Introduction, Specifications and Pricing
It is time for yet another chassis in the BitFenix lineup, and this chassis is a close relative to the Neos chassis we looked at recently. With this design implementation, there is only one major change to the chassis, and it all lies in the aesthetics; more specifically, the front bezel. Where we saw lots of mesh and angular lines in the frame of the Neos' bezel, this time around, things are much more streamlined, and there are just subtle design details that break up the more solid design.
With the cases being nearly identical, we know that we get a recently tooled interior design that offers almost everything a case builder needs to get a basic system built, without much fuss and effort. Of course, the design keeps things like the SofTouch panel that BitFenix is known for, but overall, the outside of this chassis is far more simplistic. This chassis also comes in two forms and flavors; it can be had in both black and white, and there is also an optional left side window if you want to see what is inside of it.
Since we already have a pretty good idea of what to expect with this latest chassis from BitFenix to be reviewed, the Comrade mid-tower chassis, we may as well get straight to the point, and cover the chassis in its entirety. Stick with us as we deliver the BitFenix Comrade in all of its glory, and you can decide if this is the next economically friendly chassis for you.
As most cases are, the Comrade is made mostly of steel that is painted throughout, with the exception of the plastic used for filters, feet, and the bezel. As we mentioned previously, there are two color choices, and even though this chart does not specify, there is a windowed option out there as well. The chassis is pretty compact since it is within mid-tower size requirements, but it can still house Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, or ATX motherboards, with a bit of room to spare.
The rest of the interior offers a trio of 5.25" drives, where the Neos only offered two, but this is due to a new location for the I/O panel. There is room for three 3.5" drives in the lowest rack, and in a thinner rack above it, there is also room for three 2.5" drives. At the back of the chassis there are seven expansion slots, as well as a pair of holes with grommets in them to allow for external water cooling. Speaking of cooling, in this design there is room for a pair of 120mm fans in the front of the chassis, behind a removable dust filter, but there are no fans located here when shipped. The other location for cooling the chassis can be found at the back of the Comrade, where the included 120mm fan is installed as an exhaust.
What it really boils down to is whether or not the styling of the Comrade wins over the Neos we just looked at. However, there is one other major consideration to take into account as well. Although the Neos is more striking with the various color options of both the chassis and the mesh inserts, this Comrade is a bit plainer to look at. However, the pricing of the Comrade is also considerably less than the Neos.
While the pricing of the Neos is much closer to the $70 mark, we are finding the Comrade to be listed just about everywhere we look, regardless of color choice, for just $49.99. Since the Comrade offers most of the same features at a lower price point, those savings could be used for fans, or to help stretch a budget build that much further; you could spring for a larger SSD, or spend a bit more on an aftermarket cooler. These are all good reasons to consider the Comrade, and after we show you the ins and outs of this mid-tower chassis, you will likely see it in the same light we do. In our opinion, the Comrade is pretty well laid out, and it has a good feature set for its cost.
PRICING: You can find the BitFenix Comrade 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 Comrade (Black, no window) retails for $49.00 at Amazon, and the BitFenix Comrade (White, no window) retails for $49.00 at Amazon. The BitFenix Comrade (Black, w/ window) retails for $72.29 at Amazon, and the BitFenix Comrade (White, w/ window) retails for $76.11 at Amazon.
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