Ophion Evo by Raijintek
The Ophion Evo by Raijintek is a small form factor, sandwich style case that attempts to cover a lot of bases while staying true to the SFF category. It supports CPU air coolers up to 90mm, 240mm AIOs, GPU (2 slot) up to 330mm in length, and up to three 2.5″ drives, or two 2.5″ drives & one 3.5″ drive or bottom mount fan.
There are a lot of options for a nice balanced system in a small package to accompany a clean desk build or a nice portable LAN party PC.
Unboxing the Ophion Evo
The Raijintek Ophion Evo comes tightly packed with high-quality, dense foam. No worries about damage during shipping. Inside the case you’ll find a bag of assorted accessories such as motherboard mounting screws, drive mounting screws, cable management zip-ties and some isolating foam to put between the tempered glass and the frame itself (I wouldn’t use that though, more on that later). It also has a poster-like IKEA style instruction… “Poster”? It is all the instruction you need to get building but doesn’t tell you much about the system specs.
The Ophion Evo’s Build Quality
The Ophion Evo is a tempered glass and aluminum SFF case. Overall, the Ophion Evo is pretty well built. Its aluminum is a little thin; it did bend while I was lifting up the case to move it around while building in it. I wouldn’t give too much weight to this statement, though. I was likely being overly rough with it compared to how most people would be. The bend was not permanent, but it was something that scared me at first. It’s normally found on Newegg for about $130 shipped, however as of writing this it is currently on sale for only $82.99 with a $5 Newegg gift card. At that price, it’s an absolute steal.
Being a sandwich style case (motherboard /CPU on one side and GPU on the other), it requires a PCI Express riser cable. It does come with one, however, you should make note that the included one is only a gen 3.0. So if you are using a PCI-E gen 4.0 GPU, you will want to pick up a separate cable. While I had no issues getting my 5600XT to function with it, it is only set at the gen 3.0 spec in the motherboard BIOS. The Ophion is a little over 3 years old, so I don’t fault it for not coming with a gen 4.0 riser cable.
Building in the Ophion Evo is relatively easy. It’s small enough to still be an ITX case, yet big enough that even larger hands can build comfortably inside, as long as you plan your build out ahead of time. I suggest plugging your 8-pin CPU power cable in, as well as your front panel IO cables, ahead of time before making your final seating of the motherboard.
My Build in the Ophion Evo
|MB||MSI MPG B550i|
|CPU||Ryzen 5 3600|
|GPU||Sapphire Pulse Radeon 5600XT|
|RAM||16 GB Team Group 2666|
|PSU||BeQuiet Pure Power 11 FM 750w|
Hey there, Hot Stuff
Keeping in mind that this case would be great for a budget build, it does run a little hot with the configuration I have built in it. My configuration is a typical mid-range 1080p gaming system. I decided to forego the synthetic benchmarks and go right for the real-world use case – gaming. Running a handful of games from Horizon Zero Dawn and Icarus to New World, targeting 1080p Med/High
The ambient temperature of the room is 63° F. The system ran hotter than I would have liked, but ITX cases do tend to run warmer than their larger counterparts, generally speaking. The CPU and GPU ran at about 79° C – 80° C with the side panels on. However, removing the side panels reduced the temps by 8° C – 10° C. This is a huge difference, with the CPU settling at 69° C and the GPU at 71° C while under load. Although the tempered glass does have about a .5cm gap off of the frame to allow for some air movement, it wasn’t quite enough to keep temps down within a range that I was comfortable with. If the foam inserts were applied around the glass side panels, this would surely degrade temperatures even more, but it would help to curb dust accumulation.
If all this talk about temps scares you, don’t fret. There’s room for a 240mm AIO to be mounted on the top of the case which would help with the CPU temps. There is also a version of the Ophion Evo with vented aluminum side panels. I do not have this version to test out, but I would wager this would bring your under-load temperatures down really close to what I saw with the glass panels off.
Final Thoughts on the Ophion Evo
If you’re looking for a good budget case for an ITX build, you could do much worse than the Ophion Evo. Although it can run a little on the hot side, there are cooling options available between the 240mm AIO support and a version with the vented aluminum side panels. Is it worth it? For ~$120, eh… sure. We did see this case on sale recently for ~$80, and at that price it is an absolute steal. (*Note – that sale has since ended. ~Ed.)