, as a more efficient after-market cooler can often run quieter than a stock cooler; lets not forget the fact that keeping your hardware from overheating can improve its lifespan. Today I’m going to be taking the NZXT Kraken G10 graphics card mount, which allows you to connect an Asetek water cooling unit directly to the GPU for improved cooling performance, and today we’re going to be doing that with the help of the NZXT Kraken X40 140mm AIO water cooler.

The G10 is a simple enough device and comes packaged in a small box, with a nice image of a cooler mounted to a GPU.

In the box you’ll find a simple instruction guide, two rubber blocks, the GPU back plate/screws, the metal frame of the bracket and an 80mm fan.

NZXT Kraken G10 Bracket Now Available in Red and Blue

The NZXT Kraken G10 GPU bracket has already proven very popular with system builders, as it allows you to hook up your GPU to an AIO water cooler such as the Kraken X60, leaving lots of room for overclocking, offering improved temperatures and lower acoustics. The bracket has been available for a little while now in both black and white, but the company has re-released the cooling bracket in red and blue colours.

The cooling bracket is still compatible with most Asetek made coolers, in fact nothing other than the colour has been changed since the original release, but for those trying to colour match their system build, it could be a great addition to their system.

It is compatible with all the popular coolers from Thermaltake, Corsair, NZXT and more, perfect for taming the Radeon R9 290X, GTX 780 Ti and more. Both of the new coolers are available from major online retailers for just $29.99 each.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of TechPowerUp.