Introduction and First Impressions
A large mid-tower design featuring tempered glass side panels and a mix of aluminum and steel exterior construction, the RGB-imbued Shogun is every bit what you would expect a ‘flagship’ enclosure from BitFenix to be. So did it get our seal of approval? Read on to find out!
The BitFenix Shogun appears at first glance to be a full-tower enclosure, but it is actually using a form-factor that BitFenix calls “super mid-tower”, and it has the seven expansion slots of a mid-tower design. It supports E-ATX motherboards on down, and has some interesting features to help set it apart in a highly competitive enclosure market.
The Shogun’s compatibility with ASUS Aura motherboard lighting effects makes it a good option for the RGB lighting inclined, and there are some nice exterior touches such as the sculpted top and bottom aluminum panels and (of course) those tempered glass sides. The Shogun competes in the premium space, but is still palatable at $149 for what is on the surface a pretty impressive-looking package.
The open interior and glass side panel invite impressive builds (Image credit: BitFenix)
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 3, 2017 - 11:16 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: computex, bitfenix, mid tower, E-ATX Case, RGB LED, gaming, tempered glass
BitFenix had several new PC cases on display at its Computex booth, but the one that caught my eye was the sub-$100 Enso mid-tower that has some premium features including a large tempered glass side panel, RGB LED and fan controllers, removable filters, and various cable management features. The BitFenix Enso has a clean design that out of the box limits the RGB to a nice looking front panel while allowing enthusiasts to go crazy with aftermarket LED strips and LED fans if they wish.
The BitFenix Enso mid-tower (Image credit: KitGuru)
The new Enso chassis measures 8.2" x 19.2" x 14.4" (209 x 487 x 442mm).and is clad in all black with clean lines and edges that strikes a balance between boxy and gaudy (heh). The front is a smooth panel that slightly angles out (no external drive support here) with RGB LEDs in all four corners. The front I/O is up top with two USB 3.0, two audio, and power and reset buttons. The left side is almost entirely comprised of a tempered glass side panel that is held on by black thumbscrews.
The top has a mesh grill with support for two 120mm fans along with a removable magnetic fan filter. There is also room for a 120mm fan in the back and two 120mm fans up front (where there is also a removable filter that pulls out from the left side of the front panel). There is not enough room up top for a water cooling radiator up top, but there is plenty of room for up to a 240mm radiator in the front.
The bottom of the case has a compartment for the bottom mounted up to 220mm power supply (which also has a removable dust filter) and two 3.5” drives along with space to hide excess cables. This area is covered by a simple black shroud that should make cable management easier.
Dropping support for external drive bays and extra 3.5” bays, BitFenix is able to support E-ATX motherboards, long graphics cards (up to 320mm, their demo used an Asus Strix GTX 1080), and water cooling radiators in a compact mid-tower case. BitFenix states it is possible to mount a 360mm radiator in the front, but it the specifications suggest if you would be limited to two fans with matching vents.
Lots of tie downs and space to hide cables! (Image credit: Bitwit Kyle)
The right side panel is blank, and removing it reveals the back of the motherboard tray. There is room for three 2.5” SSDs with one behind the motherboard and two behind the front fans. The motherboard tray has a large CPU cutout, lots of spots to tie up cables, and rubber grommets for passing cables through to the motherboard and graphics card. Having move of the components sitting behind the motherboard tray means that making a clean looking build will be a bit easier (no drive power cables to hide).
The front panel RGB LEDs are “addressable” which is to say that they can be controlled via the controller at the back or via software where BitFenix is working with Asus to allow its RGB LEDs to be controlled with its Aurora software. There is also a fan controller that looks to accept PWM and control 3-pin fans from that signal. The case is also compatible with LED fans and LEDs strips (the BitFenix demo used strips from Asus that could be controlled with the Asus software). As far as the front panel, you can choose a color or activate a gentle pulsing color change mode that cycles through the colors of the rainbow.
