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If you are hunting for an excellent design chassis then probably today you will fall in love with BitFenix Colossus Venom. BitFenix seems a new brand for many of us but in fact they have been there in the market for quite many years ago. If you have not heard or aware of BitFenix Colossus Venom then you should stay on this review and we are sure that you will like it very much with its awesome design.
BitFenix is the result of the collaboration of several veterans in both the technology and gaming industries. From the same minds behind some of technology's most venerable products, our goal is to create products that grant the user the utmost control, strength, and performance to complete their computing tasks. Combining a deep understanding of gaming and other high-demand computing applications with superior engineering and design know-how, the BitFenix team is dedicated to creating the go-to computing products and peripherals for those who refuse to quit.
Package & Contents
Weight could be a problem for a full tower chassis hence it is important to pack it in a very secure way; BitFenix Colossus Venom's packaging is absolutely well packed with its thick packaging box and polystyrene foams. A trolley might be required if you are not a strong person to carry it around.
The packaging is quite plain but we like the design as it matches the concept of BitFenix Colossus Venom; hiding its true power. The user manual is a pretty complete manual as it covers everything and there should not any problem for a newbie to turn it on successfully.
Bundled accessories of BitFenix Colossus Venom are pretty similar with other mid-range/high end chassis. However there are some unique peripherals such as BitFenix Lockdown to secure heavy graphic card, internal USB 3.0 cable to avoid cable routing externally and etc.
A Closer Exterior Look on BitFenix Colossus
BitFenix has quite limited of products and chassis is their major line of business plus some chassis accessories. Currently there are three chassis in BitFenix chassis product line with total six models (Colossus, Survivor & Shinobi); Colossus is the most interesting chassis that you should not miss.
There are three models for BitFenix Colossus; Colossus, Colossus Venom and Colossus Window. Basically both of the BitFenix Colossus and Colossus Venom are exactly same except the lightning color; Colossus Venom comes with red and green LED lightning instead of red and blue.
BitFenix Colossus Venom is a full ATX chassis and hence it comes with certain level of chassis dimension and weight; 245 x 558 x 582mm and ~ 10KG. Chassis dimension is not a real problem for BitFenix Colossus Venom but its weight is killing some of the users; not suitable for portable usage.
Here is the front panel of BitFenix Colossus Venom which comes with a door cover to enhance its attractiveness especially with its unique lightning. BitFenix Colossus Venom supports five 5.25" exposed drives and a 5.25" to 3.5" converter bay is included for supporting a 3.5" exposed drive.
Another unique feature of BitFenix Colossus Venom is the switchable door hinge where the door could be opened from either left or right side to suit for different kinds of environments. This is a simple idea but nobody like BitFenix has turned the idea into a realistic; well done BitFenix's R&D team.
The surface textile of BitFenix Colossus Venom is really excellent with its SofTouch surface. A giant 230mm cooling fan is provided at the top panel for delivering maximum exhausting airflow and this fan could be replaced by any 140 or 120mm cooling fan in case the original fan get break down.
BitFenix S3 is a special storage compartment on the top panel for keeping valuable devices like digital camera, iPhone and etc. This comportment could be locked together with the front I/O, built-in controllers for fan & light, power & reset buttons; giving unmatchable feature with highest security.
Besides that this compartment has four buttons (power, reset, light color & light mode), one controller knob and five I/O ports (USB 3.0, USB 2.0, eSATA, audio jacks). Since there is only one built-in fan speed controller, all the connected fans' speed will be adjusted at once; performance or silent mode.
Here is the front I/O cabling of BitFenix Colossus Venom and it is much complicated than others since BitFenix Colossus Venom comes with built-in fan speed (up to six fans), LED controller (front, left and right) and USB 3.0 power extended connector to ensure there will be enough power juice.
Both of the left and right panels are exactly identical with Perspex wave design where the Perspex wave forms are basically used for displaying the LED lightning in either red or green. Such lightning design is so unique and much attractive than other chassis; salute & respect to BitFenix R&D team.
The rear panel of BitFenix Colossus Venom is pretty similar with other full ATX chassis but some of the points that we would like to highlight here are the four holes for water cooling setup, black painting to have better corrosive resistance and the upside-down PSU placement.
There are two 140mm air vents at the bottom panel; front air vent is for add-on 120/140mm cooling fan while the back air vent together with the dust filter is used to provide fresh air for the PSU. Anyway we hope wheels will be offered as an option as it is not easy to move such heavyweight chassis.
A Closer Interior Look on BitFenix Colossus
BitFenix Colossus Venom is able to support most of the motherboard form factors; from mini-ITX to E-ATX. A large motherboard CPU cutout is available to simplify the installation of giant CPU cooler effortlessly. The interior chassis is fully painted in black which has better corrosive resistance.
Five exposed 5.25"drives are supported by BitFenix Colossus Venom and one of these drives could be converted to support 3.5" drive. Tool-less rail kits are built-in on the ODD cage which help to simplified the mounting; just press the middle button and slide the locking mechanism to both sides.
The HDD tool-less rail kits can support both of the 3.5" and 2.5" HDDs but manual screw fastening is required for the 2.5" HDD. PCI card installation is simple as well with the tool-less kit and no worries for those heavy or bulky VGAs as BitFenix Lockdown is provided to provide another level of protection.
PSU is in upside-down position just like other high end chassis; a much efficiency way to cool down the PSU as it is getting more fresh air with such placement. Additional 120/140mm cooling fan could be added for the rear & bottom panels to further enhance the internal system temperature.
