BitFenix Shinobi XL Computer Chassis Review – Is Bigger Always Better?

TOP, BOTTOM, FRONT, AND BACK

Around the back, going from top to bottom, there is the slot needed to remove the top panel of the case. Below it, there are four rubber grommets in order to run tubes for water-cooling. On the left is the motherboard I/O panel cut-out, and a 120mm BitFenix Spectre rear exhaust fan to the right (upgradable to 140mm):

The nine PCI-E expansion slots have a neat ventilated mesh covering, instead of the usual solid aluminum. Finally, at the bottom lies space to mount the power supply:

At the top, a large ventilated metal mesh section houses a 230mm Spectre fan, and can also easily accommodate a 360mm radiator, or three 120mm fans. Also note the same ventilated indented mesh panels extended from the front of the case, which are running all the way to the back:

FRONT INPUT/OUTPUT PANEL

The front-panel (located at the top of the case), has the same orientation as the Shinobi. There is the small reset button, the big power button, microphone and headphone jacks, as well as the hard drive and power activity LEDs. The change comes in the USB ports. The XL sports four blue USB 3.0 ports (up from the four USB 2.0 in the original), as well as a new addition called a SuperCharge port (yellow). This is a pretty unique add-on, as it allows USB gadgets to be charged in the same speed and fashion as if they were plugged directly into a dedicated power source (2.5A):

Finally, at the bottom, there are four snazzy and twistable rubber feet, a removable dust filter for the PSU, and dual fan dust filters for mounting optional 120mm cooling fans at the inside-bottom of the case (fans not included). The handle slot to pull open the front of the case is also present, which is raised a tad from floor level to allow the ventilation grill to bring in fresh air:

6 comments

  1. If i can locate one in Australia i think i might replace my Fractal Desihn XL V3, as it has more ports on top, proper radiator holder built in (mine is mounted on top on machined holders). I just need to ensure it will hold all 12 HDD’s, 2 SSD’s and the OD. Water cooled 2600K running 4.8GHz, 16Gb 2133MHz CL9 ram @ 2430MHz, Waiting for funds for a 670/680 (currently 570). Mainboard Asrock Extreme 7 gen 3.

    • 14 drives huh? I’d like to see the final build 🙂

      Wanted to apologize for spelling and grammar errors. Something went wrong during the port over to the editor. Will have those fixed soon.

  2. too bad im currently into laptop and only laptops, and will most likely not go back to desktop anymore. i do like the desktop cases they do provide more drives, and obviously more cooling and with the latest motherboard/chipset they can have more than two SATAIII ports, which laptop is currently lacking.

    nevertheless, great review

    • Thanks! 🙂

      A lot of people share your way of thinking, and I can’t blame them. It’s just more convenient to use a portable device. As you said, the ability to expand storage isn’t quite there yet without giving up the mobility of a laptop, but hopefully cloud-computing gets to a point where it’s possible.

  3. let me know where to send the pictures….

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