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Old 18th Jun 2014, 01:46   #1
davido_labido
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Bitfenix Phenom buildlog / end user review

Hello!!! Something a bit different today, this is a bit of an end user review as well as a buildlog! I will be doing some extra to this case as i really do like it.

First things first, THANK YOU Bitfinix and especially Stulid. He provided me the case and the fans.



Also, THANK YOU to Krystian from HyperX who supplied the RAM and the SSDs



Last but not least, THANK YOU to OCUK, especially 5UB for creating the order for Bitfenix and getting the case and fans to me quickly and also helping me out with my order for the other componants!



I will be as honest and as open as i can about this case, it does have a few problems, but il say now, it did suprise me!

So, on friday, after my first of 4 12 hour shifts working away, i had a message from the missus saying "what the hell have you been buying from OCUK this time?!"
I genuinely had no idea what she was on about, she proceeded to tell me 2 boxes had arrived from them!?
again, i said id got no idea, i checked my account, no orders.

She sent me this picture.



i wasnt expecting a parcel so soon, certainly didnt realise it would be coming from OCUK, but as soon as i saw the Nvidia Edition phenom box... i knew.

This is what i will be using in this build, not the most amazing spec, but as this will just be my "spare" computer for when i'm working on my main one, it will certainly do the job.



What i recieved from my two lovely sponsors!

4 x BitFenix Spectre Pro 120mm Fan Green LED - White










HyperX Fury White 8GB (2x4GB)









and this: BitFenix Phenom MATX Cube Case - Nvidia Edition - White

The front of the box, nice and simple, straight away says who made it, what the product is and what form factor it is.



The techincal info is too on the outside of the box, nice and useful.



Opening it up shows a little booklet. This booklet is very useful indeed, it has a lot of info on all the little nifty features the case has.



Out side the box its packaged well with 2 solid pieces of polystyrine, even if the box gets a bit of a knock, it should be able to withstand it.



The front of the case, simple, nice curves and no nonsense, i love the minamilist look, one small gripe (personal preference here) the badge should be green as its the Nvidia Edition!



This side has 2 USB 3 ports, a HDD activity LED, a power LED a 3.5mm headphone jack and a 3.5mm microphone jack, the power button and the reset switch.]



The opposite side just has the nvidia logo



and the back



so what else is in the box?

Fans: 2 x black spectres, BLACK?! BLACK?! aaah, i know it doesn't really matter, but white would be far better with this case!!



and these little gadgets.

A bag of screws, a HDD caddy that fits in the 5.25 slot at the front, a USB 3 to 2 adapter and a little bracket for the PSU.



My favorite bit being the little thumb socket so that you can put the motherboard stand offs on easier.
I now have about 5 of these from Bitfenix builds and they are quite nifty!



Underneath the case there is a removable magnetic sheild to protect the HDDs if you have them in the bottom locations.



The top has this removable mesh (it has a small clip at the back that holds it together, the mesh is easily removed. Again, personal oppinion, i think this should either be white or green.
Its good quality mesh and feels quite sturdy. Under it, there is space for a very thin radiator or 2 thin fans.



Speaking of radiators

if you put an ITX board into this case, you would have plenty of room to do a nice watercooled build!



With an Matx board, i think you would be limited to AIOs or a slim rads/fans, the MATX board takes up quite a lot of room, there are still plenty of options to cool though!



The front panel is held on by 4 little clips, this is a vast improvment to the shinobi style "pull and pray you dont snap anything" clips



These clips do really make it a breeze to take the front panel off.


Its a bit more naked now, the wire that runs the length of the case makes it so that the power supply can be located at the front of the case rather than the rear, it would have been nice to have this hidden somewhat, but it works fine as it is.



The case comes with this bracket that you attatch to the PSU first.



It makes the PSU easy to install with no fuss at all.





SSD/HDD spaces:

I was very suprised at what the case can handle in terms of storage really. I
The inside of the front panel has this caddy on it that holds 2 SSDs



I borrowed my 2 limited edition HyperX 3K SSDs to show you where they go.



