Bitfenix Nova Casing
In this review we are going to look at a small low-cost casing from BitFenix. A casing below 300 DKK, may not be worth much. Or can it? Read the review and join us, to judge whether it is worth the money.
BitFenix is quite well known for their larger casings, but they do actually make casings in many price ranges and types. The model we are going to look at this time is their Nova model, available in both black and white, and with and without window. The model I have for review is the white model without window.
First, let's look at the technical specifications:
As you can see, there should be room enough for most hardware, including high-end graphics cards. The CPU cooler can be up to 160 mm high, which should also be ok, and there is support for a 120 mm water cooler on the rear fan.
Let's look at the packaging:
The casing comes in a brown box with nice illustrations on the outside. When taking the casing out, it is wrapped in a transparent plastic bag with flamingo on the sides. So it's pretty well protected. However, you should just take care of static electricity. Plastic and Flamingo might give you some nasty shock.
This content included with the cabinet:
By content we find the quick installation guide, a bag of screws and a buzzer/speaker.
Shall we take a look at the casing:
As you can see, this casing is very stylish. There is no light or other fancy stuff in it. However, I like the stylish design, and the white color.
The front panel consists of the following functions from left. Drive activity that glows red, Power LED that lights up white, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, Power button, Audio out, Audio in, and finally a small Reset button.
On the front there is a black BitFenix logo, so you can see who made the casing.
If we take a look at the back, we can see that there is room for a 120 mm fan. There are a total of 7 expansion slots, so there should be enough room for most needs. The casing is a ATX casing, so there is room for large motherboards.
Under the casing there is a dust filter for the power supply. It is not very easy to get out, you must have small fingers.
It's time for a look inside the casing, and as you can see there is not much to move around. Everything is simply riveted in this cabinet and there is no drawers for the drives. It looks to put it mildly, a little old fashioned. This has to do with the price, which is located on the right side of 300 DKK.
The optical drive can be fitted without tools, which I do not completely understand, as you don't change these kind of driver more often than other drives.
Of great features you get a fan with the casing, and there is rubber feet that supports to the power supply. So you should not think of the supply which may knock towards the bottom, or miss some airflow in the casing. You can expand the airflow with 2 fans more in the front, which I show a little later.
The mounting of the hardware:
It is time to install some hardware. I have found a motherboard, a cooler and some other great things from the drawers.
As you can see behind the grill on the right, I have mounted an SSD behind there. It is well ventilated there, so it does not get hot. The same had been relevant if I had a 2.5 " HDD. There is also room for mounting a 2.5" drive horizontally just below the vertical one.
The motherboard is a mATX motherboard, and it fits quite well in this case. There is plenty of space for mounting connectors and the holes for cables fits nicely next to the connectors.
The cooler can be easily mounted after mounting the motherboard, as there was plenty of room on the back (I show in a moment), and all in all it was fitting quite fine.
I must admit that the back is actually a little challenging. There is not very much space for cables behind the motherboard, which is a challenge in itself. Had my power cables been round and sleevede, I could imagine they would have difficulty fitting there.
As you can see in the upper right corner I had to pull the power cable to the motherboard in between the bottom plate and the motherboard. It is not the optimal solution, but it could be done. There is simply no space between the bottom plate and the casing so I could get the plug through there.
On the left side, however, there plenty of space, and here you can then hide all of your cables.
Finally, an image taken from the front. Note that my cooler in the back could only just fit in there. It is a standard cooler in fairly normal height, so you have to just make sure that the things fit together when ordering casing and cooler.
Here in the front there is space for 2 x 120 mm fans, so you have the opportunity to create a reasonable airflow in this sing. The fans in the front draws air in through the grille on the sides of the front.
Now I need to come up with my judgment of the case, and it is actually quite clear to me. You get what you pay for, and this casing is actually pretty good.
The casing is in a price range where anyone can join in, and you get a casing that can contain a good air-cooled system. IF you want a small AIO system for your CPU, then it is also an option.
The graphic card, I mount the system is an AMD RX480 card, and it fit in there without any problems. The cooler the other hand, is a Enermax cooler, which is 160 mm high. That means that, it is precisely the height which is a maximum of this casing. It barely fits in there, and without hitting the side panel when mounted.
I actually think all in all, you are getting a quite good casing for the money, and you have the option to buy it with window if that's what you want. Prices start from around 230 DKK without delivery.
My judgment of the case is a big 5 star rating. You get an excellent casing is made in a thin materials. But the price and quality fit quite nicely together. For a higher rating, BitFenix should perhaps have done, so you could detach a bit of the drive bays, and possibly removed the tool free mounting of the optical drive. This I feel is a little foolish. And then the cabling behind the base plate to the extra power connectors should have been more possible.