BitFenix Phenom Mini-ITX Case

Cases|Damping
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INTERIOR

While the Phenom is big compared to most mini-ITX cases, it's still cramped to work inside, as a good chunk of space is occupied by the drive bays. The build quality of the interior is good with the exception of the removable drive cage. The removable drive cage has a sloppy fit, about the worst we've encountered.


The blocked off 5.25 inch drive bay at the top is a clear sign the Phenom shares the Prodigy's internal design — a plastic 2.5/3.5 inch adapter is included to make it usable. A 3 x 3.5 inch removable cage is located in the middle, and a 2 x 3.5 inch cage is screwed into the bottom of the case. Cooling is provided by a pair of 120 mm fans.


Two additional120 fans or a radiator can be mounted to the top of the case.


The most notable aspect of the interior is the hard drive mounting. The trays have wiggle room in every direction and fail to make the ubiquitous and satisfying snapping sound to indicate they're locked in place. The middle drive cage is very loose and can be pushed/pulled out by 3~4 mm without detaching. We recommend using the more secure bays underneath first.


The front bezel can be removed by releasing a series of plastic tabs. A pair of 120 mm fans can be equipped in the front or a single fan up to 230 mm in size can be utilized. It seems like a waste, though, considering how little ventilation is actually available through the bezel.


When case manufacturers opt not to ventilate the front of a case, they use slits running down the sides of the bezel. The Phenom uses this approaches,but the holes are too small and too few to be effective as intake vents. The thin layer of black mesh is deceiving, creating the illusion that there's more ventilation.


A gap at the bottom of the bezel is blocked off so no airflow can get through, making it useful only as a handhold.



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