(Image credit: Bitwit Kyle)
Out of the box, the BitFenix Enso will have the front panel LEDs and controllers, but users will need to purchase fans and/or LED strips separately. This is not necessarily bad news though because it allows enthusiasts to pick the fans and LEDs they want (or don’t want), and it also allows the case to hit the budget sub-$100 market with lots of nice DIY-friendly features.
According to a BitFenix representative, the BitFenix Enso will arrive around the end of Q3 2017 or towards the beginning of Q4 with an MSRP of $79.
It looks like an impressive budget case, and if they can hit that $79 target it should be a great value that will let you show off your DIY build without breaking the bank! From the videos at Computex, I am really liking the design as well. What are your thoughts?
Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 23, 2017 - 01:44 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: mid tower, led, FSP Group, fsp, atx
Today FSP Group (a company mainly known for power supplies with headquarters in Taiwan) is launching a new mid tower ATX computer case called the CMT210. The new PC mid-tower features a transparent side window, black angular exterior with LED accents, and a focus on cooling performance. The 460mm x 220mm x 432mm steel case is aimed at gamers and enthusiasts that want to show off their PC internals.
The front of the CMT210 mid tower is dominated by a massive filtered vent that houses up to three 120mm fans or a 360mm water cooling radiator. The large vent with angled “water droplet” mesh is surrounded by a shroud that features colored accents in either black, red, silver, or deep blue depending on the model you choose. Up top the case offers two audio jacks, two USB 3.0 ports, and a single USB 2.0 port. (The USB 3.0 ports can be plugged into a USB 2.0 motherboard header with the included adapter if you are still holding off on upgrading to Kaby Lake or Ryzen.)
The top of the case is flat with no vents, and there are also no vents on the bottom. Instead there is a single 120mm exhaust fan vent at the rear of the case. FSP includes two of its own 120mm LED fans with the case that come pre-installed in the front and back.
The CMT210 is compatible with ATX motherboards, seven PCI slots, three 3.5” and three 2.5” tool-less drive bays, CPU coolers up to 160mm high and graphics cards up to 360mm long, and ATX power supplies (20.5cm). The power supply is bottom mounted in this case and the storage drives are snapped into trays in the bottom-front caddy and motherboard tray. There are cutouts for cable routing but no rubber grommets (not the end of the world, but they are a nice touch).
FSP claims that its new case is designed with "cooling, expansion, and compatibility" in mind. It is available now in the US though pricing is still unknown as retailers have not put up product pages yet. For more information on the CMT210 you can find details on this product page and this video.
I am curious how well the cooling setup will work with only a single exhaust fan especially if you had a multi GPU setup with aftermarket coolers. Hopefully Sebastian can put it through its paces at some point to examine the build quality and cooling prowess claims. If the price is right, it could be a good budget case as it does not look too bad and does not go crazy with LEDs and bling which is nice to see (I may just be getting old though haha).
What are your thoughts on PSU maker FSP Group getting into the case market?
Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 9, 2016 - 12:26 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: mid tower, E-ATX Case, antec
Antec revealed a new mid tower case aimed at gaming PCs for the European market. The GX1200 mid tower measures 510mm x 200mm x 510mm and supports motherboards up to E-ATX in size. The GX1200 is rather stylized with angled front and top panels along with a large windowed side panel and hexagonal mesh front panel grill. I/O sits on the top edge and includes two audio jacks, a power button, two USB 3.0 ports, and a button to control the LEDs (on/off and mode selection e.g. pulsing, color changing, blinking, and fading).
Antec includes two 120mm RGB LED fans on the front intake and the case also sports an LED under-glow lighting. The case mounted LEDs and up to six fans are controlled using the “Antec Magic Box” which is the company’s fan controller. In addition to the included front intake fans, users can install a 140mm fans in the front and back and two 140mm fans on top. On the water cooling front, it is possible to install a 120mm radiator in back, 280mm radiator up top and a 360mm radiator in the front. Not bad for a mid-tower though you do give up optical drives (there are no 5.25” bays on this case).
