BitFenix Nova Review

December 22, 2015 | 14:10

Tags: #best-budget-atx-case #budget-case

Companies: #bitfenix


The side panels have a basic design, attached via notches and rails and built without any handles. They do at least use thumbscrews and, on our sample at least, weren't too stiff. The front panel also comes away with a tug, though it does bring the I/O cables with it. You only really need to remove this panel if you're installing front fans, however, so this won't be a regular pain in the backside. The roof is riveted in place, and there's no need to remove it anyway.

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The Nova has a decent and even internal paint job and there are no sharp edges waiting to cut your flailing fingers – not things you might think about these days, but important to consider at this end of the market. We we also happy to see that the PSU has some foam mounts to stand on, abeit very small ones, as well as six pre-installed motherboard mounts and the entire selection of cables sleeved in black.

As mentioned, the Nova only has a single optical drive mount, and it uses a pretty flimsy tool-free clip, although you can easily remove this and use screws instead if you prefer. The ODD cage is actually a 3-bay model, so there's additional room to stash excess cables.

*BitFenix Nova Review BitFenix Nova Review - Interior *BitFenix Nova Review BitFenix Nova Review - Interior
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As for internal drives, the chassis can accommodate up to four 3.5in models in the front cage, which is riveted in place but low enough to allow long graphics cards to be installed. There are no fancy tool-free trays or drive sleds here – you simply slot the drive in place and screw it in. Sadly, there are also no anti-vibration measure applied nor rubber washers in the accessory kit. There's also support for a pair of 2.5in drives, one that sits on top of the 3.5in cage and one above this mounted sideways on the vertical column between the HDD and ODD cages.

*BitFenix Nova Review BitFenix Nova Review - Interior *BitFenix Nova Review BitFenix Nova Review - Interior
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As suspected, there isn't much room at all behind the motherboard tray for cable management – the case is simply too narrow to allow for it. Still, thinner cables like fan and I/O ones can be routed easily enough, but thicker power ones will struggle – our ATX 24-pin one, for example, couldn't be routed without causing a serious bulge in the side panel. There is a decent selection of holes, understandably without rubber grommets fitted, but note that there isn't a routing hole above the motherboard tray. There are also a fair number of anchor points but no zip ties are supplied with the Nova. There will be enough room in most build to tuck and tie cables out of the way for airflow purposes, but don't expect to be building ultra-tidy systems in the Nova.

We also usually discuss water-cooling possibilities but with the Nova that's not really applicable. For a £27 chassis, however, that's not a complaint – water-coolers certainly aren't the target demographics here.
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