Bitfenix Shinobi ReviewCompxpert - July 19, 2011
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At first glance, the most noticeable thing here is the multitude of tool-less solutions that are at the front of the case. However, let's first introduce the motherboard tray, which is laid out to accept Full ATX, Micro-ATX, and even Mini-ITX, something unseen on any other case I've reviewed. The motherboard tray also includes a large hole for the backplate, so you can easily change out that heatsink or waterblock without ever having to remove the motherboard to do so. Also a nice touch with this case is that it is full-on black on black, sporting black on both the inside and out. Like most mid tower cases, this one also has seven rear expansion slots, but unlike the 3.5" and 5.25" drive bays, these are not tool-less solutions. Starting out with the 3.5" drives, we have a total of eight bays, which is the highest number that I have found in any mid tower case. The tool-less solution for the 3.5" devices is simply removed by turning the knob to the unlock position, then once the drive is installed, you replace it and lock it into position, again with the turn of a knob.
The tool-less solutions for the 5.25" bays are slightly different and operate much like hinged doors. You push up on the bottom of the plastic bar where the arrow is and the bar simply swings outward, which allows you to put in your 5.25" device and then close the door, locking it into place. Up next is the front panel with the plastic cover removed. Here we have the last of three included 120mm fans, as well as a spot above, which is outfitted to accept another 120mm fan, thus providing an adequate system for cooling another four drives. Moving on, we have the right side of the case, which includes tool-less solutions for the other side of your 3.5" devices and plenty of space for cable routing behind the motherboard tray. Last up we have another look at the top panel with the plastic panel removed.
With the rest of the case out of the way, here we have the plastic top panel and all its I/O connections. We also have a closer look at the left and right side panels.
The front panel of the case could have at least been a bit more unique by including a lighted front logo, but instead we just have a plain silver front logo. Up next we have the included 120mm fans, which don't have any specifics given other than their size. Wrapping things up we have the accessories, including the 3.5" to 5.25" bay converter, hardware, screws, and the manual. Inside the little box, included with the case, are also some zipties, the case feet, and our bag of screws to install the hardware.
Last, but not least, we have the finished build. Wire management is made a bit cumbersome given the position of the hard disk drive bays. The bays could just as easily face the other direction, but then some other tool-less solution would need to be implemented. Other than the hard disk drive bay placement, everything else is easily routed within the case and installation is easily accomplished with the included tool-less solutions.
So this case definitely has it in the expandability department, but how well does it handle some heat?