The BEST Full Tower Cases – O11 XL vs Enthoo 719 (Luxe 2)
Hello good people, welcome to this very interesting comparison between what I would consider to be the two best full towers of 2019. The reason why I want to compare these two cases is because they basically cater to the same audience, which is to say they are large enough to accommodate ambitious water cooling systems.
They are also priced in the same bracket, with the Phanteks being slightly cheaper at $189 USD versus $199 USD for the Lian Li. Also the Enthoo 719 is actually available to buy versus the O11 XL that’s been out of stock everywhere. One interesting tidbit about the Enthoo Luxe 2 is that it has been renamed Enthoo 719 because Thermaltake out of all brands had suggested that it was too similar to their sister company Luxa2, that makes mobile stuff, how interesting. Anyways, let’s do the features breakdown so you can decide which one suits you the best.
Size & Weight
All right, so first let’s cover the size difference as the O11 XL is significantly smaller, but with a slightly wider frame despite the dual chamber design on both cases. I was also quite surprised to find that they weigh the same to, about 14kg or 31lbs, and that is because of material differences. The exterior frame on the Enthoo 719 is actually mainly plastic, which is how they’re able to achieve all these smooth curves and style complications without skyrocketing the price point. The only non-plastic pieces on the outside are centered, which are sandblasted aluminum and look awesome. While on the O11 XL there isn’t even a single drop of plastic anywhere. The exterior panels are all brushed aluminum, with strong metal frame, and that’s probably why it’s slightly more expensive.
Build & Design
The tempered glass panel on the Enthoo 719 is humongous and it swivels open. It can be locked at the front with a thumbscrew, and it has a long support peg to eliminate any sag. The rear side panel also has so much going on for it. First, we have another TG window that partially reveals all three SSD caddies. Secondly, I love the ventilation pattern on here that matches the character of the case. Lastly, the fine dust filters are magnetic with a special frame design that lets you easily place them in the correct spot on the panel to eliminate any potential dust gaps.
The O11 XL also has a unique panel approach where the top panel secures the rest of them in place, and you pulled them out individually. This means no thumbscrews and the exterior remains beautiful. The dust filtration on here is not as fancy as the Phanteks, with just this regular magnetic strip that is quite restrictive. That is why I prefer the dust filtration on the Enthoo 719, because the fine mesh used here is very effective against particles without choking off the airflow. They are also magnetic with a pullout type for the bottom. The same on the O11 XL, by the way, as this is the only fine mesh filter present on the Lian Li case.
Lighting & I/O
Let’s continue with many other similarities between the two, like the exterior ambient lighting strip. I love the integration on the Phanteks enclosure that spans all the way from the bottom across the top that gives it a cohesive look. I also like the interior strip right below the motherboard that separates the bottom chamber. While the O11 XL has a strip running across the front only, looking good without too much bling. On the Phanteks you can sync the lighting with your motherboard and even add accessories to the male connector, or if you have any other Phanteks lighting gear just plug them in into the supplied port. While on the O11 XL it only has the motherboard sync 5V ARGB connector.
The I/O is pretty much the same as well. On the Phanteks it’s hidden behind the front cover, with four USB 3.0 ports, one USB Gen2 Type-C port, separate audio jacks, and lighting buttons. On the O11 XL, it has the same total I/O in the front, but two USB 3.0 ports are located in the front foot to break it up a little bit. This means that you will need two motherboard connectors for the USB 3.0 cables as there are four ports in total.
Now the interior of each case is quite different, but notice no fans are included out of the box. Both support up to SSI EEB motherboards, so your preference will most likely depend on what radiators you plan to use for your system, and if a second system is something you care about. For example, with the Enthoo 719 you can install an ITX motherboard in the bottom chamber. An ITX panel is included, but I will say the metal is quite thin, and you will need to buy a riser cable and the Revolt X power supply that’s capable of powering two systems at once. You can reroute the reset connection from the front I/O to power the second system.
This area can also be used for an extra power supply or for storage when you stack any of these four drive cages or if you’re mounting a radiator at the bottom. This is the only bracket that’s actually removable from the case as mounting anything in the front or top means working inside the case. As usual, all the mounting is on strips for most flexibility, but I am just a little bit surprised at how soft all these parts of the frame are, especially for the price point. By comparison, everything on the O11 XL is properly rigid.
The main interior highlight of the Lian Li case is how the motherboard tray is almost layered, opening up a lot of the room at the front for the side radiator mount that is just built into the frame with mounting strips. The bottom fan bracket is removable as that is the least accessible area when installing radiators or fans. Above you can see the entire breakdown for radiator support inside the O11 XL. You could do triple 360mm radiators with a beefy 65mm at the bottom and the top, but with my 45mm thick rad and a set of fans there is very little room left underneath the motherboard. By the way, 280mm radiators are compatible too, top and bottom.
Because the case is now wider compared to the original O11 Dynamic there is a 120mm fan mount for the rear exhaust and up to 169mm for GPU height. What’s really cool is you could install the radiator on the side with the fans outside of the frame as you have 65mm until you hit the bottom fan bracket, and 50mm on the other side until the panel.
Now the Phanteks case has larger radiator support because it is taller, so up to 480mm radiators on the front or the side, and up to 360mm for the top and bottom. The bottom is limited to 120mm wide radiators, nothing wider will fit, while the front and side radiator relationship is almost binary. You either have a front rad or a side one as they are so close together. Only slim radiators will fit when you occupy them both. It’s important to know that fans can be installed on the other side of the frame, with these SSD plates covering whatever side you’re not using. The Phanteks case has basically more options but also more limitations. For example, if you install these drive caddies on the side plate, you can no longer mount a radiator to the front. Also, only the Phanteks case has drain and fill ports boards, I’m surprised there isn’t one on the Lian Li.
Also the vertical PCIe slots are available by default on the Enthoo 719, you just need that riser cable, while on the 011 XL you need to buy a full bracket that rotates all of your PCIe slots separately. I also find it super interesting that there are hot swappable drive cages with Lian Li, four caddies in total to avoid any cable mess. You could further install three SSDs on the rear side bracket, but this will be a pain to route. And we also have these individual covers with SSD mounts that go instead of the side radiator.
With Phanteks the back layout is more traditional with dual channel velcro cable passthrough, a fan hub with seven headers, and a large cover in front of the power supply for visual organization. And I do prefer the motherboard tray layout on the Lian Li case as it just gives me a cleaner outcome when it comes to cable management versus the flat tray on the Phanteks enclosure.
Build & Conclusion
Now my standard case system does not represent what these two are designed for. The Enthoo 719 is way too large for air cooling only, so you have to fill it with radiators, especially that whole area beside the motherboard. And because of that there’s no height in the bottom chamber, either for an ITX motherboard and/or a bunch of water cooling hardware. The same goes for the O11 XL, although that case covers a larger audience because it is just a slightly larger O11 Dynamic, and that’s a really popular enclosure to accommodate taller GPU blocks and extra radiator spacing in the bottom and the top.
The Enthoo 719 is really pushing that whole dual system agenda forward, which I appreciate because this case is affordable for what it can do and how it performs. And I appreciate that the target audience for these two cases – the enthusiast water cooling community – overlaps, but both of these cases is doing something uniquely different in their own rights. Let me know which one you would prefer, and what exactly makes it standout for you.