Internally, the Antec GX1200 features a bottom mounted PSU (with removable dust filter albeit removable from the rear much to Ryan’s dismay) in its own chamber to help hide cables and isolate heat, two 3.5” bays, three 2.5” SSD mounts, seven PCI slots, and support for graphics cards up to 410mm (~16-inches) in length. There are also various locations to tie up cable bundles behind the motherboard tray as well as holes to pass wires through (though there are no rubber grommets, they are just cut outs).
I am not a huge fan of the aesthetics (I have seen worse though and I may just be getting old hah!), but it does seem like a functional case. It will be available in Europe for 84€ (approximately $95 USD) soon. There is no word on US availability yet.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 1, 2016 - 01:53 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Lian Li, Ebonsteel PC K6, mid tower
If you like minimalist cases, the Lian Li Ebonsteel PC K6 is worth taking a peek at. They relocated the buttons and I/O ports to the top of the case, which also sports a magnetically attached cover hiding 280x140mm mounting point for cooling. The dimensions of 220x495x515mm give you quite a bit of space, GPUs have 310mm clearance and CPU coolers 170mm. The HDD bay can accommodate up to seven 2.5/3.5" drives and the body and panels are all made of SECC, giving the case a bit of weight but also ensuring it will survive mimor abuses. Drop by Modders Inc if the picture below appeals to you.
"In the PC case arena, Lian Li is known as one of the premier case makers for aluminum cases. As long as I can remember they were the leader and the one I personally hoped to own some day. Their fairly simple but well thought out designs made them popular but the higher price tag was not in reach for …"
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- NZXT Manta Mini-ITX Tower Chassis Review @ Techgage
- Cooler Master MasterCase Pro 3 @ Modders-Inc
- COUGAR Panzer Max Full Tower Review @ NikKTech
- SilverStone RL 05 Gaming @ Modders-Inc
- Silverstone Milo ML08 @ techPowerUp
Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 10, 2016 - 09:54 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: tempered glass, SSD Chroma, RGB, mid tower, enclosure, e-atx, chassis, case, bitfenix, aurora, ASUS Aura
BitFenix has announced the Aurora chassis, their latest enclosure which features tempered glass side panels and RGB lighting effects.
Both sides of the Aurora are covered by tempered glass, with the component side a clear panel, and the back a dark-tinted panel to help hide cables behind the motherboard tray.
One interesting feature is called “SSD Chroma”. BitFenix explains:
“‘ASUS AURA’ certified ‘RGB Chroma Control and SSD Chroma’ are co-developed with Asus Republic of Gamers giving you the ability to customize and illuminate the SSDs.”
Specifications and highlights from BitFenix:
- Colors: Black│White
- Materials: Steel, ABS
- Supported Motherboards: E-ATX│ATX│M-ATX│Mini-ITX
- Expansion Slots: 7
- Drive Bays:
- 3.5”: 2 + 2
- 2.5”: 2 + 1
- Front: 120mm x 2 or 140mm x 2
- Rear: 120mm x 1 (Included)
- Top: 120mm x 2 or 140mm x 2
- Component Clearance:
- CPU Cooler: Up to 160mm height
- Graphic Card Length: Up to 400mm
- Power Supply: Up to 220mm
- I/O: USB 3.0 x 2│USB 2.0 x 2│HD Audio MIC & Headphone
- Weight: 10.58kg
- Dimensions: 215 x 490 x 520mm
Highlights: BitFenix LED Lighting Controller & SSD Lighting Bracket│20-25mm Cable Management Space│Graphic Length up to 400mm│Support Dual 280mm radiator│Removable HDD cage│Removable PSU Dust Filter
Pricing and availablility for this new BitFenix Aurora are
not yet known late August and $99 US.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 6, 2016 - 03:12 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: thermaltake, mid tower, full tower, atx
The new Core X71 and Core X31 computer cases adorn the Thermaltake booth at CES this week, and are the latest in the company's Core series. Both cases are built using cold rolled steel and are aimed at enthusiasts looking to overclock using high end air or liquid cooling.
