This is a fairly straight-forward build done after having a pre-built mini-ITX computer that lasted for five years die on me. The main uses are for graphic design and games. I would like to remark upon the thermals and cooling, though, as that seems to be the primary point of interest for many potential builders with this case.


The NZXT Kraken M22 cooler is likely not the best of these types for CPU cooling but in this form factor and specific scenario, it seems to do the job very well. I did, however, replace the stock fan that goes with the radiator for the M22. I also replaced the stock chassis fan that Phanteks provides for the Evolv Shift. I added two additional fans, on top of this. There is one extra on the radiator for a push-pull configuration and then I attached another fan to the case to max out the number of fans it could support. The bottom chassis fan is set for intake of cool air and the upper chassis fan is set to exhaust the hot air. All of these fans are the Noctua NF-F12 model, which is focused on static pressure. The thinking is that, since airflow is fairly restricted in the case, a static pressure-focused fan would be the most ideal for the Evolv Shift. I am not sure if this was the best fan to use for everything in my case, but they do seem to work very well, regardless. The GPU has a blower-style fan so that it can also vent heat directly out of the case. I have set a custom fan curve for all of the fans (including the GPU's) and I have the chassis fans set to respond to CPU, motherboard, and GPU temperatures.


The CPU and GPU typically idle at around 45C and 47C, respectively. I stress-tested the CPU using Prime95 and Cinebench as well as noted the GPU and CPU's thermals in games such as Battlefield V, Apex Legends, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and in VR (primarily with rFactor 2 and BigScreen). The stress tests saw the CPU's temperatures initially jump to anywhere from 70C to 85C and then quickly go down to around 60C to 65C. The CPU usually maxed out at 55C and hovered just below or stayed right there in games. The GPU, on the other hand, seems to be pretty steady at 65C when playing games or in VR. I would say, overall, these temperatures exceeded my expectations, especially given the issues with thermals that I have seen some people have with the Evolv Shift case. I never stress-tested my previous computer but, from what I recall, my GPU typically hit the 80C to 85C range in games. It should be said, though, that the Evolv Shift is still a fairly large case compared to some of the smaller, more popular mini-ITX cases out there, so that could be why the thermals are a bit easier to manage.

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  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Pretty sweet looking build. It'd look cool if you tossed in an RGB strip for extra illumination. Are you able to position the cooler so the logo it faces the right way or no?

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! Unfortunately I believe the orientation of the CPU cooler really only works one of two ways which has the logo sideways. I actually hardly see the case itself as it is hidden by my two monitors, so any RGB or general lighting in the case ends up being missed unless I have the room lights off. Otherwise, I would definitely be tempted to do more with the lighting setup.

  • 6 days ago
  • 1 point

Question, when mounting the GPU, would I need an PCI-E extension? or does the case come with one?