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Need help deciding between P400S TG and Evolv ATX TG for case upgrade

This is my current setup:

CPU: I5-6600 non-k (upgrading to i7-6700k in July)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H80I V2
RAM: 4x8 GB Corsair Vengeance 3000 Mhz
GPU: MSI GTX 960
HDD: 1 7200 RPM hard drive and 1 SSD
PSU: EVGA 650 P2
Fan Setup (At the moment): 2x120 Corsair ML120 in front and H80I V2 with 2 Corsair ML120 in rear as exhaust

I am upgrading cases from my CM to either a P400S TG or Evolv ATX TG. I know they are very different price points but I can afford either and I was wondering if anyone who owns one or seen one could offer some advice on which to choose. I am also going to be getting Phanteks LED strips to help match my black/red build.

Also I wanted to make sure that my fan setup is adequate for my setup, when I get the 6700k I will be doing some overclocking, but not pushing the boundaries or doing anything crazy with custom water cooling loops.

I appreciate your help.
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  1. Best answer
    Between your two choice of cases, my vote would be for the Evolv ATX TG.

    Since you will be upgrading to an i7-6700K, chances are, you might want to also upgrade your AIO CPU Cooler to a 240mm-sized or 280mm-sized radiator to meet the temperature demands of overclocking. Here's the catch: the P400S TG does NOT have 240mm/280mm-sized rad support at the top (where the pump is nearest to). Using the P400S TG with a larger radiator, you are forced to install the rads at the front only. This means length issues (not to mention, aesthetic concerns) where the tubes would have to go from your CPU/Pump, crossing the motherboard and RAMs, some HDDs (if any) and towards the front. In the case of the Evolv ATX TG, a 240mm/280mm-sized rad can be installed at the top, which means cleaner looks and shorter tube distance from the pump.

    The cable management space is also wider in the Evolv ATX TG (with 35mm clearance) to work your cables into compared to the P400S TG (with only 25mm clearance).

    Generally, the Evolve ATX is a much larger case than the P400S, so you might want to check your physical desk layout if it fits.

    I think you won't have a problem with any of these two cases in terms of storage drive expansions as both offer a lot of 3.5" and 2.5" bay options.

    In terms of fan mounting location, the P400S comes with 2 included 120mm fan (at the front and at the rear) with a remaining 4 slots to fill up. You can add your 4 pcs of current Corsair ML120 fans there (2 at the top, 2 remaining at the front). For the Evolv ATX, there are 3 included 140mm fans (2 at the front and 1 at the rear) with a remaining 3x 120mm fan slots at the top where you will be possibly mounting your future 240mm AIO. You can use your current Corsair ML120's in Push/Pull configuration once you have bought a 240mm AIO to be installed in that top slot.

    Also, aesthetically subjective, the Evolv offers an classy Aluminum panel/look compared to the P400S with plastic exterior. Both cases have steel chassis though.

    Hope these pointers help :)
  2. I appreciate the answer. All really good points, I will wait and see if anyone else has any other opinions before picking a solution!

    One question though, is a bigger rad really 100% necessary for the overclock, I have never OC'd my cpu before but I thought the H80i would be okay if I did not try to push the CPU too far. If that is not the case then I will definitely consider it when I upgrade my CPU.
  3. No worries :) Glad to be of help.

    To answer your follow up question, the problem with single rads is that there is not enough surface area for heat to efficiently dissipate before it comes back to the pump in the loop. Doubling the surface area, i.e., from 120mm rad to 240mm rad, would effectively increase the thermal/cooling performance of your CPU, especially when OC'd. There is a general rule that has been floating around in rads, where:

    Total rads in system = (120mm of rad per component being watercooled X No. of components being watercooled) + additional 120mm of rad.

    Here is a good article by EK regarding how big should your rad size be: https://www.ekwb.com/blog/how-big-should-my-radiator-be/
  4. Okay, what 240mm AIO would you recommend?

