So now I have had the pleasure of testing out the Shadow from the ever wonderful BitFenix, how did Shadow perform and is it up to scratch in comparison to other BitFenix products we have taken a look at in the past?
Performance wise, this case actually punches well above its weight. It not only shows strong cooling capabilities (even if water cooling isn’t really supported) but I would consider this to be a pretty good performer in our acoustic tests too. The acoustic performance is helped along by having a solid panel, quite a similar effect that Fractal Design have with their non-windowed R4 case. Obviously cases geared towards silence come with a higher premium and you have to remember this case comes in at £55 so generally speaking, if you want a specific feature that defines performance, you will pay more for it.
Touching more on the price, the BitFenix Shadow as mentioned, can be purchased from Overclockers UK for a shade under £55. This does represent good value for money in my opinion as BitFenix have done a good job overall with the Shadow but I’m still not convinced they have done a “great job”
To explain further, the biggest downside in my opinion is the way BitFenix have gone about arranging the cable management with the case. As I noted during the installation, I had problems trying to get the back panel back on, even after a sizeable amount of cable management time. I will be the first to admit that the cables on my PSU are very thick (Enermax 1350w MAXREVO) but I could potentially see problems with non-modular power supplies being installed. The other thing was the lack of regard to the 8pin 12V cable; there was no gap to route the cable behind the motherboard and thus had to be trailed over the motherboard. For a £55 case from a top manufacturer, I do feel this should be addressed as it is pretty standard with cases now but on the other hand, this case is more function over aesthetics internally as the case has no side window. There are 2 sides of the coin here and I would say I was more on the positive side due to how it performs compared to others in its price range.
In terms of aesthetics and design, the Shadow has a very nice sleek and subtle look which I would also consider to be good in a professional work environment. It has nice lines, doesn’t take up too much space and is able to fit even the longest graphics cards in with no problems. One of the main features of the Shadow is the LED strip which is situated on the front of the case (at the bottom). This illuminates in either red or blue and gives those that want it the option to match their build. It is also good if you change your build from the likes of an ASUS ROG themed build to one of a different colour (blue would be handy).
Despite the negatives during installation, I really do like the Shadow and with plenty of front panel connections available including USB 3.0 and it would be hard to knock the cases sleek and notable professional look. With support for the latest graphics, tool-less hard drive cages and good price to performance ratio, BitFenix might not have the perfect sub £60 offering, but they aren’t far away and that is surely something to be commended for; the door mechanism is sublime also if you are into cases that hide the front panel devices away, I sure love it!
Overall the Shadow is a very formidable offering and for £55, you can’t really go wrong. If it was my money I would stretch my budget slightly and pick up the Ronin but if you want a chassis that doesn’t have a side window, even for those discrete looking miss-matched builds, then the BitFenix Shadow should be right up your street! Due to this, I take pleasure in awarding the BitFenix Shadow our silver award.
Big thanks to BitFenix for sending the Shadow in for review and I look forward to seeing more in the near future!
The BitFenix Shadow has a lot of good things going for it and is a pretty decent case when all things are considered. Aside from a few little niggles it is a top offering and for £55 (from OcUK), it is definitely worth considering if you are looking for a sleek and great looking case for your build.
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