BitFenix Ronin ReviewManufacturer: BitFenix
UK price (as reviewed): £69.99
US price (as reviewed): $99.99
The sub £100 case market is a pretty crowded one and making a firm decision is more difficult these days than ever. This is because there are plenty of great cases out there, each with a unique look or set of features. The one you go for will likely be dictated by your style preferences or the hardware you intend to place inside. Striking the middle ground here is the holy grail for case manufacturers, but thankfully many also remember that cooling is just as important too.
BitFenix has had a rather chequered history of case-making. The Shinobi
, while well-made and attractive, fell well short in our tests and scored poorly as a result. However, the Prodigy highlights what we love best about the company - it's willingness to think outside the box and take a risk. In the case of the Prodigy, this strategy pulled off big time, so much so that at least two members of the bit-tech team use the case as their main PCs, which is saying something.
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The Ronin, sadly, is a little bland, with little to offer by way of being different in terms of aesthetics. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, though, as the case has everything you're likely to be looking for from a £70 case. There are three 5.25in external bays and a large vented front fascia below these. It's unlikely to allow as much air in as a proper mesh panel, but it's better than a solid piece of plastic. The roof too, sports a similar vent, with the small holes perforated directly into the the soft-touch plastic panel.
There's a healthy array of ports, including two USB 3.0 ports, along with a further two USB 2.0 ports and audio mini jacks alongside the power button. Our sample came with a large side window, and before you start complaining about the drive bays being visible through it (which you have every right to of course), thankfully someone at BitFenix appears to have pre-empted any fall out here and included a large plastic clip-in panel that hides the PSU and drive bays when viewed through the window. As it's unlikely to interfere with cooling, it's a clever touch that sets the Ronin apart a little from the run-of-the-mill £70 tower cases.
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The layout is a pretty standard affair with seven expansion slots, base-mounted PSU, rear 120mm exhaust fan and rubber grommets. To cater for different PSUs, BitFenix has allowed you to mount it with the fan facing up or down, to make best use of the internal cable routeing. Overall it feels well made, if a little plastic-fantastic, and despite the steel construction, it tips the scales at a manageable 7.5kg.
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- Dimensions (mm) 205 x 505 x 483 (W x D x H)
- Material Steel, plastic
- Available colours Black
- Weight 7.5kg
- Front panel Power, 2 x USB 3, 2 x USB 2, stereo, microphone
- Drive bays 3 x external 5.25in
- Form factor(s) ATX, micro-ATX
- Cooling 2 x 120mm (1 x fan included), 1 x 120mm rear fan mount (fan included), 2 x 120mm roof fan mounts (fans not included), 1 x 120mm base fan mount (fan not included)
- CPU cooler clearance 170mm
- Maximum graphics card length 300mm (with drive cage installed, unlimited without)
- Extras Removable dust filters