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BitFenix Colossus Mini-ITX Review

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Jehla 9th January 2014, 13:43 Quote
The lighting is in need of a mod!

http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/9996/cylon2.gif
Shirty 9th January 2014, 13:45 Quote
Decent case, stupid name. They should have called it the BitFenix Runt.
toolio20 9th January 2014, 15:32 Quote
OMG awesome, and just what the market needs - ANOTHER massive mATX case marketed as an m-ITX enclosure!! I mean seriously, this is brilliant - now all I need is a CM Cosmos II to house my NUC and we'll be all set...
Fishlock 9th January 2014, 16:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by toolio20
OMG awesome, and just what the market needs - ANOTHER massive mATX case marketed as an m-ITX enclosure!! I mean seriously, this is brilliant - now all I need is a CM Cosmos II to house my NUC and we'll be all set...

Cracking sarcasm, well done. Seems to suit the rest of your posts on this site. (Note my own sarcasm there?)

BitFenix have made some good improvements to a very popular form factor right now. I'm looking towards downsizing and will be considering this case. Shame about the colour options with the lighting though.
SchizoFrog 9th January 2014, 16:27 Quote
I think it's a shame that there aren't any images of the case running in a darker room so we can see what the light actually looks like.

What a messy system in the image with the 570GTX on the last page. No wonder there is no window. :)

Overall I think it is another good case from BitFenix but it doesn't tick all the boxes for me still and if I had to choose any I think I would still go for the Prodigy. With all the custom panels available for the Prodigy, BitFenix should just offer for the Prodigy, a replacement top panel that is clean and smooth, along with a squared off replacement base that allows you to attach normal feet.
Shirty 9th January 2014, 16:33 Quote
I totally agree. Maybe the Prodigy II could be more modular, with BitFenix producing various alternative sections. Maybe next time we'll get a white mesh front panel option
SchizoFrog 9th January 2014, 16:38 Quote
I also can't help but feel that the cooling could have been helped by using a much larger front intake fan. All that mesh and nothing using the space.
Combatus 9th January 2014, 16:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog
I think it's a shame that there aren't any images of the case running in a darker room so we can see what the light actually looks like.

What a messy system in the image with the 570GTX on the last page. No wonder there is no window. :)

Overall I think it is another good case from BitFenix but it doesn't tick all the boxes for me still and if I had to choose any I think I would still go for the Prodigy. With all the custom panels available for the Prodigy, BitFenix should just offer for the Prodigy, a replacement top panel that is clean and smooth, along with a squared off replacement base that allows you to attach normal feet.

I also can't help but feel that the cooling could have been helped by using a much larger front intake fan. All that mesh and nothing using the space.

The images are actually cut-outs of 1/6sec exposures in a dimly lit room so fairly indicative of what you can expect. Of course, it will be brighter and more vivid if the room was pitch black but that's just bad for your eyes ;)

Sorry about the messy system but there really is very little space to otherwise hide the cables but that's pretty standard with cases this size. I still think there's room for both the Phenom and Colossus along side the Prodigy as there have been some useful refinements, but tbh, in re-engineering the side and top sections you may as well tweak the chassis while you're there and offer a new and attention-grabbing product. The replacement side panels and front sections are pretty easy to do, but as they could see easy ways to improve the case as well, it makes sense to offer a whole new product.

At this end of the market, you're far more likely to find vacant fan mounts unfortunately, but at least the option of using a larger fan is there.
SchizoFrog 9th January 2014, 17:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Combatus


I still think there's room for both the Phenom and Colossus along side the Prodigy as there have been some useful refinements, but tbh, in re-engineering the side and top sections you may as well tweak the chassis while you're there and offer a new and attention-grabbing product. The replacement side panels and front sections are pretty easy to do, but as they could see easy ways to improve the case as well, it makes sense to offer a whole new product.

If is not just a shell cover for the top and bottom sections then I agree... Here's hoping to a Prodigy II that ticks all the right boxes... For me at least any way.
jizwizard 9th January 2014, 17:19 Quote
Corsair 250d cooling performance? Thought you were reviewing the bitfenix
jrs77 9th January 2014, 18:12 Quote
Quote:
BitFenix is offering the case in mini-ITX and micro-ATX flavours with the internal layouts differing quite markedly.

Says it all really.
Jehla 9th January 2014, 18:23 Quote
Can that optical drive bay be removed (drilling out rivets) to allow deeper radiators?
AlienwareAndy 9th January 2014, 18:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jehla
Can that optical drive bay be removed (drilling out rivets) to allow deeper radiators?

