BitFenix Phenom M & ITX Review

Micro-ATX compared to Mini-ITX

BitFenix Phenom Review

Micro-ATX compared to Mini-ITX

We said at the start of this review that although the Phenom came in both Micro-ATX as well as Mini-ITX form factors we'd be focussing on the Micro-ATX version of this case.  However, to do so exclusively would not be telling the whole story.  The reason for not going into too much depth, or indeed for not reviewing the Mini-ITX case in its own right is that its internals are shared with those of the Prodigy and as such it's fair to say they have already been covered at length in Toms review of May 2012.

We will though be having a quick gander over it and taking a quick look at how the two cases vary.  Just so you guys don't get too confused, the black case is the Micro-ATX that we've used for the body of this review and the white case is the Mini-ITX version.  We do like to keep things simple here. 

BitFenix Phenom Review     BitFenix Phenom Review 

BitFenix Phenom Review     BitFenix Phenom Review

 

It's not until we look round the back that we see the variances between the two cases.  As with the Prodigy the Phenom-ITX supports the smaller motherboards and has only 2 expansion slots as opposed to the Micro ATX vesions 5 slots.

BitFenix Phenom Review     BitFenix Phenom Review

 

No you're not having a seizure and this isn't one of those optical illusion tests.  Just to show that the two chassis are identical we've swapped the door panels over.  If you wanted you could also swap one of or both of the exterior panels giving a contrasting interior and exterior.  We thing it looks kinda cool.  Any two tone fans out there?

BitFenix Phenom Review     BitFenix Phenom Review  

 

A real quick look at the interior as it would be rude not to, but as you can see it's a carbon copy of the Prodigy, which is no bad thing.  Our only real concern with the Mini-ITX version of the Phenom is the lack of airflow in the front of the case.  Although there's a 120mm fan on intake duty the actual airflow to it from the outside world is more than a little restricted.  Take a close look at what appear to be mesh vent strips down the leading front edges and you'll see they are in fact for the most part contiguous with the white metal panel posterior to them, with the only actual front ventilation coming from seven 5mm holes down each side, some of which can be seen in the images below.

BitFenix Phenom Review     BitFenix Phenom Review

 

Huge air coolers can still be slipped in here with ease though, but if you're thinking of putting a rad in the front remember the low airflow we talked about above.

BitFenix Phenom Review     BitFenix Phenom Review

 

And although you can still fit monster GPUs in the vented side panel seen with the Prodigy is absent from the ITX version of the  Phenom, meaning you may leave your Graphics card gasping for air as it'll be hard up against the solid edge of the case side panel.

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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