BitFenix Phenom MATX Review


[section_title title=Closer Look – Exterior]

Closer Look – Exterior 

Now is the time to take a proper look at this case. As per normal, starting with the front, there is not much to note with the Phenom. BitFenix have given it a very minimalist appearance, which I personally really like. From this view we also get a really good look at the roof, and it is good to see that the mesh sits flush against the body work, unlike some implementations around.

The side panel is largely the same as the Prodigy, we have the power button at the top, reset then below it. Two 3.5mm jacks for the headphone and microphone and then two USB 3.0 which are connected via an internal header. From this side you can see how the plastic roof and front panels are raised from the steel body work. What you can’t see in the photo is that between the edge of the steel chassis and the plastic, the recess is meshed to allow airflow for any front fans you may have, in our case it was the power supply intake fan, or to allow more airflow to the roof panel.

As with the Prodigy, BitFenix have implemented the same SSD mounts on the inside of the side panel. Again this is a good move as there are minimal hard drive mounts within the Phenom, which I will show you later. Personally, I used these mounts rather than the other option as I felt that they were easier to keep tidy and as all I needed storage wise.

The back of the case follows the same sleek contours from the front where it meets the roof panel.  On the rear we can see that there are 5 PCI expansion slots. As I mentioned previously, this is for any motherboard that have dual slot spacing to allow for graphics cards to breath in multi-GPU configurations. As our motherboard does not have that, it also allowed air to flow between the top most graphics card and the exhaust fans allowing both to breathe. We can see that on the left hand side there is a small meshed ventilation area and below that a 120mm exhaust fitted with a 120mm black BitFenix Spectre fan. We also have the IO area for the motherboard. Something that may strike a lot of you is that there is no space for a power supply. If you look at the bottom right of the photo, you will see the standard kettle plug for the power supply. More on where this goes later.

Having a quick look at the roof we can see that it is finished in SofTouch material and as the same grill that the Prodigy has. The only difference with the one on the Phenom is that it is slightly deeper to accommodate the plastic body. This is held in place by the latch on the left hand side, which when unlocked allows the user to remove the grill and expose the fan mounts underneath. The grill itself is dust filtered and would just need a quick hoover to clean it.

Upon removing the roof grill you can see that I have installed some 120mm BitFenix Spectre Pro LED fans. I can help but feel BitFenix missed a trick here. If you try and mount the fans under the grill, so they would be sitting onto of the fan mounts, rather than under as shown here, you would be able to give yourself more water cooling options if that is what you were planning to do. As it stands you can get the grill on with the fans under, but it causes it to bow. If they raised the roof panel another couple of millimeters then this would have been possible.

On the underside of the chassis we have two options. As show below, if you are not going to be using any of the floor mounted fan options, then you can apply this magnetised cover which stop any dust getting into your system. The case comes with 4 brushed aluminium feet which have rubberised soles. On the far right hand side you can see the power supply solution that BitFenix have gone with.

With the bottom panel taken off you can see that as well as having mounting options for a single 200mm fan or dual 120mm fans there are also two mounting options for 2.5 inch hard drives. The case comes with some rubber discs and screws, which you use to attach your storage devices to these mounts.

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