BitFenix ENSO RGB Gaming Case Review

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Introduction

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It has been almost 6 months since we last reviewed a case from the guys over at BitFenix, but today they return with the ENSO… a case featuring Alchemy 3.0 addressable RGB lighting, developed in conjunction with ASUS.

Bitfenix Enso box

Specifications

Material Steel │ Plastic │ Tempered Glass
Motherboard Support Mini-ITX, MicroATX, ATX, E-ATX up to 272mm
Maximum GPU Length 340mm
Maximum CPU Cooler Height 160mm
Expansion Slots (PCI-E) 7
Front I/O Ports 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x Audio/Mic
2.5″ Drive Bay 3
3.5″ Drive Bay 2 (Usable as 2.5″ bay)
Fan Support(Front) 2 x 140mm or 2 x 120mm
Fan Support(Top) 2 x 120mm
Fan Support(Rear) 1x 120mm
Included Fans(Front) 1 x 120mm Fan (Black)
Included Fans(Rear) 1 x 120mm Fan (Static RGB)
Radiator Support(Front) 1 x 240mm or 280mm (35mm thickness)
Radiator Support(Rear) 1 x 120mm
Power Supply ATX & Standard / up to 160mm
Dimensions (W x H x D) 210mm x 489mm x 454mm
Weight 7kg

Closer Look – Exterior

Straight out of the box we are presented with a nice clean looking design, if not a little unremarkable. A nice big tempered glass side panel dominates the front side, with the front panel inlaid with a solid piece of steel. The marketing details state that there are “hidden” air vents situated around the front panel, but these are basically non-existent to the naked eye.

Bitfenix Enso front side

Around the back there’s little much of interest, due to the rear side panel being standard fayre, solid steel panel.

Bitfenix Enso back side

Left to right, the front IO consists of mic & headphone jacks, HDD & power LED’s, lighting control button, power button, reset button and finally 2 USB 3.0 ports. A magnetic dust filter comes pre-installed, but also included in the box is a magnetic blanking cover.

Bitfenix Enso topBitfenix Enso top filters

The underside shows that the case feet actually lift the ENSO off the ground a fair way, which is no doubt to enable as much airflow as possible to be pulled in through the base of the front panel, being it’s only real source of airflow.

Bitfenix Enso bottom

Closer Look – Interior

Removing the front panel took a huge amount of force, so don’t be worried should you come across the same issue. Once removed, it reveals one 120mm intake fan mounted dead centre, with room for two more above and below it.

The cable that powers the front lighting didn’t seem to want to be removed, so I didn’t force it and it remained tethered to the chassis.

The front dust filters are a little out of the ordinary, being accessible from the front side of the case, without the need to remove the front panel. However, only two thirds of the front aspect is covered by filters, and there are gaps all around the ones that are there, so I don’t see how dust isn’t going to flood straight into the main chamber.

Bitfenix Enso interior front

Upon removing the rear panel, we find the RGB controller mounted to the rear of the motherboard tray, with additional connectors should you wish to connect it directly to an ASUS AURA motherboard. For addressable RGB functionality, you will need a 3-pin header however.

Bitfenix Enso interior rear

Inside the main chamber we find a solid PSU shroud, with access towards the front, should you wish to fit a fan in the lowest position. The motherboard tray is perforated at various points, for anyone wanting to mount water cooling pumps or reservoirs. The rear exhaust fan is a static RGB 120mm variety, which can be connected to either the RGB controller at the rear of the motherboard tray, or directly to a motherboard RGB header.

Bitfenix Enso interior chamber

Closer Look – The Build

Conclusion

Performance

For the main part, the ENSO provides a pleasurable building experience, and the end result looks really good… however, there are some issues I’m afraid.

Perhaps the biggest, is the fact that the space allowed for locating the PSU, was too small for our BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 11. Luckily, I had a smaller EVGA GQ psu on hand, in order to complete the build, but this really is a bit of an oversight from BitFenix. If the drive cage was removable, it wouldn’t be an issue, but it is riveted into the main frame.

Bitfenix Enso psu

There are another couple of niggles, such as the cable access points in the PSU shroud being a tiny bit too small, and the lack of cable management options on the rear of the motherboard, but in the most part, the ENSO is a solid, well-built chassis.

Design

Unless you really detest RGB, you cannot fault the design element of the addressable RGB lighting that frames the front panel. When paired with an additional BitFenix Alchemy 3.0 strip, the end result looks fantastic. For maximum effect, I placed these in full view just behind the glass panel, but they can be tucked away to give a much more subtle glow to your build if required.

Bitfenix Enso build 4

I initially had reservations about the amount of air intake the front panel could provide, but in operation, our test system didn’t show any signs of overheating. More detailed testing would be needed to ascertain the actual effectiveness here, but for the average user, I don’t believe there would be an issue. With regards the effectiveness of the dust filters, only time will tell how much makes it’s way into the case, given the design behind the front panel.

It’s also worth noting that the ENSO is also available in white, and whilst I have only seen pictures of it, I must say that it looks amazing!

Bitfenix Enso white 2

Value

At the time of this review, the BitFenix ENSO can be purchased for £79.99 from Overclockers UK. For a case that looks this good, that is built really well, with high quality materials, I would say that this is a fantastic price point.

Final Thoughts

I am a really big fan of this case, and if I had around £80 to spend on a new case, this would most certainly be towards the top of my list. If it wasn’t for a couple of silly design mistakes (such as not allowing enough space for larger PSU’s) then the ENSO would have walked away with our Platinum award. Even so, for the price this is a great case, and more than deserves our Gold Award.

Buy from Overclockers UK: £79.99

awards-gold

Huge thanks to OcUK & BitFenix for sending the ENSO in for review.

  • Performance
  • Design
  • Value

Summary

Pros:

- Addressable RGB lighting looks amazing
- Packed with features (tempered glass, PSU shroud, RGB controller, RGB rear fan)
- Excellent price point provides great value for money

Cons:

- Larger PSU's will NOT fit
- Front dust filters may be ineffective, but only time will tell

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1 COMMENT

  1. Can you please let me know how to set up the controller on the back of this case? It comes with a 4 pin aura cable but I’m not sure how to use it or what else to plug in to that controller. It would be fine to set it up just to work the front LED strip with the button on the case but I have a few more rgb fans I would like to connect as well. I only have one 4 pin header on my Asus motherboard so I will put the fans on that line if I can’t connect them together. Thank you!

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