Raijintek was founded in 2013 “with the aim of designing high-end products for lifestyle, computer, and day-to-day usage.” Their computer products consist of cases, heatsinks, AIO water cooling units, custom water loop parts, and fans. Today, we have a new entry into their case lineup, the Ophion Evo. The Ophion Evo is a small form factor (SFF) case with a popular internal design that intends not to sacrifice much on the compatibility side.
|Raijintek Ophion Evo Specifications|
|Storage||One 3.5″ drive + two 2.5″ drives or four 2.5″ drives|
|Fans||Top: Two 120 x 25 mm (filtered)|
|Bottom: One 120 x 25 mm (filtered)|
|Compatibility||CPU coolers up to 90 mm in height|
|Standard ATX PSUs|
|GPUs up to 330 mm in length|
|Front Panel I/O||USB 3.0 Type-A and USB 3.0 Type-C|
|Materials||Aluminum (2.0 mm)|
|Steel (0.8 mm)|
|Tempered Glass (3.0 mm)|
|Case Dimensions||174 x 290 x 375 mm|
|Case Volume||18.9 L|
Packaging & Accessories
The box is standard cardboard with all sorts of information printed on all sides. The front has a picture of the Ophion Evo along with Raijintek’s branding. There’s also a red caution sticker so that handlers know they’re handling glass. Under the Ophion Evo name, there’s a line that says “Aluminum Mini-ITX Chassis” which could be a little misleading considering the majority of the case is steel with three sides sporting aluminum panels. The back shows all the sides of the Ophion Evo so that potential buyers know what they’re getting. One side shows an isometric back/bottom shot, and the other side has a table of specifications.
The case itself is packaged well with protective foam on the top and bottom sides which separates the case from the cardboard box. There is a plastic wrap bag surrounding the entire case which could help prevent light scratches or water damage in case the box is damaged during shipping. Finally, the tempered glass side panels have a film for protecting the glass and more red caution stickers pointing out there is glass.
The accessories include the following:
- Installation guide
- Mounting hardware for SSDs, HDDs, PSU, and motherboard
- Small zip ties for cable management
- Foam strips for filtering air between the tempered glass panels and the case
Raijintek Ophion Evo
Here we have four isometric shots of the Ophion Evo to showcase its understated style. The Ophion Evo is built on a cold rolled steel frame with brushed aluminum front panel and side frames then finished off with tempered glass side panels.
The front of the case makes use of a curved aluminum panel with a brushed finish. There are two USB 3.0 connections with one being Type-A and one Type-C. The power button features Raijintek’s “R” logo on top of translucent plastic so that it stands out when the LED is on. I’d say that the front panel looks great and is pretty minimal and understated outside of the “R” logo.
We can see the premium brushed aluminum finish on the front panel and side frames, although the top panel is just coated steel. The side panels also have a chamfered edge revealing the silver aluminum underneath. The power switch hole looks to be stamped which causes the hole to fold inward creating a smooth transition when pressing the switch.
I figured I should snap a picture of the bare front panel I/O while I had the panel removed. Seeing this gave me an idea on a modification to try later.
As mentioned before, the top doesn’t have an aluminum panel and is part of the steel frame. A large magnetic dust filter covers the top of the case and is easy to remove and replace. Although, I do need to mention that the magnetic strips do not stick well to the filter. They will stay in place, but the ends tend to separate from the filter when handling it. With the filter removed, we can see there are ventilation holes spanning the entire top of the case with various mounting positions for fans and radiators. Also, notice that the top panel is recessed slightly so that the filter sits flush with the top.
Both sides of the exterior are identical with the main feature being tempered glass panels. Brushed aluminum frames are attached to the main steel frame of the case for a more premium finish. There are rubber standoffs installed in all four corners for the tempered glass panels which separate the glass panels from the case to allow airflow.
The back of the case has the standard cutouts for the motherboard rear I/O, GPU outputs, and a male C14 power port. There are hexagonal ventilation holes covering the rest of the back panel.
