BitFenix Shinobi Window Case Review

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Component installation into the BitFenix Shinobi Window MidTower

Mid tower cases are perfect for enthusiasts that are looking for enough room to handle several HDD, one or two Optical Drives and maybe SLI or X-Fire in a small package.  However this form factor does make it a little harder to get all those components inside without banging a few knuckles.  Thankfully the BitFenix Shinobi Window is one of the easiest mid towers I have had the pleasure of installing components into.   I went from empty case to POST in under 20 minutes.  Then I spent another 10 minutes cleaning up the cabling with those great tie anchors. 

BitFenix Shinobi Window installation

The power supply spot is at the bottom giving the case a great center of balance so it is not prone to tip over.  However, you need to think about this when you are purchasing your PSU because getting to the top corner of the motherboard to connect 8 pin ATX power means you need either a long run from the PSU or use an extender as I had to for my build.

BitFenix Shinobi Window ATX power

I installed a standard ATX motherboard, the Asus P8P67, to handle my Intel i5 2500k chip for this build.  Utilizing that nice hole in the motherboard tray I installed the massive Cooler Master Hyper 212+ tower cooler to keep the temps down.  I am happy to report the side panel fit with room to spare, something you need to be careful of with some mid towers.  

BitFenix Shinobi Window mobo
The case was easily able to fit my GTX 570 at 10.5 inches (267 mm) in the case with a little room to spare before the drive cage.
BitFenix Shinobi Window GPU room
I appreciated the bottom filtered vent design of the PSU area because it is set up for a side fan PSU to face either up or down depending if you want it to help vent your case or simply pull in cool room air.  They really have thought of everything.
BitFenix Shinobi Window back wiring
Wire routing was easy with the space behind the motherboard tray, tie anchors, and large pass through ports.   I only wish there was a little more room at the top of the case for a hole to run the extra ATX power so I did not have to run it across the top of the motherboard.  
BitFenix Shinobi Window wire space
The only real challenge I had with the case was that the audio cables from the I/O & power panel on the top of the case were a bit short and I had to really tug on it to make it reach the audio plug.  The USB cables were also a little short for comfort.
With the smoke colored window it a pretty hard to see the components inside the case in a room with enough light to get a good picture.  You can just barely make out the top of the Hyper 212+.  If you wanted to show off your gear I think some sort of internal lighting is mandatory with a smoked window.
BitFenix Shinobi Window install panel on
I played around with some 120mm Scythe Gentle Typhoon 1850 RPM fans I had laying around and found that generally air flow in the case was very good.  Even with a modest overclock on that i5 the air flow was easily able to keep the CPU in the mid 40c range at 100% load.  The GeForce 570 even stayed in the high 60c to low 70c at 100% load meaning the case did not hold much if any heat.  Further, while it is great that a budget case includes intake filters on the front and bottom fan ports the fact that they are simply a vinyl sheet means they are really flimsy.  This is not a big deal for the front since it is protected behind the bezel but the two on the bottom are just held by the edges and kept falling out as I shifted the case installing components.  The rubber feet raise the case and give them a bit of protection but on carpeted surfaces they still get knocked out by the carpet if you even slightly nudge the case.
 
To explore additional cooling I looked at installing a 240mm radiator to the top of the case but there simply is not enough room between the top and the motherboard blocks.  The bottom can hold a 120mm fan but there is not enough room for a 120mm radiator and the back of the PSU unless you have a really short PSU.  My OCZ 700w is only 6.5” and it simply wound not fit.  However the back of the case appears to have enough room to hold something like a Corsair H50 if you did want to try to do some moderate water cooling of the CPU.  Otherwise you have to use the two ports and hang your radiators off the back or top of the case.
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