In and Around the BitFenix Shinobi

Like I said, my first impressions of the Shinobi were excellent. While the enclosure is comprised almost entirely of black plastic and black SECC steel, BitFenix was able to produce a very sleek and attractive design that doesn't draw negative attention to itself or its price tag.

The removable front and top panels are both plastic with ventilated grills lining the sides, but BitFenix textures the plastic. Instead of the traditional (and cheap-feeling) matte plastic, the Shinobi's panels use a sort of rubberized soft texture that makes the whole thing look and feel a lot better. Those ventilated strips work both as a means of improving airflow and as an appealing accent that gives the case some character. Finally, the silver BitFenix logo on the front is subdued and subtle enough to add the last bit of identity and polish without looking gaudy.

Everything else is SECC steel, painted black inside and out. Our review unit is the windowed version, and I'm actually impressed by the window on the side of the case. The triangle shape of it keeps in theme with the sharp angles of the rest of the design, but BitFenix opts to use a tinted plastic window. It's an interesting compromise that lets you bling out your build a little bit without overdoing it. Included in the window is a ventilated 120mm fan mount for cooling expansion cards.

The back of the Shinobi is business as usual, again all black, with two rubber-lined grommets for running water-cooling tubing out of the enclosure. A power supply can be installed with the fan oriented down or up; there are screw holes that allow you to flip it if you wish, but there's also a grille with a dust filter on the bottom of the enclosure in case you install the PSU in the traditional orientation.

Opening the Shinobi reveals a case with all the modern accoutrement, neatly assembled and arranged to make building a machine inside as easy as possible. The motherboard tray has a spacious cut-out for installing processor cooling, and there are additional holes around the motherboard for routing cables behind the tray. Expansion cards are mounted with thumbscrews, and BitFenix includes individual slot covers as opposed to asking you to remove cut-outs from the back panel. Those slot covers seem like a small deal, but they're an appreciated touch that add value to the case. Finally, the drive bays all use tool-less mounting mechanisms.

Without getting into the assembly, the Shinobi is remarkably welcoming. Some of the enclosures I've had to assemble have been exercises in frustration, but despite being comparatively diminutive the Shinobi features a very spacious interior and the enclosure itself is remarkably light. All the modern features you could ask for internally are accounted for, although an eSATA port or USB 3.0 port in the top port cluster would be appreciated. Still, given everything else BitFenix crams into the Shinobi for $69, it's hard to really complain.

Introducing the BitFenix Shinobi (Window) Assembling the BitFenix Shinobi
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  • 7Enigma - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    I have to agree with the other comments. Testing a worst-case scenario is extremely useful, but for a very small percentage of the target market at this budget level. There has to also be a test done at a more reasonable build configuration. I think reasonable build in this day and age is 1 SSD drive (boot), 1 large mechanical HDD (storage), and one optical drive. I'd wager >80% of the potential buyers of this case have that (or less with only a single large mechanical HDD) to install. Seriously man there are 8 drive bays! Very few if anyone is going to use 6, let alone all 8.

    I get it, it's extra work to retest with a slightly different configuration, but I believe to only test in worst case it unfairly showed this product that otherwise seems to be a great value for the money. So here is my recommendation:

    -Standard testing (as mentioned above: 1 GPU, 1SSD, 1 HDD, 1 optical drive)

    -Torture testing (2 GPU's in SLI/Xfire, 1 SSD, X HDD, 2 optical drives), where X is the number to fill the drive bays for the particular case.

    For the torture test you HAVE TO ACTUALLY FILL THE BAYS! Just placing a few components in the worst airflow locations isn't accurately showing how the case behaves in a full build, it artificially kind of mimics what *might* happen, but isn't a real representation.

    Please consider my comments and I want to clarify that I thought your review was fantastic. I just want to see the testing a bit more complete.

    Cheers.
    Reply
  • bhima - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    Pretty darn nice noise levels. I wonder how this stacks up to an Antec 900. I still think you need to review the Antec 900 since its possibly the most popular case designed and it has been copied by most of the other vendors. Reply
  • MeanBruce - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    If I was 15 years old, this would be my case of choice, how stupid, at least Bitfenix is finding their market. Reply
  • inspire2 - Friday, June 24, 2011 - link

    The case looks good. The $70 price point is pretty competitive these days. It might be interesting to do a case roundup.

    I'd probably still lean towards the CM HAF 912 in this price range. This is at least a nice looking alternative.
    Reply
  • cakeab - Sunday, June 26, 2011 - link


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    === {{w w w }} {{be tter whole saler }} {{ u s }} ====

    Dedi cated service, the new style, believing you will love it!!!

    WE ACCEPT PYA PAL PAY MENT

    YOU MUST NOT MISS IT!!!

    thank you!!!

    -- w w w . jordan forworld . c o m -
    Reply
  • benn - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    I have been looking at this case and does anyone know if it will fit the h100i without moding the case using the fans as an intake? Reply

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