Besides the extreme cooling performance of this top 230mm cooling fan, it also could be replaced by 2 x 120/140mm fans or radiator for water cooling setup. There are couple of strategically-placed cable holes around the motherboard to keep the cable management neatly; patient is required.
External cable routing is available for those devices that are sitting within the compartment. Besides the top cooling fan, BitFenix Colossus Venom is also come with another 230mm cooling fan at the front panel; dust filter is provided to minimize the dust within the chassis.
Here are the closer looks on the BitFenix Colossus Venom's side panel. The inner panel of the side panel is covered by a piece of solid foil to protect the sensitive LEDs. These side panels are powered up by the small connector (located at the bottom of the panel) via the front panel's I/O connector.
Installation, Testing & Performance
Chassis installation is always the most complicated product as it involves too many other sub products like CPU cooler, motherboard, HDD, PSU and etc. However being a full ATX chassis, BitFenix Colossus Venom offers extra room to do all these installation within the chassis without creating any problem.
Motherboard installation on BitFenix Colossus Venom is pretty similar with other chassis since compatible issue is quite minimal. However CPU cooler installation on BitFenix Colossus Venom is just awesome with its large motherboard CPU cutout; easier to perform maintenance too.
Next will be the HDD, ODD and other peripherals installation where we did not encounter any critical issue even we have installed some unique items on BitFenix Colossus Venom (quad HDD internal cage and dual-bay LCD temperature & fan speed controller); all tool-less kits are well-designed.
Following on will be graphic card, PCI card and PSU installation. BitFenix Lockdown is a bravo idea to secure heavy or bulky VGA on the chassis. Cabling is the most common issue as it always got ignore easily but in fact it plays an important role to ensure the internal airflow is well circulated.
Overall the installation had been done smoothly without much issue except the cabling setup and management which requires a lot of patient to do so. anyway we would like to see a stronger magnetic suction of the panel door as it could get opened up unintentionally.
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8300 @ 2.83GHz
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3/Gigabyte G31M-ES2L
Heatsink: Noctua NH-C14
Memory: Kingston HyperX 4GB DDR2 8500
Hard Drive: 250GB 7200RPM 8MB Seagate
Graphic Card: Galaxy GeForce GTX260+
PCIe: Aten IC320U USB 3.0
Casing: BitFenix Colossus Venom
HDD Cage: Icy Dock MB994SP-4S
PSU: OCZ ZX 850W
Optical Drive: HLDS DVD RW +/-
Controller: Aerocool Touch 2000
Monitor: Dell 22" Wide Screen LCD
Speaker: Edifier R501
Mouse: SteelSeries Ikari Laser
Mouse Pad: SteelSeries QcK+
HeadSet: SteelSeries 3H
Router: TRENDnet TEW-639GR
Operating System: Window XP Pro SP2/Win 7 HP
Ambient Temperature: 25 Degree Celsius
Here is the cooling performance of BitFenix Colossus Venom where the results are pretty outstanding since it only comes with two cooling fans (front & top) as most of the full ATX chassis will at least come with four cooling fans (front, top, rear & side) or more. System and HDD's temperature are having significant temperature reduction if compares with other chassis; this could be due to the dual giant 230mm cooling fans at the top and front panels. Additional 120/140mm fan could be added for the rear and bottoms panel which will further enhance the cooling performance; especially for the graphic card. Fan noise of BitFenix Colossus Venom is very minimal since it only comes with two cooling fans and thanks to the SofTouch which acts as a good noise absorber to further improve the noise reduction. Furthermore a built-in fan speed controller is available to control up to six fans; balancing the performance and noise level.
Besides the performance and ease-of-use, we would like to share our excitement toward BitFenix Colossus Venom's LED lightning. This is the most awesome lightning that we have seen; truly in green or in red. The LED lightning is sharp and bright but no worries about this as it could be controlled from the front I/O controller to switch off the lightning completely when it is not required. BitFenix Colossus Venom's top compartment is a very useful feature as it does not only allow user to store the devices temporary while transferring the data but also as a safety box to keep some valuable devices and as a gate to stop the accessing to the front I/O including power button.
Here is the BitFenix Colossus's official trailer for your better understanding; pretty similar with BitFniex Colossus Venom except the blue LED lightning has been replaced by green LED lightning; enjoy yourself.
We have been looking for an awesome and excellent chassis all these years and today we have confidence to tell you that we found it; it is BitFenix Colossus Venom. BitFenix Colossus Venom is not just awesome of its attractiveness but it is a truly well-designed chassis and you will love it more once you have a chance to test it yourself. BitFenix Colossus Venom has adapted some of the common great features but it also comes with plenty of unique selling points that other chassis vendors should start to implement them for their high end chassis. 170USD for such excellent chassis is not expensive at all since it comes with everything that a chassis should have more than what you need and you should not miss it if you have a chance to own it
+ Decent cooling performance
+ Well-built chassis
+ Spacious interior design
+ SofTouch surface panels
+ BitFenix Lockdown for VGA
+ Switchable panel door (left or right)
+ Awesome dual-mode LED lightning
+ 2 x 230mm cooling fans
+ Built-in fan speed & light controllers
+ Top compartment with unique cable routing & lock
+ Large CPU cutout on motherboard plate
+ Support both 3.5" & 2.5" HDDs
+ Tool-less kits for HDD, ODD, PCI
+ Water-cooling ready
+ Multiple of dust filters
- Heavy chassis hence wheels will be much preferred
- The magnetic door suction could be stronger
Thanks to BitFenix for providing this sample for us to review.
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