The bottom has a mounting hole for an ATX PSU and filtered ventilation holes towards the rear. The magnetic filter is identical to the top filter, just smaller to fit that area. There are also four rubber feet installed in each corner to lift the case from the ground for air intake.
The PSU mounting point is at the front of the case so that the cables are located on top of the PSU when installed. This installation orientation is the reasoning behind the right-angled C14 extension cable routed from the PSU to the back of the case. At the bottom of the case toward the back is where a 120 x 25 mm fan, a 3.5″ drive, or two 2.5″ drives can be mounted.
The ITX motherboard mounting tray has a large cutout for easier access to the back of the motherboard, or that’s what one would assume…until we get to the next part.
The PCI-E x16 extension cable is routed under the motherboard tray from the GPU to the motherboard side. The cable also needs to be placed between the tray and motherboard when installing the motherboard so that it comes out of the top side where the expansion slot will be located. With the PCI-E cable routed between the motherboard and tray, the large hole in the tray becomes pointless since the cable will be blocking the motherboard when the GPU is removed. This means the motherboard will have to be removed to access anything on the back of the board such as cooler mounting hardware or a M.2 slot. I wonder if it would be possible to route it on GPU side instead to circumvent this issue. I’ll definitely be giving that a try later.
The GPU end of the PCI-E 3.0 x16 extension cable is mounted to the back of the midframe for installing the GPU upright. This will let you see the GPU fan shroud through the tempered glass side panel, whereas you would see the side of the GPU and its PCB in a standard case layout.
At the top of the case two 120 x 25 mm fans can be installed as shown. They can also be installed in different positions basically anywhere between the front and back of the case.
The front drive mounts are behind the front panel. I think flipping the 2.5″ mounting holes so that the power and data cable opening is on the motherboard/PSU side of the case would be more efficient for cable routing and would prevent any possible interference with extra long GPUs. Other than that, I really like this drive mounting solution.
The following are all of the parts I’ll be using to check out the Ophion Evo. I plan on testing out both an air-cooled build and custom water cooled build. However, I didn’t realize that my Zotac GTX 1070 Mini has a PCB that is a little too big for both a radiator and fans to fit inside of the case. So, I mounted the fans on the exterior for my build, as you’ll see later. A right-angled PCIe power connector may allow me to fit the radiator and fans in the case with my GPU, but I can’t confirm that since I do not have one on hand.
|CPU||Intel i7 6700K @ 4.0 GHz, 1.296 V|
|CPU Cooler||Thermalright AXP-100
EK Supreme HF
EK-VGA Supreme HF
Nidec Servo Gentle Typhoon AP-15
|Motherboard||ASUS Maximus VIII Impact|
|RAM||Patriot Viper 4 2 x 8 GB DDR4-2800, 1.2 V|
|Graphics Card||ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1070 Mini|
|Storage||OCZ Vertex 4 SSD (2.5″)|
|Power Supply||Seasonic SS-750KM (ATX)
Silverstone ST45SF-G (SFX)
Motherboard installation is a little different in the Ophion Evo and other cases with this layout. The PCI-E extension cable is routed behind the motherboard before securing it to the frame with four screws. Then, fold over the PCI-E extension cable and insert it into the expansion slot.
Next up is the PSU installation. I have both an ATX and SFX PSU to install for comparison’s sake for those who may want to go smaller for additional space. The SFX PSU requires an ATX-to-SFX mounting bracket which isn’t included with the Ophion Evo, but can be had relatively cheap online.
The 2.5″ drive installation is super easy and needs just four screws. These four screws have a slotted rubber piece covering the shaft to dampen any vibrations when the drive is installed. Of course, vibrations are only a concern when using mechanical hard drives, but those are becoming more and more undesirable as SSD prices continue to fall.
The GPU is actually very easy to install in this orientation since the slot and locking mechanism can clearly be seen. You can also see how the PCIe power connector sticks up pretty far since the PCB is larger in that dimension.
All of the components fit nicely inside the Ophion Evo for my air cooled build. The cable management is tough on a case of this size, but because of the Ophion Evo’s design, the cables don’t obstruct air flow. Custom PSU cables would work well in the Ophion Evo and really clean up the look.