The top section again offers space for a double 120mm radiator if you're prepared to sacrifice the 5.25in drive bay too, while the only other fan is a 120mm model in the rear fan mount.

I would say so :)
Corky42 9th January 2014, 18:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog
I also can't help but feel that the cooling could have been helped by using a much larger front intake fan. All that mesh and nothing using the space.
My thoughts exactly, well almost exactly.
I thought of the song 'I'm So Ronery' from Team America when i saw that little fan against the vast expanse of mesh :D
Cei 10th January 2014, 10:30 Quote
Too big, again. ITX should be as small as possible - so why insist on full size optical bays, and a frankly silly number of HDs? EVGA got it right by putting in a slimline optical, only two HD bays and the tiny PSU, whereas BitFenix seem to be stuck at mATX size and pretending it is ITX.
SchizoFrog 10th January 2014, 14:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cei
Too big, again. ITX should be as small as possible - so why insist on full size optical bays, and a frankly silly number of HDs? EVGA got it right by putting in a slimline optical, only two HD bays and the tiny PSU, whereas BitFenix seem to be stuck at mATX size and pretending it is ITX.

That is your opinion and is obviously NOT the opinion of everyone but once again the BitFenix Prodigy offers options that your compact Mini-ITX cases not only don't but can't offer. It may be silly for you but personally I do NEED more than 2 HDDs and an optical drive, although I don't care if it is full size or a discrete slimeline model.
AlienwareAndy 10th January 2014, 14:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cei
Too big, again. ITX should be as small as possible - so why insist on full size optical bays, and a frankly silly number of HDs? EVGA got it right by putting in a slimline optical, only two HD bays and the tiny PSU, whereas BitFenix seem to be stuck at mATX size and pretending it is ITX.

If I were to go ITX I would have a 7990, six hard drives and god knows what else to go in it.

Why do you continually assume that people want tiny little cases when it's been shown that the Prodigy is a best seller?
bawjaws 10th January 2014, 15:06 Quote
Pretty sure that Cei is just stating his personal opinion, and not trying to tell anyone else what they want or should have :D OTOH, if he IS trying to dictate to others what ITX must be, then he's a naughty boy!
jrs77 10th January 2014, 15:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog
That is your opinion and is obviously NOT the opinion of everyone but once again the BitFenix Prodigy offers options that your compact Mini-ITX cases not only don't but can't offer. It may be silly for you but personally I do NEED more than 2 HDDs and an optical drive, although I don't care if it is full size or a discrete slimeline model.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlienwareAndy
If I were to go ITX I would have a 7990, six hard drives and god knows what else to go in it.

Why do you continually assume that people want tiny little cases when it's been shown that the Prodigy is a best seller?

Why not build a µATX or ATX-based system then, if you need all these components? The µATX-boards are way better than any of the mITX-offerings.
Shirty 10th January 2014, 15:30 Quote
My ITX motherboard does everything I want it to and much more besides, plus it was a bargain :)

No µATX or ATX board would offer me any tangible benefit over what I have since the only expansion slot I'll ever need is the one my GPU is residing in.

Obviously if I needed more expansion capability I'd go back to a larger form factor in a jiffy.

Besides, people wouldn't have bought the Prodigy in the volumes they have if it was cack, would they? I mean it's not a typical consumer case, it's only really going to be bought by enthusiasts.
GeorgeStorm 10th January 2014, 15:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77
Why not build a µATX or ATX-based system then, if you need all these components? The µATX-boards are way better than any of the mITX-offerings.

Even the bigger mitx cases are smaller than most matx cases that I know of.
For a lot of people, even if you want lots of drives, a powerful gpu etc you won't really get any benefit from going to matx/atx over mitx when it comes to the board. Then of course there are always looks which matter a lot to some people.
SchizoFrog 10th January 2014, 16:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77


Why not build a µATX or ATX-based system then, if you need all these components? The µATX-boards are way better than any of the mITX-offerings.

I can't speak for AlienwareAndy but I personally don't need 'all these components', I choose to have lots of storage but everything else is fairly simple and so Mini-ITX suits my needs as I don't want a full size ATX case nor even the mATX cases from the likes of Fractal. However, my personal choice and always has been that of being able to see inside my case and seeing a nicely laid out system. This is something I can do with the Prodigy Mini-ITX but not the 'M' version as the layout is totally different with the motherboard upright on one side and the HDD brackets on the other. My issues with the Prodigy are more with the fine details (basically I don't like the feet and handles) rather than the overall size of the case.
jrs77 10th January 2014, 16:50 Quote
µATX-boards have usually more room for a bigger cooler, more DIMM-slots, heatsinks on the VRMs, etc, etc... It's not necessarily about the PCIe-slots.

