Introducing the BitFenix Shinobi (Window)

Compared to some of the vendors we've reviewed cases from thus far, BitFenix seems like a young pup. Antec and In-Win have been around for a long time, and Silverstone has established itself as a go-to for quality enclosures. But BitFenix has been making a lot of waves in a short period of time, producing attractive cases designed to appeal to consumers who are less about bling, be they a gamer or not. Today we're taking a look at BitFenix's Shinobi ATX enclosure (windowed version). With an MSRP of just $69.99, is it the budget ninja we've been looking for?

First impressions when I opened the box for the BitFenix Shinobi were extremely positive. When an enclosure comes out with the price that BitFenix is shipping the Shinobi at, it tends to wear that low price tag on its sleeve. The competition is often gaudy, making heavy use of cheap looking plastic, and such cases frequently aren't particularly user-friendly. The Shinobi on the other hand is actually quite mild by comparison, maybe even austere. It's worth noting that BitFenix offers two different models of Shinobi, one with a window (dubbed the "Shinobi Window") and one without. The windowed version costs an extra $10 and includes tool-less installation for the hard drives. That's what we're looking at today.

BitFenix Shinobi Window Specifications
Motherboard Form Factor ATX, Micro ATX, Mini ITX
Drive Bays External 3x 5.25" (includes 5.25"-to-3.5" external or 2.5" internal bay adapter)
Internal 8x 3.5"
Cooling Front 1x 120mm intake fan (3-pin header), one open 120mm fan mount
Rear 1x 120mm exhaust fan (3-pin header)
Top 2x 120mm/140mm fan mounts
Side 1x 120mm fan mount
Bottom 1x 120mm fan mount
Expansion Slots 7
Front I/O Port -
Top I/O Port 4x USB 2.0, headphone and mic jacks
Power Supply Size ATX
Clearance 13" without hard drive/10" with hard drive (Expansion Cards), 170mm (CPU HSF), 300mm without bottom fan/180mm with bottom fan (PSU)
Weight 15.5 lbs.
Dimensions 18.1" x 8.1" x 19.3"
Price $69 MSRP

The Shinobi doesn't include a native 3.5" external bay or 2.5" drive mount for SSDs, but BitFenix does happily include an adapter that can be used for either of these which I'll show you during the assembly. My only complaints regarding the adapter are that there isn't more than one, and that it does take up one of the 5.25" bays. Other than those points, it's a fairly elegant solution.

One other issue you may run into is clearance: while our Zalman CNPS9900 was able to fit with some headroom, you may have a little trouble with larger tower coolers. Likewise, you're not going to be able to fit a 240mm radiator inside the case, since the radiator and fans are liable to butt up against the motherboard. That's not a huge complaint since if you're going to use a 240mm radiator and liquid cooling system, you're probably going to spend more than $69 on your case. Finally, our GeForce GTX 580 did have some clearance issues with hard drives installed behind it, so be forewarned: when using a longer card you'll wind up losing one or two of the copious eight 3.5" bays.

In and Around the BitFenix Shinobi
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  • 7Enigma - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    I have to agree with the other comments. Testing a worst-case scenario is extremely useful, but for a very small percentage of the target market at this budget level. There has to also be a test done at a more reasonable build configuration. I think reasonable build in this day and age is 1 SSD drive (boot), 1 large mechanical HDD (storage), and one optical drive. I'd wager >80% of the potential buyers of this case have that (or less with only a single large mechanical HDD) to install. Seriously man there are 8 drive bays! Very few if anyone is going to use 6, let alone all 8.

    I get it, it's extra work to retest with a slightly different configuration, but I believe to only test in worst case it unfairly showed this product that otherwise seems to be a great value for the money. So here is my recommendation:

    -Standard testing (as mentioned above: 1 GPU, 1SSD, 1 HDD, 1 optical drive)

    -Torture testing (2 GPU's in SLI/Xfire, 1 SSD, X HDD, 2 optical drives), where X is the number to fill the drive bays for the particular case.

    For the torture test you HAVE TO ACTUALLY FILL THE BAYS! Just placing a few components in the worst airflow locations isn't accurately showing how the case behaves in a full build, it artificially kind of mimics what *might* happen, but isn't a real representation.

    Please consider my comments and I want to clarify that I thought your review was fantastic. I just want to see the testing a bit more complete.

  • bhima - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    Pretty darn nice noise levels. I wonder how this stacks up to an Antec 900. I still think you need to review the Antec 900 since its possibly the most popular case designed and it has been copied by most of the other vendors.
  • MeanBruce - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    If I was 15 years old, this would be my case of choice, how stupid, at least Bitfenix is finding their market.
  • inspire2 - Friday, June 24, 2011 - link

    The case looks good. The $70 price point is pretty competitive these days. It might be interesting to do a case roundup.

    I'd probably still lean towards the CM HAF 912 in this price range. This is at least a nice looking alternative.
  • cakeab - Sunday, June 26, 2011 - link

    --Something unexpected surprise--

    Hello. My friend

    === {{w w w }} {{be tter whole saler }} {{ u s }} ====

    Dedi cated service, the new style, believing you will love it!!!



    thank you!!!

    -- w w w . jordan forworld . c o m -
  • benn - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    I have been looking at this case and does anyone know if it will fit the h100i without moding the case using the fans as an intake?

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