Now on to the water cooled build. The tubing routing ended being very efficient with the radiator having one barb on each side of the case and the spacing under the motherboard at the bottom of the case made it easy to route tubing from GPU to the motherboard. The hexagon mesh of the mid-frame allowed me to mount the pump directly to the mid-frame itself with a couple of screws and washers. I also had to go old school, without a reservoir, and just use a makeshift fill port with some extra tubing and a “T” fitting.
I did have one hiccup when installing everything for this build, which was the PCIe power connector for my GPU. The PCB extended too far upward pushing the connector into the space needed for the radiator fans. So, I just mounted them on the exterior of the top of the case. A right-angled PCIe power connector could possibly allow me to put the fans inside, but I don’t have one on hand, unfortunately.
After removing the front panel and noticing how easy it would be to remove the stock power button, I pondered replacing the switch. So, I gave it a shot and it almost fits. The contact screws just barely hit the frame behind the front panel, and you can see where in the last picture. Although, I believe that it’s possible to drill or cut a hole between the threaded screw holes to make the switch fit.
The second modification I tried was to reroute the PCIe extension cable. I did this because, with how it was done from the factory, the back of the motherboard would be inaccessible even though Raijintek provides a massive hole in the motherboard tray for access. This change worked great and now allows me to easily access the rear of the motherboard by removing the GPU and releasing the PCIe extension from the motherboard. The pictures are a little dark, but what I did was removed the mounted PCIe x16 connector, folded the extension behind it, then remounted the PCIe x16 connector. So, now it’s between the PCIe x16 connector and the motherboard tray on the GPU side.
Overall, there wasn’t anything out of the ordinary as far as cooling was concerned. Both my air setup and water setup cooled the PC sufficiently. I ran Unigine Valley for 30+ minutes on the “Extreme HD” preset. I truncated the data for the graphs once the temperatures leveled off (around 20 minutes). The CPU temperatures used in the graphs were averages of all four cores, but I’ll mention peak temperatures as well.
These are the results with the Thermalright AXP-100 + Gentle Typhoon on the i7 6700K, the stock ZOTAC cooler for the GTX 1070, and two Gentle Typhoons as exhaust fans at the top of the case. Peak temperatures reached 68 °C on a couple of the CPU cores and 76 °C on the GPU.
These are the results with a single 2 x 120 mm radiator cooling both the i7 6700K and GTX 1070 with the Gentle Typhoons set up as intake pulling cool air through the radiator. With ambient temps of 24.5 °C. Peak temperatures reached 49 °C on one of the CPU cores and 40 °C on the GPU.
Raijintek’s Ophion Evo is a small 18.9 L case for those looking to downsize their builds into something more space efficient. Raijintek has a great looking case with a premium finish due to brushed aluminum panels and tempered glass side panels. Typically with small form factor builds there’s a balance between small size and compatibility, meaning if you want more of one, you have to sacrifice the other. Raijintek decided to go a little on the larger side, as far as SFF goes, but keep the majority of hardware compatibilities such as full-size GPUs, ATX PSUs, 2 x 120 mm radiators, multiple 2.5″ drives, and even a 3.5″ drive. So, the only real compatibility limitation is the 90 mm CPU heatsink height limit.
There are two minor changes that I think could make the case a little more efficient. One, which is an easy DIY, is routing the PCIe extension on the GPU side of the mid-frame to allow access to the rear of the motherboard. The second, which would have to be done during production, is basically flipping the front drive mounting holes so the SATA data and power are on the motherboard side of the mid-frame.
Considering ~$230-$250 price tag on some of the boutique SFF cases, the Ophion Evo’s $130 MSRP seems very reasonable (currently out of stock at NewEgg). The price could definitely sway some to go with the Ophion Evo, especially with its wide range of compatibility as well. So, Raijintek’s Ophion Evo is a great middle ground between size, compatibility, and price for those jumping into SFF builds.
– Matt T. Green (MattNo5ss)