Bitfenix Raider Introduction
Looking to build an awesome gaming rig on a tight budget, Bitfenix can help you with their latest case named Raider that gives you "relentless performance and unstoppable value" according to them. Bitfenix jumped into the case market with the release of their full tower Colossus chassis back in 2010 and have had a steady release of cases since, most of them reviewed right here on Legit Reviews.
The Raider mid-tower case only comes in black with several nice high end features including an integrated fan controller and four USB 3.0 I/O ports. As of this writing the distribution was not complete and several stores that were supposed to be carrying the Bitfenix Raider did not have it listed. We did however find it at a few boutique stores such as Performance-PCS for $89.95 + shipping.
Bitfenix Raider Specifications:
- Model: BF-RAIDER
- Materials Steel, Plastic
- Dimensions 210 x 500 x 493mm (ATX Mid Tower)
- Motherboard Sizes Mini-ITX, mATX, ATX
- 5.25" Drive Bays x 4
- 3.5" Drive Bays x 6
- 2.5" Drive Bays x 7
- Cooling Front 2 x 120mm (included) or 1 x 200mm (optional)
- Cooling Rear 1 x 120mm (included) Cooling Top 1 x 200mm (optional)
- Cooling Bottom 1 x 120mm (optional)
- PCI Slots x 7 I/O 4 x USB3.0, HD Audio
- Power Supply PS2 ATX (bottom, multi direction)
- Warranty 1 year limited
Unboxing the Bitfenix RaiderWhile we have received a few beat up boxes for our cases lately this one takes the cake. Apparently there is a ferocious box eating wolverine at the shipping company and our sample Bitfenix Raider barely made it out alive!
The front of the box is just a big BitFenix logo and the Raider name.
Beside the gnarl marks, the left side of the box has the model number and calls out the color: Black.
The back of the case highlights the soft touch, included Spectre fans, and has other light marketing text. This view also is a good shot of the wolverine damage.
The Right side of the box is just a top image and list the specifications for the Bitfenix Raider.
Lucky for us Bitfenix used the standard thick foam to protect the case and other than some foam damage the case appears to be in perfect condition.
Outside the Bitfenix RaiderBitFenix has been using what they call "soft touch" as a material on the exterior of their cases lately and we have to admit it is really a nice looking feature that dresses up the case. For the BitFenix Raider they utilized this rubbery material up the front sides and around across the top with black mesh steel in between.
The front of the case has 4 knock outs in the black mesh for 5.25" devices and has nice rounded corners on the bottom. There is a large BitFenix logo at the bottom of the mesh panel and dual Specter 120mm filtered intake fans behind it.
The left side of this value case is simple steel panel with indentations to help you pull back the panel and open this side. We did notice that the panel is very thin and a bit flimsy but that is one of the trade offs you have to make for a budget minded case. It does its job to cover the components and manage air flow and dust well enough that the thinness is not much of an issue. Thicker panels just help with sound and vibration a bit more.
The back of the case has your typical reversible PSU mount with 7 ports above that and a Specter 120mm exhaust fan. They also included dual ports to run tube for external water cooling.
The right side of the BitFenix Raider looks just like the left, a solid black metal panel with grips to pull back the panel after you remove the thumb screws.
The top of the case is again all mesh and has four USB 3.0 ports, headphone and mic ports, power, reset, activity lights, and a fan controller switch.
The bottom of the case has filtered intakes for the PSU and optional bottom mounted 120mm fan. Also notice the four round areas that look like they are for feet. The feet are included in the pack below but not installed by default.
Back on top of the case the left side has four USB 3.0 ports, the mic, and the headphone ports all within easy access.
On the right side of the top are the power and reset buttons, power and HDD activity light, and a variable fan controller slider.
If you pull the top up it reveals the wires going to the top I/O and a large circle for an optional top mounted 200mm fan. It did not appear there were mount points for any other sizes so this is a case of go big or go home.
If you pull the front plate off the BitFenix Raider it reveals the top 5.25" bay open and below it are three steel knock outs you have break away if you want to use them. Under that section is the dual 120mm BitFenix Specter fans that are claimed to have very high noise to airflow ratios for silent cooling. You can also remove these and replace them with a single 200mm fan if you prefer.
The entire front panel of the Raider is filtered, even the individual 5.25" bay covers. This is a surprisingly nice touch for a budget targeted case that you do not even find in some higher end cases.
Finally, BitFenix includes an owners manual, rubber and chrome plastic feet, assortment of screws, speaker, and a few black zip ties for cable management.
Inside the Bitfenix Raider
After unscrewing the thumb screws and pulling off the panels we get a nice look inside the BitFenix Raider and see that like most cases these days it has a very nice matching black interior color.
