BitFenix Ghost Review
Up Close: Exterior
Finished in a deep anthracite as opposed to an outright black, and measuring 210x522x510mm, the Ghost appears as a demur dark monolith on the desk beside you. At first sight almost wholly featureless, however look closer and you'll see the design engineers at Bitfenix have never the less been allowed to sharpen their aesthetics pencils and add the odd little point of detail to the design. In particular the arched base of the case with slim brushed ally effect accent and the similarly arched recess in the door panel. The use of NanoChrome (which I have to admit at first I though was the stuff my crysis suite was coated in) ensures that both the metal and the plastic parts look identical in both colour and sheen.
Opening up the Serenitek lined front door we can see that BitFenix have provided 3x5.25" bays along with a cut out for a Floppy drive (seriously, this is 2012, how many of you have floppy drives?). in addition to being lined with an acoustic insulator the door can be easily swapped around to enable opening from either the left or right hand side. This is accomplished by means of a pair of simple plastic clips and it has to be said is one of the most simple methods we've ever seen employed.
Below the 5.25" bay area we find a large mesh panel filter area. This mesh panel is easily removed my means of push/click release mechanism, permitting us access to the front intake fan area. Bitfenix have included one of their very quiet Spectre fans in this position however in total 2x 120mm fans or 1x140mm fans can be fitted here.
The top of the case as you would expect is where you'll find the power, reset and front I/O options. Along with the usual switches and lights you'll get a pair of USB2 and USB3s along with a mic and phono jack connection.
Behind the front I/O area lies a barely noticeable panel. Again secured by means of the push/click/release catch. Once opened a small chamber is revealed in which you can stow all those little gadgets that are so crucial to modern living. I suspect it's also possible to get a large supply of Haribo sweets in there but have not been able to confirm this as yet. The true purpose of this chamber though is to provide hot swap functionality for your HDD and SSD drives. Able to take a full size 3.5" HDD the tray also has subtle padded ridges to provide a degree of isolation. A protective cover is also provided in the accessories pack to prevent damage to the pins when not in use as a drive bay.
At the rear of the roof we again find a large mesh area, which is released in the now established fashion. It's actually quite nice when a manufacturer keeps to the same theme for opening and closing areas at it's little touches like this that make our lives that little bit easier. Popping out the filter mesh panel reveals a large chamber, which although devoid of fans can be used to house a veritable smorgasbord of cooling solutions. In addition to housing fans this area provides native support for radiators up to 35mm thick, shown below with the XSPC EX 240. Although providing an escape route for hot air, for a case that is intended to be silent, we can't help thinking that such a large un-obscured aperture in the roof will do little to improve the case's sonic characteristics. Perhaps the inclusion of the radiator will serve to better insulate the noise.
The rear of the case has things laid out as you would expect, with the rear I/O and rear case fan (again a spectre 120mm) at the upper end of the rear, along with 3 metal punch-outs should you wish to add external water-cooling. Although in the images below it might appear that these are rubber grommetted they are not, so should you use them after you have removed the punchouts you will need to be wary of the metal edges damaging your tubing. At the base of the case we find the PSU cut out and 7 solid PCI covers. To the right of these is a perforated area allowing for additional ventilation.
Last but not least on our trip around the exterior of the Ghost we look at the base. Standing on 4 rubber feet the base is raised by means of a wide arch, this not only allows for good airflow up and under to the PSU area but also lends a certain aesthetic sweep to an otherwise bland area of any case. 3/4 of the base is taken up by a large removable mesh filter panel. The panel is sturdy and is held securely in place by 6 small magnets. Two small troughs run alongside either case edge, being specifically designed to accommodate the BitFenix Alchemy LED strips, but more of them later when we get to the build.