    Also, I am trying to go lower the noise on this as much as I can aka reducing the number of total fans as much as possible and maintaining my black/red color scheme as well. If I were to go this route, could I use 2 140ML corsair fans for intake and 4 120ML corsair fans in push/pull on the rad for exhaust, could I leave the rear slot empty or is that frowned upon?
  5. For 240mm AIO's, I would recommend the NZXT Kraken X52 (or the NZXT Kraken X62 if you decide on upsizing to 280mm AIO), with other alternative/secondary choices being: Corsair H100iV2 (240mm)/H115i (280mm) or the EK Predator 240.

    Here are some reviews and benchmark tests of the said Kraken AIO's:
    https://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cooling/2016/11/14/nzxt-kraken-x52-review/2
    http://www.gamersnexus.net/hwreviews/2662-nzxt-kraken-x52-x62-x42-review-and-benchmarks-noise-temp/page-3

    The Kraken X52/X62 pump has an infinity mirror effect and customizable lighting (via CAM software) which you can configure to match your black/red theme.

    The Push AND Pull setup in radiator cooling would actually be better for noise control. You get the same amount of air flow, with an increased static pressure, and a decrease in noise (by lowering the fan's rpm). Only disadvantage for the Push/Pull setup would be cleaning the underside of the radiator (you have to remove fans on the push side), and, space clearance (depending on the case you select).

    In contrast, with only a Push or only a Pull setup, the fans would have to work twice as hard (i.e., full speed) in order to decrease the temps in full load.

    I would not recommend leaving the rear fan slot open. That rear exhaust greatly helps in dissipating heat around your CPU/VRMs/RAMs. Whichever case you select, you would still have enough fans to install. As I recall, you currently have 4x 120mm Corsair fans. Getting a 240mm AIO includes 2x 120mm fans (which you can install in the concealed side if you don't like the look). You can then install 2x 120mm Corsairs in the exposed side, 1x 120mm Corsair in the rear exhaust (exposed), and keep 1x Corsair as spare. Use the 2-3x included Phanteks fans for the front intake of your selected Phanteks case (as this is partly concealed from view).
  6. I think I am going to go with the Evolv ATX TG case and the H100i V2. In that particular case would I have sufficient room for a push/pull setup on the rad? If so I could do as you said with having the default corsair fans on the hidden side, the ML corsair fans on the exposed side, another corsair fan on the rear slot and 2 fans in the front, which i can always change out later if the off color annoys me.

    I still have a few questions haha bear with me. Shouldn't you have more intake than exhaust or the same? Right now with the setup above I would have 280mm of fans doing intake and 360mm of fans doing exhaust is that bad? Also fan control. My MB (MSI Z170 Gaming M5) only has two PWM headers. Would you connect one to the fan hub on the case to control the fans on the CPU cooler while keeping the other case fans on other headers, or should I do them all on the same header and control them with one PWM curve?
  7. dstiffler94 said:
    I think I am going to go with the Evolv ATX TG case and the H100i V2. In that particular case would I have sufficient room for a push/pull setup on the rad? If so I could do as you said with having the default corsair fans on the hidden side, the ML corsair fans on the exposed side, another corsair fan on the rear slot and 2 fans in the front, which i can always change out later if the off color annoys me.


    If you ever decide to install the H100i V2 on top (as exhaust) in the Evolv ATX TG, the 120mm fans would have a clearance of 68mm away (measured horizontally) from the motherboard. Your current Corsair Vengenace RAMs would not be an obstruction. Although, aesthetically and subjectively, the total thickness of this push/pull setup *might* not be to your liking as the lower fans will cover portions of said RAMs, visually. The fans, usually at 25mm thick each, plus the rad at 30mm thick, will have a total thickness of 80mm (measured vertically) from the top radiator tray. Installing thinner/low-profile fans might be an option (I am not sure if 12mm fans can fit between the rad tray and the chassis top cover though) *or* you can just revert to a push OR pull setup if the push/pull will not be aestically pleasing for you given the total thickness.