Even though this case is targeting the value minded gamer they included several features usually reserved for more expensive cases such as grommets along the edge and bottom of the motherboard tray. There are dual hard drive cages and the top one is removable to accommodate long GPU's. There are dual USB 3.0 cables from the four USB 3.0 ports that come with secondary USB 2.0 plugs. There is also a large cut out to make installing your cooler after the motherboard is installed a snap.
A VERY COOL feature of the BitFenix Raider is that the top mounted USB 3.0 plugs actually have USB 2.0 plugs hanging off them in case you have an older motherboard that lacks USB 3.0 headers!
The BitFenix Raider utilizes tool free locking mechanisms for the 5.25" bay that we have seen them use on their other cases. This design works fairly well but does allow a bit of wiggle depending on what is mounted in the bay.
The hard drive cage has a top and bottom cage with the top removable by that thumb screw you see in the middle of the picture. Each cage holds three trays for a total of six internal 3.5" drives.
Like most cases today the HDD tray uses pins held with rubber grommets to secure 3.5" hard drives and has holes to bottom mount a SSD making these universal trays.
This image shows the under side of that top tray where you can mount a 200mm fan.
After doing several case reviews and complaining about the lack of easy access to the supplemental ATX power connector at the top of the case, BitFenix has a simple solution of just notching out a 3" long port at the tray crease.
The bottom has four rubber feet to support your PSU and the filtered intake for a bottom facing fan (just make sure you use the included feet)
Around back we have all the wires from the top I/O panel hanging down and a few zip tie anchor points.
Installing a system in the Bitfenix Raider
The last phase of our review is actually installing a system in the BitFenix Raider case to see how livable this case is and get a final count of banged knuckles.
The first thing we noted is that for a mid-tower case this is actually fairly easy to install especially given all the tool free mounting options. We have noticed that there are several budget minded cases on the market today that are starting to use grommets for the wire pass through points which is great. However, the main difference between the expensive cases and the value cases is the quality of the grommets and the Raider is no different. They constantly fell out from the simple act of pulling wires through them but were fairly easy to pop back in place. Deal breaker, no, inconvenient, yes.
We were a bit worried about the space above the motherboard for that 200mm fan but to our surprise there is 30mm of clearance which should be plenty.
There is a fair amount of room for your PSU cables but the bottom wire port is a little tight for a lot of cables.
Moving around back we didn't bother to do cable management but we did notice there are fewer zip tie anchor points than the higher end cases we have seen. However the cable pass through points are well thought out and large enough for our 24pin cable.
The rear allows for 20mm of space behind the motherboard tray for cable which is a bit snug on the 24pin power cable so expect a slight bulge in the thin rear door unless you tie it down tight to the back wall.
Final thoughts on the Bitfenix Raider
BitFenix has been busy churning out cases that target the sweet spot of the enthusiast market ranging from budget cases like this Raider to their high end Colossus full tower case.
We have seen several budget cases focused on the sub $100.00 market and each time they have more and more high end features trickling down. This is a great trend we have seen from other manufacturers as well such as Corsair and great we have another company following suit.
The BitFenix Raider's high end feature list:
- Black interior
- Grommets on all cable pass through points
- Modular hard drive cage to allow for long GPU's
- Tool free bays
- Plenty of airflow and places to mount fans
- Full USB 3.0 ports with USB 2.0 plugs for backwards compatibility
- Inclusion of their low dBA Spectre series fans
- All intake ports are filtered even the 5.25" bay plugs
This really makes this case a great value for the buck and living with the BitFenix Raider a much more enjoyable experience. The soft touch finish and the clean mesh panel that goes from the font over the top is very stylish while allowing for excellent thermals. The top mounted 200mm fan port is a unique option and the bottom 120mm optional fan intake is a great touch. This case allows the mounting of up to five fans, with two being 200mm or four fans with three being 200mm variety. Quiet airflow should not be a problem in this case. We loved the USB 3.0 / USB 2.0 cables from the top I/O ports, what a ingenious design.
The only things we were a bit disappointed in were the low quality materials and how flimsy the grommets were by falling out easily. We also wished BitFenix had a mounting option for something other than a 200mm fan in the roof in case someone wanted a themed 120mm fan color. These are very minor and the material quality does not hamper usability. You do get what you pay for.
With a one year warranty and a street price of $89.95 + shipping from one of the boutique vendors currently carrying this BitFenix case we want to give the Raider the editor choice award for budget cases. We are not sure there is much more you could ask for from a sub $100.00 case in the mid-tower space.
Legit Bottom Line: Looking for a mid-tower case on a budget the BitFenix Raider is sure to please with many of features found on high end cases and good looks to boot.