I've had my hands on quite a few cases in the past few years. Needless to say, this is one of my favorites so far, and its sheer simplicity is something to marvel at. It is just an excellent design for the most part. The first thing I noticed is the location of the power switches, as well as the front USB 2.0 ports. These are actually on top of the chassis. The only disadvantage to this is if you're trying to remove a stubborn USB cord from the port, you can easily hit the power and reset buttons, so a little bit more care is needed when dealing with these ports.
The side fan is one monstrosity on which Enermax certainly did their homework. It's quiet, it moves a lot of air, and it's in a perfect location for providing fresh air to passive coolers on a motherboard and your high end graphics card. It's also reversible with the flick of a switch, so if the inside of your case gets very warm you could pull all that warm air out of the case, decreasing temperatures and increasing cooling effectiveness buy reducing the amount of exhausted air circulating through the system.
I think my fondness of the Phoenix goes without saying. Its simple design is almost perfection, without all the flashy lights and huge window (which is an option). It offers everything the standard user could use, and its design offers both simplicity and functionality.
Large side panel fan, great for passive heat sinks.
Tool-less hard drive sliders work great, and are positioned to catch the most airflow.
Decent price tag at around $70.
Power and reset can easily be pressed while removing a USB device.
Only 3 hard drives can be held in the sliders; what about RAID 2 setups?
Side panel fan may cause compatibility issues with large heat sinks.
Top two optical drives are not tool-less, while the bottom three drives have the tool-less design.
Anyone looking at getting a simple and effective case should definitely check out the Phoenix from Enermax, It offers simple looks and excellent functionality and is a great base for any computer system. It can fool others into believing you have a good computer. I installed my Pentium 3 system in the Phoenix and gave it to my roommate; as he thought he was getting a new computer, I was dying of laughter. Looks can be deceiving; this case is a prime example of that.
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