BitFenix Shinobi review
The BitFenix Shinobi has a smart, understated design and a matte-black finish that’s as good-looking as it is hard wearing, so we were surprised to find it costs only £50 inc VAT. This isn’t much for a good case these days, but the Taipei-based firm has taken care to cover most of the basics.
That stylish finish spreads to the interior, where a capacious motherboard tray dominates the main cavity. The tray boasts several cable-routing gaps – budget dictates they’re not rubber-lined – and a large hole for fitting back-mounted CPU heatsinks.
There’s plenty of room for components too: three 5.25in drive bays sit above a whopping eight hard disk bays. That’s more than enough for most people, although it’s worth bearing in mind they’re not perpendicular and they lack tool-free installation, so you might have to remove your graphics card to add storage.
It’s a tight squeeze, but we’re confident most big graphics cards will be able to fit into this relatively small case. The main cavity stretches 320mm from backplate to hard disk cage, and AMD’s Radeon HD 6990 is sold in most guises on a 305mm piece of PCB.
Cooling options are pretty extensive, too. There’s no room for complex water-cooling, but the front of the chassis has two 120mm fan mounts; the rear has room for a single 120mm exhaust; and the roof can accommodate a pair of 140mm spinners. There’s even space for a 120mm fan on the bottom of the chassis, beside the PSU mount.
We had very few issues with the Shinobi. While the chassis feels sturdy, the side panels are a little too flimsy for our liking, and there’s no sign of the USB 3 ports we’ve begun to see on numerous other cases; you’ll have to make do with four front-mounted USB 2 ports instead.
That’s a minor complaint on an otherwise impressive low-cost chassis. The Antec 300 was our previous favourite but, thanks to better design, cooling options and versatility; this is now the case to buy if you want quality without breaking the bank.