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BitFenix Shinobi Window Mid-Tower Case

The Shinobi Window from BitFenix does exactly what everyone wants from a case. For anyone looking for a simple case the Shinobi Window is definitely worth taking a look at.

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Introduction

BitFenix offers a wide variety of cases ranging from flashy to simple; along with that comes a wide variety of price ranges and features. Today we will be looking at a brand new offering from BitFenix called the Shinobi Window. The Shinobi series was designed to offer dozens of great features while still staying in a low price range; this should make it a great case for many new system builders.

 

With an MSRP of $69.99, the Shinobi Window is quite a bargain. The size and expandability of this case are really quite impressive when compared to other cases in the same price range. Keep reading to see how this case does in our testing.

Features

Overall the Shinobi Window is a pretty standard case. There are plenty of hard drive and optical drive slots to use as well as plenty of places to add additional fans. The size is quite nice as well because it offers plenty of space to use any hardware without issues but at the same time it is small enough to not dominate a desk.

Killer Looks

From the uniquely crafted side panel window and fan vents, to the brushed aluminum accents, Shinobi Window carries through the signature BitFenix design philosophy of clean lines, understated elegance, and modern styling. If looks could kill, a glance at Shinobi Window could be your last.

 

 

Choose Your Destiny

The stealthy digital warrior must adapt to their environment. Available in with or without a windowed side panel, you can choose the Shinobi that blends perfectly with your surroundings. Whether you choose to walk the path of light or darkness, Shinobi has you covered.

 

 

Maximum Expansion

Serious rigs require serious hardware. That’s why Shinobi Window is engineered to handle up to three 5.25″ drives or eight 3.5″ hard disks. You can also install a 2.5″ SSD with the included adapter. Best of all, Shinobi Window can easily accommodate long graphics cards, which means that you can outfit it with the hardware necessary to eliminate the opposition.

 

 

Efficient Cooling

The effective gaming rig, like the warrior who wields it, must be cool under fire. Shinobi Window is adorned with unique mesh areas that can quickly dissipate excess heat. Shinobi Window can accommodate a bevy of fans – up to seven 120mm or two 140mm fans can be installed to ensure that all hardware stays as cool as the blood running through an assassin’s veins.

 

 

Plenty of Connectivity

The efficient warrior must have easy access to all the tools they need to get the job done. Equipped with no less than four USB 2.0 ports, Shinobi Window offers plenty of connectivity for all your USB devices so that you can keep you gear connected and ready for battle.

 

 

 

DIY Friendliness

Fighting should be done in game — not with your hardware. Shinobi Window comes with a wealth of DIY-friendly features, ensuring that getting your system setup is quick and efficient. A CPU cooler cutout makes it easy to change out your CPU cooler should the need arise. Shinobi Window comes with filtered fan intakes, keeping the interior clean and your system looking great. Shinobi Window even comes with convenient tool-free drive locking mechanisms for ultimate convenience.

 

 

BitFenix Quality

Shinobi Window comes with all the amenities and design touches characteristic of BitFenix chassis. BitFenix SofTouch™ Surface Treatment for resistance to fingerprints and stains surrounds the brushed gunmetal BitFenix logo emblazoned on the front. A luxuriously black coated chassis exudes both quality and refinement. With Shinobi Window, users can experience BitFenix quality both inside and out.

 

 

Specifications

Materials

Steel, Plastic

Color (Int/Ext)

Black/Black

Side Panel

Tinted Window

Dimensions (WxHxD)

205 x 460 x 490 mm (ATX Mid Tower)

Motherboard Sizes

Mini-ITX, mATX, ATX

5.25″ Drive Bays

x 3

3.5″ Drive Bays

x 8 (1 x external, using 5.25” adapter)

2.5″ Drive Bays

x 1 (using 5.25″ adapter)

Cooling Front

2 x 120mm (1 x 120mm included)

Cooling Rear

1 x 120mm (included) or 1 x 92mm (optional)

Cooling Side Panel

1 x 120mm (optional)

Cooling Top

2 x 140mm or 2 x 120mm (optional)

Cooling Bottom

1 x 120mm (optional)

PCI Slots

x 7

I/O

4 x USB2.0, Audio

Power Supply

PS2 ATX (bottom, multi direction)

Extras

Tool-free drive locking mechanisms

 

Pictures & Impressions

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From the pictures it is pretty easy to see what the packaging looks like for the Shinobi Window. BitFenix made it easy to see all of the important features and specifications of the case thanks to the nice layout. Otherwise the box design is a simple cardboard color; it isn’t super flashy but considering the price of the case, the packaging doesn’t need to do anything more than it does.

 

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For packaging, BitFenix did a pretty good job protecting the case. As expected the entire case came wrapped in plastic to prevent it from getting scratched; BitFenix also decided to protect the case from damage with some heavy duty styrofoam and it sure looks like it should protect the case pretty well. Overall the packaging is more than adequate in terms of protection and display.

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Here is the case itself; it is pretty clear that the Shinobi Window is a relatively plain case since there aren’t really any major aesthetic features or designs but overall the Shinobi Window actually looks quite good. The design is simple and clean and unlike so many other cases, is not about showing off which is a welcome change in budget computer cases. Upon first opening this case we were immediately surprised by the quality of the case itself. Most cheaper computer cases are thin, flimsy, or poorly constructed but this one from BitFenix really seems solid. This alone is probably the best part about the entire case.