And for the small µATX-cases... Silverstone Sugo SG03, TJ08e are not any bigger basically than the Colossus or the Prodigy.

And yes. The Prodigy sells like hot cakes, because it's size allows for a fully watercooled and OCed mITX-system, but I just don't see mITX as a platform for these kinds of setups.
mITX was first and foremost introduced to build small workstations or HTPCs that don't need alot of power, and if we look away from tech-forums like this then this might become more apparent to some people.

Yes, maybe I'm on the wrong forum then, but the gamers and enthusiasts only make up for some mere 5-10% of the market and they tend to forget about the vast majority outthere.
SchizoFrog 10th January 2014, 17:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77
µATX-boards have usually more room for a bigger cooler, more DIMM-slots, heatsinks on the VRMs, etc, etc... It's not necessarily about the PCIe-slots.

And for the small µATX-cases... Silverstone Sugo SG03, TJ08e are not any bigger basically than the Colossus or the Prodigy.

And yes. The Prodigy sells like hot cakes, because it's size allows for a fully watercooled and OCed mITX-system, but I just don't see mITX as a platform for these kinds of setups.
mITX was first and foremost introduced to build small workstations or HTPCs that don't need alot of power, and if we look away from tech-forums like this then this might become more apparent to some people.

Yes, maybe I'm on the wrong forum then, but the gamers and enthusiasts only make up for some mere 5-10% of the market and they tend to forget about the vast majority outthere.

With the cooling provided by the great design of the Prodigy you don't need a full size tower cooler and something like the Silverstone Argon AR01 is more than adequate and let's not forget AIO set-ups. Even on some mATX boards you can't fit the full size towers because of the RAM interference so mATX is not the all-encompassing solution you make it out to be already. As for the VRMs etc, boards like the Impact show that they are capable of excellent overclocks just fine so that isn't an issue either. Yes you can get more RAM but 16GB is fine with me and 2x8GB is no more expensive and is often cheaper than 4x4GB, so another non issue for myself and most users.
Why is Mini-ITX not suitable for overclocked set-ups? Do they offer significantly worse overclocks? I don't think so as they seem to push Haswell just as far as any other system or at least very close to it.
Your comments about what Mini-ITX was originally designed for is irrelevant in my opinion for 2 reasons. 1) You seem to discount the fact that larger Mini-ITX cases and especially the Prodigy are becoming more and more popular with the Prodigy outselling ANY other Mini-ITX case.
2) Who cares what it was 'originally' designed for? Times change and situations evolve. Full size ATX cases weren't originally designed for what they are used for now. Hell, the PC itself wasn't designed for watching TV, playing games, image and video editing, etc...

So in conclusion I believe I can do everything with a Mini-ITX system built in a smaller Prodigy case that you can do in a much larger case with a mATX system except for expansion slots for hardware that I don't need or want. However, I can also house masses of storage, have an aesthetically pleasing system that can be viewed from the outside and have customisation and modding possibilities that just aren't available with your tiny Mini-ITX cases.
jrs77 10th January 2014, 18:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog
So in conclusion I believe I can do everything with a Mini-ITX system built in a smaller Prodigy case that you can do in a much larger case with a mATX system except for expansion slots for hardware that I don't need or want. However, I can also house masses of storage, have an aesthetically pleasing system that can be viewed from the outside and have customisation and modding possibilities that just aren't available with your tiny Mini-ITX cases.

In conclusion I can do anything you do with your mITX-system put into a Prodigy, with a µATX put into a Prodigy instead.
With HDDs of upto 4TB these days there's no need for more than a single HDD for storage plus a 2.5" SSD for OS and software anyways.
That's what I don't understand about mITX cases the size of the Prodigy. Simple as that.

And for the storage, if you really need more than some 4TB in your system... the better solution is to have external drives or a NAS for mass-storage. A single-slot NAS with hotswap-capability for example is what I recommend, as you can simply use lot's of HDDs to store data and you don't even need to have enclosures for all these HDDs. Think of it like an external optical drive, but with 2+TB per disk instead of the mere 50GB that can be stored on a BluRay.
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