BitFenix Colossus Overview
The original BitFenix Colossus made quite an impression at the time. There wasn’t anything quite like it, and it still stands out as a behemoth of a case. Let’s start with a quick look around the outside, and then take a closer look at some of the detailed features of the Colossus.
The imposing, monolithic front profile of the Colossus is striking, even to this day. It has aged well, in my opinion – of course, I’ve always preferred matte finishes (and BitFenix’s SofTouch implementation is a very good example). The slightly recessed LED strips in the front panel add to the “monolith” feel of the door, as it gives a blocky impression to the entire thing. I’m almost a bit disappointed this exact design didn’t carry over to the smaller Colossus M given how great it looks in person (although perhaps it isn’t as suitable for a smaller area). The rear of the Colossus reveals nine PCI slots, and judging by the 120/140mm fan mount and space on either side of the ATX power supply location this is a pretty wide chassis (it would have to be, since it ships with two 230mm fans in stock configuration). It’s a bit strange we don’t see any additional mesh or venting on this back panel, especially above the PCI slots. The Colossus doesn’t really struggle with heat in the first place and it isn’t a “positive pressure” chassis like SilverStone’s Raven RV04, so perhaps it wouldn’t change much anyway.
The Colossus can be found in windowed or non-windowed versions; if you opt for one without a window you’ll receive a panel with additional lighting instead. The entire effect is nicely done, although the more recent Colossus M’s LiteTrak system is definitely more efficient/advanced (it only uses two LEDs for the entire case! The diffusion is better on the Colossus M as well). Still, very few cases ship with built-in lighting (other than fans) of any sort, making the Colossus a bit of a rarity even today.
The non-window version of the BitFenix Colossus is identical on both sides so the wrap-around lighting continues around both panels. It doesn’t use light-pipes like the Colossus M, instead using a row of LEDs on the top and bottom for illumination.
Continuing with the symmetric design, the hinges for the front door can be swapped if desired. Doors can be a bit annoying if they open from the “wrong side” (depending on where you place your case); this avoids the issue entirely.
A mesh exhaust vent for the included 230mm Spectre fan adorns the top of the Colossus, with the “S3″ system in front (a secure storage container that can be locked, we’ll see this up close in a bit). It’s interesting looking at the Colossus after reviewing the Colossus M – while it’s a small detail, I found myself wishing some more of these design elements would have carried over to the smaller, newer Colossus. I know the Colossus M is very heavily based on the Prodigy chassis, but I would have loved to see this same mesh design on the Colossus M for the top two 120mm fan mounts (if only in a nod to the original). Hey, if you’re going to use the same name…
A sliding filter covers the power supply intake fan, with two more filtered fan mounts in the middle. You’ll need to take these off to install fans (and they’ll need to be removed again to clean them), but I’m sure if this case was released again today these would be updated with sliding filters as well. More importantly, the front door contains a large area to intake cool air through the front mesh even with the door closed (a design element the Colossus M uses as well).
That’s it for the outside, let’s take a closer look at some detailed features of the original Colossus.