BitFenix has a very nice case on its hands with the Shinobi XL. The Shinobi XL has loads of features, room for the largest of hardware, and can pack a fair bit of water cooling options out of the box without mods. The front I/O panel having 4 USB 3.0 ports along with the SuperCharge port is really nice. The SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports are made even nicer by the fact that BitFenix thought of users with older boards with no USB 3.0 internal headers and incorporated USB 2.0 plugs into the case wiring, so no adaptors to lose.
From the start with the Shinobi XL I was mainly focused on water cooling, and how much I could cram in the case and not cut on something. I was very happy with what I was able to put in the Shinobi XL, and how easy it went together. I was not too thrilled how my Swiftech H20-220 Edge HD kit fit, but that is not the fault of the case and I’m already in the process getting a parts list together to finish the loop.
Wire management in the Shinobi XL was a breeze, plenty of room behind the motherboard tray and places to tie wires up. Even with my non modular power supply I was able to get a clean look. In all the time I spent with the Shinobi XL I only had one real issue with it and that was with the top panel breaking after being removed a couple times. I wasn’t being rough with it, so I was a little shocked it it broke and feel that BitFenix needs to look at the strength of of the plastic a bit.
BitFenix has said that the MSRP for the US is $149 for the non window version, and $159 for the windowed version we looked at today. We found the windowed version for $159.99 plus shipping on Newegg. At those prices the Shinobi XL is attractive for those wanting a large case or need a case they don’t have to do any mods to get water cooling installed. At $150-160 range the Shinobi XL is competing against cases like the Cooler Master HAF932, CM Storm Trooper, and Silver Stone Raven. Not all of those can handle XL-ATX motherboards or have 9 expansion slots. The more subtle style of the Shinobi XL is also not as aggressive as those cases either. That is a plus to those who to not care for the aggressive looks of cases like the HAF and CM Storm lines.
Legit Bottom Line: The Shinobi XL from BitFenix is a very well laid out case, that can take the biggest of air coolers and video cards, and can also be outfitted with water cooling with no mods. If you’re in the market for a full tower with loads of room, put the Shinobi XL on the short list.