There’s no doubt about it: It’s all about miniaturization when it comes to the PC market. Not only is the market share for PCs shrinking, but so are product designs as well. Without trying to be sexist (and therefore unfunny), men in particular feel wary any time they encounter the mere notion of “shrinkage.”
BitFenix, though, is only happy to join the fray with its newest SFF chassis series, Phenom. While the name might seem more suitable for something, I don’t know, gargantuan, BitFenix’s new Phenoms are indeed phenomenal for altogether different reasons than what you might expect.
The Phenom comes in two distinct variants, a mITX version and a mATX one. Both are identical in terms of exterior dimensions (250 x 330 x 374mm) and appearance; where they differ is how their interior space is allocated in terms of available features.
The mITX Phenom (P/N BFC-PHE-300-KKXKK-RP for Midnight Black, BFC-PHE-300-WWXKK-RP for Arctic White) can fit thick 240mm radiators up top. Its FlexCage accommodates up to five 3.5″ HDDs or 2.5″ SSDs, or it can be removed entirely so that graphics cards up to 330mm long can be installed. With additional mounting points in the side panel and on the PSU cage, the mITX Phenom supports up to six 3.5″ HDDs, or up to eleven SSDs. And if water-cooling isn’t your thing, you can install tower-style air coolers up to 175mm tall in the mITX Phenom. Combined with five fan mounting options (two 120mm fans up top, two 120mm fans in front – optionally, single 140/180/200/230mm fans can be fitted here – and one 120mm/140mm fan in the rear), the Phenom mITX sports plenty of air cooling potential. It also has two PCI expansion slots.
And for SFF system builders with ambitions to run multiple graphics cards, the mATX Phenom (P/N BFC-PHM-300-KKXKK-RP for Midnight Black, and BFC-PHM-300-WWXKK-RP for Arctic White) is more appropriate. It boasts five PCI expansion slots, as well as the capability to fit slim 240mm radiators on the top panel. Its removable hard drive rack supports up to two 3.5″ HDDs or three 2.5″ SSDs. And if end-users want to install two additional 3.5″ HDDs, the bottom panel can be used for this purpose (you do sacrifice one fan mount if you do choose this option). An included magnetic heat shield is available to divert PSU exhaust away from the case interior as well. All told, the mATX Phenom fits up to five fan locations (two 120mm fans up top, two 120mm in front with the option to fit a single 200mm/230mm fan instead, and a 120mm/140mm fan in the rear exhaust position), just like its mITX sister.
As far as other shared features are concerned, all Phenom SFF cases have BitFenix’s signature SofTouch Surface Treatment, the same elegant styling, and a pair of USB 3.0 ports in the front I/O panel.
BitFenix says its Phenom will be available in store shelves in October 2013. Pricing information for either version of the Phenom is not available at this time.