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Monday, 03 January 2011 14:38

BitFenix Colossus computer case tested - 5. Conclusion

Written by Sanjin Rados

thumbtop-value-2008-lr

Review: The legend of Colossus


We must say we were pleasantly surprised with what is BitFenix’s first case. Sometimes success is dictated by the first product, and if that’s any measure of quality then BitFenix is looking at a bright future. Colossus is a beautiful futuristic case that will surely tickle the imagination of many LED effect lovers. Of course, looks aren’t everything – but Colossus does well in functionality test as well.

The case comes with two large 230mm fans that will be enough for most users. What’s important is that the fans provide good airflow and their RPM can be controlled via the included fan controller. We were picking hairs a bit and found few minor flaws, but all in all this is a good, quality case.

If you’re looking for a good looking case with plenty of room, quality cooling and plenty of space, then ignoring Colossus would be a colossal mistake. You can find it listed here.

top-value-2010

test-17

 



Specs
Materials    SECC, ABS
Color (Int/Ext)    Black/Black or White/White
Dimensions (WxHxD)     245 x 558 x 582 mm (ATX Full Tower)
Motherboard Sizes    Mini-ITX, mATX, ATX, E-ATX
5.25" Drive Bays     x 5 (1 x external 3.5"; tool-free)
3.5" Drive Bays    x 7
2.5" Drive Bays    x 7 (using standard 3.5" drive bays)
Cooling Front    1 x 230mm
Cooling Rear    1 x 140/120mm (optional)
Cooling Side Panel    n/a
Cooling Top    1 x 230mm (or 1 x 140/120mm optional)
Cooling Bottom    1 x 140/120mm (optional)
PCI Slots    8 (tool-free)
I/O    2 x USB3.0, 2 x USB2.0, eSATA, Audio
Power Supply    PS2 ATX (bottom, multi direction)

Colossus Venom Edition case kept the original Colossus looks and features. The main difference, at users’ requests, is the choice of LEDs. Namely, you have a choice between green and red LED lights, whereas the original colossus comes with green and blue. Colossus Venom Edition is currently available only in black, but it’s priced the same as the original.

  colossus_black_green_1.jpg  colossus_black_red_2.jpg
Specs
Materials    Steel, Plastic
Color (Int/Ext)    Black/Black
Dimensions (WxHxD)    245 x 558 x 582 mm (ATX Full Tower)
Motherboard Sizes    Mini-ITX, mATX, ATX, E-ATX
5.25" Drive Bays    x 5 (1 x external 3.5"; tool-free)
3.5" Drive Bays    x 7
2.5" Drive Bays    x 7 (using standard 3.5" drive bays)
Cooling Front    1 x 230mm
Cooling Rear    1 x 140/120mm (optional)
Cooling Side Panel    n/a
Cooling Top    1 x 230mm (or 1 x 140/120mm optional)
Cooling Bottom    1 x 140/120mm (optional)
PCI Slots    8 (tool-free)
I/O    2 x USB3.0, 2 x USB2.0, eSATA, Audio
Power Supply    PS2 ATX (bottom, multi direction)

As the name would suggest, Colossus Window Edition is the same Colossus case but with a side panel window. As you can see from the picture below, Colossus Window will be available in three colors. This model is cheaper as it lacks a few features found on the original Colossus. You can find it here priced at €140.
http://buy.fudzilla.com/a595561.html
  
colossu_window_blue.jpg     colossu_window_green.jpg        colossu_window_red.jpg 
Specs
Materials    Steel, Plastic
Color (Int/Ext)    Black/Black or White/White
Dimensions (WxHxD)    245 x 558 x 582 mm (ATX Full Tower)
Motherboard Sizes    Mini-ITX, mATX, ATX, E-ATX
5.25" Drive Bays    x 5 (1 x external 3.5"; tool-free)
3.5" Drive Bays    x 7
2.5" Drive Bays    x 7 (using standard 3.5" drive bays)
Cooling Front    1 x 230mm
Cooling Rear    1 x 140/120mm (optional)
Cooling Side Panel    2 x 120mm (optional)
Cooling Top    1 x 230mm (or 1 x 140/120mm optional)
Cooling Bottom    1 x 140/120mm (optional)
PCI Slots    8 (tool-free)
I/O    4 x USB2.0, eSATA, Audio
Power Supply    PS2 ATX (bottom, multi direction)

The Looks
BitFenix Colossus is a full tower case weighing in at 18 kilograms. It measures 245mm x 582mm x 558mm (W x D x H).

