BitFenix Ronin Case has made some pretty impressive cases in the past, from their Shinobi XL all the way down to the small yet powerful Prodigy. Let’s also not forget about the Spectre series fans, the Alchemy sleeved PSU extensions and their LED strips. We all have seen one of these cases modded at some point. I’ve seen at least 100 case mods/builds featuring one of BitFenix’s cases.
This is because of their innovative thought and design process. Now we’re back with another innovative case design, the Ronin.
The Ronin has a feature we usually only see on modded cases, a feature that has to be handmade. It’s bitfenix’s stealth cover. This stealth cover is used to add a great aesthetic look and feel to the Bitfenix case. It also helps hide those unsightly ODD/HDD bays and PSU out of site so we can focus on the actual parts we want to display.
We have support for a 240mm rad out of the box, a removable FlexCage, and it includes 2x 120mm fans. One of the new features the Ronin offers that I’ve never seen on a case is its SofTouch™ surface treatment. This adds a classy style to the Ronin.
Packaging and Specs
The front of the box isn’t anything special to look at. We have a plain brown box with BitFenix’s logo and website address.
Looking a the back of the box we find some of the key features of the Ronin which include a stealth cover and support for a 240mm rad. We will examine these more later on in the review.
On the top panel we have two strips of perforated mesh along each edge of the panel, and as you can see, 3/4 of the top is perforated with a lot of little holes for venting hot air. We also have our I/O ports, but we will take a closer look at that here in a minute. The top and front panels have BitFenix signature SofTouch™ surface treatment.
This is a really nice feature and looks great but is a dust magnet. When I say magnet, I mean it’s not going to be easy cleaning it off. The material feels almost like suede.
Viewing the front panel we have the three 5.25″ bays and a vented area for your intake fans. We also have BitFenix’s logo in a very classy-looking silver.
The right side panel is nothing special, just a plain flat panel that gets the job done.
Looking at the back of the Ronin we see the rear fan mount, I/O, seven PCI-E slots, bottom-mounted PSU, and two hose/cable routing grommets.
On the bottom of the case, we have four case feet with rubber covering the bottom and a removable magnetic filter. In the next few shots, we will show the filter on/off and partially hanging out by two of the four magnets. We can see the magnets are pretty strong so we won’t have to worry about them falling off.
Now we will take a closer look at the rear of the Ronin. In this first shot, we have a mounting for an 80/120mm fan and the rear I/O panel.
The top I/O panel features 2x USB 2.0 ports, 2x USB 3.0 ports, standard headphone/microphone jack, two LED indicators and power/reset buttons. Pressing the reset button can’t be done on accident, as you can see it’s very small. I actually have to use the tip of a pen or something like that. In no way am I complaining about this, I actually really like it.
On the front of the case we have an attractive looking brushed aluminum BitFenix Logo. This logo adds a great contrast to the all black case.
Heed this warning! It won’t take much to snap one.
One of the included 120mm fans is on the rear of the case for exhaust.
We love seeing this simple little feature: four rubber mounts for mounting our PSU to help with any vibration. The plate that you see in the left corner is the second mounting point from the stealth bay cover. This can be removed by removing 2 screws from the back and one on the bottom of the Ronin.
Looking at the top of the Ronin we have mounting points for 2x 120/140mm fans or one 240mm radiator.
Here we get a different look when we removed the top panel of the Ronin. Getting the top panel off wasn’t very easy so be careful removing this so you don’t rip any wires out.
Now we have taken the front bezel off giving us access to the three 5.25″ bays and two 120mm intake fan mounts.
Now we take a closer look at the included 120mm fan with fan filter. We loved that BitFenix included the fan filters but we wish they wouldn’t have attached to the fan by way of screws. This makes it a little bit of a pain when having to clean the filters.
Taking a look at the inside, we can see the CPU cutout is large enough for installing your CPU coolers without having to remove your motherboard. We didn’t like that the cable routing points didn’t have any rubber grommets. In my book this is a must have.
On the surface of the stealth cover we have a hexagon pattern that reminds me of the Nano Suit from Crysis.
Installing our system into the Ronin was pretty boring to be honest, which is really a good thing. It means there was no major problems to report! The full build time was only around 45 min, and a good portion of that was making the cable look half way decent.
In this shot we get a good overview of the system installed in the Ronin with the stealth cover affixed in place. We can also see how well the stealth cover hides the HDD/ODD bays and the PSU which gives us a clean and elegant look.
Here you can see we installed a 240mm radiator with no problem. There wasn’t a way to use a push/pull configuration. By using a push/pull configuration the bottom fan would have hit the ram we were using. We opted to set it up using a pull configuration, with the fans being mounted under the top bezel.
In this test system we used a total of four hard drives 2x standard and 2x SSDs. Installing the hard drives on the mounting rails was plain and simple. We will look at these more in just a minute.
If you look in the left corner of this pic you can see one of the clips used for securing the stealth cover to the case. Having our PSU installed made for a tight squeeze. My hands are relatively small and I even had a hard time trying to press the tabs together to release the panel.
Here we have installed our XSPC dual-bay res/pump combo and our Liteon Blu-ray DVD drive. When you install the res/pump combo and a DVD drive, the front bezel is almost impossible to remove, so please keep this in mind.
To remove the bezel there is a slot on the bottom used to pull it off, and because this the bezel comes off at an angle, it gets wedged/stuck on the res.The mounting trays are almost tool free, while installing an SSD will still require you to use a screw driver. In the first shot we have the tray closed and in the second shot it’s open.
Installing 3.5″ drives we simply slide the tray open, line up the pegs where the screw would usually go and slide the tray back together. Please be careful when opening or closing the trays, they are very flimsy and WILL break easily.
Cable management in the Ronin was pretty good for a mid-tower case. We loved that there were plenty of tie down points almost everywhere you could want one.
When it comes to quality and design, the BitFenix Ronin won’t disappoint with its sleek look and subtle curves. As we have seen, our build inside the Ronin came out clean and elegant looking, making for a computer you would want to show off. We have seen that the Ronin had no problem fitting a 240mm rad and a fully water cooled system. Building inside the Ronin got a little tight but it was not a major pain.
The bottom fan filter being magnetized is an awesome feature and one we think all case manufacturers should follow. This makes cleaning/removing the filter very easy. While we are on filters let’s talk about the front filters. It’s great that we were provided with two, but the way they attach (screwed to the fan) makes it unnecessarily difficult. Ultimately it was a small gripe and the added functionality outweighs this, but it’s still something to note.
We really loved the SofTouch™ surface treatment. It was a really nice touch giving the surface a nice soft smooth look and feel. There’s support for up to six fans, so having good air flow won’t be a problem when using the right fans. Having the removable FlexCage built in gives us extra room for longer GPUs or maybe mounting a pump. We didn’t like that the cable routing holes were just bare painted metal.
We wish there would have been rubber grommets surrounding our cables . This helps with an over-all look of the case on the inside making for a much cleaner looking build.
The stealth cover is a great feature and one I loved with the Ronin. Normally this is something you would have to fabricate yourself or have someone else do at a hefty price. This case does come in at a hefty $99 bucks which puts it in a price bracket of some better, more functional cases. Regardless, the Ronin is for the person who is going for a certain look/design for their build. With all that wrapped up into one package we give the BitFenix Ronin our Pure Overclock Great Hardware Award.