Until recent years small form factor chassis have been exclusive to HTPC or small form factor with older small form factor motherboards aimed at office and HTPC users mainly. With the surge in high quality and gaming focused small form factor motherboards, there has been a growing need to design and release an adequate and acceptable counterpart. Foremost in this chassis sector are BitFenix with products such as Prodigy and the chassis for review today, the Phenom Case.
The Phenom comes in two form factors, mATX and the mITX, the latter we have for review today. BitFenix are a growing company on the modders and custom build scene. They currently offer large and small form factor chassis, power supply units, gaming headsets and a number of other modding accessories.
BitFenix see this as a small case though packing support for a wide variety of requirements including water cooling and lots of storage,
Engineered to be a sleek modern cube design that suits any environment, fans of clean and elegant chassis are going to feel right at home with Phenom. The mesh accents along the sides of the case perfectly complement the smooth surfaces of the SofTouch-coated top and front panels. In the center is a highly-polished BitFenix logo that contrasts the subtle matte contours perfectly, creating a design that is ideal for any modern décor. And because different systems have different requirements, Phenom comes in both mini-ITX and micro-ATX variants to meet the needs of an even larger group of users.
For years we had a few large chassis such as the Corsair 700D and to be honest, we loved them, but they were pretty frustrating to move around the office when building, modding or cleaning. This isn’t going to be a dig at big rigs but we wanted something a bit smaller to test out some configurations, water cool and mod.
Here we go…
There are a couple of direct competitors these days including BitFenix’s own Prodigy and the Corsair Carbide Series Air 240. Unlike the aforementioned chassis, the BitFenix Phenom Mini ITX Chassis does not come with a window; a little disappointing.
There is also no window available on the BitFenix site and we had a Prodigy window kicking about which is too small for the case as well. The Prodigy and the Phenom share a common bloodline so you may think everything can be swapped, it can’t, so it’s going to be either waiting for BitFenix to release a window as they did for the Prodigy, or modding one yourself.
We ordered up one of these cases for a water cooling build which will appear as an article sometime in the future, but for now, let’s get going.
Firstly bad news; apart from the windowless design the chassis arrives in hard polystyrene which can be a terminal for any chassis packed in this way. Fortunately it was in good condition probably helped by the small dimensions all round.
Included are the usual instructions and accessories with the chassis fairly well wrapped despite the hard polystyrene packaging. The accessories include a USB 3.0 adapter which comes in very handy.
There are a lot of reviews for the chassis around so if you are here, this is probably a familiar chassis.
We probably went through the same steps you did if you are looking for a small form factor rig that’s good looking or even modifiable. With this in mind you may have come across the Power Supply compatibility question, something we hope to answer here.