There is also this removable panel that sits just at the front of the case that can hold 3 more SSDs and 2 HDDs





The HDDs are attatched using a quick release system of rubber washers, the washers go into the bigger holes, then you slide them accros to lock them in place.
on this photo, you can see 2 of the screws have the washers and 2 are left off so you can see what i mean



As long as you attach the SSDs first, you could fit all 3 SSDs and 2 HDDs on this one panel



Also there is storage enough for 2 more HDDs on the floor of the case that use the same keyhole and rubber washers idea that the panel does.



Thats a total of 5 SSDs and 5 HDD slots (if you use the 5.25 adapter), massive potential for a server case really!

Last edited by davido_labido; 18th Jun 2014 at 01:58.
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Old 18th Jun 2014, 01:47   #2
davido_labido
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Lets get this thing built then and see what it looks like huh?

So installing the motherboard and PSU was very easy due to the little thumb socket for the standoffs and the bracket for the PSU.

this is how the bracket is held in place, a nice easy thumb screw!



I am using the Intel stock cooler at the moment as like an idiot, i forgot to order something better!!! i will be doing so though. There is plenty of room
for a decent air cooler or a AIO water cooler.



The 24 pin connector was quite hard to get into place really, there isnt much room between the PSU and the edge of the motherboard, this could partially be down to the PSU wires
but i think a little more room would be nice.



I bought this GPU for this build, it was one ive always wanted to look at, just because of the white PCB and after looking at the size of the thing i thought i would try and fit it in the Phenom!





This card fit in no problems and at 26.8cm long, its not exactly small! The case can hold much more though! up to 32cm!

268*124.3*41.5

I really liked the PCI-E slot covers on this case too, undo the thumbscrew



slide it along, which unlocks the covers



install the card then slide the screw back along and tighten. Make sure that the "pins" are locked in the correct places though, i did have one that wasn't fully in so it was slightly loose!



Cable management wasnt the best on this case, but then again, for the size of the case, it wasnt anything to worry about really. Im sure it would be a lot better if i had a fully modular PSU.

I put all the cables towards the back of the case.





Theres not massive amounts of space, but theres plenty to basically bunch cables up. (ignore the ssd, il come to that later!)



and the front view



you may have noticed i installed the fans at the same time as doing the cable management



i also removed the 5.25 inch bay to give me some extra room



So, why was that SSD around the back when there is so many slots for them at the front?

well, this is the biggest letdown to me on this case, 99% of people though, it just wouldn't matter.

one of the ssd holders is on the same panel as the front headers, which is fine, but this panel is the last panel to put on, so you have to basically connect everything then just put the panel on and hope the wires aren't going anywhere they shouldn't.
you can of course do a little bit of cable management, but not much.





i opted not to use these holders due to having more wires just hanging around inside.

The other holder also, is at the front of the case, so again, wires trailing across the whole of the case just to get to the adapters. Again, its not a real issue, just personal preference, i know you cant see into the case, so it really doesnt matter.... but id know they were there.

Considering this is my biggest issue with the whole case, and it wont effect that many people, it certainly wouldn't put me off buying one.

LETS TURN IT ON!

apologies for the wires, this is what i meant about the last panel!











and my final dislike...

WHY BLUE?!?!?! just put a green LED in?!












So, Pros and cons of this case and my final thoughts.

Pros: Excellent looking, sleek, simple design but with the Nvidia logo looking rather lovelly.
Lots of HDD/SSD space.
Plenty of cooling options, theres no excuse to overheat in this thing!
Lots of clever little adapters etc to help you along the way and get the build how you want it.
Small, but able to fit plenty of gear into it, a LAN attendees dream!


Cons: a little bit more attention to detail would have been nice, white fans not black, green logo and green LEDs would have complimented the build.
not a massive amount space to make the cables look pretty, however, there is enough space to work with to make sure its efficient. This certainly is something most people wouldn't really care about as you cant see into the case.
It would have been nice to have the SSD bracket on the rear side panel rather than the front so that you don't have to disconnect the drives when you take the panel off. The same for the buttons and front panel headers.

