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Do you like the BitFenix Collosus Venom chassis that we just reviewed recently? If yes then probably you will like BitFenix Shinobi as well. Basically BitFenix Shinobi is a simple and cost down version of BitFenix Colossus but it is still equipped with plenty of great features such as SorTouch surface. Besides that its retail price just costs less than 60USD which is pretty affordable for such quality chassis.
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
Our BitFenix Shinobi sample comes with an OEM packaging but in fact the original packaging is pretty simple; just a brown box with BitFenix logo. This is expected for BitFenix Shinobi since it is a cost effective chassis by keeping the product cost as low as possible without those fancy and eye-catching packaging.
Overall we are pretty satisfied with the packaging since everything are pretty standard and nothing much are bundled for BitFenix Shinobi except rubber feet, wired ties, installation screws and a user manual. Besides that a 5.25"-to-3.5" bay converter is included which is useful if you have any 3.5 device.
A Closer Exterior Look on BitFenix Shinobi
As we mentioned in the BitFenix Colossus Venom review, BitFenix has very limited products where Colossus, Survivor and Shinobi are their core products for different markets. Among these three products, BitFenix Shinobi is the most affordable chassis but it still comes some BitFenix remarkable features.
Unlike BitFenix Colossus, BitFenix Shinobi is just a mid ATX chassis which is much popular in the market due to its smaller size and affordable price. The exact weight and dimension of BitFenix Shinobi are 205 x 460 x 490 mm and about 7KG; quite a moderate size and weight for a mid ATX chassis.
BitFenix Shinobi is also equipped with its SorTouch surface where it is not only enhancing its attractiveness but also feel great when touch or hold it. Such soft coating on the chassis is able to prevent the chassis to get scratches easily although it is harder to maintain it due to its sticky surface especially for dust.
BitFenix Shinobi's front panel does come with similar design like Colossus chassis but without the front panel door. BitFenix Shinobi supports four exposed bays and one of them can be converted to support 3.5" exposed bay. The BitFenix logo is located at the middle of the front panel which looks charming and cool.
BitFenix Shinobi's front I/Os are located on the top panel where there are four USB 2.0, audio jacks, power & reset buttons but lacking of USB 3.0. Same as other high performance chassis, BitFenix Shinobi can support fans on its top panel but it is optional where either single or dual 140/120mm fans could be mounted on it.
There are two versions of BitFenix Shinobi; Shinobi standard and Shinobi Window. Shinobi Window comes with additional see-thru window, optional cooling fan and air vents while Shinobi standard comes with plain side panels due to cost constraint; SofTouch surface is not available on these side panels as well.
BitFenix Shinobi's rear panel is pretty standard but it is good to see the PSU is located at the bottom; able to improve the PSU's cooling performance. A 120mm cooling fan is bundled on this rear panel and it is compatible with 92mm cooling fan too. Besides that this rear panel is painted in black as well which has better corrosive resistance.
Water cooling is ready on BitFenix Shinobi as well but only comes with two tubes near the PCI location; sufficient for basic water cooling setup. Since BitFenix Shinobi is a light chassis, four rubber feet are good enough to secure it on the ground and a 120mm cooling fan could be supported as an optional item.
A Closer Interior Look on BitFenix Shinobi
Here is the interior design of BitFenix Shinobi and it is good to see that the whole interior chassis is painted in black; better corrosive resistance and it looks much attractive as well. BitFenix Shinobi is able to support most of the common motherboard form factors in the market such as ATX, micro-ATX and mini-ATX.
Despite the targeted market for BitFenix Shinobi, it is still equipped with a CPU cooler cutout on the motherboard plate which simplifies the CPU cooler installation process (those with back plate). Such feature is highly recommended for PC enthusiast or overclocker as it avoids removing the motherboard out from chassis.
The ODD and HDD cages are cost effective as these designs are pretty standard in the market where no additional tool-less rail kits are required; just fasten it with screws. Sometime the most basic setup works the best especially to secure those non-standard devices as some of the tool-less kits do not 100% compatible with them.
No tool-less kits are integrated for BitFenix Shinobi's PCI locks and this is not a big problem in case screw does the best job to secure those bulky and heavy graphic cards; furthermore hardware changing is not frequent for moderate users. There are couple of cabling cutouts on the motherboard plate which is good for cable management.
