BitFenix Phenom M & ITX Review

The Build

BitFenix Phenom Review

The Build

We'd never admit to reading instructions.  However, for the benefit of the review, we do of course have a look at them (for purely academic reasons you understand).  They come in a booklet form and are in English only, so if you're a Welsh national we suggest you get onto BitFenix for offending your cultural heritage.  The diagrams are instructive but could maybe do with being a bit bigger as there's quite a bit of white space around them that could be better utilised.  Accessories wise, along with half a dozen cable ties and the usual "sort em out for yourself" bag-o-screws there's a handy dandy USB3.0 to USB2.0 adapter.  Nice one for all those yet to upgrade to a USB3.0 Mobo.

 

BitFenix Phenom Review     BitFenix Phenom Review

 

On with the build then and after first attaching the PSU to it's mounting bracket we insert it carefully into the case.  The PSU we've used here is 160mm long and although there is space in here for a longer unit do remember that you'll have to turn the cables round in what ever space remains.  It's also worth noting that longer PSU's will reduce the GPU length available from the maximum 320mm, but as it's unlikely that you're going to be shoe horning a mahooosive 1200W unit in here we don't really see this as a problem.

BitFenix Phenom Review     BitFenix Phenom Review

 

Both of the fans provided with the Phenom are positioned near he base of the case and are set to extract.  Nothing wrong with this as such, but as we all know hot air rises their positioning is somewhat in conflict with the laws of thermodynamics.  Still, we can always move them can't we.

BitFenix Phenom Review     BitFenix Phenom Review

 

Below we've shown a few of the HDD mounting options.  to the left we have a 3.5" in the base of the case, screwed in from underneath and benefiting from isolation rubbers.  To the right we've shown a drive mounted to the inside of the vertical brace.  It's possible to fit 2x3.5 drives on this side, and an additional 3x2.5" drives on the other side.

BitFenix Phenom Review     BitFenix Phenom Review  

 

With the Micro-ATX motherboard in we start to get a better idea of the scale of the case.  As this is an inverted design the GPU is orientated with its fan facing upwards, and so potentially trying to suck air from the roof vent.  Being M-ATX and with 5 PCI slots it's entirely possible to run an SLI or Cross Fire set up in here.  We talked about how a long PSU will impact on the max 320mm GPU length, but it's also worth noting that the position of the PSU cables themselves will also have an effect on the length of GPU you can fit in.  We found that with the modular PSU we used reduced the max length available down to 290mm, and had we used the lower rail of PCI power sockets on the PSU we would have reduced the max GPU length still further down to 250mm.  This may be one occasion when a non modular PSU is actually an advantage as all the cables will leave in one big (but ugly) bundle well away from the area of GPU impingement.

BitFenix Phenom Review     BitFenix Phenom Review

 

As there aren't any cable management holes there's not much point routing things round the back, especially as theres a nice deep recess down the side of the PSU to stash the lengths not used.  If we were being even more OC3D we'd probably cable tie all these lengths together to keep them even tidier.

BitFenix Phenom Review     BitFenix Phenom Review

 

With the HDD rack in the view of the interior is largely obscured, but being as there's no window it's not going to be an issue.  Should BitFenix release a window version of this case, or should the modders amongst you decide to whip out the Dremel and cut your own then you're probably not going to want to fit this brace which of course will limit you to the pair of 3.5" locations in the base.

BitFenix Phenom Review     BitFenix Phenom Review  

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Most Recent Comments

08-11-2013, 10:17:25

tinytomlogan
http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...105354696l.jpg

A sleek cuboid case from BitFenix, available in Black and White as well as Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX versions, what's no to like!


Continue Reading

08-11-2013, 10:25:46

Feronix
Finallyyyyyy

I seriously want the Phenom mITX in white. Wish they made a side panel window option available though Going to read now, thanks Gary!

Edit;
Hey I have just read through it (skipped some of the mATX parts) and it leaves me with two questions.

1) The front of the Phenom is completely closed. Why is there still a 5.25" bay on the inside? You couldn't acces it from the front anyway. I know it's easily removable and most people won't use an optical drive anyway but it just leaves me wondering.

2) Would it be a bad idea to drill some more holes into the sides where the front fans would intake? Would it make the case less stable or anything? And also is there no 'gap' in the bottom (of the front panel) for air to get through, and if so, would it look silly to create one?