There’s no doubt that Colossus is a charmer, especially with the lights turned on. LED lights can switch from blue to red and cover the front and the sides of the case.
  colossus-front-0.jpg
  colossus-front-0-1.jpg
  colossus-front-0-2.jpg
The front panel is removed by a simple tug. BitFenix used SofTouch material for the front ant top panels, and it’s nice and soft on touch. The rest of the case, i.e. the construction and side panels are made of steel.

  colossus-front-1.jpg

You can place the door the way you see fit, as you can see from the picture below.
  colossus-front-2-1.jpg
The bottom part of the front panel has air holes for ventilation whereas the top part is reserved for five optical device spots.
  colossus-front-2.jpg

The front fan comes with a large, removable dust filter. All 5.25’’ meshes are also strapped with filters.

  colossus-front-3.jpg
Mounting optical devices requires removing the entire front panel and the procedure is the same when you want to clean the dust filters.
  colossus-front-4.jpg
The S3 compartment can be used to store some smaller items and you’ll find its lock on the front panel.

  top-panel-2.jpg
You can lift the lid on the S3 compartment without having to remove the front panel.
 colossus-front-0-3.jpg
The compartment hols the On/Off and reset keys, audio-out and mic-in jacks, eSATA connector, two USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 connectors. Colossus and Colossus Venom cases come with two of each, whereas Colossus Window only comes with USB 2.0 connectors.

Lighting is controlled via the LED power key and the dual-mode key for color switching. Furthermore, Colossus is capable of incremental, dynamic changes in LED lighting intensity.

We found it pretty handy that the case comes with fan RPM controller. Apart from the two mounted 230mm fans, Colossus can take another two 140mm fans.

  colossus-front-0-4.jpg
  colossus-front-0-5.jpg
  cosmoss_left1_1.jpg
  colossus-front-0-6.jpg
The back of the case reveals that the PSU is located on the bottom. Colossus has eight slots for expansion cards and four holes for water cooling systems. The rear panel does not come with any fans.   colossus-front-0-7.jpg
Colossus comes with two preinstalled fans; one 230mm which draws air on the front panel and one 230mm fan that pushes hot air out the top panel.

Colossus is a massive case which is best seen when compared to other large cases such as CoolerMaster HAFX. As you can see from the picture, HAFX is taller than the Colossus but it is not wider.

 


Inside the case

Before we take a look inside the Colossus, we have to say a few words about the unusual side panels on this case. Namely, both side panels are made of metal and are very heavy and tough. BitFenix wanted to make sure that the panels will take heavy blows without damaging the large LED panel, which can be seen on the picture below. 

 colossus-panel-1.jpg
 colossus-panel-2.jpg

The LED panel is covered with thick cardboard, also for protection.
 colossus-panel-3.jpg
 colossus-panel-4.jpg

The LED panel requires power via the 2-pin cable. As we already said, the panel can glow red or blue.

  colossus-panel-6.jpg
 
The space inside the Colossus is divided in three parts, i.e. space for motherboard, PSU and optical device chamber. Thanks to the bundled adapter, you can use 5.25 inch bays to house a 3.5’’ or 2.5’’ drives. 
 colossus-inside.jpg

 colossus-dvd-tray1.jpg
All the 5.25 slots come with tool-free locking mechanisms, securing the drive from both sides.

  colossus-dvd-tray2.jpg
The HDD tray can take up to seven 3.5’’ or 2.5’’ drives.
 colossus-hdd-tray1.jpg
 colossus-hdd-tray2.jpg
Two large 230mm fans take care of cooling and airflow. BitFenix arranged a push-pull combination where the front panel fan draws air and the top panel one pushes it out of the case. We must admit that the white color of the fans is a pretty nice touch.

 colossus-top-fan.jpg
The Colossus will take up to four fans but you can use up to 6 is you replace the 230mm with two smaller ones.
Colossus is a high-tower case and packs room for 8 expansion cards. The locking mechanism requires no tools to operate and will keep any card firmly in place.
 colossus-pcle-lock.jpg
The PSU is on the bottom of the case where it is seated on rubber feet for preventing vibration noise. The air outlet below the PSU has a dust filter, which can be removed without having to open the case – a simple tug from the back of the case will suffice.
  colossus-psu-1.jpg

The bottom of the case features an additional air outlet with a dust filter. If you chose to do so, you can use another 12/14cm fan here. The case is about one centimeter from the floor.
  colossus-psu-2.jpg

BitFenix left plenty of holes on the motherboard tray, in order to make cable management easier. Furthermore, the company left notches for tying cables, something that many other high quality cases can’t brag with. 
  colossus-back-1.jpg

The Colossus’ fan controller has six connectors, which means that it will cover any possible fan configuration.

