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These recordings were made with a high resolution, lab quality, digital recording
system inside SPCR's own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber, then converted to
LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no
audible degradation from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent
a quick snapshot of what we heard during the review.
Each recording starts with ambient noise, then 10 second segments of product
at various states. For the most realistic results,
set the volume so that the starting ambient level is just barely audible, then
don't change the volume setting again while comparing all the sound files.
Our favorite feature of the Enthoo Primo is the fan control hub which provides
PWM control for multiple 3-pin fans. It's an elegant alternative to the physical
knobs found on most high-end cases. The included fans have exceptional acoustics
but we wish Phanteks had used bigger 18 or 20 cm models as there is adequate
room in the huge case. The front fans could also have been positioned higher
to better cool graphics cards, but instead they give way to 5 x 5.25 inch bays
which are quickly going out of fashion. Having the front fan LEDs controlled
in conjunction with the exterior lighting is a neat idea though it would be
more practical to use regular fans and have an additional light strip running
around them. It's a strategy designed to sell more of their LED fans.
There are nice touches not found in most of its competitors. The power supply
placement is not only isolated from the rest of the components, its side-mounted
orientation provides a more open intake point. If you happen to have a carpeted
floor, you won't have to worry as much about the PSU fan begging clogged up
with debris. The 2.5 inch drive trays attached to the right side of the 5.25
inch bays is a clever use of otherwise wasted space. The velcro straps behind
the motherboard tray and the box of segregated screws brought smiles to our
faces. It shows a high level of consideration for the user experience.
The vibration-prone drive cages are our biggest complaint. Stacked atop each
other and secured to the 5.25 inch bays and case floor with thumbscrews, they
are firmly supported only in one plane. An outer support frame would make a
world of difference, but the modular design was necessary to allow front mounting
of a radiator. There's another flaw close by the removable reservoir
bracket has to be taken out if a graphics card of any appreciable length is
The Phanteks Enthoo Primo isn't your average oversized enthusiast tower. With
multiple installation points for reservoirs, radiators, and even a pump, the
Primo is clearly optimized for watercooling. We're not talking about those integrated
liquid CPU cooling units but rather complete, custom loops. Given our inexperience
in this area and lack of appropriate hardware for testing, it's tough for us
to properly judge how well the Primo works for its raison d'être.
What we can tell you is that if you assemble an all-air-cooled system, you will
not be making full use of the Enthoo's extensive capabilities for water cooling.
Our thanks to Phanteks for the Enthoo Primo case sample.
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this article in the SPCR Forums.
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