What steps are involved in installing a custom water cooling loop in a Phanteks Enthoo Evolv X case?

12 June 2024

The Phanteks Enthoo Evolv X case stands as a paragon of PC chassis design, where aesthetics meet functionality to provide an optimal environment for high-performance builds. With its tempered glass side panels and elegant design, the Enthoo Evolv X is a favorite among enthusiasts. One of the most appealing features of this case is its aptitude for custom water cooling solutions, allowing system builders to achieve superior cooling efficiency and a visually striking setup.

Installing a custom water cooling loop in the Phanteks Enthoo Evolv X involves several meticulous steps to ensure effective airflow, optimal temps, and a polished look. This article will guide you through the detailed process, from planning your loop to final testing, ensuring you leave no stone unturned.

Planning Your Water Cooling Loop

Before diving into the physical assembly, meticulous planning is crucial. Your custom loop must be clearly mapped out to avoid any confusion or missteps during the build process.

First, consider the components that require cooling. Typically, these will include your CPU and graphics card. You may also opt to include RAM or motherboard VRMs, but this is less common. Identify the cooling blocks needed for these components.

Next, decide on the radiators' placement and sizes. The Phanteks Enthoo Evolv X supports multiple radiator sizes. A 360mm radiator can fit top, while a 280mm or 360mm radiator can fit the front. Using multiple radiators can greatly enhance cooling performance. Ensure the case's airflow is directed optimally, with fans configured to push warm air out and pull cool air in.

Choosing the right fans is also critical. High static pressure fans are recommended for radiators to maintain consistent airflow through the dense fin array. Brands like Noctua and Corsair provide excellent options.

Consider the water cooling components like the reservoir, pump, and fittings. A combined reservoir and pump unit can save space and simplify cable management. Ensure you have adequate tubing in your preferred material, whether it be soft or hard plastic.

Finally, plan your cable management. The Phanteks Enthoo Evolv X features a PSU shroud and plenty of routing holes, making it easier to keep your build clean. Proper cable management not only looks better but also improves airflow and cooling efficiency.

Prepping the Case and Components

With your plan in place, it’s time to prepare your Phanteks Enthoo Evolv X case and components for assembly. Start by laying out all your components: radiators, cooling blocks, pump, reservoir, tubing, and fans.

Begin with the case. Remove both tempered glass side panels, the front panel, and any additional covers or trays that might obstruct your build. This provides a clear workspace to install your components. Use a magnetic tray to keep screws and small parts organized.

Next, install any fans on the radiators if you haven’t done so already. Secure the radiators to the case in your pre-planned locations. Phanteks cases are known for their compatibility and will have pre-drilled mounting points for various radiator sizes. Ensure you use the correct screws to avoid damaging the radiator fins.

Mount the motherboard. The Enthoo Evolv X supports ATX, Micro-ATX, and Mini-ITX motherboards. Secure your motherboard with the standoffs included with the case. Connect the power supply (PSU) next, ensuring it’s securely fitted within the PSU shroud.

Attach the graphics cards or any additional PCIe devices to your motherboard. Ensure they are firmly seated and secured with screws to prevent any movement during installation.

Finally, route your cables and connectors. Use the dedicated channels and cutouts in the Enthoo Evolv X for cable management. This will ensure your build looks tidy and that airflow is unobstructed.

Assembling the Water Cooling Loop

With all components prepped and installed, it’s time to build the custom water cooling loop. This step requires patience and precision to avoid leaks and ensure optimal cooling performance.

Start by installing the water blocks on your CPU and graphics card. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for securing these blocks, ensuring good contact with thermal paste for efficient heat transfer. If you’re cooling additional components, like RAM or motherboard VRMs, install those blocks now.

Next, position your reservoir and pump within the case. The Phanteks Enthoo Evolv X provides several mounting options, allowing you to choose the most aesthetically pleasing and practical location. Secure these units firmly to prevent vibrations.

Connect the radiators to the pump and blocks using your tubing. If you’re using soft tubing, cut it to length with sharp scissors or a tubing cutter. For hard tubing, measure accurately and use a heat gun to bend it as needed. Double-check each connection, ensuring it’s secure with the appropriate fittings. Compression fittings are recommended for their ease of use and reliability.

Fill the loop with your chosen coolant. Use a funnel to minimize spills and fill the reservoir slowly. This process can take time, as air bubbles will need to escape from the loop. Use a leak tester or run the pump briefly without powering the entire system to check for leaks. If leaks occur, tighten fittings and check connections.

Once the loop is filled and leak-free, power on the pump continuously, allowing the coolant to circulate and dislodge any remaining air bubbles. This initial cycling is vital for achieving stable temps and preventing hot spots.

Testing and Final Touches

With the custom loop assembled and the coolant flowing, it’s time to test and fine-tune your setup. This phase ensures everything operates smoothly and optimally before closing the case.

First, power on your system and monitor the temperatures. Use software tools like HWMonitor or MSI Afterburner to track CPU and GPU temps. Ensure that all fans and the pump are operating correctly. If any component overheats, shut down the system immediately and inspect the water block contact and coolant flow.

Next, adjust your fan speeds and pump settings. Many modern motherboards and fan controllers allow you to customize speeds based on temperature readings. Set a profile that balances performance and noise levels to suit your preferences.

Reorganize your cable management if necessary. Ensure no cables obstruct airflow or touch any moving parts. Use zip ties or Velcro straps to secure loose cables.

Reattach the tempered glass side panels and the front panel. Ensure they are clean and free of fingerprints to maintain the case’s aesthetic appeal. The Phanteks Enthoo Evolv X comes with easy-to-remove panels, making this step straightforward.

Finally, add any additional touches, such as RGB LED lighting. The glass side panels of the Enthoo Evolv X allow for a brilliant display of internal components, and RGB lighting can highlight your build’s features. Use software or an RGB controller to customize the lighting to your taste.

Installing a custom water cooling loop in the Phanteks Enthoo Evolv X is a rewarding project that can significantly enhance your PC’s cooling performance and visual appeal. By meticulously planning your loop, preparing your components, and carefully assembling and testing the system, you can achieve a build that not only runs cool but looks stunning.

The Phanteks Enthoo Evolv X offers the perfect balance of functionality and aesthetics, making it an ideal choice for custom liquid cooling setups. With its versatile design, ample space, and features like tempered glass side panels and excellent cable management, this mid tower case is well-suited for enthusiasts looking to push their systems to the next level. By following these steps, you can confidently build a custom loop that showcases your hardware and maximizes performance.