BitFenix Neos Exterior

As we mentioned on the previous page, the Neos is available in multiple chassis/faceplate color combinations. BitFenix supplied us with both the black and white chassis of the Neos, shipping us a black/black and a white/white model of the case. The company also supplied us with the corresponding windowed side panels of each model.

Aesthetically, the Neos is based on a very simple, straightforward, and clean design. The chassis is just an ordinary SECC steel body, without any aesthetic modifications, while the faceplate basically is a metallic mesh on a plastic frame. The only aesthetic improvement is the rounded edges of the faceplate and the metallic mesh. This does not mean that the Neos is bad looking – a minimalistic design actually is much better than an extravagant "aggressive" appearance for most users.

Structurally, the Neos makes use of a thin (0.7-0.8 mm) SECC steel chassis, which is adequate for a case of this size and acceptable considering the price range of the case. The plastic frame of the faceplate seems good as well. The metallic mesh however can be an issue, as it can be easily disformed or damaged, especially when handling the 5.25" covers if you're not careful.

Aside from the aluminum company logo, the faceplate of the Neos is entirely plain. BitFenix moved the I/O ports and buttons to the top of the plastic faceplate frame. From left to right, we can see a round power on button, a rectangular reset button, the 3.5" audio jacks, two LED lights (power and disk activity), one USB 2.0 port, and one USB 3.0 port. (Note that providing a single USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 is a bit odd, as they usually come in pairs so effectively you lose one of each with this arrangement.) The positioning of the I/O ports and buttons limited the number of 5.25" bays to just two, but they should be more than sufficient for most users.

The removal of the faceplate reveals two filters. First, a foam-type filter is right behind the metallic mesh of the faceplate – this is sure to get dirty very easily. The second filter is a nylon net-type filter, covering the 120mm intake fan openings.

A look at the back of the case reveals that the Neos has its PSU compartment down at the bottom of the case, as well as two rubber grommets for the tubing of liquid cooling setups. These openings can also be used for cables, if required. The feet of the case are nearly 2.5 cm tall, which is a forced requirement as the intake of the PSU is below the case. A nylon net filter can be found there, removable towards the rear of the case, limiting the amount of dust that will be introduced into the PSU.

Introduction, Packaging & Bundle BitFenix Neos Interior
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  • maecenas - Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - link

    Wow, probably the most searing Anandtech review I've seen. Thank you for your honesty, I'll steer clear of this product.... Reply
  • nathanddrews - Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - link

    The first thing I thought was "are you sure your components are operating properly?" The results are outstanding, for sure. My personal experience with cases has been to either buy the most basic, affordable POS with its own PSU or go big and spend extra to get something really nice. There's not much in between. Reply
  • sfuzzz - Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - link

    Well, it's not completely true. For example, The CM N200 is a good microATX case (decent aestetics too, however it's subjective) that costs half the case in this review and can handle pretty powerful systems on air and liquid. Reply
  • drainplugofideas - Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - link

    I have that case! I really like it overall. Reply
  • Samus - Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - link

    I tried a Bitfenix Prodigy ITX about a year ago, and the case was simply awful. It weighed a ton, the panels were unnecessarily heavy, which directly correlated to poor thermals. It was like an oven inside, even with a 200mm intake and 120mm exhaust fan. The memory modules were too hot to touch. The 200mm fan was useless...even after replacing it with a coolermaster fan, it was apparent the problem was the air holes for the fan. There were 6 of them, and they are dime-sized. The intake system was starved. The appearance of these cases leads you to believe they are well designed, when in fact they are just a crap covered in glitter. The icing on the cake is the price. They are twice as expensive as competing models from Coolermaster, Antec, and Corsair, companies vastly more experienced in case manufacturing and design.

    Stay away from Bitfenix. If you're going to spend this level of money on something, get a "real" case from Lian Li, Silverstone, or a high end product from another established manufacture.
    Reply
  • Gigaplex - Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - link

    "I tried a Bitfenix Prodigy ITX about a year ago, and the case was simply awful. It weighed a ton, the panels were unnecessarily heavy"

    I have a Prodigy, and I agree, it's heavy for its size.

    "which directly correlated to poor thermals"

    It sounds like you got a model with the solid faceplate. The mesh faceplate models give excellent thermal performance, and I have no issues with mine. Even the AnandTech review of it gave it an Editors Choice award. The fact that the panels are heavy don't contribute to poor thermal performance.
    Reply
  • Alexvrb - Thursday, January 22, 2015 - link

    While not as good at conducting heat as aluminum, steel isn't really an insulator so I doubt having a little thicker panels is going to trash cooling performance. I've used some really stout cases, including oldschool Lian Li cases that were built out of what seemed like 1/4" thick steel. They worked great even though they had panels that were "unnecessarily heavy". Airflow is much more important and it sounds like the particular model you bought suffered from poor airflow. Based on what I've seen and heard it would Bitfenix has at least some good models out there. Also Coolermaster makes a variety of fans and depending on the model it may not push significantly more air especially in a restrictive case (perhaps due to poor static pressure - if they don't publish this number it probably isn't very good). Reply
  • SleepModezZ - Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - link

    Currently on Amazon the N200 is around $50 - as is the cheapest Neos. So not half the price. In Finland where I shop the N200 will cost a bit more than the Neos. Seems like a nice case and better for a gaming system but it is for a microATX board unlike the Neos that takes a full size ATX board. The Neos also has place for two 5.25 drives and not just one. (I don't think that many needs two optical drives but the 5.25 place could be used for something else. I usually have my 3.5 HDDs put into the 5.25 places to eliminate the amplification of vibration and seek noises by the case.) Reply
  • Samus - Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - link

    There is no debate about it. Bitfenix makes crap. Anybody who says otherwise either hasn't touched one of their piece of crap products, or unfortunately owns one and is in the deeper stages of denial but will eventually reach acceptance that they do in fact own a piece of crap.

    There are various Corsair and Coolermaster cases that may not be that much cheaper ($30-$40 such as the Elite 110, Elite 361 and the Corsair Carbide Spec-01) and not much of a looker, but are significantly better at actual cooling.

    I've had Rosewill cases that cost $20 and actually work, in that they house and cool components properly. Bitfenix is basically picking up old SECC tooling equipment on the cheap, hiring flunkie engineers to design what looks good, and selling them for bottom-dollar prices based on looks, not functionality or performance.
    Reply
  • hughlle - Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - link

    Unfortunately your opinion is completely and utterly contradicted by almost every review on the internet. So clearly there is a debate about it. Reply

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