When you see as many cases as the editors of Hardware.Info, a case has to be pretty remarkable in order to stand out. Of course we can appreciate good cooling performance or silent operation and these can easily be seen when looking at the graphs. And we cannot deny that the past ten years saw a lot of improvements to the computer case, even though the form factors have been the same for years. However, steady improvement and evolution is something you get used to. And so, Phanteks did something truly remarkable with the Evolv Shift X: pulling multiple editors away from their desk in order to be able to take a closer look.
To be fair, the Evolv Shift X does very little for the first time. The vertical orientation and the easily removable four panels were seen before with the SilverStone Fortress FT03 – although that was a micro-ATX case with a slightly higher price tag. Thick aluminium and tempered glass are things that Phanteks pioneered in, but they were definitely not the only ones and these are commonplace in the luxury class right now. Good looking Mini-ITX-cases are no longer rare, just as little as models with room for water cooling; expertly finished or user friendly cases are not special either. The thing that makes the Evolv Shift X remarkable, is that it brings all of this together in a single product, where a nearly perfect balance was found in size, form and function.
If there is one case that really makes pc enthusiasts think about whether or not they truly need an ATX-case, it is this one. With more than enough room for storage, a full sized graphics card, double all-in-one water coolers or a custom loop if so desired, easy installation and an outstanding finish this is the computer case of the future in our opinion: compact, powerful and aesthetically justified. We more heavily take into account that it is pretty quiet; the cooling performance is less of an aspect considering our Mini-ITX test setup does not account for the added value of water cooling (this is something we have to change).
Finally looking at the price, it is not extraordinarily high for a Mini-ITX case with these features, materials and finish. In short: if you are looking for something truly remarkable for a powerful yet modest – even elegant – system, you cannot avoid the new Evolv Shift X.