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BitFenix Ghost Chassis Review

Rating: 9.0.

The BitFenix Ghost is a mid-range chassis, designed with gamers in mind. Bitfenix claim that not all gamers are willing to deal with excessive fan noise so they have attempted to design a chassis with minimal noise characteristics.

To create a silent chassis BitFenix have armed the Ghost with an array of features. These include BitFenix Serenitek Silencing Material in the front and side panels, support for a 240mm watercooling radiator on top and 2 x BitFenix ‘Whisper-Quiet’ Spectre fans.

Specifications

Materials Steel, Plastic
Color (Int/Ext) Black/Black
Dimensions (WxHxD) 210 x 522 x 510mm
Motherboard Sizes Mini-ITX, mATX, ATX
5.25” Drive Bays x 3
3.5” Drive Bays x 4
2.5” Drive Bays x 3
Hot Swap Bay x 1 (SATA III 6Gbit/s)
Cooling Front 140mm x 1 or 120mm x 2 (120mm x 1 included)
Cooling Rear 120mm x 1 (included)
Cooling Top 230mm x 1 or 200mm x 1 or 140mm x 2 or 120mm x 2 (optional)
Cooling Bottom 140mm x 1 or 120mm x 1 (optional)
PCI Slots x 7
I/O USB 3.0 x 2, USB 2.0 x 2, HD audio, SATA III hot swap bay
Power Supply PS2 ATX (bottom, multi direction)
Extras Serenitek™ silencing material, NanoChrome™ surface treatment, S4™ hot swap and storage, Spectre™ cooling, dedicated locations for Alchemy™ LED Strips, anti-vibration HDD trays, 240mm radiator ready, removable dust filters (front, top, bottom), tool-free drive locking

The BitFenix Ghost is packaged in a simple manner, with only a large BitFenix logo and the model name ‘Ghost’ on the front.

The back of the packaging is also quite simple, with 3 labelled diagrams showing some of the key features of the product.

The BitFenix Ghost has been packaged well, with two large Styrofoam blocks on either end of the case.

Included with the chassis, is a useful Quick Installation Guide, the standard packet of screws and 4 x Cable Management Grommets, as well as a SATA Connector Cover – to protect the connector in the Hot Swap Bay when not in use.

The BitFenix Ghost comes with 3 x 2.5″ HDD/SSD Trays and 4 x 3.5″ HDD trays, which allows for tool-less installation of all drives.

The BitFenix Ghost is designed with simplicity in mind. The sleek black look is smart but not very dramatic for gamers who like a more colourful approach.

The front of the chassis is hinged so the drive bays are hidden from sight, leaving us with only the BitFenix logo in silver.

On top, we have 2 x USB 2.0 and 2 x USB 3.0 ports, as well as Headphone and Microphone sockets and Power/Reset switches. There is also a Power LED and a HDD activity LED.

The sides of the chassis are a sleek black but leave no trace of fingerprints. The plastic trim on the top and bottom of the chassis is hardly distinguishable thanks to the BitFenix ‘NanoChrome Surface Treatment’.

The back of the chassis features 3 watercooling holes, as well as 7 PCI slots and a 120mm exhaust fan.

The bottom of the chassis features two strips where the BitFenix Alchemy LED’s strips can be installed. It also features 4 large rubber feet which will reduce vibrations and a removable dust filter.

The top of the chassis features a ‘hot swap and storage compartment’ which features a SATA port so you can access a 2.5″ or 3.5″ drive. BitFenix also claim this top compartment is great for hiding mobile phones out of sight.

The front door features a double-hinged design, which allows you to open it from either side. This is an unbelievably simple design but a great feature. Our chassis came with two locking pins, restricting you from opening the front door from the left-hand side or removing the door completely, but these can easily be removed.

The inside of the chassis is certainly spacious and will be able to cater for high end ATX motherboards and graphics cards.

The compartment on top is designed to accommodate a 240mm radiator with easy access, as you just press the end of the dust filter on top and it is unlocked.

There is also plenty of space below this for 2 x 120mm fans, however if you aren’t keen on watercooling, you could fit either a 230mm fan or a 200mm fan.

The rear fan is a 120mm BitFenix Spectre which is claimed to be whisper quiet. There are also the 3 watercooling holes and 7 PCI slots.

The BitFenix Ghost fits in 3 x 5.25″ bays, each with tool-less mounting options.

There is 1 x 3.5″ external bay and 3 x 2.5″ bays (although these can be converted to 3.5″ bays) and a further 4 x 3.5″ bays. We do certainly like how BitFenix have given us the flexibility between 2.5″ bays or 3.5″ bays.

From the right-hand side of the chassis we can see the CPU cut-out is large, and nearly the width of an mATX board. The cable management holes did not have the grommets fitted out of the box.

After removing the front door and dust filter we can see another 120 mm BitFenix Spectre fan. You can add another here if you want a higher intake airflow level. In total, 6 x 120mm fan’s can be installed.

We installed the Seasonic Platinum Rated 1000W Fully Modular power supply first.

We then installed the motherboard with cooler preinstalled. There is plenty of space around the motherboard which makes the build phase easier.

BitFenix have included 3 x 2.5″ trays. It is just a case of clipping a solid state drive into them by flexing the one side of the tray so the pins can lock into each side in turn of the SSD.

