Inside the Shadow
The first glance inside of the chassis is not all that impressive actually. While we don't expect terrific things in more economical cases, the interior is like something out of a $50 solution from yesteryear.
The trio of ODD bays uses some of the most cost-effective twist-locks in the business. While they do work fairly well, there are screw holes to securely mount a drive if you plan to travel with it.
As we move lower, we find the HDD rack is oriented in the same direction. While this helps with air flow, the real issue becomes placement that may or may not block video cards, SATA ports, or access to other things. Twist locks are fine, but there are so many better systems out there, and orienting them ninety degrees would have been much more user friendly.
The motherboard tray offers a cut out for cooler access, but it is on the smaller side. Aside from one helper standoff, the rest of the screws mount into raised sections of the tray for an ATX motherboard. Also, even without grommets in them, there are well placed wire routing holes to use.
The floor of the chassis has fan filters inside of the floor, which makes accessible cleaning pretty much nonexistent. We also found out later that the PSU we used would not slide in with the dust filter in place.
Inside of the back of the chassis, we find the first of two fans working as the exhaust, and it's powered via 3-pin connection. The expansion slots are vented, and replaceable, but again, access for the screws to be used for mounting cards is outside.
Behind the motherboard tray, there is very little room for any wiring with an inset of 10mm at the most. The wiring is intended to be routed where the tray bends into the case at the left. There is 25mm or more even further left to hide wires.
The front I/O wiring is black except for the STAT power connection for the chassis LEDs at the top. The native USB 3.0 connection is the only round cable in the kit; the USB 2.0, HD Audio, and switch and lighting connections are all on the end of black ribbon cables.
Something to consider when assembling this build is that the wiring is attached to the bezel. With it removed, we can see the second fan pushing air into the chassis for an equalized pressure situation inside. A second fan can be mounted here, and inside the bezel at the bottom is a PCB, and our first indication of where those LEDs are.
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging]
- Page 3 [BitFenix Shadow Mid-Tower Chassis]
- Page 4 [Inside the Shadow]
- Page 5 [Accessories and Documentation]
- Page 6 [Case Build and Finished Product]
- Page 7 [Final Thoughts]
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