BitFenix Shinobi: The Budget Ninjaby Dustin Sklavos on June 22, 2011 12:45 AM EST
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Introducing the BitFenix Shinobi (Window)
Compared to some of the vendors we've reviewed cases from thus far, BitFenix seems like a young pup. Antec and In-Win have been around for a long time, and Silverstone has established itself as a go-to for quality enclosures. But BitFenix has been making a lot of waves in a short period of time, producing attractive cases designed to appeal to consumers who are less about bling, be they a gamer or not. Today we're taking a look at BitFenix's Shinobi ATX enclosure (windowed version). With an MSRP of just $69.99, is it the budget ninja we've been looking for?
First impressions when I opened the box for the BitFenix Shinobi were extremely positive. When an enclosure comes out with the price that BitFenix is shipping the Shinobi at, it tends to wear that low price tag on its sleeve. The competition is often gaudy, making heavy use of cheap looking plastic, and such cases frequently aren't particularly user-friendly. The Shinobi on the other hand is actually quite mild by comparison, maybe even austere. It's worth noting that BitFenix offers two different models of Shinobi, one with a window (dubbed the "Shinobi Window") and one without. The windowed version costs an extra $10 and includes tool-less installation for the hard drives. That's what we're looking at today.
|BitFenix Shinobi Window Specifications|
|Motherboard Form Factor||ATX, Micro ATX, Mini ITX|
|Drive Bays||External||3x 5.25" (includes 5.25"-to-3.5" external or 2.5" internal bay adapter)|
|Cooling||Front||1x 120mm intake fan (3-pin header), one open 120mm fan mount|
|Rear||1x 120mm exhaust fan (3-pin header)|
|Top||2x 120mm/140mm fan mounts|
|Side||1x 120mm fan mount|
|Bottom||1x 120mm fan mount|
|Front I/O Port||-|
|Top I/O Port||4x USB 2.0, headphone and mic jacks|
|Power Supply Size||ATX|
|Clearance||13" without hard drive/10" with hard drive (Expansion Cards), 170mm (CPU HSF), 300mm without bottom fan/180mm with bottom fan (PSU)|
|Dimensions||18.1" x 8.1" x 19.3"|
The Shinobi doesn't include a native 3.5" external bay or 2.5" drive mount for SSDs, but BitFenix does happily include an adapter that can be used for either of these which I'll show you during the assembly. My only complaints regarding the adapter are that there isn't more than one, and that it does take up one of the 5.25" bays. Other than those points, it's a fairly elegant solution.
One other issue you may run into is clearance: while our Zalman CNPS9900 was able to fit with some headroom, you may have a little trouble with larger tower coolers. Likewise, you're not going to be able to fit a 240mm radiator inside the case, since the radiator and fans are liable to butt up against the motherboard. That's not a huge complaint since if you're going to use a 240mm radiator and liquid cooling system, you're probably going to spend more than $69 on your case. Finally, our GeForce GTX 580 did have some clearance issues with hard drives installed behind it, so be forewarned: when using a longer card you'll wind up losing one or two of the copious eight 3.5" bays.
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superpenguino - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - linkI formally second this proposal.
StevePeters - Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - linkAfter going back and re-reading the In-Win BUC review I saw that it had an additional case fan. For the temperature results to be meaningful I really think a 'case as supplied' and a 'case with a standard fan configuration' is needed.
After the praise for the ease of the build with BitFenix, I really do not understand why you needed to disadvantage their thermals as you did. I would really like to see bast configuration, not worst configuration comparisions for the results to be useful.
Dustin Sklavos - Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - linkThe BUC has an additional case fan that ships WITH the case. It comes with two mounted and then they give you a third one that you can mount anywhere.
cjs150 - Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - linkBy Fractal Designs Midi/Min arc admittedly at a higher price point
Spending a bit extra on a case pays dividends.
After saying that I like Betfenix. More competition in case design is a good thing
Zoomer - Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - linkAny idea how thick the steel panels are? Comments on structural stability / solidity?
I hope the rubbery plastic doesn't make it hard to clean dust off it.
JohnMD1022 - Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - linkI can't understand the use of such photos when a few seconds work would make them viewable.
I used PhotoShop Elements 2.0,
To see what the interior of this case actually looks like, here's the result of less than 15 seconds with the Brightness/Contrast variables:
maxg - Tuesday, June 28, 2011 - linkMore like a lousy computer monitor... Your display must be getting old or not set up properly. The article's photos look just fine on all three of my displays, and your "fixed" version, umm, well, just looks bright and grey with poor contrast.
DaveSimmons - Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - linkI'd really like to see an update where you show the noise and temperature when the HDD is placed more sensibly.
Mumrik - Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - linkIt looks horribly cheap in these pictures and I hate all these half-assed windows we're seing lately, but at least it got the drive bays right. Three 5.25" bays should be three times as many as most need and eight 3½" bays is awesome. So many higher end cases only have six or less.
Dustin Sklavos - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - linkHonestly the texture of the plastic used for the build really needs to be seen in person to be appreciated. I've seen cheap-looking cases, and the Shinobi isn't one.