The Colossus is a solid first effort from newcomer BitFenix, but it does present a series of contradictions.
KitGuru is all about the engineering. While we’re all for the stylish and the sexy, the first priority for a case is to provide the best possible environment for your components. Key to that is cooling, so we’ll start there. Cooling performance is great, easily rating as one of the best we’ve tested. While it has not won the right to claim ‘champion standing’, it’s certainly doing battle in the same arena as the Antec Dark Fleet DF 85 and the Silverstone Raven 02. The dual 230mm fan configuration pushes a massive amount of air, while keeping noise levels to a minimum.
The next task of a chassis is to make you proud of the machine you’ve built. For that, it needs to look great. Here’s where opinion will be divided deeper than the Marianas Trench. It certainly looks different to any other case in the market and love it or hate it, change in general is a good thing. Aesthetically I find the case different enough to be worth checking out, and the LED system is certainly attractive enough if you happen to be a fan of glowing lights. We like the RED lighting as it looks sexy at night.
Those are the two biggest factors in the case’s favour.
Unfortunately, the case is not without issue and we ran into several areas where build quality could definitely be improved. While we can forgive the broken dust filter on the PSU as a rough shipping issue, we were not happy with the build quality of the side panel system and the hard drive tray material is very flimsy. Considering the effort that the design team has gone to, it’s a surprise that the QA team has missed these issues.
KitGuru raised all of these issues with senior staff at BitFenix and we were told that the Hard Drive trays have already been changed on the production line. The inside cover of the side panel is also apparently ‘only applicable’ to media samples which means if you buy one next month, the inside door is likely to have been changed. BitFenix has promised to keep your beloved KitGuru’s up to speed with developments in this area.
Our single biggest area of concern is the single 140mm rear mount. It is a very unusual choice. While we can appreciate that a 140mm fan will push more air than a 120mm fan, all primary manufacturers such as Corsair and CoolIT are bundling their pre-fab liquid coolers (such as Vantage, ECO, H50 and H70) with 120mm fans.From what we can tell, BitFenix does not – at present – sell a 140mm fan either. We expect some changes here, either in fan availability or rear mount size. Even if Bitfenix supplied a fan adapter kit it would help ease potential heartache.
BitFenix intends to supply the Colossus with a downloadable manual only. Most people have web access on more than one device, but we do love a paper manual here in the KitGuru office. The case is more complicated than most so a simple, clearly presented manual would have been appreciated.
All in all we have been reasonably impressed with the BitFenix Colossus as a first effort. While applauding their efforts to create innovative solutions we do need to highlight the early build quality. It’s simply lacking in places. Easily fixed – but certainly needs addressing.
BitFenix has convinced us that they are listening to the key media, will take all of these observations on board and expect to keep raising their game in the coming months. If you buy one retail, then we’d really appreciate you giving us your views in the KitGuru forums.
Pricing is going to be around £130 inc vat within the UK.
KitGuru says: Decent first effort from a new company and it shows that the BitFenix design team is not short of imagination. Overall, it’s actually forced us to change our kit scoring system. We’ll explain in more detail in a follow up article, but essentially the BitFenix Colossus is worth considering if you like the styling (in black or white) and a high level of airflow. Right now, it’s a rough diamond – we look forward to Revision 2.