BitFenix Raider Case Review

BluePanda - 2012-03-15 12:06:46 in Cases
Category: Cases
Reviewed by: BluePanda   
Reviewed on: March 28, 2012
Price: $74.99

Introduction:

BitFenix is widely known for their Colossus and Shinobi chassis'. We reviewed the Shinobi and the Outlaw from BitFenix just last year. The Outlaw might have been a disappointment but perhaps BitFenix just isn’t very good at making that low-end case. Today we’ll spend some time raiding one of their newest chassis, the Raider. The Raider is a mid-tower with a clean, smooth look. It looks flat black with the BitFenix SofTouch surface treatment making it soft to the touch and more resistant to fingerprints than glossy finishes. It looks plain, simple, and rather fancy all at the same time.

The major addition that BitFenix seems to be rather proud to include is the addition of three included Spectre fans. Spectre fans are a design BetFenix came up with to enhance cooling while remaining quiet as well. The fans have sickle fan blades that create a large amount of air without a large amount of noise. Although they come in black or white, or even with LEDs, the three fans included with the Raider are all solid black adding more class to the case.

Let’s take a look at what the Raider has to offer. We’ve seen other cases BitFenix has created in the past, and I know some of you even own or have owned some of them. Perhaps this will be another to add to your wish list or saving jar goals.

Closer Look:

A rather simple brown box was on my doorstep when I got home. Somehow I knew exactly where it had come from. BitFenix has one of my favorite boxes of all time, simple cardboard with minimal printing. For one thing, you already know what you ordered, so you don’t need pictures of it all over the box for your nosey neighbors to be looking at. A large BitFenix logo is recognizable to those who care about such items, and makes them smile to see you’ve gotten something good. It’s truly a good box!

The front of the box has the big BetFenix logo I have mentioned with a subtle “Raider” in the bottom right corner. The back of the box has a quick drawing of the case, a drawing of the inside, and drawings of the three Spectre fans. A few features are written out but it’s not flashy as to what is inside. The two sides of the box both read “RAIDER” in all capitals. Specifications are given on one side with a top/front view drawing of the case while the other side is covered in FedEx labels to get it to me and a nice inventory barcode label for BitFenix themselves. Enough about the box, let’s open it up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opening it up, no surprise, the case is in a plastic bag and capped off with foam caps. Flipping it over and pulling it all out I’m excited to get it all unwrapped and now my cat has a new box to play in. It seems any case I get that has handles on the box seems to make it here in more of one piece. I think the delivery guy, or lady, just tends to treat them better when they can easily move them. Either way, this case had handles and even with the label taping one of them up, it got here in one perfect piece, no broken foam or anything!

 

Closer Look:

Pulling off the foam ends and removing the plastic bag, I’m somewhat stunned to find I’ve got a case with no feet. I haven’t had to put feet on my case in a while, at least not on a case that needed them to function out of the box. I remember the HAF 932 coming with feet and swapping them out for the included wheels, but I can’t think of a case that had feet that didn’t come with them already attached. Either way, I opened up the case, got the feet out and literally stuck them on. The four feet had some adhesive backing, so all I had to do was peel of the paper and stick the round into the pre-marked spots on the case. Voila – the case had feet!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really found it odd that the feet weren’t already attached, because without them, the case didn’t quite sit right. The bottom has the fan filter; you can see it in the picture above, it’s not just flat to sit on the bottom. Either way the feet were put on and it sat like a case should.

The front of the case is really rather appealing to me. Yes it is very simple, but sometimes that really makes it perfect. The front rolls on to the top and is a smooth continuous flow of patterned mesh. The sides are the rubbery texture while the center is full mesh and just very nice looking. The BitFenix logo shines brightly near the bottom, and though I generally hate badges, this is awesome!

