BitFenix Colossus Detailed Features
Of course, the most prominent feature of the Colossus is the wrap-around LED lighting. This chassis is the Venom edition which can alternate between red, green or “breathing” modes.
The effect is stunning, especially for a “first edition” implementation. I’d imagine the team at BitFenix learned a few things from this Colossus, as the new Colossus M uses a better form of diffusion for more even illumination – and accomplishes a better effect with fewer LEDs (of course, it has much less area to light up). If there are ever plans to release an updated Colossus, I hope they can use the diffused/light pipe system from the Colossus M (along with a red/green/blue LED controller for more color options!); there were far fewer “hot spots” with the smaller Colossus M. I must say I really appreciate the engraved look on the original Colossus though – somehow it made the entire chassis look more menacing.
The white backing on the side panels helps reflect some of the light for better distribution (the side panel LEDs are only located along the top and bottom of the panel so the center of the panel is noticeably dimmer), although using frosted acrylic would have been even better. Removing the panels gives us a look at the interior – while ATX towers haven’t changed too much in the past few years, you can definitely see that 5.25″ bays were of greater use in 2010. The rubber grommets could stand to be a bit bigger and the tool-less 3.5″ drive trays a bit less flimsy, but overall it’s a flexible and expandable interior. There’s even room to mount a 240mm radiator up top if you wanted to.
Above is the S3-branded secure storage area. I can’t recall any other chassis right now that has such extensive cable management options for peripherals (although some of the Cooler Master cases have a PCI slot cover that can effectively secure a cord, and NZXT has their Bunker accessory) so this was a surprisingly useful addition for me. While the eSATA port has become a bit dated over the past few years, USB 3.0 ports are nice to see (there’s two USB 2.0 ports alongside the headphone/mic jacks too). There’s enough space for a portable hard drive to be locked away up here, and by using the cable management hooks you can secure your USB peripherals too. Power, reset, color mode and brightness settings (along with a fan controller) are all located here as well.
The power and HDD activity LEDs (blue and red) won’t shine through the front door, but I think the external lighting will do a pretty good job of letting you know if your system is powered on. The cord management channels won’t fit more than one cable at a time, but other cords can just drape across the front and use any of the cutouts along the side (five per side, two at the bottom). A keyboard and mouse would utilize these channels nicely. It’s a great feature, and surprisingly still pretty rare even among modern chassis.
Those channels continue all the way to the bottom of the case, so cords won’t need to be hanging off the side of the Colossus. There’s enough space behind the front door for cool air to find its way into the enclosure, but I could hear the included fan’s RPMs increase very slightly when opening the door (indicating that there is a bit of restriction). We’ll take a closer look at temperatures later, but it doesn’t seem to ultimately affect temperatures enough to make it an issue.
The BitFenix Colossus (Venom Edition, anyway) ships with two 230mm BitFenix Spectre fans as standard. It’s nice to see enough room up here for radiators too, even though all-in-one liquid coolers weren’t quite as commonplace then as they are now. A row of grommets up top are great to see since these are very useful if you add any additional fans, and the typical water-cooling holes in the back make an appearance too.
Finally, I think another look at the lighting systems of both Colossi are in order. It’s difficult to reproduce LEDs accurately in a photograph (at least for me!), but these three shots (combined in a .gif) turned out pretty good I think. Since this version of the Colossus doesn’t have tri-color LEDs like the Colossus M, the green washes out the blue on the Colossus M ever so slightly; otherwise these are pretty accurate to what each chassis will look like in a darkened room. The additional green light in back is from the green LED Spectre Pro fans BitFenix sent along to help test the performance capabilities of the two cases. Speaking of which, let’s see how they compare!