Overall and Final Verdict
I’ve actually been using the Ophion Evo for a while now and in a lot of ways the case met or excited my high expectations. The cases split layout is something I have been a big fan of and most of the cases with that design have been limited available high priced and out of most peoples budget. Raijintek, with the Ophion and Ophion Evo, is helping make that design a little more available giving new options in the SFF market. This is especially true when you also take into account the glass side panels on both sides, most of those community made cases don’t have that as an option at all and when they do it is an expensive add on.
I’m especially digging the Ophion Evo being an option, adding that extra space up top to fit a full 240mm AIO is a significant upgrade. It does make this a large case for SFF at just under 19 liters in volume. This is one of the areas where the community focused cases spend more time on. The Ophion Evo could be much smaller without giving up too much by going a little thinner and dropping full ATX PSU support for SFX. The extra width is only important for that and to support 90mm tall CPU heatsinks. On the normal Ophion that height is huge, but with an AIO in the Evo, a tall heatsink is no longer needed.
You end up with dual 2.5-inch drive mounts hidden up under the front panel and frankly, I think there is enough room to double stack those as well. Four 2.5 inch drives and the 1-2 M.2 drives that ITX boards support could get interesting. Then there is the full-length GPU support, as someone who has built multiple SFF builds that required ITX length cards it is nice to not have to sacrifice cooling or performance for once. You could pack a 2080 Ti in here without a problem. The PCI mount could be a little lower, however, clearance gets tight up top when you have an AIO installed at the current height and frankly, there is room, it didn’t need to be so high up. Combine all of that into a good looking design and you might be wondering if there is anything wrong at all with the design.
Well like a lot of brushed aluminum cases, you will need to keep a towel with you if you are taking this case to LANs. Not only is the glass going to pick up fingerprints like on every case, but the brushed aluminum likes to scrub dead skin right off your hands. It’s a little gross and it looks really bad when it happens, but it's just one of those things you deal with. It wipes right off at least. I also wasn’t a fan of the power button design at all, a simple vandal switch would have been nice. Beyond that, I would still recommend going with an SFX PSU in this case, even though it supports an ATX design. The smaller design allows you to pick which way you want the fan to face and it leaves a lot more room for wiring and more importantly airflow.
Speaking of airflow, performance was great, assuming you are running an AIO. If you are looking to go air cooled, skip the Evo all together and consider the normal Ophion. It is 45mm shorter which is 1.77 inches but still has the same CPU cooler clearance.
The Ophion Evo will run you $139 which is still a lot cheaper than the community-driven options like the Dan Case and the N Case which are both around $200. To be fair both of those are a little better quality than the Ophion Evo, but $60 less and with tempered glass side panels on both side isn’t an insignificant amount. The non-Evo Ophion is a little better priced as well at $125. Overall this is a great option for those of you looking to go ITX, especially if you don’t really want to fight with getting the ideal cooling setup or with shorter ITX length cards. Just know that with those glass side panels on both sides that you need to step up your wiring game when you go to build in it.
Live Pricing: HERE
**Post Review Followup**
Raijintek followed up after the review to let us know that the PCIe Riser has been lowered 2cm and the power button has been revised. Both done after our sample was sent out. It sounds like they have handled two of the issues that I ran into in my testing.