If you’ve been a steady Techgage reader, you’ll probably know that I’m an old-school (or is it just old?) fuddy-duddy.
I like most gear to be sensible, with sober and classy styling and design. I’m not one to really call attention to myself, and I guess this extends itself to the gear I tend to like.
That’s not to say I’m totally biased against bling, though. One of these days, I think I’d want to own a gold-topped electric guitar. Or a pearl white electric bass.
For sure, though, bling-tastic or not, if something is done real well, I’ll give it mad props as it deserves.
Still, it was a bit curious for Techgage chef d’equipe Rob to enlist me to review BitFenix’s Alchemy 2.0 Magnetic LED Strips. For one thing, he’s far more into LED bling than I am.
BitFenix actually sent your humble scribe five of its Alchemy 2.0 LED strips, each in a different color.
Here is the parade of Alchemy 2.0s. The available colors are purple, white, red, green and blue.
There’s really not much to the Alchemy 2.0 Magnetic LED Strip. All you need to know about it is in the name. It’s an array of LEDs (BitFenix calls them TriBright LEDs) affixed to a flexible magnetic strip.
That’s not to say that these aren’t cool. On the contrary, even boring ol’ me gets a kick out of ’em, now that I’ve seen what they’re all about. I appreciate concepts executed superbly.
These are the contents of each package. On the left is the power cable and the double-ended male power connector (in the small baggie); on the right is the LED strip itself.
The power cable is a Y-type, with two Molex connectors (one male, one female) as well as the 4-pin female end for the male power connectors. The female end power connector also has a magnet on it, which is a blessing for cable management mavens. It’s a good design for two reasons, one of which is ease of use. I’ll show you the other perk of this design later.
This is a close-up of the LED strip by itself. Right now it doesn’t look terribly exciting. But when you power ’em up, as I will later in this review…
This shot shows the female end of the power cable on the left, one end of the double-male connector, and the female connector of the LED strip itself.
This final detail shot shows how everything connects to each other. The only connection not made is to a Molex power connector from the power supply unit.
Now that we’ve made our visual tour of what makes up the Alchemy 2.0 Magnetic LED Strip, let’s put it in a system and see how it looks in it.
Installation and Performance Testing
Installing the BitFenix Alchemy 2.0 Magnetic LED Strip is as easy as set-it-and-forget-it. Put it where you want it in your PC chassis, connect the power cables and power connectors together, and hook it up to a free Molex power connector, and you’re good to go.
Here’s what the blue LED strip looks like in the last chassis I tested.
The color is very vivid. I’m quite impressed.
As you can tell, these are really bright LEDs. It’s so bright that, if you have your PC in your bedroom, you may not want to keep your system on all night. That is, if you have issues sleeping with a bright light source in the same room you sleep in.
The magnetic strip exerts a very strong pull. You can put these anywhere on your chassis without fear of it dislodging itself. You have to give these a good tug to remove them from where you mount them. Moreover, the strip is quite flexible, so these will go around bends easily.
Now earlier I mentioned that the double male-ended power connectors that come with each individual LED was a good design. Given that each individual LED strip has two female power connectors, it’s very easy to daisy-chain multiple LED strips.
That’s all five LED strips strung together. I have to admit, I didn’t realize how much I’d love the look of this.
Maybe I’m not such a fuddy-duddy after all.
Let’s wrap things up.
I’ll make a confession: When Rob assigned me this product to review, I wasn’t sure if it was something I’d enjoy. My aesthetic sensibilities lean much more to subtle, classical, elegant designs. LED bling just isn’t something I want.
You know what, though? I’m open-minded enough to change my attitude if situations warrant an adjustment.
BitFenix’s Alchemy 2.0 Magnetic LED Strips have certainly given me an attitude adjustment. These things are so well executed, for one thing. The strips have strong magnets that will make sure they’ll stay stuck where you mount them in the PC chassis. Their power connectors make it easy to daisy-chain multiple strips together, therefore using up only one Molex connector from your system’s PSU. Plus they just look good, and they make your system look good. That, folks, is the very definition of getting the job done.
One more thing I like about them: They don’t cost an arm and a leg. The typical price of one of these LED strips varies from ~$19.00 to about $22.00 for the 30cm-length strip, which is what BitFenix provided for this review.
It’s honestly hard to say anything bad about the BitFenix Alchemy 2.0 Magnetic LED Strip. Even the available color selection is well-chosen, in my opinion. It should cover all the bases as far as builder color schemes are concerned.
So, as simple as it is, because it is a superbly-executed design, the Alchemy 2.0 Magnetic LED Strip from BitFenix earns Techgage’s Editor’s Choice award.
BitFenix Alchemy 2.0 Magnetic LED Strip
- Super-simple to use
- Strong magnets
- Bright and vivid LEDs
- Can be daisy-chained
- Good value for money