System Building With BitFenix Neos
Before starting to build I highly suggest you check for compatibility with all your hardware, specially if you are air cooling as the BitFenix Neos is not very wide. With a 158 mm height clearance you will have enough clearance for coolers such as the Dark Rock Slim, and the Cooler Master T4. It is also suggested you install the cooler prior to installing the motherboard as the CPU cutout hole is small.
I began to build by installing some extra fans to bring some air in from the front, as the BitFenix Neos only comes with a 120 mm BitFenix fan installed in the back. I installed two BitFenix Spectre Pro white LED fans which BitFenix kindly included with our sample of the BitFenix Neos. It should also be noted that if you buy one of the special edition BitFenix Neos they do come equipped with an extra fan at the front.
Hard drive installation is a breeze with the tool-less mechanism that BitFenix implemented on the Neos. The plastic brackets are very sturdy and stayed in place without any noticeable rattling. In total the BitFenix Neos offers three 2.5″ and three 3.5″ hard drive brackets from which the 3.5″ brackets also have holes for 2.5″ drive installation.
One of my biggest gripes with this case is the lack of fan mounts on the top of the case leaving only three fan mount locations. However if you are into modding you could easily make yourself some mounting holes on the top, and surprisingly there is a 1.25″ clearance between the rear exhaust fan and the top, which should be enough for many all in one water coolers.
As expected the case performed poorly regarding cable management as the motherboard tray does not extend all the way to the bottom. You could probably do a better job than I did if you zip tie the mess, however most of the cables will still be shown. Before installing the motherboard I recommend you remove the PCI slot covers, as they bend inward to be opened and this may damage your components.
Another problem I found with this case is the lack of space between the power supply and the bottom of the motherboard which means that if you have angled connectors like the one shown in the picture you probably won’t be able to plug it in.
A back view reveals my somewhat neat cable management. There was almost no space to route the 24 pin cable behind the motherboard tray, and even the small cables that I routed through managed to make the flimsy side panel a task to install back.
With all the sacrifices BitFenix implemented with the BitFenix Neos we still think that it is a mighty contender at this price point mainly because of how it looks. The optional windowed side panel does give a very appealing look and in this market, looks are probably your main concern. Building within the BitFenix Neos has it’s ups and downs but if you handle the case appropriately and with patience you will find yourself with a good looking build.