Graphics card prices too high? Get the Phanteks Shift XT case as your next upgrade instead
Prices for a lot of PC hardware are still sky high, especially graphics cards, but there are other ways to jazz up your PC. Cases are still retailing at normal prices and one of the most beautiful and unique new models is the Phanteks EVOLV Shift XT. You can see an in-depth video review of the case below.
This case requires a mini-ITX sized motherboard so it won’t be a direct swap if you have a larger PC, but there are plenty of choices for current and previous generation AMD and Intel platforms such as the Asus ROG Strix Z690i Gaming Wi-Fi. You’ll also need an SFX or SFX-L power supply, but Phanteks said it will offer future versions of the case that come with both a 240mm liquid cooler and an SFX power supply.
Mini-ITX cases are nothing new, but the Shift XT is unique in its ability to expand upwards, allowing the use of liquid-cooling fans and radiators if you’re happy to manage a bit of additional volume. It is 37cm/14.6inch long, 17cm/6.8inch wide and 21cm/8.3inch high, but expands to 24cm/9.6inch and 27cm/ 10.7 inches in steps, allowing case fans or fans and a radiator to sit in the roof.
If you opt for air cooling rather than liquid cooling, the case has a clearance of 72mm for a CPU cooler, but a generous length limit of three slots/324mm/12.76in for graphics cards. Storage options for HDDs and SSDs are very limited with only one 2.5 inch slot for an SSD, but of course you’re better off using a cable-free M.2 SSD in a small enclosure like this this anyway.
In terms of cooling, there are no fans included in the box, but I used a Phanteks 240MPH liquid cooler to compare it to Lian Li’s popular PC-Q58 case, and both performed the same. way in terms of CPU and graphics card cooling.
Building a small PC can often be cumbersome, but the Shift XT makes it much easier than usual thanks to the complete disassembly of the chassis down to an exposed shell allowing you to easily drop your hardware. The top cover can also open, allowing you to access the interior without disassembling a liquid cooler.
At $169.99 excluding tax, the Phanteks EVOLV Shift XT certainly isn’t cheap, but it’s considerably cheaper than buying a mid-range graphics card right now. If you’re waiting for prices to return to normal, experimenting with a new, smaller case and motherboard is a lot of fun, and the bonus here is that this new case also looks fantastic.
It’s flexible, allowing you to increase cooling with its extendable roof, and saves desk space compared to standard PC cases. The Lian Li PC-Q58 is a bit smaller and uses its interior a bit more efficiently, but the Phanteks case is more aesthetically oriented while maintaining decent cooling for high-end hardware. It’s a fantastic addition to a popular area of DIY PC building.