You can then just slide the trays into the 2.5″ bays until they lock into place

To install 3.5″ drives it is just as simple.

We like how simple it is to install both 3.5″ HDD’s and 2.5″ SSD’s into this chassis, and as we mentioned earlier if you aren’t going to use the 2.5″ bays you can convert them into more 3.5″ bays.

Next is the graphics card, in this case a XFX Radeon 5450HD. There is clearly plenty of space for the larger high-end graphics cards.

Finally we connect everything together. This was relatively easy in this chassis, although it is a bit fiddly to fit the cable-management grommets. We would also prefer an extra few mm behind the motherboard tray as we struggled to route our large 24-pin power cable exactly where we wanted to.

Today’s test system will give us a good idea of how well this case works in terms of thermal and acoustical performance.

Processor: AMD Phenom X4 965 Black Edition @ 4.0 GHz.
Motherboard: ASUS M4A785TD- M Evo
Cooler: Akasa Venom Voodoo CPU Cooler
Memory: 4GB Kingston HyperX DDR3 1800MHz
Graphics Cards: XFX Radeon 5450 HD (GPU @ 700 MHZ, Memory Clock @ 650 MHz)
Power Supply: Seasonic 1000W Platinum Full Modular

Boot Drive: Kingston HyperX 3K 120GBf

Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB

OS: Windows 7 Home Edition 64bit
Pyle Digital Sound Level Meter PSPL25

These temperatures are certainly good, and are just slightly better than the CM Storm Scout II we recently reviewed, which featured a slightly more powerful fan set-up (1 x 140mm fan + 1 x 120mm fan compared to 2 x 120mm fans).

Clearly, these fans are moving a little bit more air through the system, but has it compromised its acoustical performance? Let’s find out …

Today, to test this chassis we have set our Sound Level Meter one meter away from the case.

We then temporarily turned the two Akasa Venom Voodoo fans off, which leaves us with only the included case fan and very little noise from the power supply fan.

As this can be a little confusing for people, here are various dBa ratings in with real world situations to help describe the various levels.

KitGuru noise guide
10dBA – Normal Breathing/Rustling Leaves
20-25dBA – Whisper
30dBA – High Quality Computer fan
40dBA – A Bubbling Brook, or a Refrigerator
50dBA – Normal Conversation
60dBA – Laughter
70dBA – Vacuum Cleaner or Hairdryer
80dBA – City Traffic or a Garbage Disposal
90dBA – Motorcycle or Lawnmower
100dBA – MP3 player at maximum output
110dBA – Orchestra
120dBA – Front row rock concert/Jet Engine
130dBA – Threshold of Pain
140dBA – Military Jet takeoff/Gunshot (close range)
160dBA – Instant Perforation of eardrum

At this point we were quite surprised as we were not able to obtain a reading from our sound level meter, which is rated to read down to at least 30 dB. As such we weren’t able to obtain a specific reading but can safely say this case is whisper quiet.

We turned the Akasa Venom Voodoo CPU Cooler fans back on, and measured a reading of 41 dB, but this is with both fans running at full speed.

The BitFenix Ghost is marketed as a quiet gaming case featuring the companies latest technology. This technology includes BitFenix Serenitek Silencing Material, BitFenix NanoChrome Surface Treatment, and BitFenix ‘Whisper-quiet’ Spectre fans.

Normally we would say these ‘buzz words’ are merely a marketing ploy to make practical features sound more scientific and impressive. While every company does this to a certain extent BitFenix can stand proud behind this design. For the mid range sector the BitFenix Ghost is an excellent product targeting a wide audience of users.

The BitFenix Ghost is a mid-tower chassis that crams a lot into the physical space. We particularly like that you can install a 240mm watercooling radiator into the top of the chassis further enhancing the practicality by  reducing noise further. We also enjoyed the simplistic nature of features, the Dual-Hinge door design, the Hot-Swap drive bay and how all the filters can be removed with a nice smooth release system.

In terms of thermal performance the Ghost is at least on par with several of the best mid-tower chassis. It managed to maintain a temperature of just 56 degrees with an overclocked AMD X4 phenom 965 @ 4.0 GHz . The small increase in HDD temperatures also highlight good airflow through the chassis.

While the thermal performance of this chassis is good, the acoustical performance is better. Bitfenix say on their website: “The most dangerous opponent is the one you can’t hear.” We certainly can’t argue with that, and the BitFenix Ghost is nearly inaudible. It was so quiet our sound level meter would not register any output from the chassis at a distance of 1 meter.

The design of the BitFenix Ghost Chassis is certainly functional, but at the same time, I quite like the sleek black look as it looks both serious and professional. It also fits into most environments, whether for work, for the kids, or for that new entertainment/gaming room. If you are however looking for a brightly coloured case to show off your colour coordinated components then there are better options available.

The BitFenix Ghost retails at £74.99 from Overclockers.co.uk which offers great value for money. If you are in the market for a new, low noise chassis, then this is certainly worth considering.

Pros

  • Whisper quiet.
  • Dual-hinge door design.
  • Hot-Swap Bay.
  • Can accomodate a 240mm radiator.
  • Lots of other great features.

Cons

  • Limited space behind motherboard tray.

Kitguru says: Another impressive case from BitFenix, this time a quiet one!

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