BitFenix have been busy in their design bunker of late and have yet another budget midtower chassis available called the Outlaw. This one breaks from the normal ATX style layout and bring an inverted layout to the table. With a whole host of fan mounts and a low price is it possible BitFenix have another cracker on their hands? It's best we move on to find out. This review is a very swift one we decided to push out before an impending house move so apologies for the Atkins content!
|Dimensions (H x W x D)||438 x 180 x 478 mm (ATX Mid Tower)|
|Motherboard Sizes||Mini-ITX, mATX, ATX|
|5.25" Drive Bays||x 4|
|3.5" Drive Bays||x 4|
|2.5" Drive Bays||x 1|
|Cooling Front||2 x 120mm (optional)|
|Cooling Rear||1 x 120mm (included)|
|Cooling Top||2 x 120mm (optional)|
|Cooling Bottom||1 x 120mm (optional)|
|Cooling Side Panel||2 x 120/140mm (optional)|
|PCI Slots||x 7|
|I/O||4 x USB2.0, Audio|
|Power Supply||PS2 ATX (bottom, multi direction)|
So our second budget BitFenix case in a week, the pressure is on really. The inverted layout of the Outlaw is pretty funky for a case of this size and more importantly price. There's the option to fit up to 7 120mm fans on top of the rear exhaust fan (included) the 2 fans on the side panel also have the options to fit 140mm fans should you wish to keep things a bit quieter. Having the option to fit fans also means you have the option to fit dust filters unlike the Merc.
Cable management is complicated as it has to go round the back of the HDD dock and optical bays. It is designed to be this way and has cut outs at select points up the motherboard tray but sadly there is absolutely no room behind the actual tray itself to put anything other than a fan cable.
The doors on the Outlaw feel significantly sturdier than the Merc but these have what we would call a normal sliding door latch (Merc was just pull it free). For the average user this wont really matter but as we have looked at these cases so close together it was very confusing for us. These cases are obviously not a native BitFenix design but just tarted up OEM chassis designs, it's pretty much common place in the industry, especially with lower end cases, as it helps to keep costs down. The two cases having completely different door latches is just a strange and confusing one from our point of view though.
Overall the design and build quality is great for a sub £40 chassis, with all the option fan mounting points and inverted layout you will be able to tune your fan placement to keep the temps down on even the hottest of systems. We decided to award the Outlaw the OC3D Value for money award and the Silver award. If it had of been just 5mm wider and allowed cables to be placed neater up the back of the motherboard tray it probably would have got a fully fledged gold. Its a very good case for the money but fell at the last hurdle of being a great one.
Thanks to BitFenix for the Outlaw on review today, you can discuss your thoughts in the OC3D Forums.