I have lots of ideas for this case but I want to do a high-end build and if it's not good enough, it's just not good enough, as much as that sucks cause I love the way it looks and the options that it offers for the price.

08-11-2013, 14:24:31

G-Dubs
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feronix View Post
1) The front of the Phenom is completely closed. Why is there still a 5.25" bay on the inside? You couldn't acces it from the front anyway. I know it's easily removable and most people won't use an optical drive anyway but it just leaves me wondering.

2) Would it be a bad idea to drill some more holes into the sides where the front fans would intake? Would it make the case less stable or anything? And also is there no 'gap' in the bottom (of the front panel) for air to get through, and if so, would it look silly to create one?
1) The 5.25" bay is there as it is on all models that share the same original Prodigy chassis. From a manufacturing standpoint it's cheaper to leave it there than it is to press new panels without it.

2) All pretty much depends on your modding skills, but there's not too much that can be done to improve matters significantly

08-11-2013, 14:36:16

Feronix
Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Dubs View Post
1) The 5.25" bay is there as it is on all models that share the same original Prodigy chassis. From a manufacturing standpoint it's cheaper to leave it there than it is to press new panels without it.

2) All pretty much depends on your modding skills, but there's not too much that can be done to improve matters significantly

1) That's fair enough from them I guess. I'd remove it anyway. Leaves me with a 5.25" tray for a scratch build or something

2) That's a bit unfortunate. I was actually thinking if the things I've just mentioned, then watched the video and saw Tom had the same idea. Do you reckon that would give enough airflow for a 5v Bitfenix Spectre Pro 230mm?

08-12-2013, 23:49:03

jackjack
BitFenix Phenom, totally Elegant mini chassis! just love it!

07-02-2014, 15:50:27

kingbourne
Hi i have just built a gaming rig with the items below but i am concerned about how hot the case is getting when playing games as their is no ventilation where the gpu goes really and the metal case gets red hot

BitFenix Phenom Mini ITX Cube Gaming Case
i7 4770k cpu
16gb corsair vengence memory
asus gtx780 oc gpu

has anybody else had this issue with this case?

07-02-2014, 16:29:32

Feronix
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingbourne View Post
Hi i have just built a gaming rig with the items below but i am concerned about how hot the case is getting when playing games as their is no ventilation where the gpu goes really and the metal case gets red hot

BitFenix Phenom Mini ITX Cube Gaming Case
i7 4770k cpu
16gb corsair vengence memory
asus gtx780 oc gpu

has anybody else had this issue with this case?
Have you considered replacing the front fan with a 230mm one which will shift air towards the GPU as well?

Or, if you don't mind modding, you could make some mesh in the side panel or make an airflow duct with some plexi.

07-02-2014, 17:04:55

G-Dubs
We're hoping you read the review before you bought the case and noted our concerns re the airflow to the GPU as a result of there being no direct ventilation to it. The previous point is a good one, a large diameter fan in the front and a decent fan in the base on intake will improve the airflow into the case. Assuming you're air cooling you could also put some fans in the roof on extract to at leas pull the hot air away from the GPU and improve through case airflow.

08-02-2014, 01:12:30

jackjack
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingbourne View Post
Hi i have just built a gaming rig with the items below but i am concerned about how hot the case is getting when playing games as their is no ventilation where the gpu goes really and the metal case gets red hot

BitFenix Phenom Mini ITX Cube Gaming Case
i7 4770k cpu
16gb corsair vengence memory
asus gtx780 oc gpu

has anybody else had this issue with this case?
if you please could provide some pictures from your system would be great...

One thing i learn from smaller cases such as the COOL BitFenix Phenom mITX case airflow is the most crucial part in order to get your systems running cool.
just like @Feronix said a big fan in front case indeed is needed if you want you can just buy BitFenix 200/230mm Spectre Pro LED fan (IN) and add another 2x120mm BitFenix Spectre Pro LED fan on top case (OUT) plus another single 120mm BitFenix Spectre Pro LED (OUT) for the rear case.. and let's see about your temps results

08-02-2014, 07:27:02

barnsley
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingbourne View Post

has anybody else had this issue with this case?
IS the 780 a DCUII one or the stock cooler version?
Reply
x

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