    Some setups do a front rad placement for a push/pull setup (as there is more space clearance in that location. But as I said, the tubing length/twisting concerns might be a problem, especially that the H100i V2 has thick and less flexible tubing as compared with other versions.

    Here's a sample setup of the case and the cooler with the fans (the AIO is in a Push Top Exhaust in this example):

    Source: http://pcpartpicker.com/b/yZBPxr

    Here is another example, a video/review of the H100i V2 installed in the Evolv ATX: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEFVUV0FGow

    dstiffler94 said:
    I still have a few questions haha bear with me. Shouldn't you have more intake than exhaust or the same? Right now with the setup above I would have 280mm of fans doing intake and 360mm of fans doing exhaust is that bad?


    Generally, most recommend a "positive pressure" airflow in the case, i.e., more air going in than going out. The main advantage of this is to counteract dust build-up because if more air is being exhausted, dust tends to creep in the small openings into your case. Having a "negative pressure" airflow is not a terrible thing per se, although most lean towards "positive pressure" due to its logical advantage.

    It's not necessarily the quantity of fans (nor the size) that determines whether you have "positive" or "negative" airflow. It is actually the fan's design and the volume of air the fan provides, which is directly relative to the fan's rpm/speed. You can have just 1x 140mm intake fan but taking in more cfm airflow at a higher rpm compared to 4x 120mm fans exhausting less cfm airflow at a slower rpm and still have "positive pressure".

    Note also that 2 fans in a Push/Pull setup are technically moving the same amount of air (but at a greater static pressure). So in the case of the 4x 120mm fans in Push/Pull configuration on a 240mm rad, they are technically just exhausting an airflow equal to "2x 120mm fans".

    dstiffler94 said:
    Also fan control. My MB (MSI Z170 Gaming M5) only has two PWM headers. Would you connect one to the fan hub on the case to control the fans on the CPU cooler while keeping the other case fans on other headers, or should I do them all on the same header and control them with one PWM curve?


    There are several ways to do it and I think it's only a matter of preference. Some would prefer the rad fans to be PWM-controlled while the rest of the case fans be plugged into DC/Voltage-controlled (in your case, your MB has 3x voltage-controlled headers) running at 100% (as lowering voltage does reduce fan speed but *might* result in a stalled fan which you don't want to happen). Some would prefer fans cooling the rad to be software-controlled (e.g., Corsair Link) and the rest of the fan BIOS-controlled.

    Note that the pump block of the H100i v2 has a fan connector/splitter that can connect 2 fans (usually the 2 included fans of the 240mm AIO). Said fans connect directly at the pump block, which in turn connects to a MB header (usually the CPU_FAN) which acts as the AIO's main power source (no more SATA power or Molex connections). Some have tried connecting 2 extra splitters (that connects to the 2 heads of the included AIO splitter) in order to power 4 fans in Push/Pull (plus the pump) using just one MB header (but you have to check the pump and the fan's total current draw against the MB header, which is usually at 1A only). Your Corsair ML120 fan has a power draw of ~0.22A (or ~0.3A for the LED versions).

    The Phanteks case also features a PWM fan hub (at the back) where you can connect additional fans. For the fan hub to work properly (in PWM), you must connect it to a true-PWM 4-pin header (not the 4-pin voltage-controlled headers). This means that if you are to utilize the hub's feature, given your current MB, you must only use 1 PWM header for the 4 rad fans and AIO pump (CPU_FAN1) so that the remaining PWM header (CPU_FAN2) will be for the hub's use.

    One other usual and logical suggestion is to connect the AIO pump to a DC-controlled header, or via 4-pin molex adapter to PSU, to make it run at a constant 100% (as these AIO pumps are usually designed at non-variable speeds). The rad fans then connect to the CPU_FAN for PWM performance/monitoring, while the rest of the case fans can be connected to other available fan headers/hub. This might go against the manual (which specifies the AIO be connected to the CPU_FAN header, where it gets its power, and not directly via PSU) but installing it to other fan headers have worked for them as well (as long as you connect any other fan to the CPU_FAN header). Not sure if you can still monitor (or control) the AIO via CorsairLink though (probably not).