The Core X71 is a full tower case clad in all black with a mesh front panel and a clear side panel window on the left side. It uses a dual chamber design that separates the power supply, cooling, and storage from the main heat generating components (motherboard, CPU, and graphics). The case is practically all ventilation and can support fans or radiators on all sides with everything but the rear fan covered by removable dust filters.
Users can install up to an ATX motherboard and all manner of high end graphics cards thanks to the removable drive cage. Water cooling grommets are positioned on the rear panel and cable management grommets run along the motherboard tray and through the floor of the main chamber into the power supply chamber.
Three drives can be installed behind the motherboard tray in addition to two 3.5" drives in a moveable drive cage and the two 5.25" bays. Cooling can be air or water with up to three 140mm fans in front, three 140mm on top, and three 120mm fans on both the left and right sides of the bottom chamber. Further, there is room for a single 140mm fan on the bottom and the rear panels.
The Core X31 is a miniature version of the X71 bringing it's modularity and emphasis on cooling to a smaller package. Sitting on rounded feet, the X31 has the same black exterior with mesh vents on the front, top, and rear (but not on the sides). A large side panel window takes up the left side and shows off most of the interior. The X31 comes with a black cover to conceal the power supply and give you space to store the inevitable rat's nest of cables to keep the rest of the system looking neat and tidy.
This mid-tower case can support Mini ITX, Micro ATX, and full size ATX motherboards along with graphics cards up to 420mm long and 180mm tall CPU heatsinks. Storage support includes two 5.25" drive bays, three 3.5" drives in drive racks, three 3.5" drives behind the motherboard tray, and two 2.5" SSDs on top of the power supply cover. The case comes with three fans (and in the case of the Core X31 RGB Edition variant three Riing 12 RGB high static pressure fans with a fan controller) and users can install fans (or water cooling radiators) in the following configurations:
- Front: 2 x 140mm
- Top: 3 x 140mm
- Rear: 1 x 140mm
- Bottom: 2 x 140mm
The Core X71 and Core X31 have two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, and one HD Audio port along the top edge of the case. Both cases will be available next month in the US as well as the UK, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand shortly. The Core X71 is currently priced at $150 at Newegg. The base model Core X31 costs $100 and the RGB Edition is $130.
Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 15, 2015 - 02:54 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Raidmax, narwhal, mid tower
It is unclear why Raidmax chose the name Narwhal for their latest case; without a facial horn it cannot be the Jedi of the sea, nonetheless that is the moniker which was chosen. It is not even particularly huge, 498x245x518mm (19.6x9.6x20.4") and will fit ATX or smaller motherboards and is long enough for large GPUs, especially with some of the drive cage removed. It offers double 120mm fan mounts on both the front and the top of the case, with a single mount out of the back along with three grommets for external watercooling. Neoseeker tested the case in its basic configuration and saw decent results, with additional fans or a watercooling set up you can expect it to improve upon the tests seen in their review.
