Introducing the BitFenix Raider

BitFenix has historically been fairly reliable at producing reasonably priced cases that have their own aesthetic flair and solid performance. They've been exactly daring enough with designs like the extremely popular Prodigy, and been able to produce great value with less expensive builds like the Merc series. For the most part their midrange has been fairly well-covered by the Shinobi, but for users looking for something with a little more pep and a little different design, today we have on hand the Raider.

The Raider seems like a fairly basic ATX mid-tower, but there's some secret sauce at work here. BitFenix includes a pseudo-removable drive cage and, almost surprisingly, no side ventilation. No window, no side fan, nothing but two solid side panels. There's also a trio of BitFenix's silent Spectre fans, and that signature attractive soft-touch plastic finish. It sounds like the Raider has a lot going for it, but does it hold up?

If you've been keeping track of the case reviews here, the Raider will in many ways seem like it's keeping up with the state of the art of case design. BitFenix has a mostly removable drive cage (more on this later), a recessed cabling channel in the motherboard tray, four USB 3.0 ports, and healthy headroom for radiators in the top of the enclosure. There's even my much beloved fan controller standard, though I'll admit a fan controller is much less exciting when it's paired with low noise fans in the first place (as is also true of Nanoxia's Deep Silence cases.) The ideal circumstance for one is to fine tune high performance fans.

Despite being a very feature rich case, though, testing of the BitFenix Raider revealed a design that feels strangely half-baked. This is by no means a bad enclosure and it can almost justify itself entirely on its fairly attractive aesthetic (at least I think so), but as they say, the devil is in the details, and there are a lot of details that it seems like BitFenix's designers may have missed.

BitFenix Raider Specifications
Motherboard Form Factor Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX
Drive Bays External 4x 5.25"
Internal 6x 2.5"/3.5", 1x 2.5"
Cooling Front 2x 120mm intake fan (supports 1x 200mm)
Rear 1x 120mm exhaust fan
Top 1x 200mm fan mount
Side -
Bottom 1x 120mm fan mount
Expansion Slots 7
I/O Port 4x USB 3.0, 1x Headphone, 1x Mic
Power Supply Size ATX
Clearances HSF 160mm
PSU 160mm with bottom fan / 240mm without
GPU 280mm with drive cage / 370mm without
Dimensions 8.27" x 19.69" x 19.41"
210mm x 500mm x 493mm
Weight ~18 lbs. / ~8 kg
Special Features USB 3.0 via internal header (each header includes 2.0 header)
Fan controller
Removable drive cage panel
Price $99

My first experience with the Raider, just opening the box, was like a trip into bizarro world. I can't remember the last time I had to install feet on an enclosure, let alone a hundred dollar one, but the fact that adhesive feet weren't already on the case (despite the bottom fan filters) wound up being something of a red flag. It's not a huge deal in and of itself, but if BitFenix wasn't thinking to ship this case with the feel installed, what else might they have missed?

In and Around the BitFenix Raider
POST A COMMENT

25 Comments

View All Comments

  • kukujin21 - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    I think 14 months ago you gave a better review of the internals although you still had the same complaints?. anything look familiar Dustin?

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/5157/nzxt-phantom-41...
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    That's a good catch. I have them side by side right now, though, and they're similar but by no means identical.

    Of course, fourteen months ago would've been ~42 cases ago, and I may have become slightly more cantankerous in the interim. ;)
    Reply
  • killerclick - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    Bought it 4 months ago. What I don't like about it:

    Dust filters don't stop as much dust as you'd like, except when they get clogged with dust themselves. That's why I don't vacuum them anymore (airflow is still pretty good).

    Why does it have a mesh on top? Dust FALLS IN THE CASE, despite the positive air pressure inside (I never turn my computer off). I had to put filters on the holes on top of the case to stop dust from falling inside.

    You can't completely remove the top mesh to clean the top of the case - it's connected by wires so you can only lift it and move it so much until the cables snag.

    After 3 months, the fan controller lever started crapping out and now it's impossible to set it to the slowest speed. I didn't even use this lever that much, it's just really flimsy.

    Finally, when I put a 7200RPM (Samsung Spinpoint F3) disk in, it's very loud even at idle because of vibrations. I had to make a sling out of elastic in one of the 5.25" bays and stick the disk in it, and now it's quiet (no vibrations).
    Reply
  • killerclick - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    Yeah, I also didn't connect the power LED because it's way too bright. Reply
  • lmcd - Friday, March 01, 2013 - link

    Last time you had to install feet on a $100 case was the SG09, I believe. Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now