From the back you can see the rest of the top as it flows to the back side. The back is very clean cut, only has holes where they are needed and is probably the nicest back-side of a case I’ve seen – not that anyone will notice it up against the wall, but it looks great. There is an I/O plate holder, seven PCI-E slots, a hole for the PSU mount, two water tube holes and a mesh fan patter to support a 120mm or 140mm fan. It is plain, simple, and perfect.

 

 

The sides of the case are nothing really special to talk about here. They are plain black, fit nicely in shape with the case and have two little grippy bumps to help you pull the panel off to get to your hardware. The best thing about the sides is that you can finally see the feet I put on. Thumbscrews are used on both panels, making it easy to get in and easy to put it back together. It’s pretty and looking at it from the side it almost looks like a really tall bus.

 

 

The top of the case splits up the usual front I/O panel to some parts on the left and some parts on the right. The right side of the case has the power button, reset button, indicator lights, and a mini built-in fan controller. They take up the same amount of vertical space as the left side making the case nice and symmetrical. The fan controller slides up and down smoothly and has connectors inside for some of your case fans.

The left side has four USB 3.0 ports, a mic jack, and a headphone jack. If you are like me and don’t have even one USB 3.0 header on your board, they’ve thought of you and there are USB 2.0 connectors to plug in instead. The ports don’t have to go unused. It’s a very sleek design overall with great planning with balance.

 

 

Overall I’m rather impressed with the overall look of the chassis. Although I think the side panels would look and feel great with the same SofTouch application the contrast in color gives the case a sense of depth. The front bay covers don’t take away from the shape of the case – however, I think a flat drive in place of the cover might look a bit funny. The linear division actually adds to the overall look. This is honestly a case I wouldn’t mind my hardware sitting in. Usually I’m a fan of windows and showing off what is inside, but this, this is classy.

Closer Look:

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.

Specifications:

Materials:
Steel, Plastic
Dimensions:
210 x 500 x 493mm (ATX Mid-Tower)
Motherboard Support:
Mini-ITX, mATX, ATX
5.25” Drive Bays:
4
3.25” Drive Bays:
6
2.5” Drive Bays:
7
PCI Slots:
7
I/O Panel:
4 x USB 3.0, HD Audio
Power Supply Support:
PS2 ATX (bottom mount)

 

Cooling:

 

Features:

 

Information provided by: http://www.bitfenix.com/global/en/products/chassis/raider/

Testing:

Testing the Bitfenix Raider required pushing my hardware to heat things up! Testing involved recording temperatures for the CPU, GPU, chipset, hard drives, and overall system during idle and load phases. Load was simulated by running Prime95’s small FFTs, HD Tune, and 3Dmark Vantage for one hour. The maximum temperatures were recorded using HW Monitor. It is important to note that each case is tested from its factory setup, including location of fans, unless otherwise noted.

 

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Cases:

 

Results:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The lack of air flow ability through the side panels didn’t keep the BitFenix Raider from good cooling. It wasn’t the best cooling we’ve seen but as closed up as it is, it’s impressive that it is not a mini hardware oven. I guess the Spectre fans actually helped out a bit. It’s neither terribly good, nor terribly bad. It performs averagely.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, the Raider was heck of a case. It looks nice and works well enough. It actually comes with three of BitFenix’s Spectre fans, which are more fans than most cases ever ship with. The price of the case seems unaffected by the addition, which makes it an even bigger bonus. The overall appearance is rather simple and has a modern classy look to it. I know some of you, especially fans of the Colossus, would much rather have some flashiness to it, but this is a nice change from your typical “gaming” case. You don’t have to scream that you’ve spent a lot on your computer by lighting it up and showing off what’s inside, but instead you can have it all, while others wonder what you’ve got. It’s much like cars, comparing a riced out Honda compared to an old badge-less sports car. One screams I spent money and the other just says I have class. If you’ve got class, the Raider might be for you – if you like your cases a bit more flashy like a ricer…BitFenix has some other options for you as well!

 

 

Pros:

 

Cons: