Phanteks Enthoo Luxe Tempered Glass Review
It's big and it's Black, and it's stuffed full of features. What more can we say? Well, Tom says I've got to say quite a bit more, as for some reason it's suspected that a lot of you ladies don't read the whole review, and simply skip from the introduction and Technical Specification straight to the conclusion. I've told him I don't believe that for a minute, but you know how he can be if he hasn't had his Cinnabon fix.
So, It's big and it's Black, but it also comes in Anthracite. There, is that enough??? No? apparently not. It's big and It's Black, it also comes in Anthracite and it has a full size Tempered Glass window? Better? What do you mean "Not really" Right then, here we go...It's big and it's Black and it also comes in Anthracite and has a full length Tempered glass window, and, it also has room for anything from M-ITX all the way up to E-ATX, GPUs up to 347mm long, CPU coolers up to 193mm high, and PSUs up to 318mm long. It has two racks of three 3.5" drives, and three external 5.25" drives. For the SSD lovers it has four quick detach, sorry, "Drop-N-Lock" mounts, two of which are show off and two of which are hidden round the back, not forgetting that each of those six 3.5" drives can also double as a 2.5" drive tray. It has very impressive, and we mean very impressive cable management, with both plenty of grommeted management holes as well as 27mm of room at the rear and loads of branded Phanteks velcr....sorry,"Hoop-N-Loop" attachment points. Hell, even the accessories box contains additional "Hoop-N-Loops". While we're on the subject of the accessories box, we should add that all the screws you'll need for a build come separated in a small plastic divided box. Also included are separate pump and reservoir mounts. The Luxe also has its cooling pretty well sorted. Out of the box you get 2x140mm fans in the front, 1x140mm fan in the rear, and 1x140mm fan in the roof. There is though scope for up to 3x140mm fans in the roof. Aaaaaand breath...And then we get to the water cooling. Yes ladies the Luxe will take a 420mm rad in the roof. Now we say that like it's a big thing, but to be honest it actually is, you see, we can't honestly remember having reviewed a case that will take a 420 in the roof. That's not where the story ends though, as you can also fit a fat 240 in the front. Add in a PWM controlled multi point fan power distribution point and you have all the makings of a great case.
So that's it, all sorted. Well not quite. You see, there's something that's bugging us about the Luxe. It took us a while to work it out, but when we did, it stared at us like a turd in a punch bowl. you see, the Luxe is something of an anachronism. Sure, it has all the modern styling cues, the tempered glass, the sand blasted Aluminium finish, the sleek aesthetic, but there's something about it that is lost in time. That nagging something, if you haven't already worked it out for yourselves is the massive rack of 3.5" drives at the front, coupled with no less than three 5.25" drives. These things just aren't needed anymore, they're a throwback to times long forgotten. In some ways this case is the automotive equivalent of a brand new car that not only has a heads up sat nav display and a digitally interfaced climate control system, but also has a slot in the dash just under the full colour LCD display for you to poke audio cassettes into. Granted, somebody might find them handy, for playing "Now that's what I call music Vol.2"(great album by the way), but for the greater part it ruins the aesthetic and takes up valuable real estate on the dashboard.
So, we're sitting there, looking at this case, and wondering why they've done it, why have they included 6x3.5" and 3x5.25" drives in the front? and to be honest we've been feeling like giving this case a proper slating. Then we noticed that pretty much the entire case, if not the actual entire case, is assembled with screws and not rivets. This in itself is a wondrous sight to behold, (if you don't know why, you really shouldn't be here), and it got us thinking...It got our modding senses tingling. By the looks of it, it would be pretty easy to take out the 3.5" drive racks, whip the off the roof (ok, so 15 screws is not "pretty easy", but it's a damn site easier than drilling and re riveting), and then take out the 3.5" rack support panel and 5.25" drive area. What you're left with then is an absolutely massive space in which you can mount pretty much any radiator your little heart desires. Oh, I think this case might be on for an enthusiast grade award. Out of the box it's good, damn good, if a little lost in time, but give it a little TLC and a bit of a fettle and you have something that could be truly awesome. Oh, and did we mention the integrated 3 mode 10 colour exterior LED lighting that will work with compatible LED Motherboards such as the ASUS Aura and of course Phanteks LED strips?