    Generally it is best to have at least 2 separate PWM curves for all your cooling fans - one curve for set of fans based on CPU temps and one curve for set of fans based on motherboard temps.
  8. Holy shit thanks for the long answer, really informative. After doing some research I came to the same conclusion about RAM clearance so I actually made the switch to the NZXT X62, the fans that come with it are black, so they match my build. Then I can leave them on and use them in a Push configuration on the top of the case without impeding on the RAM, exactly like your picture. Also that header LED is insane.

    As a result I think I am going to use 1 120ML on the rear and my remaining 3 120ML fans on the front so that I have 400mm (of fans) of exhaust and 360mm of intake. While that may be louder having 3 intake fans, it will be as close to positive airflow as possible, and my system will match.

    As far as fan control, I think I will have my AIO running off of CPU_1 and then the fan controller on the case hooked up to CPU_2 which is also PWM. I can then do exactly as you suggested and have two separate PWM curves for my AIO fans and my system fans.

    One more question then I am done, I promise. Do you think 2 LED strips will be enough to light the "front" side fully leaving 1 for the back side, or should I get 3 for the front to ensure it is lit up properly?

    I cannot thank you enough for all of the help, I could not have made my choice without you!!
  9. dstiffler94 said:
    Holy shit thanks for the long answer, really informative. After doing some research I came to the same conclusion about RAM clearance so I actually made the switch to the NZXT X62, the fans that come with it are black, so they match my build. Then I can leave them on and use them in a Push configuration on the top of the case without impeding on the RAM, exactly like your picture. Also that header LED is insane.

    As a result I think I am going to use 1 120ML on the rear and my remaining 3 120ML fans on the front so that I have 400mm (of fans) of exhaust and 360mm of intake. While that may be louder having 3 intake fans, it will be as close to positive airflow as possible, and my system will match.

    As far as fan control, I think I will have my AIO running off of CPU_1 and then the fan controller on the case hooked up to CPU_2 which is also PWM. I can then do exactly as you suggested and have two separate PWM curves for my AIO fans and my system fans.


    Great choice! Yes, the Kraken X62 has a variable-speed pump and may be connected to the CPU_FAN1, a PWM header (although some still prefer running the pump at 100%, but whichever they prefer).

    dstiffler94 said:
    One more question then I am done, I promise. Do you think 2 LED strips will be enough to light the "front" side fully leaving 1 for the back side, or should I get 3 for the front to ensure it is lit up properly?


    I would suggest for you to buy the Phanteks LED Strip Starter Combo Set (PH-LEDKT_COMBO) http://www.phanteks.com/PH-LEDKT.html which can be connected directly to the Evolve ATX TG case. This combo set consists of 2x 400mm strips which, I personally think, with 21 LED per strip, would be sufficient/enough to light up the entire case interior. But, of course, the intensity of the light is very subjective. If you feel that the total brightness of the 2 strips won't be enough, you can always add later on by purchasing a Phanteks LED Strip 400mm Extension (PH-LEDKT_M4) or the 1m Extension (PH-LEDKT_M1), see same link as posted above.

    You connect all these strips in series via the RGB Led Strip cable that comes with the Evolv ATX TG, see page 10 of the manual: http://www.phanteks.com/assets/manuals/PH-ES515ETG_Western.pdf Note that there are 2 cable connection in the case, the 1 connects the LED strips while the other 1 connects to your motherboard's LED header (as it supports Asus Aura and MSI Mystic Light Sync).

    dstiffler94 said:
    I cannot thank you enough for all of the help, I could not have made my choice without you!!


    Yup, no problem! You're very welcome.
  10. I appreciate the help. Hopefully it turns out well, definitely off to a good start!
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