BitFenix Ghost Review
An integral part to any build process is ripping open the accessories bag with expectant glee and seeing what goodies await you inside (in addition of course to the usual bags of screws). If you're one of those namby pamby new age sort of men you may also want to have a look at the instructions. So what do we get in the way of goodies? Well depends on how you want to look at it really. Along with the usual bag-o-screws you get a set of four rubber grommets for the cable management holes, you know, the ones that usually come fitted to a case already when you buy it, and also a set of four rubber isolation feet for the PSU. To be honest I don't really see these so much as accessories, more as parts of the case that should already be fitted! Aside from that you get a selection of 3.5" drive bay drawers (again, shouldn't they already be in the case), and a little cap that fits over the hot swap bay SATA and power connections should you choose to store nuts and bolts in there as opposed to soft things such as Haribo sweets that won't cause damage to the connections. If you're the sort who reads instructions then you're probably already sitting there, relaxed on your chaise Lounge with a chilled Amontillado wondering whether the instructions will be spiffing or simply dreadful. If that's the case then you'll be delighted to know the instructions are clear and concise, with good sized images and clear text.
By now you've also probably noticed the image below left. While perhaps not included by every retailer as a bundled accessory it is highly recommended by BitFenix (and us for that matter) that you add a set of BitFenix Alchemy LED strips to your Basket at checkout. We'll go into a little more detail further down the page.
The other thing we like to do here at OC3D is strip a case down to it's bare bones. Partly because we have a low attention span, and partly because only with the case in this state do you get an idea of how easy it is to work on. Also if you're inclined to mod anything that moves, as we are, in this state you get a feel for how good the case will be to chop up/paint/deface in any matter you feel fitting. Although the main chassis is metal, the top and front, like a great many cases are made from plastic. good quality and thick mind, with no feeling that it's going to break any time soon. The clips that hold the panels in place are also sturdy surviving a good many ham-fisted attempts to pull them off in the wrong way (Ahem...before I poured myself a sherry and read the instructions that is). With the top panel removed and the knowledge of the 5.25" bays being open at the top you get a good idea of what sort of job it would be to cut in and make room for a 360 radiator.
You're probably aware by now that we're not too enamored by having to fit our own cable management grommets. A job turned from detestable to merely a pain in the arse by their being made from the sexy soft touch rubber that BitFenix are known for covering their cases in. Imagine then how our displeasure turned to utter disgust with how they performed when we tried to push cables through them. Basically the're about as likely to stay put as a spanial at the world sausage throwing championships. OK, so the the ones that had only one or two smaller cables to pass through them weren't too bad, but in the process of passing the main bulk of the cables from front to back by the PSU we had to re-fit the grommet three times, and as re fitting involved pulling all the cables back through and starting again you start to get a feel for how utterly self defeating this feels, especially as this is a very crowded area at the best of times. On the plus side, the grommets are well placed and a good size, and as already stated, are made from that lovely soft touch rubber that somehow feels a little bit naughty.
Although with 20mm to play with there's plenty of space at the rear of the case, the absolute dearth of cable tie points does make it very hard to achieve a decent cable management job. We suspect that if we spent hours and hours on the management we could do a bit better, but a the end of the day with only four places to secure to, and all of them running down the mid line and none off to the sides there's really very little room for manoeuvre. with the top channel also closed off as a result of the way the motherboard tray joins the roof panel your options for hiding and routing cables across the top also start to get quite limited.
It's not all doom and gloom though as the Alchemy LED accessory strip fits like a dream to the special channels rebated into either side of the underneath of the case. a pair of holes cut into the floor of the case adjacent to the PSU area enable the power cables for these to be passed up and into the case interior. Be aware though that these holes become obscured by the PSU once it's fitted so you'll want to to fit the strips first. Once installed they power up with the system and add a truly ghostly ethereal glow to the underside of the case. The ones shown below are white, but are available in a range of colours. Each self adhesive 30cm strip has 15 bright LEDs mounted within a rubberised layer to aid flexibility and provide protection. Mrs Dubs on seeing them said she thought they made the case look "Fast and Furious", but to me the effect is more subtle, anyway, I think you get the idea.