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BitFenix Phenom mITX Case Review

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BitFenix Phenom Detailed Features

Now that we’ve looked at the changes on the outside, let’s take the side panels off and look at some of the internal features of the Phenom.

Phenom_Open1

You’ve probably seen this before; indeed the interior is essentially unchanged from the original Prodigy that spawned the Phenom.  Sharing the layout helps keep costs down I’m sure, and I don’t think it really needed improving upon in the first place (although a little smaller would be nice – it is an ITX case after all, but I suppose the extra space is what made the Prodigy different).  A 140mm power supply is essential, and is the only carryover from the Prodigy that could have used an adjustment.  A centimeter or two of extra space in the power supply compartment would help with installation, as we’ll see later.

Phenom_RearNoPanels

See the gap between the top panel and the chassis above?  The twin 120mm fan mounts are in the same place as on the Prodigy (and Prodigy M, for that matter) but the panel raises the removable filter away from the fans.  This will have the side effect of quieting some of the intake noise from the fans, as well as possibly improve airflow (many fans will change their airflow patterns drastically when placed directly against a filter or other restriction).  It’ll add a bit of height to the case, but without the handles the Phenom still has a much smaller profile than the Prodigy.

Phenom_RPanel

The panels can be swapped, placing the I/O cluster on whichever side you want it.  The included cables are long enough to reach the various layouts of mini-ITX boards.  Since two 2.5″ drives can be secured here, the default location for this panel (right side of the chassis) might make the most amount of sense as you can keep your SATA data and power cables all in the same location.

Phenom_Drives

BitFenix employs flexible plastic drive sleds, which simply bend around your hard drive and allow you to snap them in place using the rails in the drive cages.  I usually prefer attaching drives this way, as there aren’t any screws to mess with when swapping drives.  Of course they aren’t as secure as actually fastening a drive to the cage, but if you’re worried about them shifting in transit or something you can fasten down the sleds as well.


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1 comment

  1. David Ramsey

    I’ve always like the internal design of the Bitfenix mITX cases, but this modern conceit of putting the I/O panel on the side of the case continues to annoy me. Sure, you get a sleek front panel, but it reminds me of all the stupid things Jobs used to do at Apple in the name of aesthetics (1-button hockey-puck mouse, anyone?)

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