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

TOOL-LESS DRIVE BAYS

On top of the dual dust filters lies the hard drive cage, which supports seven 2.5/3.5 drives. The lock mechanism for the plastic trays requires a simple pinch inwards to remove, and slide to snap back in. The entire cage can be removed, which gives access to the front 230mm Spectre fan that provides the drives with lots of airflow. This can also be removed for the installation of a 360mm radiator, or three 120mm fans by detaching the front panel. Removal of the drive contraption also gives access to the aforementioned dual fan area at the bottom of the chassis (two 120mm fans; one 240mm radiator):

Above the drive cage is the optical drive-bay area. Like the drive brackets, the drive-bay system is a tool-less design, the same seen in the BitFenix Colossus. The BitFenix button in the middle can be depressed and moved to either side for locking. The same latches are found on the back of the Shinobi XL as well:


BEHIND THE TRAY

Speaking of that, the other side of the XL provides a closer look at the optical and hard drive bays, the various wire routing areas, the front 230mm fan, and the large motherboard cut-out for CPU heatsink installation. Keep in mind that the motherboard tray cannot be removed:

For tucking in cables or installing LED strips behind the motherboard tray, there is a whopping 35mm of clearance available. ~5mm will be taken up by the latching brackets used by the side panels, but that still leaves a sizable amount of room.

Finally, the front panel cables include the usual LED, audio, microphone, power, and reset switches, USB 3.0 connectors, and a SATA power header for the SuperCharge port. It is nice to see the wiring encased in black to match the overall theme of the XL:

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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