Viewing page 1 of 8 pages. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 NextBitFenix Phenom Mini-ITX Case
December 6, 2013 by Lawrence Lee
BitFenix Phenom Mini-ITX
Most Mini-ITX cases fall in distinct categories, specially designed for one
or two functions. There are incredibly small enclosures with external power
supplies meant to house very basic systems for playing media and browsing the
web. There are gaming boxes that support ATX power supplies, long graphics cards,
and provide a decent amount of cooling. These cases are larger in size but still
easy enough to carry around to LAN parties. Server cases offer plenty of hard
drive bays but often not much room for anything else. The BitFenix Phenom Mini-ITX
belongs to the last category, the biggest of all. In the words of our BitFenix
rep, "Phenom is ideal for laid back living room/storage PC." There
aren't many mini-ITX cases in this last category, as most cases with more than
four or five drive bays are either micro-ATX or bigger.
The Phenom Mini-ITX.
While it ships in a rather plain cardboard box, the Phenom itself is an attractive,
subdued amalgam of metal and plastic. The chassis and side panels are made of
thick steel and the top and front are covered by a rounded shell with a soft-touch
finish. The matte surface feels almost rubbery but it's far from unpleasant
and also less prone to smudging, though it might just be hidden better on the
white version. The Phenom is available in both black and white, and there is
version as well, though that case has a completely different layout.
For a mini-ITX case, it has a sizable footprint, though by now, everyone knows
that just because it's mini-ITX doesn't mean a case is small. It's not overly
tall or deep for a mini-ITX tower, but its width of 25.0 cm (almost 10 inches)
makes it thicker than a lot of ATX cases. The 31 litre space is well-utilized,
offering support for up to six 3.5" drives and two 2.5" drives, long
graphics cards, a big intake fan, a 2 x 120 mm radiator, and a tall CPU heatsink.
On paper, the Phenom looks like it's capable of housing a home server or even
a small gaming rig.
The BitFenix Prodigy.
Looking through the rest of the BitFenix lineup, it's clear that the Phenom
is one of three products based on the same chassis, the others being the aggressively
styled Colossus, and the LAN-gaming oriented Prodigy. The latter has high cooling
potential, more stylish appearance, handles for easy transport, and a low price
tag of just US$80. As far as we can tell the metal chassis of these cases
is identical, only the exterior differs. The Phenom has a simpler, subdued aesthetic,
no external drive bay, and far less ventilation. The Prodigy has a large vent
at the side for the graphics card and different schemes for a front intake depending
on the version. The black iteration pulls air directly through a large grill
at the front, while the white, blue, green, orange, and red versions have intake
slits all along the edge of the bezel. The Phenom's solution is more restrictive
Tucked inside the case is an accessory box is a bag of screws and an adapter for converting the case's USB 3.0 cable to USB 2.0 if your motherboard lacks the appropriate header. An assembly guide is also included (not pictured).
||Steel, Plastic, SofTouch
||250 x 330 x 374mm (30.9
|3.5 Drive Bays
||x 6 (5 + 1 using included adapter)
|2.5 Drive Bays
||x 11 (5 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 1 using included adapter)
||120mm x 2 (optional)
||120mm x 2 (1 included) or 140/180/200/230mm x 1 (optional)
||120mm x 1 (included) or 140mm x 1 (optional)
|| x 2
||USB 3.0 x 2, HD Audio
||PS2 ATX (bottom, multi direction)
||Tool-free drive locking mechanisms, SofTouch surface treatment, filtered intakes
|Help support this site, buy from one of our affiliate retailers!|