System Building with Shogun
Motherboard: ASRock X99 Extreme4
System Memory: 4x8GB 2666MHz DDR4
Processor: Intel Core i7 5820K @ 4.5GHz
Audio: Realtek ALC1150
Video: MSI GeForce 780 Ti
Disk Drive 1: Crucial MX100 256GB SSD
Disk Drive 2: WD Blue 3TB HDD
Enclosure: BitFenix Shogun
PSU: EVGA 850P2 850W Modular
Monitor: HP 23bw 23″ IPS display
Operating System: Windows 10 Professional 64-Bit
The results turned out great with the BitFenix Shogun. Motherboard standoff screws were already in place for a standard ATX motherboard. This reduced installation time as I only had to drop in the motherboard and plug everything else in. I had no problems installing the radiators, but the top panel was somewhat difficult to remove. With all the built-in cables, it did take longer to put the system together when compared to a more basic case. The Quick Custom Design aspect of the Shogun reminded me of the FreeForm Modular System found on the Cooler Master MasterCase series. I was very happy to see this modular concept introduced with the Shogun as this allowed for greater flexibility and customization.
I kept the E-ATX bracket installed to block off some of the cabling behind the motherboard tray as well as cleaned up the interior by removing the HDD cages and GPU support brackets. But suppose you did go with an E-ATX build, you would lose four HDD slots and the three GPU support brackets with the E-ATX bracket installed.
The cable straps behind the motherboard tray allowed for easy cable management. I used only a few cable ties to tie up some of the cables towards the bottom. Cable tie-down points are located all over the motherboard tray with some more on the E-ATX bracket. This is great especially for a system with many cables.
The Shogun did come with its own built-in RGB controller, but my power cables could not reach over the CPU cutout unless I pulled out more cables for my power supply. Instead, I removed the built-in controller and used the magnetic controller included with the Alchemy 2.0 RGB LED strips and placed it towards the bottom. This way I could hook it up to the same cable that fed power to my storage devices without pulling out more cables.
One problem I had was working with the short HD audio cable. Most motherboards have their front audio headers located towards the bottom left. With the Shogun, the HD audio cable just barely made it to the header ports on my ASRock X99 Extreme4 motherboard. There was quite a bit of strain on the cable without having to take shortcuts, which would affect cable management and aesthetics.
With the system powered on, the LED’s looked and worked well. I placed a strip towards the top, and one down at the bottom of the case. RGB color reproduction was fairly good with white having a tint of blue to it, while red was noticeably darker than any other color. Lighting effects worked well with its static and spectrum breathing effects as the colors synced nicely and transitioned very smoothly between one another. Just don’t mistaken the reset switch for the LED control switch as terrible things may happen.
With the tempered glass side panel installed, the case ran very quiet and looked amazing.
LED’s are nice to have, but I personally do not like having to see the LED’s especially when powered on. The LED’s on the SSD brackets would have looked better with the LED’s positioned on the opposite side. This would point the beams down without having to see the blinding LED’s. To me, a system looks much better when you see just the beam from the LED’s, not the LED’s themselves.
The system ran pretty quiet with the pre-installed fans running at their full speeds. GPU and CPU temperatures ran fairly cool and did not have any overheating issues. I would say the air intake at the front was a bit on the restrictive side. Since the top dust filter was not removable, cleaning it would be somewhat difficult because of the aluminum panel. I would recommend using the top as an exhaust instead of an intake. This would prevent any dust buildup between the filter and the aluminum panel.
If you do choose to go with air cooling, the Shogun has 175mm of clearance from the motherboard tray to the side panel for tall CPU coolers. This means it can support large CPU coolers, like the Noctua NH-D15 and the Phanteks PH-TC14PE, without a problem.
In the next section, we will finish this review with my final thoughts and conclusion.