BitFenix Shinobi XL Full Tower Case ReviewFri, Jun 22, 2012 - 12:00 AM
Moving Inside the Shinobi XL
Pulling the side panel off you can get a feel for the room in the case. The Shinobi XL can handle video cards up to 334mm in length with HDD cage in place or up to 487mm with the hard drive cage removed. The Shinobi XL also has a massive 182.1mm or 7.1″ of head room for CPU air coolers. Most current high-end super coolers stand only 6.2″ tall. Each of the 5.25” bays are tool-less, the HDD trays will hold either 2.5” or 3.5” drives.
The drive cage can hold seven 2.5” or 3.5” hard drives. The cage can also be turned so that drives run front to back rather than side to side. It can also be removed completely to make room for water cooling either in the bottom of the case or in the front.
With the cage removed there is space for two 120mm fans or a single 240mm radiator in the bottom of the case.
I like what BitFenix has done with the USB3.0 cables. Since there are two cables for the 4 front ports, and most current motherboards only have one internal USB3.0 header, BitFenix melded in a USB2.0 pigtail to the USB3.0 cable. Similar to how most cases have AC97 and HD audio connections on one cable. As I will show in the install section the USB2.0 pigtail is long enough to leave the big USB3.0 connector behind the motherboard tray and reach the USB header on the motherboard. Very nice BitFenix, very nice.
Another thing BitFenix did that I like, and wish more would do, is not have a molex connector for powering the front panel. Rather a SATA style connector. Yes, I know the molex is a necessary evil for some things, but I would like it to go away.
In the back is the power supply area. There are rubber posts for the power supply to rest on that help reduce noise and vibration.
On the back are the 9 expansion slots with thumbscrews and the included rear 120mm exhaust fan.
The top has a preinstalled 230mm exhaust fan, but it is setup to accept three 120mm fans or up to a 3×120 radiator. With the triple radiatior setup you will lose the top two 5.25” bays. The space for the rad and fans is 80mm max total thickness.
Same for the front as well. If the drive cage is removed the front 230mm intake fan can be swapped for 3×120 radiator or three 120mm fans. You do loose the three lower drive bays with the triple fan setup. The max thickness for rad and fans here is 84mm.
Pulling the front panel off we can see there is a front intake filter screen. The bottom three 5.25” bay have the third 120mm fan mount and vent in the stiffener plates. If you remove these plates you lose the mounting points as there is no way to put them back once removed.
On the right side BitFenix gave the Shinobi plenty places and space to tie and hide wires out of the way.
Between the motherboard tray and the side panel is 32.5mm of space.