As you can see, there is enough room between the side panel and motherboard tray to keep all the cables that clutter the inside of the case.


Testing

Testbed:
Motherboard: MSI P35 Platinum
Motherboard: EVGA X58 FTW3
Processor: Intel Core 2 Extreme x6800, Intel Core i7 930
CPU-Cooler: CoolerMaster Hyper Z600
CPU-Cooler: Prolimatech Armageddon
Graphic Card: Gigabyte’s passively cooled Geforce 9800 GT card
Graphic Card: Radeon HD 5970
PSU: CoolerMaster SilentPro 700W
PSU: Club3D 1000W

Colossus is a large and comfy case and we had no trouble in equipping it with our test hardware. However, we had a few complaints so we’ll start with those.
 test2.jpg
As the picture suggests, we couldn’t remove the mounted CPU cooler from the back. Although the CPU socket hole is pretty large, the MSI P35 Platinum’s CPU socket is positioned relatively high. We first blamed CoolerMaster’s cooler since it uses thick screws for 775 sockets.
  test-3.jpg

Unfortunately, it appears that this is not an isolated case as we had the same problem with EVGA’s X58 FTW 3 and Prolimatech Armageddon. It appears that BitFenix’s measurements were less than ideal and we didn’t even attempt to remove the Armageddon from the back. The following picture shows that it’s impossible. 
  test-4.jpg
You can see several holes for cable management on the pictures and we must admit that some should’ve been wider than they are now. After we used one to route several basic cables, it was simply too narrow for other cables you might want to manage.
 test5.jpg

Still, we must say that the cable management notches are a nice touch. As you can see, there is plenty of room to hide the unnecessary cabling.
  test8.jpg
Another nice touch is the channel on the front panel, which can be used to route USB cables to the S3 compartment. This will definitely come in handy when you don’t want your mouse or keyboard stolen. You can route the cable(s) to the USB port(s) in the compartment and then lock the compartment to prevent theft.
  test9.jpg
The HDD trays handled themselves pretty well with 3.5’’ drives, meaning they were fixed and were not vibrating. However, we didn’t like the way in which 2.5’’ drives behaved. Namely, the plastic trays are easily bent and it only takes a slight bump for the tray to fall out. However, BitFenix said that retail versions of the case will come with sturdier trays. The trays will take 3.5 and 2.5 inch drives. This means that Colossus will take up to eight 3.5 or 2.5 inch drives.
  test-6.jpg
  test-7.jpg
As we mentioned earlier, Colossus has two USB 3.0 connectors on the front panel. Naturally, this will require routing cables from the case’s control panel and connecting them to the ports on the motherboard’s I/O panel. The following picture shows the case’s USB 3.0 control panel and the way we routed the cables.
  colossu-usb-30-board.jpg
You can use water cooling holes to connect the USB 3.0, which is exactly what we did.
 test10.jpg

BitFenix thought about users who don’t have a USB 3.0 motherboard and thus included USB 2.0 adapter cable that allows for using USB 3.0 ports at 2.0 speeds. Colossus also comes with two external USB 2.0 connectors which are connected to the standard USB header on your motherboard.
 test11.jpg
 grafa1.jpg

Colossus’ fan speed regulator provides control of maximum 6 fans allowing adjustment from 12V to 9V. The additional fan connectors are hidden in the back of the case.
Slika konektora

Conclusion
We must say we were pleasantly surprised with what is BitFenix’s first case. Sometimes success is dictated by the first product, and if that’s any measure of quality then BitFenix is looking at a bright future. Colossus is a beautiful futuristic case that will surely tickle the imagination of many LED effect lovers. Of course, looks aren’t everything – but Colossus does well in functionality test as well.

The case comes with two large 230mm fans that will be enough for most users. What’s important is that the fans provide good airflow and their RPM can be controlled via the included fan controller. We were picking hairs a bit and found few minor flaws, but all in all this is a good, quality case.

If you’re looking for a good looking case with plenty of room, quality cooling and plenty of space, then ignoring Colossus would be a colossal mistake. You can find it here priced at €160.
(Page 5 of 5)
Last modified on Tuesday, 04 January 2011 16:07
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