Final thoughts:

In all honesty, my cons are personal preferences, so not something that should sway your decision if your undecided on buying this case. It really does have a lot of features for its small size and price.
It would be an excellent case for LAN party attendees or even as a micro server build. Im glad out of all the Bitfenix cases, i decided to have a play with this one. I was going to sell it after doing this build log/ review, but in all honesty, i want to keep it. Even the missus is impressed!

This isn't the last you will see of this build however.

Now i've done it how its meant to be and i do like it so much, i shall be modding it!!! You will see why some of the little things that annoyed me did, as i was building it, i had a few ideas which i'll hopefully do soon!

Thanks for reading my walls of text, looking at my pictures (if you want any of the pictures larger, let me know and i will post them) and taking the time to read this!

Chow for now!!
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Old 18th Jun 2014, 01:53   #3
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That looks lovely.

My pleasure in helping supply some of these parts for a job well done
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Old 18th Jun 2014, 09:08   #4
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Dude you know me and I love your stuff, but is this the appropriate section for this?

Awesome gfx card btw.
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Old 18th Jun 2014, 11:46   #5
davido_labido
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The next stages will make this section more appropriate
It will be a case mod.... Soon!
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Old 18th Jun 2014, 12:54   #6
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Sowwy baby!

I will sit tight and just watch. My bad.
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Old 18th Jun 2014, 13:22   #7
davido_labido
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haha, no worries Tim, i did wonder whether to post it here or not tbh, but i thought with the additions coming later it would be worth it in the end and it saves me making 2 different threads about the same product
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Old 18th Jun 2014, 20:23   #8
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So,

this grill and this badge...



I have nothing against black, but hey, i want white and green!!!!

as with every Bitfenix product ive worked with, the mesh comes off using these little tabs, unbend them and the mesh just comes out



An addition to this case, which i know The Shinobi XL didnt have which would have been nice, is the finer mesh sandwhiched between the thicker mesha nd the plastic surround!



Make sure you give everything a couple of coats of primer, when spraying mesh, make sure that your not too close with the spray else you will fill in the holes and make everything look horrible!!



first coat of green. Its not Nvidia green which im a little dissapointed about, id forgotten how bright it was, i used this green when doing a Razer build, i think il have to find a slightly darker colour i think!







and once its put back together..






Also, i have done this today inbetween coats!

Its not finished yet, so dont send the imperfection police around!!


This is the side panel that comes with this case. i like it, i like the Nvidia logo thats embossed into the side, i like the buttons not being on the front/top of the case. I dont like not being able to see the goodies in the case. (appologies these pics are so dark, the sun went in for a while, i didnt really notice and i forgot to change the darn settings on my camera!!)





This bit that ive drawn around looks rather boring.



Theres only one thing for it!!!



Tis a dirty job, but someone has to do it!



Dem dremal cuts!



Finished!!





I just need to give it a bit of a file down, find some acrylic (im thinking i might use some tinted in this or even mirrored, im not sure yet).

i think the glow from this will look fantastic once its got the acrylic in. i will test it tonight!



What do ya think folks?
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Old 19th Jun 2014, 22:07   #9
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the glow will look awesome

Do you intend to switch the Leds to green once? Blue once just aren't right
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Old 19th Jun 2014, 23:27   #10
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Yeh the LEDs will be green. I've got some on order so hopefully they will be with me soon =)
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Old 20th Jun 2014, 01:12   #11
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sounds great
When do you cut the acrylic for the window?
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Old 20th Jun 2014, 16:58   #12
davido_labido
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I'm having a few beers with the parvum lads next Saturday, but no doubt they will help me with some acrylic. So probably next Monday.
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Old 20th Jun 2014, 18:18   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davido_labido View Post
I'm having a few beers with the parvum lads next Saturday, but no doubt they will help me with some acrylic. So probably next Monday.
well thats sounds great.
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Old 26th Jun 2014, 21:27   #14
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Well, i colour matched the paint and re sprayed the top and badge!

i think this looks far better than the bright green i found in my shed from a previous build lol!





Those eagle eyed of you might have noticed theres no cables.....

thats because my PSU currently looks like this:



More on this once ive finished with it
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