Now when most people think of Enermax most would think of power supplies and fans. Cases? Not so much. But Enermax does have cases and today we are looking at the newest addition to their Mid Tower line up: the Hoplite Series. Now, I say series because there are 3 versions of the Hoplite: The ECA3220, ECA3221 and ECA3222. The differences between the models are in the internal drive cage arrangement and whether or not it has the top drive docking station. The model we are looking at today is the Hoplite ECA3220.
The ECA3220 has 4 external 5.25” bays, 2 external 3.5” hot swap bays, 1 top mounted 2.5/3.5” drive dock, 4 internal 3.5” bays and 2 internal 2.5” bays. The ECA3220 also has includes a front intake 120mm blue/red combo-LED fan that has external lighting and speed controls and a rear 120mm exhaust fan. There is also space for two 120mm fans on the side panel and two 120mm or 140mm fans or dual 120mm radiator in the top.
The Enermax ECA3220 can accommodate video cards of up to 315mm (13.77”) in length. It can also support CPU coolers up to 178mm tall without side panel fans, 160mm with side panel fans. So that means just about any CPU cooler on the market will fit in the Hoplite series and can still use the side panel fans.
Features of the Enermax Hoplite
- Bottom 2x 3.5" hot-swap drive bays
- Top 1x 3.5”/2.5” hot-swap SATA dock (Optional)
- Top 2x USB3.0 ports for fastest data transfer (Optional)
- Front 12cm Blue/Red Combo-LED VEGAS fan with Speed & Light control
- Easy installation
- Quick release bay covers
- Front flip-open door for easy fan & filter cleaning
- Tool-less design for ODD & HDD installation
- Cutout on M/B tray for quick CPU cooler maintenance
- Front 1x12cm Blue/Red combo
- LED VEGAS fan with Speed & Light control
- Side 2x12cm intake fans (Optional)
- Top 2x14/12cm exhaust fans (Optional)
- Rear 1x12cm exhaust fan
Specifications of the Enermax Hoplite
Unboxing the Enermax Hoplite
The side of the box for the Hoplite has some simple graphics.
On one end are the Hoplite specifications for all the models.
On the other end is a listing of the model numbers and extra features such as a PSU and USB3.
The Hoplite is protected with foam end caps. There is also an extra foam strip to protect the front bezel.
Here we have the Hoplite out of the box. There is a sticker on the front of the case that points out the front fan light and fan controls. It was easily removed and left no residue behind.
External Impressions of the Hoplite
The Hoplite is a little different from cases that Enermax has made before. Their previous cases had a smooth, sleek look to them. The Hoplite is a more rugged style, a look similar to the Cooler Master HAF line up. At the top of the front are four 5.25” bays, in the middle is the front intake fan, and at the bottom are the two 3.5” hot swap bays.
Looking closer at the mid front we can see the fan controls. One switches the light color between blue, red & blue and red. There are also 4 light modes: Off, solid, propeller, and vegas. The knob controls the fans speed.
The fan is accessible from the outside, and has a removable screen for easy cleaning. The vent into the case isn’t the most free flowing looking. It will be interesting to see how much air is really getting into the case.
At the bottom are the two hot swap bays.
The door for the hot swap bays also has a filter.
On the top are the front panel controls, a 2.5/3.5” hard drive docking station and a top vent that can accommodate twin 120 or 140mm fans. The top bezel can be removed for access to the fan mounts. The mounts are also designed such that a radiator can be mounted as well.
The front controls are along the top front. The Hoplite model we are looking at today is a USB2.0, but the USB3.0 model has the same layout. Left to right: eSATA, USB, audio ports, USB, reset, and power.
The HopLite’s side panel has a large mesh section that can accommodate up to two 120mm fans.
Moving around to the back at the top there are two thumbscrews in the center. These are for the top bezel. Just below that is a rectangular hole with a grommet. This is nice as it would allow for USB3 wiring to be run to the back USB ports or for wiring for external fans if you have a radiator mounted externally on the back of the case. We can also see the rear 120mm fan.
In the center are the expansion slot covers, water cooling tube pass through holes, and a vent. The slot covers are stamped in the case; yes this saves money, but if you have a need to put one back you have to buy a cover.
On the very bottom is the PSU area. The vent for the PSU has a removable screen that can be removed by sliding it out the back.
Internal Impressions of the Hoplite
Pulling the side panel off we can see there is a fair bit of room in the Hoplite for a mid-tower. The Hoplite can accommodate video cards up to 315mm (13.77”) long and CPU coolers up to 178mm tall.
Looking closer at the 5.25” bays they are tool-less. The thumb screws are attached to the bay, but can be slid independently of one another to be put where you want.
In the center is the internal hard drive cage.
Inside is room for four 3.5” hard drives and two 2.5” hard drives.
