Phobya WaCoolT OWL Case Review

Written by Antony Leather

February 27, 2015 | 16:19

Tags: #best-case-for-watercooling #modding-competition #phobya-case #watercooling-case

Companies: #aquatuning #phobya

Interior

Starting with storage and expansion, the WaCoolT OWL offers up to three 3.5in and four 2.5in drives, using a vibration-dampened removable enclosure inside the case. SSDs can mount on the outside and hard disks on the inside - it's not particularly refined but it keeps your storage area compact and close to the motherboard. There are also three external 5.25in bays for those reservoirs or fan controllers too so it has most bases covered.

Phobya WaCoolT OWL Case Review Phobya WaCoolT OWL Case Review - Interior Phobya WaCoolT OWL Case Review Phobya WaCoolT OWL Case Review - Interior
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There are eight PCI expansion slots and the covers are provided with the case instead of being pre-installed. As you'd expect, then, the WaCoolT OWL offers E-ATX support and GPU support up to 360mm. There's a CPU area cut out too, but that's where the creature comforts end - there's no fan control, dust filters or tool-free drive mounts. It's a monstrous blank canvas but as a result, it has niche appeal - that hopefully doesn't come as a surprise.

Phobya WaCoolT OWL Case Review Phobya WaCoolT OWL Case Review - Interior Phobya WaCoolT OWL Case Review Phobya WaCoolT OWL Case Review - Interior
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Let's move on to the cooling. There are no fans included as standard and with this, combined with the fact this is first and foremost a case for water-cooling enthusiasts, there's little point puting it through our usual air-cooled testing - you'd have to be mad to buy this case and stick an air cooler inside. Instead, we've built a water-cooling system into the case, and since cooling results will completely depend on the cooling hardware you use, there's no point including results here either - we're looking at the case after all, not a water-cooling system

Phobya WaCoolT OWL Case Review Phobya WaCoolT OWL Case Review - Interior Phobya WaCoolT OWL Case Review Phobya WaCoolT OWL Case Review - Interior
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Phobya WaCoolT OWL Case Review Phobya WaCoolT OWL Case Review - Interior Phobya WaCoolT OWL Case Review Phobya WaCoolT OWL Case Review - Interior
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Suffice to say water-cooling hardware is well catered-for. The large vertical radiator mount in the base supports either a triple 120mm or 140mm-fan radiator and there's plenty of room for a full-height model with two rows of fans as well. Brackets are included to cater for 120mm models with 140mm support out of the box. The benefit of having a radiator here is that it has the best of both worlds as far as thermodynamics goes.

It can draw cool air in from one side of the case through the large vents in the side panels - just like a front-mounted intake, and expel the warm air straight out the other side - just like a roof-mounted radiator. The air isn't dumped into your case yet it's still able to draw on cool air from outside - not many cases offer this arrangement.

Phobya WaCoolT OWL Case Review Phobya WaCoolT OWL Case Review - Interior Phobya WaCoolT OWL Case Review Phobya WaCoolT OWL Case Review - Interior
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If a full-height triple 140mm radiator isn't enough, then there's room for a second in the roof, although here you'd be limited to a single row of fans. That's not all though; the roof fan mounts can also play host to a full-height quad 120mm-fan radiator or even a double 200mm radiator. This is serious cooling power but it's all available with no modding required. Finally, there's a 140mm fan mount in the rear too.

Phobya WaCoolT OWL Case Review Phobya WaCoolT OWL Case Review - Interior Phobya WaCoolT OWL Case Review Phobya WaCoolT OWL Case Review - Interior
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Phobya also includes an anti-vibration pump mount that's compatible with the following pumps: Laing DDC, Laing D5, Eheim 1046 (HPPS, Aqua Stream, Water Cool 12V), Eheim 1048, Magicool 12V, Phobya DC 220, DC 260 and DC 400, but there's a mass of space for mounting additional ones inside the case, although it has to be said, not masses of room for tube reservoirs, especially if you use an E-ATX motherboard. The rear of the case is one location as are the base and roof depending on what radiators you use.
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