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Phanteks Enthoo Mini XL review

Richard Easton
7 Mar 2015
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
144
inc VAT

The Enthoo Mini XL has a top-notch specification, but you certainly pay for it

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Specifications

Case type: microATX, Motherboard compatibility: microATX, mini-ITX, Supplied fans: 3x 140mm, Max 3 1/2in drive bays: 6, Max 5 1/4in drive bays: 3, Size: 260x480x550mm, Weight: 13.8kg, Warranty: Five years RTB

The Phanteks Enthoo Mini XL’s name is certainly misleading, as this isn't a small case. It may be designed for microATX motherboards, but at 260x480x550mm it’s as big as some full ATX cases. The Mini XL has aluminium faceplates and a steel chassis and feels very well made.

The Mini XL’s real appeal is to anyone who might want to completely disassemble and reassemble a case to their own specification, letting them set the case up for optimum airflow. For this reason it is mainly held together with screws instead of the more common rivets. There are plenty of options for installing liquid cooling radiators, too.

The Enthoo Mini XL is certainly expensive, but the premium price does mean you’re not left wanting for accessories, with plenty of screws and brackets included. Phanteks also includes two strip LEDs for those looking to inject a bit of illumination into their build. There’s a convenient LED controller for turning the illumination on and off, and you can also cycle through 10 different colours.

The left side panel is a split-window design. One large window shows off your motherboard and components, while a second smaller one shows off any installed SSDs – SSDs are usually hidden away, so this is a nice touch. The Mini XL will take either microATX or Mini-ITX motherboards and there is plenty of space for a large graphics card and CPU cooler. With the hard disk cages installed you have 290mm of graphics card clearance (enough for all but the monstrous AMD Radon HD 295 X2), and this rises to over 400mm if you remove the cage. There is 210mm of clearance above the CPU for a huge cooler.

The Mini XL comes with two 140mm fans installed in the front of the case and one in the rear. You can supplement the rear fan with a second 140mm model. The top and bottom of the case have mounts for three 120mm or two 140mm fans each. There are a further two 120mm mounting points on the side and another two 120mm points to fit fans pointing at the hard disk cages, so you can really go overboard on the cooling if you wish.

We were pleased to see that the top, front and bottom fan mounts all have removable dust filters. With all the drive cages fitted, you can install up to six 3.5in or 2.5in drives and there are three 5 1/4in external bays for optical drives or memory card readers.

If you're after a well-designed case with huge scope for customisation, the Enthoo Mini XL is a very impressive option. Those wanting to build a microATX system who don’t want to go wild with their own case design would be better off with the far cheaper Corsair Carbide Series Air 240, however. 

Hardware
USB ports0
USB3 ports2
eSATA ports0
Front panel extrasLED controller
Case typemicroATX
Motherboard compatibilitymicroATX, mini-ITX
Fan mounts4x 120mm, 8x 120/140mm
Supplied fans3x 140mm
Max 2 1/2in drive bays8
Max 3 1/2in drive bays6
Max 5 1/4in drive bays3
Other drive bays0
Max graphics card length390mm
Size260x480x550mm
Weight13.8kg
Buying information
Price including VAT£144
WarrantyFive years RTB
Supplierwww.scan.co.uk
Detailswww.phanteks.com
Part codePH-ES414M_BK

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