BitFenix Colossus 17

BitFenix Colossus Review

A Closer Look - Inside »

A Closer Look - Outside

Upon taking a look at the Colossus for the first time, one thought comes to mind: the name fits the chassis perfectly. Having reviewed a long list of enclosures, this one may not be the tallest, but it is the biggest in volume and also one of the heaviest. Other words that spring to mind are: tank and Hummer. That said, while the chassis does look menacing, it also has some unique features not found with any other enclosure in the market - but let us work our way to those first.

The front of the chassis is made of a ABS plastic, but has a very solid feel to it. BitFenix has lined it with a smooth, rubbery material. This makes the front - and all other plastic parts resistant against dirt, scratches and fingerprints. The door is rather thick and is filled with LED lighting elements. Turning the case around we are presented with an all black paint job, which means that the interior is black as well. BitFenix also offers this chassis in white, with an interior in the same color. It seems like white is becoming the new black.

Both sides of the Colossus feature an edgy design, which reminds me a bit of Tron, for example. The unique aspect is the fact, that the lighting element are embedded into both sides of the chassis. This is the first chassis I know of which has managed to do this. There are no openings or air vents and the sides are rather heavy, but we will see why later on.

Instead of simply printing the phoenix unto the chassis, BitFenix has cut the shape out of the front door and added LEDs to light it up as well. While the door opens to the left, you are free to switch things around by simply unscrewing the hinges and placing them on the opposite side. The door has a connector on the left and right edge so you will not lose the lighting feature when doing so.

The afore mentioned storage space on top of the chassis does not only contain all the connectivity, but also the pair of LED switches, a reset & power button, along with a knob to adjust the fan speed. There are two USB 2.0 ports, the pair of audio plugs, two USB 3.0 ports and a single eSATA connector within the compartment. The user may store valuables in there and since any mouse, keyboard or headset is secure when routed through the cable grooves in the front, LAN party gamers can rest assured that all will be safe while they take a nap or grab a bite to eat.

Behind the front cover is a prominent lock for the top compartment and some weird looking grooves. These actually allow you to route cables out from space in the top and down the side of the case. Two small LEDs are intended for power and hard drive access, but considering the fact, that the door will cover them and that the Colossus lights up in blue or red, makes both somewhat useless. A small cable leads from within the chassis into the door. This one provides the power for the embedded LEDs.

Turning the chassis around, it may seem like this area is one of the few traditional ones of the Colossus. While the power supply is located on the bottom, like in most modern enclosures, there are eight mainboard expansion slots instead of seven. This means that you could fill the chassis with four large graphics cards. Above that is a spot for a 120 or 140 mm fan and four openings for water cooling tubes.

One of the two included 230 mm fans is located in the ceiling of the chassis, below a metal mesh grill. You may also remove the unit and install a dual 120 mm radiator instead.
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