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BitFenix Merc

Posted December 21, 2011 by Jake in Cases & PSU







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by Jake
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Opening up the swinging door to reveal the heart of the Merc, we once again see an interior that has everything we need and nothing we don’t. Except perhaps floppy drive screw holes. The interior is a straightforward, classic design with a front vertical drive bay stack and a bottom-mounted power supply. There’s nothing groundbreaking here in terms of overall design, but that’s not a bad thing; we prefer smart, functional design that simply works.

Along the front are three 5.25" bays and seven 3.5" bays, two of which have mounting holes for floppy drives. Perhaps people searching for a budget case still use floppy drives?

Check out that black interior!

The motherboard itself has a large cutout at the rear to make heatsink installation and removal painless. This cutout also has a small offset hole above to accommodate the CPU power cable. The case metal is rolled around each of the holes to avoid snagging any cables or cutting your fingers.

The opposite side is also very straightforward. There’s plenty of holes for good cable management opportunities. There isn’t much of an offset distance between the motherboard tray and the side panel though, so don’t expect serious cabling to happen back there.

At the front of the Merc are two 120mm fan mount locations which are recessed so they do not interfere with the front panel. This also makes fan installation a bit more difficult because you will need a screwdriver that can fit through the first hole on the fan or use the long m3 screws that are provided.

There is more space in the Merc than there is in a regular mid tower, thanks to the non-recessed PCI expansion slots. However, this does mean that you will be securing your PCI cards from outside the case, but this isn’t any sort of problem, and we’ve actually seen this design on premium cases. Cable management also has enough room behind the motherboard tray as well. Individually-sleeved power supply cables had no problems here, with no side panel bulging or snagging. You have about ¾” of clearance in the smallest spot behind the motherboard tray and 1-3/4” between the HDD rack and the side panel.

Popping off the front bezel is easy, and beneath is standard fare. Note the one 5.25″ / fan knockout panel.

Let’s install some hardware next.

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