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In Pictures: Four More Sub-$100 Cases For Your 2013 Gaming Build

BitFenix Shinobi

A metallic BitFenix badge and optional side window stylize the otherwise nearly-monolithic Shinobi. Factory tint might help hide some of your less-attractive hardware, while letting lighted parts shine through. That tinted window also adds an empty 120 mm side-fan mount.

Buyers who prefer the windowless version can shave an extra $10 off this sample’s already-affordable $70 price.

Shinobi Top Ports

Top-panel ports make the Shinobi a floor-standing or bottom-shelf design, since placement up on your desktop would make them difficult to reach.

Dual USB 2.0 ports and a pair of USB 3.0 connectors set the current standard of connectivity, while headphone and microphone jacks evoke popular tradition. The power button is easily reached from above, and the reset button next to it is shrunken to reduce the likelihood of accidental activation.

Behind The Shinobi

The Shinobi’s low cost doesn't prevent BitFenix from adding enthusiast-oriented features like a pair of grommet-filled pass-through points for external liquid coolers. That’s not to say the case competes in the high-end space though, as it lacks the eighth expansion slot needed in some configurations to install a double-slot graphics card in an ATX motherboard’s bottom slot.

Inside The Shinobi

No less than eight 3.5” hard drive bays face the Shinobi’s front panel, while a 120 mm fan exhausts through the rear. Between these, reliefs in the motherboard tray stiffen the board to help keep cards in their slots.

Shinobi Cable Management

The space between the Shinobi’s motherboard tray and right side panel is barley large enough to hold a 24-pin ATX power cable, though smaller cables can usually be routed around it. Folded edges surround access holes to prevent abrasion.

Shinobi Induction

A mesh dust filter slides over the Shinobi’s dual-fan mount up front, and is then secured by a single screw. The loosely-fitting filter hides only a single intake fan in the panel’s lower mounting position.

More Shinobi Dust Prevention

Like the front dust filter, the Shinobi’s bottom filter is secured by a single screw and covers an empty fan mount. Unlike the front filter, the other end of this one covers a power supply air inlet.

Shinobi Tool-Free Drive Support

A hinged lever with mounting pins snaps shut to secure 5.25” externally-facing drives. Hard drives rely on pin-holing clips, which can be detached by twisting a knob in the middle. The Shinobi relies on extra 2.5”-spaced holes in its 5.25”-to-3.5” adapter tray to mount a single SSD.

Enermax Ostrog GT

Also available with blue trim, Enermax’s part number ECA3280A-R frames its black mesh face with red mesh highlights. A tinted side window shows off lighted parts, while muting darker spaces.

Ostrog GT Ports

A pair of USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports frame headphone and microphone jacks near the front of the Ostrog GT’s top panel. A tray behind those ports is handy for holding mobile devices as they charge.

Reset, power, and fan lighting switches are found in front of the USB connectivity and audio I/O.

Behind The Ostrog GT

Three holes on the Ostrog GT’s rear panel provide external liquid cooling and cable access, and a vertically-mounted slot panel beneath them makes way for adapter plates.

Eight slots mean you have room for four double-slot graphics cards, the bottom dangling off of an ATX platform's bottom slot. Also, an extended side panel adds room to hide excess cable length.

  • animeman59
    Where's the HAF XB?
    Reply
  • halcyon
    Nothing that's nice looking IMO.
    Reply
  • Madn3ss795
    Bitfenix Shinobi FTW!
    Reply
  • Madn3ss795
    Bitfenix Shinobi FTW!
    Reply
  • ubercake
    Cases are ugly. Sure they can have nice features and such. But as I've said before, this is a perfect opportunity to get the Tom's models in on the action.
    Reply
  • chrisafp07
    The Fractal Design R4 is under 100 sometimes :)
    Reply
  • de5_Roy
    among these, i like the enermax and rosewill cases. rosewill more than the enermax one.
    Reply
  • RedJaron
    Shame that more cases don't have eSATA on the front panel. I know some people prefer USB 3.0, but why not have them both?
    Reply
  • _deXter_
    Don't like these cases at all. Basically I hate the fact that cases hide so much of the beautiful hardware inside the PC, and make it hard to work with them, to be able to touch and feel them. I've always been running a no-case system, but I would really like something basic so it's convenient to carry it around.

    Does anyone know where I can buy a case like this one here:
    http://i.imgur.com/5NFQtho.png
    Reply
  • Crashman
    Better question animeman59: What's wrong with you?
    halcyon, if you don't like these there are seven more in the 11-way comparison, 4 in the past and 3 on the way!
    chrisafp07--and it's already been reviewed "sometimes" http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/corsair-obsidian-550d-fractal-design-define-r4-gigabyte-luxo-m10,3356-5.html
    Guys, I've never had to say this before but I'm really looking for a higher class of question. I know you can do better because I've seen it in past articles.
    Reply