BitFenix Shinobi's front panel allows to have two 120mm cooling fans but this is optional; same for the bottom panel where a 120mm cooling fan can be added right in front of the PSU. In term of cooling, 120mm cooling fan on the rear panel is the only bundled fan for BitFenix Shinobi; providing another fan on front or top panel will be great.
As we mentioned in above, BitFenix Shinobi's PSU has been designed to be mounted on the bottom of the chassis which could isolating the heat with other hardware and increasing the PSU's cooling performance; besides that it is much safer to mount a heavy & bulky PSU on it. Dust filters are included for both of the ventilation cutouts.
A chassis lock is bundled in the accessory pack to lock up the left panel of BitFenix Shinobi. This has to be done manually but it could be better if BitFenix can integrated this in their factory since it is just a simple task without impacting others. Anyway having such additional security feature is a bonus for such entry chassis.
Installation, Testing & Performance
Installation for BitFenix Shinobi is pretty similar with other entry chassis since everything is pretty standard without having any unique kit or feature. Firstly the motherboard has to be installed on the motherboard panel and micro-ATX motherboard is the most ideal form factor in this situation since most of the micro-ATX motherboard is able to deliver pretty outstanding performance; as good as ATX motherboard. However ATX motherboard is still supportable as well if incredible performance or specific unique feature is required which could only be found on ATX motherboard. Next step will be installations for processor, memory and CPU cooler. Since BitFenix Shinobi only comes with plain side panel without any side cooling fan, it does fully compatible with most of the tower CPU coolers as it will not be blocked due to its height. Besides that thanks to the CPU cooler cutout on the motherboard plate which simplifies the CPU cooler installation that comes with back plate as well as maintenance.
Graphic card, hard drive and optical drive will be the next components to-be-installed and please beware of the compatible issue between the graphic card and hard drive as such standard hard drive cage (especially the centre slots) will be blocked by those long graphic cards. This not a real problem if onboard graphic or normal graphic card is used or the system comes with minimal HDD where the HDDs could be installed at the upper or lower slots. Anyway all the graphic card, hard drive and optical drive installations are pretty standard where only screws and screw driver are required to complete the job seamlessly. PSU installation is always one of the tedious steps especially if the PSU is a non-modular PSU where all those unused cables must be kept inside the chassis; creating unnecessary cable management as well as impacting the internal airflow circulation. Unlike other entry chassis, BitFenix Shinobi provides couple of cabling cutouts on the motherboard plate so that these cutouts could be used for cable routing in order to keep the cables tidy and well managed. Additional step like adding cooling fan could be done on BitFenix Shinobi as it only comes with single 120mm cooling fan at the rear panel at default which is slightly under power. The ideal case is to add at least one more exhausting cooling fan at the top panel or it could be even better if additional two intake cooling fans could be added at the front and bottom panels to make it four cooling fans in total.
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 Shinobi
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: 27 Degree Celsius
Here are the cooling results that we obtained based with our rig setup and with the single original cooling fan that is bundled for BitFenix Shinobi. Overall the BitFenix Shinobi's performance is pretty satisfying with its only single unit of 120mm cooling fan and its very affordable; much cheaper than other mid performance branded chassis. Room for improvement is always there and this is same for BitFenix Shinobi where additional cooling fans could be added to achieve greater results; two exhaust fans on rear and top panels while two more intake fans for front and bottom panels; significant cooling improvement is definitely there especially for the HDD and graphic card. Furthermore we do not think that anyone is going to hook up any insane hardware on this entry level of chassis hence BitFenix Shinobi is definitely able to do its job perfectly with the right set of cooling devices and maybe good cable management.
If budget is a real constraint for stopping you to get an incredible chassis like BitFenix Colossus then you could probably put BitFenix Shinobi into your mind for consideration. This is not only about its low price (only at 59USD) but also its quality and features which are much better than other branded chassis in the same price range. There is no doubt that BitFenix Shinobi is definitely one of the best value of money chassis that you could find in the market. BitFenix Shinobi does not come with many unique features or designs except the SorTouch surface but other useful features which could only be found on expensive chassis are available on BitFenix Shinobi too such as fully painted in black for better corrosive resistance, CPU cooler cutout on motherboard plate, water cooling ready and etc.
+ Well design with solid construction
+ SorTouch surface
+ Very affordable price
+ CPU cooler cutout
+ Plenty room for cooling improvement
+ Water cooling ready
+ Better corrosive resistance
+ Dust filters
- Only come with single 120mm cooling fan
- Lacking of USB 3.0 on the front panel I/O
Thanks to BitFenix for providing this sample for us to review.
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