BitFenix Shogun Case Review
Although BitFenix have a good range of small to large Cases the brand itself has always seemed to focus on the budget conscious buyer with all of their Cases offering specifically good value for money. Now while this next Case still offers good value for money there’s no doubt that BitFenix have upped their game somewhat. Testament to this is that currently the BitFenix Shogun is the most expensive Case that BitFenix produce.
The BitFenix Shogun is an E-ATX super midi-tower Case made from aluminium, steel, tempered glass and plastic. The Case itself measures in at (W:250mm x H:565mm x D:525mm) and weights in at 14.15kg. The Shogun also features BitFenix Chroma control on two of its SSD mounts. The Case itself features three pre-installed 120mm fans, with up to seven 120mm fans or five 140mm fans supported. In addition to this the Shogun supports up to six HDDs and ten SSDs. The following radiators are also supported, front: 280mm, top: 360mm and rear: 140mm. The BitFenix Shogun supports Graphics Cards up to 410mm in length, CPU Coolers up to 175mm in height and Power Supplies up to 250mm in length, whilst also offering Graphics Card support courtesy of three GPU Safe brackets.
As you can see from the images above and below the BitFenix Shogun arrived in an eco-friendly cardboard box with the front of the box sporting a massive Shogun head logo.
The back of the box highlights the following features of the Case: GPU Safe, Quick Custom SSD Chroma, Quick Custom E-ATX Shield, 25mm Cable Management Space, 360mm Radiator Support at top, Removable HDD & SSD Cage, Support Graphic Card Length up to 400mm and Quick Custom SSD Chroma (hold on, didn’t they mention that already!?).
On opening the box the BitFenix Aurora was found to be adequately packaged and presented with the Case supported by two hard foam blocks and covered by a plastic bag.
In the box, other than the Case itself we find a Quick Installation Guide, the additional E-ATX shield and a small cardboard box containing a plethora of screws, some additional stand-offs and a handful of cable ties.
At the time of review the BitFenix Shogun is retailing at Overclockers UK for approximately £145 and comes with a 1 year warranty.
courtesy of BitFenix
|Materials||Aluminum │Tempered Glass │SECC Steel │ABS|
|Chassis Type||Super Mid-Tower|
|Motherboard||E-ATX │ ATX │ M-ATX │ Mini-ITX|
|CPU Cooler||Up to 175mm Height|
|Graphic Card Length||Up to 410mm|
|Power Supply Length||Up to 250mm|
|Storage Capacity (3.5″ HDD)||6|
|Storage Capacity (2.5″ HDD)||6 + 5|
|Cooling Capacity (Front)||Up to 140mm x3 or 120mm x 2 (2x120mm Included)|
|Cooling Capacity (Rear)||120mm x 1 (Included) │ 140mm x 1|
|Cooling Capacity (Top)||Up to 140mm x 2 or 120mm x 3|
|Radiator Capacity (Front)||Up to 280mm x 1 or 240mm x 1|
|Radiator Capacity (Rear)||120mm x 1 │ 140mm x 1|
|Radiator Capacity (Top)||Up to 360mm x 1 or 280mm x 1|
|Front I/O port||USB 3.0 x 2 │ USB 2.0 x 2 │ HD Audio MIC & Headphone|
|Dimensions (WXHXD)||250 x 565 x 525 (mm)|
|Weight||14.15kg (net)│16.34kg (gross)|
|Highlights||Elegant Aluminum Design │ Dual Tempered Glass Side Panel │ Quick Custom storage design │ Quick Custom SSD Chroma │ Quick Custom EATX Shield │ BitFenix Chroma Control and SSD Chroma │ Advance design GPU Safe │ Support Graphic Card Length up to 410mm │ Up to 25mm Cable management Space │ 360mm Radiator Support at Top │ 3 pre-installed Fans|
I have to confess I wasn’t too sure what to expect before un-boxing the BitFenix Shogun, but I can assure you that once it was out of the box I was a little shocked. This is one serious Case, not only is it big, not only is it heavy but it’s also extremely well made and looks great to boot. As I said at the beginning of the review this is BitFenix’s most expensive Case to date and it shows…
As you can see from the images above both the left and right sides of the Case feature a large angular tempered glass panel. Each panel is held in place by rubberised thumb screws to to protect the glass. The left panel is clear while the right panel features a heavy smoked tint, which is a good idea and rather clever I think. The fact that the tempered glass panels are angular also helps to lend the Case a rather unique look and one that I very much like.
At the top of the front panel we find the main Front Panel controls that consist of audio (headphone & microphone), x2 USB 2.0, illuminating (white) power button, disk activity LED (red), x2 USB 3.0, reset button and SSD Chroma (Aura) LED light control button. Note that the light control button cycles the Aura enabled SSD mounts on the left side of the Case through various colours as well as having a muli-colour cycling mode. All of the basic RGB colours are supported, although there is no white, these LEDs can also be switched off if required.
