The Ronin may not have a master, but it comes ready for battle as it hacks and slashes its way into the top of the mid-tower chassis segment. The way this chassis is designed, it offers things like a smudge proof finish on the top and front with the SofTouch coating, and even the textured paint that is used helps to keep prints off the doors. It offers classy styling, and even has the option to replace the thin mesh strips with other colored versions to add some uniqueness, while also offering a way to tie the outside of the chassis to the colors used inside. While low profile or standard memory without a heat spreader will allow for a dual radiator to be installed, most other memory will cause a conflict when attempting this.
We also liked being able to remove the center section of the drive bays to allow not only for longer video cards, but to also fee up the airflow coming from the front intake fan, and this helps to bring temperatures down a couple degrees on all components. Then of course, there is that trick stealth panel that snaps into place, and makes any build look like a profession mod artist had gotten a hold of your rig, and given you the fully custom treatment.
A couple of things struck me as odd during the build process though. While we did have the water cooling option, it did leave the top two bays only usable for smaller devices like bay reservoirs, fan controllers, or card readers; however, that isn't all bad, it is just for those that still use multiple ODDs in their builds that may find they will need to stick with air cooling. The things that stick out most in our minds though are the standoffs. Now they supply a socket to help drive the standoffs all the way home, without having to resort to pliers and damaging the paint.
The issue on our case is that only some of the standoffs fit in the socket. Essentially, we were given two different sized standoffs, although they all had the same internal threads, it did make the installation a bit more complicated. Other than that, the Ronin stands strong with or without the panels on, and with or without hardware installed; it is just sturdy and stable. Once we took into account the cleanliness of the design, the features, and the aesthetic appeal when it was finished, those oddities seem less of an issue, and more of just minor setbacks.
What it usually comes down to in the end is the pricing, and while you may be able to find cheaper solutions with one or two other features, not one of those designs look as custom, and have the option to personalize it with add on parts. While not going too far outside of the box with the internal design, it simply takes a plastic component with a cool design printed on it to take any level of builders finished product, and make it look this professional and customized.
We were very pleased with the amount of gear we were able to cram into this mid-tower, and that it stood strong and willing to take on more abuse if necessary. The BitFenix Ronin is a winner in my book, and love it or hate it, BitFenix is always thinking of how to get the next leg up on the market. The Ronin is again proof that they are doing things right.
PRICING: You can find the BitFenix Ronin for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The BitFenix Ronin retails for $133.43 at Amazon.
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