BitFenix Raider Case ReviewBluePanda - March 28, 2012
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Taking off the side panels we get our first look inside. The flat black color continues on the inside and gives the case an overall complete feel. The cable pass-through’s from back to front are rather tiny but at least have grommets on them. The cut-out in the motherboard tray has a nice opening for accessing the back of your board and your full CPU back plate. The two HDD sections can be completely removed if you desire the extra space.
Taking a look behind the motherboard tray, we find the clean pre-wiring of the three Spectre fans connected to the fan controller, and all other cables black to blend in. There seems to be plenty of room back here for some serious cable management and use of the HDD space will help hide some more.
The external drive bays have nice tool-less clips to hold things in. Pull on the end with the BitFenix bird and it comes loose. Press where it says 'push' and it will snap tightly closed. I still don’t use an optical bay or any front type of bay, but these are pretty nice as opposed to using screws to hold things in, like my first build.
With both the HDD cages still in place you can see a nice stack of six drives fitting in there no problem. Without even pulling one of the drive mounts out you can see the nice BitFenix logo in the center of them. They are nice slim mounts that don’t take up a lot of space. Pulling one out, you can see there really isn’t much to it. They aren’t as fancy as some I’ve seen but they work. The best feature has to be the fact that you can center mount an SSD, which means you don’t have to remove the metal pins that always mysteriously disappear when you do so. It’s a smart, light, solution.
Looking at the bottom of the case you can get a better look at exactly how small the cable pass-throughs are. You know exactly how big the HD Audio connector is, now you can see it would just barely make it through there on edge. You can get all your PSU connectors right though, so I guess that is all that really matters. The main point here is actually to take a look at the bottom of the case. It’s rather open for air flow. I guess it needs to be considering there are no fans or holes in the side panels. There is a nice large filter on the bottom that is easy to pull away and clean. It’s great thinking, and hopefully helps a bit with some airflow (I’m sure it really does if you don’t have carpet, and you add an extra fan). There are also four nice rubber dampening feet to keep you PSU mounted quietly and give a little more air in-between it and the case.
Looking at the back you can see one of the three included Spectre fans. It’s pretty nifty looking, but I guess we’ll see how well they perform and if they are as quiet as claimed, in the testing section. There are two more of these up front in the case bringing in air. Pulling off the top cover of the case you can see great placement opportunities for future fans. A nice Spectre Pro fan might be a nice addition here, but unfortunately you won’t be able to reuse any 120mm or 140mm fans you’ve got laying around up here. It’s fit for a 200mm fan only. It is still a nice design and with the pattern looks nicer than just a big hole in the top of your case.
Every case comes with some sort of set of screws and generally some set-up guide. The Raider comes with both. A nice little cardboard box was tucked tightly in the external bay area and actually had the four feet to the case packed in as well. Some zip ties and a variety of screws were bagged up in the box as well for attaching whatever you may need to. Even a motherboard speaker is included to help you troubleshoot your typical build issues as they may arise.
Together with all my hardware in it was a very clean build. Not only did it look nice, but the cables were easy to hide. The use of the extra HDD bays really helped cover up any extra cables and made it look like everything belonged. It is great looking, I just wish it was a bit larger – maybe a full tower option instead. I just like more room, but for what it is, it definitely does it well. Do note that I had to pull out the upper HDD bays to make room for my 7970 - those of you wanting to run Crossfire or SLI may need to look at a different case if you're planning on using the HDD bays at all, depending on the slot spacing on your motherboard and the length of your cards. That said, most won't have clearance issues unless both your cards are very long and your motherboard has a lot of space between the GPU slots.