The front of the Case consists of a singular plastic panel that can removed if necessary. The panel sits away from the main body of the Case and also incorporates a mesh grill in each side to aide in airflow. The top features a 5.25″ opening yet has no ODD drive support within which is a little odd, so I’m unsure as to what can be fitted here. At the base of the front of the Shogun we find a nice silver BitFenix logo.
Removing that front panel allows us to see the two 120mm intake fans that pull cool air in from the front of the Case. Note that here you can install an additional 120mm fan or two 140mm fans and also radiators up to 280mm in length. Also note the upper section of the front is obstructed by the removable drive cage within.
Looking at the back of the BitFenix Shogun we see a relatively simplistic layout, but also note how recessed the back panel is when compared to the main body of the Case. On the left we have the main I/O shield cutout, whilst to the right we find a single fan position. A 120mm fan is installed as an exhaust by default but a 140mm will fit here also. Below this we find seven expansions slots and a grilled section to the right in a further attempt to aide airflow. At the bottom we find a standard Power Supply cutout.
The top panel of the BitFenix Shogun is actually rather impressive; not only is it aluminium but it also stretches down each side of the Case as it curves around the side panels. This whole panel can be simply removed; first by removing the side panel and then by pulling the top panel upwards, gently of course.
With the top panel removed we can see the area that can support up to a 360mm radiator and associated fans. Either three 120mm fans can be fitted here or two 140mm fans.
Looking at the base of the Case we can see that the bottom of the Case sits up off of the desk thanks again to another aluminium curved panel. This gives the physical bottom of the Case around 30mm of clearance, although no fans can be fitted in this position. The base itself feature four large rubber feet, one in each corner as can be seen above right.
Removing the left tempered glass panel (by removing the four screws, that also feature rubber washers that can easily be lost) allows us to see what would be a large interior space. But, BitFenix have managed to fill this with all manner of useful (and not so useful) parts. These are as follows: x3 drive cages (supporting two drives per cage), x3 GPU support brackets and the lower Aura SSD panel all of which can be removed. Other than that the interior space of the Shogun is both well equipped and well laid out.
Removing the right side smoked tempered glass panel allows us to see the rather large amount of cabling already present in the Shogun. It’s a bit messy too and doesn’t even include the fan cabling that’s simply just left hanging. There’s plenty of space back here (25mm) so there’s lots of room for cable management. Now, with the panel removed you can also see the third lower drive cage.
Taking a closer look at that lower panel that seems to dominate the inside left of the Case we must first understand SSD Chroma (Aura). Now while this may not be officially Asus’ Aura it does seem to be compatible! 😮 These two SSD mounts support a variety of colours that can adjusted via the front panel control button. Mounting is simple and the panel can also be removed by way of three thumb screws.
Over on the right we find the two upper drive cages, there’s an identical one in the base of the case hidden by the SSD Chroma panel. All three of these cages support either two HDDs or two SSDs by way of drive sleds. For HDDs the mounting is screw-less but for SSDs four screws are required and also supplied.
Looking at the back of the BitFenix Shogun we can see the single 120mm exhaust fan that’s pre-installed. The mounting point will also accept a 140mm fan and it’s a shame that one’s not fitted to be honest.
Over on the far right of the Case just below the two upper drive cages we find quite the curious device, or devices. There’s actually three of these brackets that are there to support your Graphics Card, should it need a little lift! This is actually very useful when you have an over-sized GPU that’s both long and heavy and it’s a nice inclusion for the price.
As if the BitFenix Shogun didn’t already have enough drive support, around the back we find two more dedicated 2.5″ drive brackets. Both of these brackets are well placed and the drives simply attached to the bracket by way of four screws and secured to the Case by a single thumb screws. This brings the total number of available SSD mounts to a whopping ten! 🙂
Finally we see above right the SSD Chroma (Aura) controller that’s hidden in the back of the BitFenix Shogun. It is this that’s responsible for my first and second gripe the this new Case from BitFenix. The first is the fact that BitFenix have committed the cardinal sin of outfitting the controller with a Molex connector, WTF!? 🙁 OK James, calm down… And the second is that the said controller and the SSD Chroma setup seems to introduce rather a lot of unnecessary and unsightly cabling…
UPDATE: Having spoken with BitFenix about the Molex connector it has been confirmed that this is down to the fact that the Aura RGB setup may pull more than the 1.5Amps offered up by a SATA power connector. The Molex connector will support (in this Case) 5Amps allowing further Aura lighting to be daisy-chained on to the exiting system.
|Case||BitFenix Shogun||Power Supply||SilverStone ST60F-ES230 600W Strider|
|Motherboard||ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 GAMING K6||CPU||Intel Core i5-6600K|
|CPU Cooler||NZXT Kraken X62||RAM||G Skill Ripjaws 4 16GB|
|Graphics Card||Asus GTX 1080Ti “Founders Edition”||SSD (M.2)||Samsung SM951 512GB|
|SSD||Kingston SSDNow 200 v+ 60GB||HDD||Seagate 2TB SSHD|
The first task was to put together the Motherboard assembly (MB, CPU, CPU Cooler & RAM) for this review. This consists of our test motherboard an ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K6, an Intel Core i5-6600K CPU, a NZXT Kraken X62 AIO Liquid CPU Cooler and x4 4GB G.Skill Ripjaws 4 RAM modules.
