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
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  • Death666Angel - Thursday, February 28, 2013 - link

    Someone is a busy little bee! :D Keep up the good work Dustin! :)
    Gonna read the review now, just wanted to say that first.
    Reply
  • rwei - Thursday, February 28, 2013 - link

    @Dustin - With this many case reviews...I assume that you must have enough of these things sitting around to build a fort.

    So what gives? Where is the fort? I believe that I represent the readership when I assert that you are underserving our needs.

    In case you need inspiration, I would invite you to consult the following image:
    http://asilentbob.deviantart.com/art/Box-fort-1454...
    Reply
  • ilihijan - Sunday, March 03, 2013 - link

    I just got paid $6784 working on my laptop using these simple steps leaked on this web page. Make up to $85 per hour doing simple tasks that are so easy to do that you won't forgive yourself if you don't check it out! Weekly payments! Here is what I've been doing Epic2.c(om) Reply
  • Locktile - Thursday, February 28, 2013 - link

    Bought and built in a Shinobi a few days ago. The current iteration has rectified some of the earlier problems - the rubber feet are now screwed in from the factory. 2 USB 3 ports at the top. Still at the same price.

    So hopefully this case will get the same treatment after a while.

    Good work as allways Dustin!
    Reply
  • abhaxus - Thursday, February 28, 2013 - link

    I was fortunate enough to get this case for a steal at $69. Overall I really like it, although as reviewed I agree that it is a few touch ups from being a case I would use again. One thing I didn't see mentioned in the review is the intake fan placement on the bottom of the case. My power supply (Coolmax 1000w) is too large to allow me to use a 120mm fan in that bottom intake. Seems like a small oversight. Because there is no side fan blowing directly on my GTX 480, even a throttled 80mm fan mounted (rigged up) here lowers my temps on the card by about 10c.

    I mounted bitfenix 200mm fans in the front and top, the thermal performance increased quite a bit with them.

    For 70
    Reply
  • thesavvymage - Thursday, February 28, 2013 - link

    It amazes me how no company has hired Dustin to help design their cases Reply
  • futrtrubl - Thursday, February 28, 2013 - link

    I am quite sure he would design an awesome case. It would also be a case that could never be made due to patents. Reply
  • Pbryanw - Thursday, February 28, 2013 - link

    Yes, it would be awesome but if it it was an ATX case it would only be able to fit mATX motherboards (sorry I'm only joking :) ) But in reply to thesavvymage, can some case manufacturer make it so. Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Thursday, February 28, 2013 - link

    HA!

    I ain't even mad. :)
    Reply
  • ezridah - Thursday, February 28, 2013 - link

    Thanks you for finally reviewing this case Dustin! I've been eyeing it for about a year now and am thinking about starting a new build soon. This would have been a case I considered, but given the issues with it I'll probably pass on it now.

    If they revised it with all the suggestions Dustin had I would buy it immediately. Your move BitFenix.
    Reply

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