Let me start by saying that I am not a Phanteks fanboy and that this is my first building experience using a Phanteks case. In fact I have always considered myself to be more of a Corsair fanboy. With that said; I was blown away by the Phanteks Evolv ATX case. This was one of the fastest easiest builds I have done to date! I enjoy building gaming pcs but I usually build them for customers. After the recent birth of my third son (giving me three boys ages 4 and under) I took a bit of a break from building gaming pcs. I was doing what little gaming I could on an Alienware laptop and for the most part it was enjoyable (minus the burns on my lap) but with the new GPUs coming out I knew I wanted to move back to a powerful desktop and ditch the underpowered laptop. I always enjoy playing with new stuff, as most pc builders do, and I am fortunate enough to be able to build and sell gaming pcs as a hobby. This allows me to frequently try out new components. After selling the Alienware laptop I was finally able to build a nice gaming setup for myself.
This build was designed with one thing in mind; 1440p gaming. I considered getting a GTX 1080 but with no plans to game at resolutions above 1440p I decided that the 1070 was a better fit for me and that the cost savings would allow me to put some money towards aesthetics (I know… I know… as a gamer I should put my money into the GPU but I like things to look nice too). I did, however, purchase an EVGA card so if I decide I want to go with a GTX 1080 I can take advantage of their Step-up program. I went back and forth between the Corsair 400C and the Phanteks Evolv ATX but when it came down to it I really wanted to go for a more unique look with a different style and I wanted something a little bigger with more cooling options. This was my first experience with a Phanteks case and I really love how it turned out. Building in this case was very simple and pretty much effortless. I would recommend this case to anyone! The ease of my build can also be attributed to the Gigabyte motherboard because it has an awesome retaining clip ( called the "G Connector") for the front panel connectors that basically makes that part of the build very simple. This is something I wish more motherboard manufacturers would embrace and I was shocked that my $85 board included this; well played Gigabyte! As soon as I selected this case I knew that I wanted to go with an AIO liquid CPU cooler as my go-to air cooler (Hyper 212 Evo) is nothing special to look at. I had a lightly used H100i sitting around so I decided to use it in this build. I know that the H100i is overkill for a locked CPU but I love the cooler temps and low noise. For my color scheme I went with black/red which I know tends to be overdone but it is the easiest color scheme to find matching components for. If I could find quality components, I would love to go with a black/green build but maybe I will get to that down the road. I like how this Gigabyte board has a red light strip built right into it.
Future Upgrades: - Use the EVGA Step-Up program to get a GTX 1080 - Additional memory (if I decide to use this for video rendering)
Great CPU for gaming and video editing/rendering. Perfect match for H170 motherboards.
I had this as a hold-over from a previous build and I have never had and issues with it. If I were to buy a new cooler I would look at the H100i Extreme. The updated Corsair Link software is much better than previous versions. I know this is overkill for a locked CPU but I am very picky about my temps and it looks great with my color theme.
I go back and forth between G.Skill and Corsair memory but you can usually find this set for under $60 and that is hard to pass up.
My "go to" SSD has been the Samsung 850 EVO but I stumbled upon this little gem on a newegg sale and decided to try it. After purchasing it I read a few articles that showed how close in performance this is when compared to the 850 EVO. I was able to get it at a much lower cost; so far I am impressed.
Great card so far; no coil whine at all and it handles 1440p like a champ. The only gripe I have with it is the aesthetics; In my humble opinion it is rather ugly but some people like it. I wish the led color was changeable like it is on the higher end (classified) model.
I can honestly say that this is the best case I have ever built in and I have been building pcs for 15 years now. Cable management was a breeze and this case in incredibly solid. Having the side panel on swing out hinges is awesome. I would highly recommend this case to anyone; even first time builders. The price may seem a little steep but I can honestly say that you get what you pay for with this case.
jonnyguru give this a perfect 10/10; need I say any more? So many people skip when it comes to selecting a PSU but it really is one of the most important components in the pc. EVGA has outstanding customer support and this PSU has an amazing warranty!
Like I mentioned before; I consider myself to be somewhat of a Corsair fan-boy (no pun intended) but I have used the AF and SP fans for a few years now and I have been happy with them for the price. If money was no object (and the fans were not visible) I would go Noctua all the way but these do the job and look great.