BitFenix Colossus Window Gaming Tower

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Posted by on Monday, April 25, 2011 - 12:00am

bitfenix colossusWe were not able to review the original Colossus when it released, but we do have the honor of bringing to you the upgraded model of it. This unit is call the Colossus Window, which as you may have guessed from the name it now comes with a window option. The new Colossus still offers all that the older brother did but now gives the gamers out there an opportunity to show off all the glory that makes up their gaming rig.

Introduction to the BitFenix Colossus Window Gaming Tower

BitFenix has become quite a hit, especially in regards to cases that get people talking. The original Colossus was not just their first case to market, but was one of the best on the market (and still is). When it comes to size, cable management, feature list and lastly price, they have given you little reason to look elsewhere. BitFenix wants to give the gamer, or anyone else looking for a great case, another choice. Not only do we have companies like Cooler Master, Antec and Silverstone that we can rely on for quality, but we now have BitFenix as well.

We were not able to review the original Colossus when it released, but we do have the honor of bringing to you the upgraded model of it. This unit is called the Colossus Window, which as you may have guessed from the name it now comes with a window option. The new Colossus still offers all that the older brother did but now gives the gamers out there an opportunity to show off all the glory that makes up their gaming rig.

BitFenix’s take on the Colossus Window

You've got some amazing hardware, so why not show it off? Introducing Colossus Window, a brand new option for users who want to let the world see the hardware they're running. Users can choose between three color options, including Black/Red, Black/Green, or White/Blue to perfectly match their computing environment. Featuring a newly-designed windowed side panel, and two color-matched 230mm LED fans and the same modern and elegant styling, Colossus Window is a fresh twist to the ultimate enthusiast PC chassis.


Specifications

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)

Features

Newly-Designed Windowed Side Panel
Three Slick Color Options
Two 230mm LED Fans
LED Light Controls


Closer look at the exterior

The new Colossus Window, or the original for that matter, is not for the individual that is short on room and desk space. It stands almost twenty-two inches tall and sits twenty-three inches deep. When we are talking about building a rig with this monster, we are talking about supporting today’s longer graphic cards, and still having plenty of drives.

The Colossus still has the soft-touch covers that many would describe as rubbery. This covering is one reason for the case’s sturdy and tough characteristics. The series comes in three colors: black on black with green lighting, white on white with blue lighting, and black on black with red lighting: our model is the latter.

 

Steering away from our norm, we begin this review with the side panel rather the front, as it is what makes this the new case that it is. Unlike the front of the Colossus, the side panel does not have the soft-touch texture but is made of standard SECC metal. But there is a large side window can take house two 12cm cooling fans. The window is cleverly made to allow wandering eyes to see just what is connected to the motherboard, but not the drives as this tends to be the messier part of a build.

Don't worry, it's not cracked or scratched, it's just the protective film it ships with!

Now we can come back around to the front of the case, and we see there is not the mesh that seems to be a standard feature of many of today’s models. There aren't even any drive bays visible for that matter, just BitFenix’s patented Soft-Touch coating and the horizontal LED illuminated stripes. That is right, the Colossus models are a case with a front door, which means you will have to open it each and every time you have to access an optical drive. Our pet peeve aside, both the stripes and the BitFenix logo at the top will glow with whatever color is associated with that model; red, blue or green.

As we mentioned above, the entire front is one large door. By default it opens from left to right, but unlike any other case we have tested the Colossus models can be changed to open from right to left. There is a lock at the top of the case to secure the top mount panel from being accessed. More on that later. Externally there are five optical drives that sit behind mesh bay covers. The larger mesh area at the bottom hides a huge 230mm intake fan. If you look hard enough you will see the channels that align the outer edges of the front panel; these are to secure any cables connected to the I/O area at the top of the case. [Editor's Note: My apologies, Tony forgot to upload the images that show behind the door. I'll be sure to poke him in the eye over that one, just as soon as he uses it to take those shots for us!] Wink

The top of the case is pretty subtle but in a classy way. The back section is made up of mesh and hides yet another 230mm exhaust fan. Further hidden from view is the I/O area of the Colossus. A light press towards the forward of the top will open a lid, thus revealing the ports and controls. The ports consist of one eSATA, four USB ports and also the two  audio jacks. The buttons are power/reset and LED power.

