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EVGA’s Open Air, Carbon Fiber Chassis Will Set You Back $1,599

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Back in January EVGA showed off a concept ATX chassis it was working on named the E1. It’s a pretty unique design, to say the least. It uses a carbon fiber frame that “hangs” the motherboard inside of it like an insect caught in a web. This makes it unlike other “open air” case designs, in that you can see your hardware from pretty much any angle. EVGA includes some unique features too, like analog system information gauges that attach to the front I/O. The barebones case is finally available, but in limited quantities. At $1,599, it’s one of the most exotic ATX cases we’ve ever seen. EVGA is also selling some EVGA hardware kits with the E1 too, in case you’ve got a few grand burning a hole in your pocket.

The E1 hasn’t changed much since it first broke cover in January. It’s made entirely from 3k plain weave carbon fiber, and weighs a feathery 2.76lbs. EVGA claims its the lightest case by volume in its class. The motherboard is suspended in mid-air by steel cables via a system EVGA calls “independent suspension.” The case by itself includes just the frame, a vertical GPU mount, and the analog gauges with front I/O ports. The gauges display temps for the CPU, GPU, and system. If you end up ordering just the case, EVGA will ship it to you in a custom-cut Pelican case. The company claims this case has an $800 value.

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Now, about those upgrade kits. If you thought paying $1,599 for a chassis was extreme, EVGA says, “hold my screwdriver.” EVGA also offers two “upgrade” kits, and both add thousands of dollars to the initial price.

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The first level of upgrade adds the company’s most expensive (and powerful) GPU — the RTX 3090 Ti Kingpin — along with a 1600W PSU to power it. We previously dubbed this GPU package from EVGA to be “outlandish.” That GPU/PSU package alone is $2,500, as it includes a 360mm AIO cooler along with a beefy PSU. However, EVGA is actually cutting people a deal here. The price of the kit only goes up $2,100 if you add the PSU and GPU, so you actually save $400 versus buying them separately. The Kingpin GPU looks like it was made for this chassis too, thanks to its external OLED display.

EVGA provides three upgrade options for the E1, but all of them are extravagant. (Image: EVGA)

If that’s not enough for you, there’s the final kit. This includes the same bits as before, with a motherboard, case, and GPU power cable kit thrown in. The motherboard is the company’s flagship Z690 board, the Dark Kingpin model. Naturally, it’s made for extreme overclocking and has an MSRP of $829. Then there’s the $800 carrying case, for LAN party action.

Finally, it includes the PowerLink 52u. This allows for a 5-into-2 arrangement for the cables powering the GPU. The RTX 3090 Ti Kingpin  requires dual 16-pin connectors from the PSU. This attaches to the power ports on the PSU, and you plug in five eight-pin cables on the other side. It allows for a cleaner look overall; a paramount consideration for an open air chassis. Overall, this is actually good deal, provided you think these components are worth the price tags EVGA wants for them.  You’re paying an extra $1,300 over the previous option, and getting an $800 case, an $829 motherboard, and the GPU adapter.

The unique analog gauges of the E1 gaming rig. (Image: EVGA)

EVGA notes that the kits that include hardware are built to order, so they might take a few weeks to arrive at your command center. We should mention that this week’s Mega Millions is already over $1 billion dollars, so if you think you can’t afford the E1 in any of its forms, you might want to head to your nearest convince store before Friday’s drawing.

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