There are slide stops in the back of the cage to keep the drive from sliding in too far. The drive is held in place by pressure put on it from fingers molded into both the shelves and the cage door. When the cage door is closed the drive cannot move.
At the bottom is the hot swap drive cage. On the back of the cage is the hot swap back plane. The back plane is powered by a single molex connector; each drive also has its own SATA connector. The back plane also has two 3 pin fan headers. The front intake fan comes connected to one of the two. You may also notice there is no fan for the hot swap bay either, so air flow for the drives will be limited.
The hot swap trays lock into the dive cage with a locking arm that acts like a cam and pushes the drive into the backplane.
The specs say the hot swap bays are 3.5” only, but the trays look to have 2.5” mounting holes as well.
In the front of the tray are 3 holes that allow air to flow through the drive tray. Since there is no fan on the cage itself, it will rely on the case exhaust fans to pull the air though the cage.
At the rear we can see the expansion slot covers and the rear exhaust fan. The fan is powered by a 4 pin connector.
Up in the top rear corner of the motherboard tray is a hole that can be used for running wiring like the USB3 cable to the rear of the case and the rear exhaust fan power cable behind the motherboard tray.
Removing the top bezel we can see the top fan mounts and the drive dock PCB.
The drive docking station PCB has standard connection on it so removing the stock cable to be sleeved or even hooking your own cables to it will be easy.
Around on the right we can get a good look at the back of the motherboard tray. The tray has a very large CPU cutout so the chance you can’t get to the back of your CPU socket is very low. There are also several wire routing holes. The space between the back of the motherboard tray and the side panel is fairly tight.
At back of the drive cage there is plenty of room for drive connections and power cables.
Installing Parts Into The Hoplite
Enermax provides all you need to mount your parts into the Hoplite. All the baggies are nicely labeled as to what the hardware is for.
The installation of parts was quick. There was plenty room to work and I never had an issue with something not fitting. Installing the 5.25” drive was not as easy as a tool-less bay system, mainly because you have to do it completely by feel. With the large thumbscrews you can’t see the hole in the drive.
The wire management is fairly easy, but the space behind the tray is a little tight. I had to push on the side panel to get it back on when closing up the case.
The CPU cutout is very nice. It’s so large it even allowed for the non standard layout of the Intel DX58SO motherboard.
Using the drive dock was easy. The drive is supported nicely and it doesn’t wobble around.
With the system fired up I made a quick video of the front LED intake fan. The 120mm intake fan is Enermax’s Vegas LED fan. It is a blue/red LED fan and has a total of 11 different modes. Three of the modes are Solid, Propeller, and Flash. These three modes can switch the color between Blue, Red, and Red/Blue. That makes up 9 of the 11. The last two are Vegas and Off; Vegas is a mode that auto cycles through all the modes and colors.
Final Thoughts of the Hoplite
Overall I have mixed feelings about the Hoplite. I like the build quality. The case is solidly built and the fit and finish is also very nice. The Hoplite has loads of features. It can hold up to six 120mm fans, hot swap bays, external hard drive dock, SSD support, and the very important off switch for the LED fan. It has plenty of room as well. The Hoplite ECA3220 can accommodate video cards up to 315mm (13.77”) long. It can also support CPU coolers up to 178mm tall without side panel fans, 160mm with side panel fans. So that means just about any CPU cooler on the market will fit in the Hoplite series and can still use the side panel fans.
The internal hard drive cage is nice as it is tool-less, but the air flow through the drive cage is restricted due to the way the cage sides are designed. Air does move through the cage, but not very freely. Same for the hot swap bays having to rely on the exhaust fans in the rest of the case to cause a draft and pull air through.
I really like the ease of removing the top bezel for adding top exhaust fans, or even a dual 120mm radiator. Having access through the top case was handy for installing parts, as well.
I can’t say I care for the expansion slot covers, though. In a case full of high-end features, having non-replaceable slot covers just doesn’t fit.
When it came to the wire management the placement of the wire routing holes was fine; the grommets stayed in place. I like that Enermax added the extra hole at the top rear of the motherboard tray. Where it lacked was in the space behind the tray. The space is limited, I was able to route my wires, but I had to push on the side panel to get it back on. That being the case, in a fully loaded system it could get real interesting running all the cables behind the tray.
For coming in at around the $100 mark the Enermax Hoplite ECA3220 has tons of features for the price and is well built. With the right planning you can put a lot in this case. There are 3 versions of the Hoplite, so getting the right combination of drive bays and USB options can be done, but will make shopping confusing when all the models hit the shelf. Currently, I was only able to locate the model we reviewed today the Hoplite ECA3220. It can be found for a little as $99.99 plus shipping with a 1 year limited warranty.
Legit Bottom Line: The Enermax Hoplite is a solidly built case with nice features at a good sub $100 price point.