The next task turned out to be quite the task; it was to remove all of the unnecessary hardware from the Shogun that I didn’t feel I wanted in there. As you can see from the images below that was rather a lot. It comprised of the two lower drive cages and the three GPU support brackets. In addition to this at a later date during the installation procedure I also found it necessary to remove the upper drive cage to make way for the AIO CPU Cooler and the lower Aura bracket as it was simply in the way and easy to remove courtesy of just three thumb screws.
With all of this done I’d have to say installation of our test equipment was easy thanks to a (now bigger) large interior space, plenty of well placed cable management holes and grommets. It’s worth noting that the three drive cages that were removed can be placed back into the Case in various positions thanks to the multitude of mounting holes that run vertically at the front and back of the Case.
With all of the components added and the Aura SSD bracket re-installed the interior of the Case begins to look really rather tidy. Well that’s apart from the unsightly cabling in the top right and until you actually look in the back of the Case…
For whatever reason (probably down to the SSD Chroma and Molex cabling) I struggled with the cabling at the back of the Shogun, there just seemed so much of it. And, while those Velcro ties are useful they’re far less useful when they’re not physically attached to the Case. Therefore every time you loosen it you need to be careful not to pull it out completely as getting it back in position is no easy task. Thankfully there’s a ton (25mm) of cable management space back here so there’s at least plenty of room for all of this cabling and more should you wish…
Finally I thought it only right to fit an SSD into one of the Chroma (Aura) mounts and as you can see it looks rather good too! Great if you want to show off your SSDs and even better if you have two! I couldn’t get a decent photograph with the tempered glass panel in place so had to do without it. And, I can assure you (as you can probably see) the image above left doesn’t really do this Case any justice. In fact the BitFenix Shogun does a great job of showing off your illuminated components as well as those SSDs, in fact it’s really all rather cool looking when powered on and looks to be worth every penny of the £145 asking price.
The three 120mm fans supplied with the BitFenix Shogun all have a maximum rotational speed of 1,200RPM. With these three fans isolated and with them all running at 100% the Shogun produces just 38dBA of noise. This is almost silent and unlikely to bother many Gamers, even when playing without a Headset. For reference my ambient silence level at the time of review was around 36dBA.
I’ve really rather enjoyed my time with the BitFenix Shogun and it’s obvious that BitFenix have put a lot of time and effort into the design of this Case. Thankfully it’s all paid off too as this is a Case that can not only house a mass of hardware but also show it off to its full potential.
The BitFenix Shogun arrived at pcGameware in a somewhat boring brown cardboard box, although it was adorned with a giant Shogun mask that did look rather menacing. Both the Case and the contents were found to be both adequately packaged and presented.
Once out of the box, no easy task as the Case weights in at close to 15kg, the Shogun was found to be quite the looker. This is one seriously well made Case and looks every inch worth its £145 price tag. Made primarily from aluminium and sporting two tempered glass side panels, along with a steel and plastic construction the Shogun is undeniably the best Case BitFenix have made to date.
There’s a lot on offer here not only is the Shogun well made, featuring quality materials throughout it will also house a plethora of hardware. From ten SSDs through to six HDDS, though to 360mm radiator support in the top and 280mm Radiator support in the front. Then there’s the two SSD Chroma (Aura) mounts that show off two SSDs thanks to their LED illumination, various colours are supported with a colour cycling mode also.
Installation was a breeze but it is somewhat embarrassing what I removed from the Shogun before I started. I removed all three drive cages, all three Graphics Card support brackets and the lower Chroma SSD mount as it tends to get in the way. Therefore Installation was a breeze but only after a fact… The only real issue (and I’ll try not to rant) was the fact that the Chroma controller board at the back of the Case requires a Molex connector. Please BitFenix and please all Case manufacturers can you stop with this archaic practice. Oops, I think I ranted… 😉
But to be fair that and the rather messy cabling aboard the Case are the only things I can complain about. Once built and with the Case powered up the Shogun looks simply great. Not only does the Case look good in its own right, mainly down to a smart overall design and those angular tempered glass side panels. But it also shows off your hardware to great effect.
Thanks to the three included 120mm fans the BitFenix Shogun offers up good cooling potential although three 140mm fans would have been better. But there’s plenty of room for improvement and even custom water cooling should you wish.
Overall the BitFenix Shogun offers up a really good Case that ticks pretty much all of the boxes that most of us Gaming enthusiasts would want. It looks good, will house quite the gaming rig and shows off your hardware to its fullest extent. It does this while keeping the hardware cool and it does all of this at a reasonable price. The only fly in the ointment is that Molex connector, but hey I promised I wouldn’t rant didn’t I… 😉
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Many thanks to BitFenix for providing this sample for review