PC Components

PHANTEKS Enthoo Primo Review – A Big Tower for Custom Water Cooling

The Enthoo Primo is a Big-Tower case from Phanteks and is thanks to its great design and extensive support for custom water cooling almost a classic. With five pre-installed 140 mm fans, the Full Tower has good cooling ex works, but with the option of accommodating up to two 480 mm radiators, the Enthoo Primo is predestined for water cooling.

The Enthoo Primo is also very spacious, modular and visually eye-catching. For this reason, Roman “der8auer” Hartung, overclocking legend and world record holder, has chosen the Enthoo Primo Big-Tower as the case for his “Full-Auto”-System Enthoo Primo Big-Tower>. In this review we took a closer look at the >em> Big-Tower and built a custom water cooling system into the case.

Design

The design is rather simple in my eyes and underlines the functionality of the big tower. A large mesh surface characterizes the top side, the drive bays in the front are hidden behind a flap and a window allows insights into the interior of the Enthoo Primo. A mirrored “L” gives the Tower a special touch in the front view and at the same time serves as ventilation. A RGB LED illumination is built into the right side. This can be controlled at the push of a button on the case or via the corresponding software of the motherboard manufacturer if the LEDs are connected to the LED header of the motherboard.

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Scope of Delivery

Beside the Tower there is the accessory box in the package, which you are used to with Phanteks housings. Further accessories in the form of a pump and AGB holder are also included and everything is well packed so that unpacking is all the more fun. In our case, the Enthoo Primo arrived with the Phanteks Glacier-GPU-Watercooler, which was also used.

Workmanship

The workmanship is first class as usual from Phanteks! You don’t really have to mention more at this point.

Equipment

As Big-Tower the Enthoo Primo is compatible with motherboards up to the E-ATX form factor as well as a lot of drives, fans, radiators and overlong gaming graphics cards. Five 140mm PH-F140SP fans (max. 1,200 rpm; 19dB(A)) are pre-installed and a total of up to 13 fans fit into the tower:

  • 2x 140/120 mm (front side)
  • 2x 140/120 mm (rear)
  • 2x 120 mm (HDD cage)
  • 2x 140/120 mm (right side panel)
  • 3x 140 / 4x 120 mm (cover)
  • 2x 140 / 4x 120 mm (floor)

Since the class primus is predestined for custom water cooling, the installation of radiators is supported as follows:

  • 1x max. 240 mm (front side)
  • 1x max. 140 mm (back side)
  • 1x max. 240 mm (right side panel)
  • 1x max. 480/280 mm (cover)
  • 1x max. 480/280 mm (floor)

Up to five optical drives can be installed, which shows the Primo’s age. Two removable drive cages can hold three 2.5″ or 3.5″ media each and up to four SSDs can be added ex factory. Two additional SSDs can be installed using optional SSD brackets.

If you want to install a radiator with a length of 360 or 480 mm in the lid or base, you should first check whether these are narrow enough to fit behind the panel on the left side. Normally, however, this should not be a problem. Note, however, that the lower drive cage must be removed to accommodate a triple or quad radiator in the floor.

System Construction in the Enthoo Primo

Let’s start with unpacking and planning the final construction of the custom water cooling system. Of course, it has already been checked exactly what will be used. But now that the Tower is there, you can plan exactly how the hardtubes should run. The components, most of which have already been installed in another system beforehand, are prepared. Everything is put together and checked for completeness one last time. One thing is certain: a 280 mm radiator will be installed on the floor and a 240 mm radiator will be installed in the front. The lid becomes the home of a very thick 420 mm heat exchanger.

First the fans and radiators are installed before the first expansion tank (AGB, reservoir) for the coolant is installed. In principle, the order of installation doesn’t matter and every tinkerer will develop his own style over time. Since the Tower is very spacious, the installation is quick and without cursing. 140 mm fans are installed in front of all radiators.

When installing the mainboard you can see how much space the Big-Tower offers. Around the E-ATX mainboard there are rubberized cable bushings, which facilitate cable management enormously. In addition, there is plenty of space between the radiator and the motherboard, so there is no problem with the RAM. Together with the mainboard, the Phanteks Glacier GPU water cooler retrofitted with the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Aorus is also installed directly.

The water pump is installed hidden in front of the power supply and for reasons a second AGB was installed behind the radiator in the front. The cover on the left side, which covers the front area of the Enthoo Primos, means that the radiator and reservoir will not be visible in the front later and the space can also be used to hide cables. By the way, the power supply unit is installed on top of the car and draws in air through the right side panel. Now all components of the custom loop are at their destination and you can start laying the hardtubes.

Here are two pictures from the back showing how much space is available for cables. It still looks a bit disordered, but the cable management is done at the end when it is certain that everything is working. The integrated fan hub is also clearly visible in the pictures

The (almost) finished system with a red-white-black colour scheme is very impressive and thanks to the oversupply of space, the installation went quickly and without the need for minor conversion work.

Conclusion

I myself already knew the Enthoo Primo Big-Tower from the Caseking system integration and was often allowed to see how ingenious individual pieces for customers were installed in the tower. Roman “der8auer” Hartung did not choose the case for nothing to house one of his extreme systems. I therefore recommended the Tower to a good friend and he was totally thrilled. The installation of the hardware was a lot of fun for him and he was surprised by the space for cables and the accompanying installation. As a PC enthusiast, he has over 20 years of experience in PC crafting and has assembled many systems, mostly in midi towers. The system construction in the Enthoo Primo was one of his favourite projects!

Phanteks Enthoo Primo

Cable Management
Features
Water Cooling Support
Cooling
Workmanship
Value for Money

Great!

A big tower, made for the installation of a custom water cooling system. Lots of space, clever design. Top!

Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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