Jumping to the rear of the case we just how tall it is, as there seems to be plenty of open space. Sitting at the top are four water-cooling inlets for tubing. The rear of the housing will support another 120mm or 140mm exhaust fan, but neither come with it. Support for E-ATX motherboards is obvious here indicated by the eight PCI expansion slots, which use the ever favorite vented covers.


Closer look at the interior

The entire interior of the Colossus is black with no accents of other colors. We mentioned that the Colossus is twenty-three inches deep which means there should be plenty of room on the inside of the room, and is there ever! The enclosure will no doubt support the longest of the modern video cards.

The cable management possibilities of the Colossus are outstanding. There are routing holes located at the top, bottom and right side of the motherboard tray. What's more, there is a very large cut-out for the exchanging of CPU coolers as well.

The optical drive bays use these nifty plastic mechanisms to secure drives into place. The Colossus does come with an adapter to turn one of the larger bays into a 3.5” bay, should the....

... seven hard drive mounting slots still not be enough! Each of the seven comes with a plastic mounting bracket to house and secure your hard drives. These brackets can even hold 2.5” drives as well (one each).

For better air movement, should somehow the two massive 230mm fans not be enough, there is another vented location at the bottom of the case to mount a fan. For the power supply's intake fan, depending on your install preference, there is another ventilation port under it's mounting location. The Colossus uses some rather large mechanisms to secure any add-in cards, as is evident by their protrusion into the picture.


Installing Images

Our main components installed.


GPU secured using the tool-less plastic locks.


Power supply installed.


Hard drive installation.


Action shot! Lights on.


Conclusion

The word colossus simply put means "big", and that is just what the Colossus Window from BitFenix is……BIG. BitFenix designed the case to be able to handle whatever it might be that anyone could throw in a build, and have an easy time doing it. The Colossus would be ideal for those that want to build high-end gaming rigs with plenty of room for any graphics card support. Without the need to remove any pieces of the interior, the Colossus easily has support for video cards as long as the GTX 580 and the Radeon HD 6970. All the while still providing plenty of room to install up to 8 hard drives or solid state drives.

One of the best features of the case that many enthusiast will like, as well as gamers, is the uniquely styled front end. After everything is properly installed, this particular model gives off a nice red glow from both the BitFenix logo and stripes that wrap around the front of the case. The glow is not very intense either, which in our book is a good thing. Too bright of a glow would have made the case a little annoying.

The window on the side panel is in a great position to show the main parts off, which would be everything physically connected to the motherboard like the CPU and video cards. The window can even support two more 120mm cooling fans as well, but you will have to supply those.

Speaking of fans, the Colossus Window comes with plenty of locations to mount them for better air circulation. A total of six fans are possible, but only two are included. Don't let that sound all bad though, as these two are some of the biggest in the industry at 230mm. The 230mm mounted upfront will help to bring cool air inside the case, at the same time providing cooling for hard drives mounted behind it. The massive 230mm mounted at the top of the case is great for exhaust, Or just as well, it can be removed to house a water-cooling radiator for those looking to take their cooling solution to the next level.

There are several other features that we mentioned in the review that we will not go into details here they are: great cable management, tool-less operation and ample room to work in. All of which any and every one is looking for when shopping for a new case.

The only knock we could find with the case was the lack of USB 3.0 support. This is one feature that should not be eliminated from a case that retails for more than $100. In this price range people are looking for a complete solution.

At about $150, the BitFenix is a case to consider if looking for something to build that ultimate gaming rig you always wanted. You get just about all the features one could ask for in a case.

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