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Next up is the tool less locking system used by the Shinobi Window. The top two images show the fairly simple locking system used to secure optical drives. It is fairly simple and obviously it requires no tools, although it is somewhat tricky to get the tab to actually lock into place. Unless the drive is in the exact correct spot the holes will not line up with the lock so it may take a bit of adjusting to make it work properly. On the bottom we see the hard drive locking system; it is pretty straight forward as well. A simple twist of the locks will release or lock the device into place. Our only real complaint here is that the hard drive locking system is used on both sides of the case which means users will have to remove both side panels to add or remove a hard drive.

As we can see in the image of the back side of the motherboard tray there is also plenty of space available for cable management. Compared to most cases this size or in this price range the cable management space and access is quite good.

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Next up is the case side profile; it is once again a relatively simple design with few major features to speak of. The case itself has a clean lined design which really is a refreshing break from so many of the flashy cases that are available today. Obviously there is a window on the left side (as implied in the name of the case) which gives a nice view of the motherboard and other hardware. On the right is the motherboard tray itself. Ttthe entire inside of the case is black which is once again part of the clean and simple design look. Fortunately, BitFenix also included numbered holes to make it easy for users to determine which holes to use for their motherboard.

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Here is a close up of the front of the case with one of the front panel covers removed; they come off easily with just a quick tug on the side. BitFenix did include a floppy drive adapter, which is a nice touch, though it is hardly necessary in most cases now. Fortunately BitFenix thought ahead and made it possible to use the same adapter for smaller hard drives and solid state drives as well. It was nearly impossible to remove the adapter for some reason but once it came out it was easy to insert anywhere else in the case.

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Here is the accessory bundle that was included with the case. It is all the standard stuff: plenty of screws, standoffs, and zipties for everything users need to do. There is also a quick start guide which offers plenty of information and advice for installing all of the components into the case; the guide is for both the Shinobi and Shinobi Window, however, so users must pay attention to which set of instructions they read.

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Here we see just the window itself. This is one of the things that separates the Shinobi from the Shinobi Window, and it is easy to see that there is a unique design to the window thanks to the angled shape. There is also a fan port with air vents so adding an additional cooling fan is easy to do.

Finally we have a few of the removable accessories that were included with the Shinobi Window. On the left is a closeup image of the removable adapter that can be used for floppy disk drives or SSDs if needed; it works well enough and it was nice of BitFenix to include it. On the right is a set of dustcovers that come with the Shinobi Window; this set was removed from the front fan and it attaches with a screw in the middle as well as a series of clips around the edges. Very few budget cases come with dust covers so it was nice to find this as well.

Assembly  & Installation

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Here is the installation of an optical disk drive; the tool less feature really makes it easy to install these and as long as the holes line up the system is quite secure as well. Simply sliding the optical drive into place is really all that is required for this step.

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Next up was the motherboard installation; there is obviously plenty of space as is clearly visible in the picture. There is more than enough room at the bottom for the power supply and thanks to the smaller size of the case it should be easy to route all of the cables as well. The overall width of the case also makes it possible to install larger CPU coolers if necessary, though for this test the stock CPU cooler was used as seen.

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Here is the final installation; with nearly all of the cables and additional hardware installed. There is obviously still plenty of space available although as you can see the cables are still sort of a mess. The large size of the connectors on this power supply made it difficult to route them behind the motherboard tray but for most power supplies we do not think it should be a problem at all.

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Finally we have the final installation with everything boxed up and ready to go. Through the window users can obviously see a little bit of the CPU and motherboard but thanks to the angled shape of the window not everything is visible.

Testing & methodology

For testing purposes, all of our testing runs were carried out three times and an average of the three runs is what is shown in the chart below. This ensures that we don’t have any random error in our results. The software used to stress components was LinX for the CPU, and Cinebench for the GPU, each for two hours. Our ambient temperature is shown in the chart for comparison.

Case

BitFenix Shinobi Window
CPU Intel i7 920
Motherboard Intel DX58SO
CPU Cooler Intel Stock
Storage 1TB Seagate, 320GB Seagate, 80GB Intel SSD
GPU Asus 4870DK

PSU

Sparkle 1000W

Results

The temperatures seen when using the Shinobi Window are obviously not superb, but they are not awful either. The fan setup on this case is not perfect but with the addition of one or two fans the cooling would improve quite a bit; although these fans are obviously not included in the low purchase price. For a budget case however, the Shinobi Window does an adequate job of cooling.

Conclusion

Overall the BitFenix Shinobi Window is a great budget case. Obviously it is not perfect, although in most ways, the Shinobi Window is more than adequate for what most people need. There is plenty of cable storage room available as well as a variety of additional features and accessories that BitFenix included.

The quality of the Shinobi Window is what surprised us the most; there were no issues with the side panels fitting and there was nothing broken or loose upon arrival. Everything fit together tightly as well which really makes it seem like a solid case.

OUR VERDICT: BitFenix Shinobi Window
Performance 8
Value 10
Quality 9
Features 8
Innovation 7
We are using a new addition to our scoring system to provide additional feedback beyond a flat score. Please note that the final score isn’t an aggregate average of the new rating system.
Total 8.5
Pros Cons

Simple Design

Adequate Cooling

Build Quality

PRICE!

Loud Fans

Some May See it as Boring

Summary: The Shinobi Window from BitFenix does exactly what everyone wants from a case. There is plenty of space for all sorts of hardware, the cooling is adequate for most needs, and it is built well. Some may say the design is boring but for anyone looking for a simple case, the Shinobi Window is definitely worth taking a look at. It earns the Bjorn3D Seal of Approval.

 

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