Bitfenix Shinobi XL Case Review
By Gabriel Torres on May 8, 2012


Introduction

Hardware Secrets Golden Award

The Shinobi XL is the latest full-tower case from Bitfenix, featuring nine expansion slots and, therefore, supporting XL-ATX motherboards. It has the same basic look as the original Shinobi mid-tower case, with a rubber coating on its front and top panels. Let’s see what the Shinobi XL brings to the table.

Bitfenix Shinobi XL case
click to enlarge
Figure 1: Bitfenix Shinobi XL case

Bitfenix Shinobi XL case
click to enlarge
Figure 2: Bitfenix Shinobi XL case

The left panel of the Shinobi XL has a huge transparent window.

Bitfenix Shinobi XL case
click to enlarge
Figure 3: Left panel

The Front Panel

The front panel of the Bitfenix Shinobi XL has five external 5.25” bays, using solid covers. The case comes with an adapter to convert any of the 5.25” bays into an external 3.5” bay, which also supports the installation of a 3.5” or 2.5” internal device. The front panel and the bay covers have a rubber coating, which prevents fingerprint marks on the case and also gives the product a very professional look.

Bitfenix Shinobi XL case
click to enlarge
Figure 4: Front panel

Two thin meshes that run on the sides of the front panel provide the air intake for the big 230 mm fan (Bitfenix BFF-SCF-23030KK-RP) that comes installed on the front panel of the Shinobi XL. It uses a three-pin fan connector, but more technical specifications are not provided by the manufacturer. This fan has an air filter in front of it, as you can see in Figure 5, and it can be replaced with three 120 mm fans.

Bitfenix Shinobi XL case
click to enlarge
Figure 5: Front fan

The Top Panel

The top panel of the Bitfenix Shinobi XL is meshed and received the same rubber coating treatment as the front panel. It comes with a 230 mm fan installed and supports the installation of another one, or you can install three 120 mm fans if the 230 mm fan is removed.

Bitfenix Shinobi XL case
click to enlarge
Figure 6: Top panel

Bitfenix Shinobi XL case
click to enlarge
Figure 7: Top panel

The case comes with four USB 3.0 ports, one USB “SuperCharge” port, and the traditional audio jacks on the front side of the top panel. See Figure 8. The USB 3.0 ports use internal USB 3.0 connectors that come with USB 2.0 connectors as well, so if your motherboard doesn’t have two internal USB 3.0 headers, you can still connect the USB 3.0 ports to USB 2.0 headers and use them. The USB “SuperCharge” port only provides power and is able to deliver up to 2.5 A of current, which is five times greater than the usual limit. This is accomplished by using a SATA power connector.

Bitfenix Shinobi XL case
click to enlarge
Figure 8: Buttons and connectors

The Bottom and Rear Panels

The bottom panel of the Bitfenix Shinobi XL has three air filters, two for the optional bottom fans and one for the power supply fan. See Figure 9.

Bitfenix Shinobi XL case
click to enlarge
Figure 9: Bottom panel

The rear panel and the interior of the Bitfenix Shinobi XL are painted black.

The case has nine expansion slots, using vented covers. This allows the case to support XL-ATX motherboards and the installation of up to four dual-slot video cards, if your motherboard also allows this configuration, of course. Cases usually come with seven expansion slots.

There is a 120 mm fan on the rear panel (BFF-SCF-12025KK-RP). This can be replaced with a 140 mm fan or a sealed liquid cooling solution for the CPU that uses either a 120 mm or a 140 mm fan. This fan uses a three-pin fan power connector and, again, the manufacturer didn’t disclose its technical specifications.

On the Bitfenix Shinobi XL, the power supply goes on the bottom part of the case.

There are four holes protected with rubber covers for hoses of liquid cooling solutions, each measuring 0.8” (21 mm) in diameter.

Bitfenix Shinobi XL case
click to enlarge
Figure 10: Rear panel

Let’s now take a look inside the Bitfenix Shinobi XL.

