Introducing the BitFenix Ghost

In the short time that they've been around, BitFenix has consistently proven an interest and willingness to design cases that are at the feature curve while being price competitive and offering a distinctive aesthetic and features. It sounds like a PR line, but it's true: the Merc series are among the best budget cases on the market, the Shinobi is a solid case in its own right, and the Prodigy was actually selling out for months after its release. In many ways they remind me of Corsair and Fractal Design; in the enclosure business for a short time, but continually making strides and ensuring each release is worth some attention.

That's true again today with the launch of BitFenix's first case tuned for silence, the Ghost. It eschews some of the design language that's become de rigeur for BitFenix (specifically the soft-touch plastic surface), but has some smart new design choices and more importantly, it hits a price point silent cases very rarely hit (outside of NZXT's H2): $99. So does the Ghost live up to its potential, or does it just leave us begging for more?

While I'm always on the lookout for a case to replace my venerable SilverStone FT02, very few promising candidates have ever come through that struck my tastes specifically. Yet the Ghost threatened to do exactly that, with its sleek, boxy design, ample watercooling support, and acoustic dampening materials. I'd been looking forward to reviewing the Ghost since I first saw it online. As you'll see the further we get into the review, this is a case I really wanted to succeed, not just for consumers everywhere but for myself as well.

BitFenix Ghost Specifications
Motherboard Form Factor ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX
Drive Bays External 3x 5.25", 1x 3.5"
Internal 4x 3.5"/2.5", 3x 2.5"
Cooling Front 1x 120mm intake fan, 1x 120mm fan mount
Rear 1x 120mm exhaust fan
Top 1x 230mm/200mm fan mount or 2x 120mm/140mm fan mounts
Side -
Bottom 1x 120mm/140mm fan mount
Expansion Slots 7
I/O Port 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, 1x Headphone, 1x Mic, hotswap SATA bay
Power Supply Size ATX
Clearances HSF 170mm
PSU 180mm
GPU 12.5" / 318mm
Dimensions 8.3" x 20.6" x 20.1"
210mm x 522mm x 510mm
Special Features Removable fan filters
Hotswap SATA bay
Noise dampening padding
Support for 240mm/280mm radiator in top of case
Price $99

The Ghost also features a door that's hinged on both sides similar to the design Corsair employed on their fancier (and pricier) Obsidian 550D. While it's not the smallest case, it does feel a bit smaller than the norm while also making exceptionally smart use of its dimensions. The hotswap bay in the top of the enclosure fits perfectly with allowing for increased height for installing a radiator in the top fan mounts. Many cases that advertise being able to support a 240mm radiator will actually run into trouble if you try to install one due to limited clearance. It's all well and good to be able to get a radiator in, but you do need to actually install fans on it, too.

With all that said, I think Fractal Design hit the mark and BitFenix missed it by supporting a 140mm exhaust fan as well as dual 140mm intakes in the Define R4. 120mm may be the standard, but 140mm fans are becoming increasingly common and they're often more efficient for the noise than the smaller fans are. I personally would've loved to have seen a 140mm exhaust fan or at least support for one on the Ghost, even if it meant slightly widening the case.

In and Around the BitFenix Ghost
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  • darkling - Saturday, November 10, 2012 - link

    I sincerely wish that the dimensions were 8.7" x 11.6" x 13.9".
  • Alexvrb - Saturday, November 10, 2012 - link

    That's the second thing I look for in a case. First is motherboard form factor. So when I read ATX, and then saw the claimed dimensions in inches, I was a little peeved. Thankfully it seems the dimensions given in mm are much more believable.
  • Dustin Sklavos - Saturday, November 10, 2012 - link

    Argh, I knew I forgot to fix something. Fixed.
  • Kepe - Saturday, November 10, 2012 - link

    Thanks for all these great case reviews, Dustin!
    Might I suggest a look into slim HTPC cases? You know, cases one can put right next to their home theater amp in the TV stand, such as the Silverstone Milo ML03. Perhaps an article with many cases being compared to each other. I don't remember ever seeing a review about those cases on Anandtech. Anyways, thanks for all your great articles =)
  • sunflowerfly - Saturday, November 10, 2012 - link

    If you know of one, please let me know! If you look at what companies are buying from Dell and HP, they are mostly small or slim computers that don't take up much desk space. But I can't seem to find quality cases to build my own. How are the mainstream markets and the builder markets that much out of step?
  • Death666Angel - Sunday, November 11, 2012 - link

    I can recommend the JCP-MI-102, that is a great, small mITX case with a PSU supplied. They have more very slim, small cases as well. :)
  • sunflowerfly - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Looks like a nice case, but if asking for help should have added what i'm looking for. I really want a slim MicroATX case that can stand vertical on my desk behind my monitor. Nice enough to handle an i5 and mid range, low-profile graphics card. USB3 and optical drive on the front, internally an SSD, hard drive, and quality power supply. Quite and efficient cooling is a must. Seems simple, yet I can't find one.
  • Howard - Saturday, November 10, 2012 - link

    "As far as assembly goes, the Ghost is all but bulletproof"

    should be rewritten as

    "As far as assembly goes, the Ghost is anything but bulletproof"
  • cjb110 - Saturday, November 10, 2012 - link

    Don't think so, Dustin seems to be overall positive about the assembly. So its not quite bulletproof.

    Reading it your way, suggests the assembly was pretty bad, with lots of areas for bullets to get in :)
  • geforce912 - Saturday, November 10, 2012 - link

    Dustin, i think you should review the Nanoxia Deep Silence 1, it is an amazing case and you would love it.

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