Update, 11/16/17, 7:15am PT: BitFenix shared the Alchemy 3.0 lineup's pricing with us after this story's publication. Details can be found below.
Original article: 11/15/17, 2:35pm PT:
BitFenix announced a new mid-tower chassis called the Enso. It follows the latest trends in tower designs, such as having a tempered-glass side panel, integrated RGB lighting, and compatibility for a number of AIO water-cooling configurations.
The BitFenix Enso has a fairly conservative, conventional mid-tower design. Except for the tempered-glass side panel adorning its left side, the Enso’s top and sides are undecorated steel panels. The plastic and steel front panel is clean thanks to hidden intake vents. The RGB lighting built into its four corners are the case’s most expressive aspect. The Enso stands on extra-tall feet that are integrated into its bottom panel. To keep the interior cleaner, a panel hides the power supply and hard drives from sight.
For cooling, the Enso comes ready for 120, 140, 240, and 280-type radiators. Multi-compatible rails at the front of the case allow for the installation of both 120mm and 140mm fans (one 120mm fan is included). Up to a 280-type radiator can fit here, while a 120-type radiator can go on the exhaust fan at the case rear (included). There’s also a place for two 120mm fans at the top of the case, but Bitfenix didn’t mention radiator compatibility, so we assume there’s a space issue. If no top fans are installed, the mesh in the top panel can be replaced with an included solid panel to reduce noise and dust.
On the issue of noise and dust, the BitFenix hasn’t ignored the details. Both the front intake fans and the power supply intake vent are protected by slide-out dust filters. The aforementioned top-panel mesh also has a magnetically attached filter. To preclude noise resulting from vibration of the glass side-panel (which is mounted directly to the case with thumb screws), the contact area of the panel is lined with foam.
The Enso’s hardware compatibility is average by mid-tower standards. It can fit only two 3.5-inch drives in the cage located at its front, and you can place three 2.5-inch drives vertically at various places on the motherboard tray. It supports up to E-ATX (272mm) motherboards.
The maximum heatsink height of 160mm means many of the largest and best-performing CPU coolers won’t fit, including the Noctua NH-D14, Cryorig R1 Ultimate, and be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3. That depth, along with BitFenix’s stated max length of 340mm, should be adequate for any GPU. BitFenix has been attentive to an all too common plight of PC builders--the struggle to fit cables behind the motherboard tray. The Enso has a generous depth of 23mm between the side panel and the rear of the motherboard tray.
BitFenix is particularly proud of the Enso’s potential for RGB lighting. Launching alongside it are BitFenix’s new Alchemy 3.0 standalone RGB LED strips. They (and the Enso’s integrated front-panel lighting) are compatible with Asus’s Aura Sync ecosystem but can also be attached to the Enso’s built-in LED controller. Wired to a switch on the front panel, this controller cycles between static lighting programs. The Alchemy 3.0 LED strips can be mounted magnetically or adhesively and come separately in 30cm or 60cm lengths.
Here's the pricing on the new Alchemy strips:
|BitFenix Alchemy 3.0 Addressable RGB Magnetic LED strips 30 CM, 3 pin ASUS AURA SYNC||BFA-ADD-30MK15N-RP||$20|
|BitFenix Alchemy 3.0 Addressable RGB Magnetic LED strips 60 CM, 3 pin ASUS AURA SYNC||BFA-ADD-60MK30N-RP||$25|
|BitFenix Alchemy 3.0 Addressable RGB Magnetic LED strips 30 CM With Controller, 3 pin ASUS AURA SYNC||BFA-ADD-30MK15C-RP||$25|
|BitFenix Alchemy 3.0 Addressable RGB Magnetic LED strips 60 CM With Controller, 3 pin ASUS AURA SYNC||BFA-ADD-60MK30C-RP||$30|
The Enso is arriving to an overcrowded market. Similar cases exist from be quiet!, NZXT, In Win, Cougar, and Coolermaster, just to name a few. For example, the be quiet! Dark Base 700 we reviewed recently is almost identical. The Enso doesn’t even include any USB 3.1 ports, unlike the be quiet!. Pricing and availability, neither of which was announced, will be key for the Enso.
|Motherboard Support||E-ATX (up to 272mm)ATXMicro-ATXMini-ITX|
|Dimensions (WxHxD)||210 x 489 x 454mm|
|Drive Bays||3.5” x 22.5” x 3|
|Front I/O||USB 3.0 x 2Headphone outMic in|
|Fan Support||2 x 120mm or 2 x 140mm Front (1 x 120mm included)1 X 120mm Rear (included)2 x 120mm Top|
|Radiator Support||1 x 240 or 1 x 280 Front (up to 35mm thickness)1 x 120 Rear|
|CPU Cooler Max Height||160mm|
|GPU Max Length||340mm|
|PSU Support||ATX (up to 160mm)|
|Color||Black or white|