Inside the Bitfenix Shinobi XL

Both panels are attached to the chassis using black thumbscrews. The motherboard tray has a huge hole for you to access the backplate of the CPU cooler without having to remove the motherboard from the case, several holes protected with rubber covers for you to route cables behind it, and several metallic clips for you to fasten cables using cable ties.

Bitfenix Shinobi XL case
click to enlarge
Figure 11: Overall look

Bitfenix Shinobi XL case
click to enlarge
Figure 12: A view behind the motherboard tray

Figure 13 gives you another overall look inside the case. Expansion cards are fastened using black thumbscrews. The Bitfenix Shinobi XL supports video cards up to 13.5” (344 mm) long or up to 19.2” (487 mm) if the hard drive cage is removed, and CPU coolers up to 7.1” (181 mm) tall.

Bitfenix Shinobi XL case
click to enlarge
Figure 13: Overall look

As already explained, the power supply is installed at the bottom of the case. Note that it can be installed with either its bottom fan facing up or facing down, so you can decide if you want the fan of your power supply pulling air from inside the case or from outside of it.

The Bitfenix Shinobi XL supports the installation of two 120 mm fans on the bottom panel. However, the second 120 mm fan can only be installed if you remove the hard drive cage, which we don’t think many users will do. With a 120 mm fan installed on the bottom panel, you can install power supplies up to 7.9” (200 mm) deep.

As already shown in Figure 9, the case comes with air filters for the two optional bottom fans and the power supply fan.

Bitfenix Shinobi XL case
click to enlarge
Figure 14: Power supply compartment

The Disk Drive Bays

The Bitfenix Shinobi XL has five 5.25” external bays, one 3.5” external bay converted from one of the 5.25” bays, and seven 3.5”/2.5” internal bays. The external 3.5” bay can be used by an internal 3.5” or 2.5” device. Installation of 5.25” and 3.5” devices can be done without the use of tools or screws, but you must use regular screws to install 2.5” devices.

Bitfenix Shinobi XL case
click to enlarge
Figure 15: Disk drive bays

The hard drive cage can be removed if you want to install video cards longer than 13.5” (344 mm) and/or install the second bottom fan and/or if you want to improve the case’s internal airflow. However, in doing so, you are left with only one bay for installing a hard drive or SSD: the 3.5”/2.5” bay that was converted from a 5.25” bay. Because of that, we don’t think the option of removing the hard drive cage is very practical. We’d prefer that, instead of having a single cage, this case had two hard drive cages. This way you could remove only the top or the bottom cage, depending on what you want to do, and still have a substantial number of bays available.

Bitfenix Shinobi XL case
click to enlarge
Figure 16: Case with the disk drive cage removed

Each 3.5”/2.5” bay is actually a small drawer, as you can see in Figure 17. The pegs that hold 3.5” devices have rubber rings to reduce vibration and absorb noise.

Bitfenix Shinobi XL case
click to enlarge
Figure 17: One of the 3.5”/2.5” bays

In Figure 18, you can see the adapter to convert one of the 5.25” bays into a 3.5” or 2.5” bay.

Bitfenix Shinobi XL case
click to enlarge
Figure 18: The 5.25” adapter

Main Specifications

The main specifications for the Bitfenix Shinobi XL case include:

Conclusions

The Bitfenix Shinobi XL is a very nice option if you are looking for a full-tower case supporting XL-ATX motherboards and are building a PC with three or four dual-slot video cards. It looks nice, and it brings all the features you are probably looking for. In our opinion, its price tag is correct for the features it brings. Of course, you can pick a more affordable case if you are not building a PC with three or four video cards.

Strong Points

Weak Points

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Bitfenix-Shinobi-XL-Case-Review/1547


© 2004-13, Hardware Secrets, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Total or partial reproduction of the contents of this site, as well as that of the texts available for downloading, be this in the electronic media, in print, or any other form of distribution, is expressly forbidden. Those who do not comply with these copyright laws will be indicted and punished according to the International Copyrights Law.

We do not take responsibility for material damage of any kind caused by the use of information contained in Hardware Secrets.