Bitfenix Shinobi XL Case Review
By Gabriel Torres on May 8, 2012
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.
The left panel of the Shinobi XL has a huge transparent window.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Let’s now take a look 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In Figure 18, you can see the adapter to convert one of the 5.25” bays into a 3.5” or 2.5” bay.
The main specifications for the Bitfenix Shinobi XL case include:
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.