"The Raidmax Narwhal looks to be a whale of a mid-tower case measuring 498(H) x 245(W) x 518(D) mm and made of ABS steel. It comes with four external 5.25" drive bays and six internal 3.5" bays (three in a removable cage), and room for up to six 120 mm fans (two up top can be swapped for 140 mm variants). See how the Narwhal fares against competing mid-towers in our latest case review."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Fractal Design Node 804 case @ HardwareOverclock
- AeroCool GT-A Black Edition Midi Tower Review @ NikKTech
- Xigmatek Octans Mini-ITX Gaming Chassis @ eTeknix
- Bitfenix Aegis Mid-tower Case Review @ HiTech Legion
- Phanteks EVOLV ATX Aluminum Case Review @HiTech Legion
- SilverStone Fortress FT05B-W @ Kitguru
- Thermalright Macho Rev.B @ techPowerUp
- Deepcool Assassin II CPU Cooler Review @ Neoseeker
- DeepCool CAPTAIN 120 Liquid CPU Cooler Review @ NikKTech
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 2, 2013 - 12:07 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: nzxt, mid tower, h230, computex 2013, case
NZXT has kicked off the Computex 2013 coverage with the announcement of a new H230 mid-tower ATX case. Continuing the tradition of the H-series, the H230 is a minimalistic white or black design that incorporates sound dampening material and tool-free internal bays.
The outside of the case is simplistic, with vents and three 5.25” bays on the front. In keeping with the silent intentions, there is no case window here. Brushed aluminum case feet lift the case off of the floor. Two USB 3.0 ports and a single microphone audio jack are available as front IO.
The H230 is constructed of steel with some plastic parts. It measures 195mm x 447mm x 502mm and weighs 7.25kg (approximately 16 lbs.). There are two SKUs, CA-H230I-W1 in white and CA-H230I-B1 in black.
Internally, the H230 mid tower case features tool free drive bays that can accommodate up to 6 3.5” drives and 3 5.25” drives. It can fit GPUs up to 290mm in length with the hard drive cage installed or up to 400mm with the drive cage removed. Heatsinks up to 158mm in height are supported as are motherboards up to full ATX in size (with 7 PCI expansion slots). A bottom mounted PSU slot and cable management routed behind the motherboard tray are also features. Cooling options include up to two 120mm front intake fans, a single 120mm bottom intake fan, and a single 120mm rear exhaust fan. NZXT provides the 120mm exhaust fan with the case. In the press release, NZXT states that “Our designers had one goal in mind while crafting the H230: create an affordable, silent chassis with all of the necessary essentials for a clean, functional build. ”
The new H230 case comes with a 2-year warranty and has an MSRP of $69.99. More information is available on the H230 product page.
The full press release is below:
Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 5, 2013 - 07:57 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: usb 3.0, mid tower, fractal design, core 1000 usb 3.0, atx case
Fractal Design has announced an updated Core 1000 USB 3.0 Micro ATX case that adds USB 3.0 support to the front panel. The new Core 1000 USB 3.0 chassis measures 175mm x 355mm x 420mm and weighs approximately 9 lbs (4.1 kg).
The micro ATX case supports motherboards of the Mini-ITX, DTX, and Micro ATX flavors. Further, it can support graphics cards up to 350mm in length and CPU coolers up to 148mm in height. Two optical disk drives, either three vertically mounted 2.5” SSDs or two 3.5” HDDs, and four PCI expansion slots round out the storage and expansion options.The hard drives feature anti-vibration grommets, and the fan spots include dust filters.
On the outside, the Core 1000 USB 3.0 case is flat black with a large mesh front panel and side panel vent. The right side of the case holds the front IO panel, which consists of:
- 1 x USB 3.0
- 1 x USB 2.0
- 2 x Audio jacks
- 1 x HDD activity indicator light
- 1 x Power button
- 1 x Reset button
The inside of the case is rather spartan. There are no cable routing holes, water cooling grommets, CPU cutouts, or other fancy features. It has an ATX power supply spot at the top of the case, motherboard standoffs, and drive cages. Just enough to get the job done, in other words.
Fractal Design includes a single Silent Series R2 120mm intake fan, but the case can actually support a total of three fans. There are spots for:
- 1 x 120mm (front intake)
- 1 x 92mm (rear exhaust)
- 1 x 120mm (side panel)
There is no word on pricing or availability yet, but expect it to run around $40-50. More photos and specifications are available on the Fractal Design website.