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BitFenix Portal Review: A Compact Aluminum Mini ITX Case

Manufacturer: BitFenix

Performance and Conclusion

Test Platform
Processor Intel Core i7-7700K
Motherboard ASUS ROG Strix H270I Gaming
Memory Crucial Ballistix Sport 4 GB 2400 MHz DDR4
Graphics Card AMD Radeon R9 290X (Reference)
Storage SanDisk 64 GB SATA 6.0 GB/s SSD
Power Supply Enermax Revolution SFX 550W
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U9S (PWM)
OS Windows 8.1 64-bit

Temperatures

The Portal is a small case without a lot of ventilation, so I was not expecting particularly low numbers in the cooling department.

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As expected, the Portal's thermal performance is below average due to the design and airflow. The reference Radeon R9 290X, an aging card still useful for its demanding thermal and noise characteristics, might seem like a strange choice in the Portal, but a blower-style cooler of some kind is likely essential with such an enclosed space as the GPU has in this case. The overall temps were a little high, but still within specs.

Noise Levels

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The Portal may not be ventilated enough to provide the best load temps, but this does at least translate into better noise results than some of the enclosures tested here. Results are right in the middle of the pack, which is more impressive considering how much larger the cases on the top of the list are (ATX mid-tower cases Fractal Design Define R6 and NZXT H700i). This might not be an impressive thermal enclosure, but it is certainly quiet enough that noise should not be the determining factor here.

Conclusion

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The BitFenix Portal is a unique case that stands out among the small form-factor competition with its unusual appearance. The look isn't for everyone (I happen to like it quite a bit personally), and the higher than average temperatures in our tests demonstrate that even with front and back fans the airflow just isn't high enough to make this a very efficient enclosure, though temps were controlled enough to prevent throttling. The Portal provides a surprisingly easy build process to compliment its striking appearance, and the overall quality is very good as well. If thermals aren't your highest priority the Portal is a very stylish mini-ITX build option.

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May 7, 2018 | 01:32 PM - Posted by BigIsCompact (not verified)

Someone really must have a sense of humor. "Compact" Mini-ITX case, hehe... The size of the thing (~29 liters without stand) would be compact if that thing were an mATX case. On the other hand, perhaps my English language comprehension is lacking and "compact" really just means nothing else than "biggish". Guess i need to check the dictionary... ;-)

May 8, 2018 | 05:44 AM - Posted by Geni (not verified)

Yeah, I like the look but for a mini-itx case it is huge. Each to their own obviously, but if you are going to pay the mini-itx premium, it doesn't make sense to end up with a mATX size system.

May 7, 2018 | 08:22 PM - Posted by AnonymousUser (not verified)

No red LED in power button? boo

May 8, 2018 | 09:15 PM - Posted by Sebastian Peak

It does have an LED. Check out the photo on the last page

May 7, 2018 | 08:47 PM - Posted by ltkAlpha

A good looking computer case for people who don't care about computers.

May 19, 2018 | 02:06 AM - Posted by Gamoniac (not verified)

The Portal looks really cool and is aptly named. If it can bring down the temp a bit more, I don't mind housing my next build with it. I still might. Keeping it on my short list.

Thanks for the review.

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