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BitFenix Portal Compact Mini-ITX Chassis Review

By: Chad Sebring | Small Form Factor Cases in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago
TweakTown Rating: 96%Manufacturer: BitFenix

Inside the Portal

 

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Removing a pair of thumbscrews at the bottom of the back panel allows the guts to slide out the back of the chassis. The inner section glides in and out on the runner, and it is robust enough to support the inner chassis with components in it as well.

 

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The inner part of chassis can be removed once the runner is fully extended, just by lifting it upwards, as it rests in holes, where pins on the inner chassis set into. The chassis wiring stays with the external section of the chassis, and are quite lengthy. While connecting them last may be tough, the length of these cables is not any concern.

 

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We left the white rear panel of the Portal attached to the chassis for orientation purposes, but the aluminum component is removable. The first look at the chassis shows that there is not a ton of extra space, but enough to easily get the build process underway.

 

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At the front of the chassis, BitFenix supplies a 3-pin powered 120mm fan to push air through this chassis. This location is also where you could install a 120mm radiator.

 

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Below the intake fan, there is a 3.5" HDD cage which supports a pair of hard drives, but the trays are also drilled to allow for 2.5" drives as well. On top of the HDD cage, there is a dedicated 2.5" drive tray which can be used as shown or rotated ninety degrees to allow the cables to run toward the motherboard rather than out the side as it is now.

 

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To use the HDD trays in the cage, you must spin the chassis around to the front, and by releasing the tabs on either side, the trays will slide out of the cage.

 

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The motherboard try is simple in its layout, but in Mini-ITX cases, there is not a lot of need for extravagance. The standoffs are already installed in the steel tray, and there is a large opening to allow access to the CPU cooler backplate.

 

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The back of the chassis has a pair of expansion slots at the top, which use a cover to lock them into place rather than individual screws. We also see the 80mm fan which exhausts the Portal, and room to adjust this fan to a lower position if this stock position causes conflict or is not optimal to cool the interior.

 

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The floor of the chassis supports an SFX PSU only and uses bits of bent metal at the back and a raised tab in the floor to support it. The bottom of the chassis is drilled out, so installing the PSU with the fan facing down is not an issue either.

 

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The last view of the inner chassis is that of the back side of the motherboard tray. The motherboard tray is nearly flush with the frame so that no wires can be passed there, but there is a fair amount of room next to the HDD cage to hide some of the excess wiring one might have to deal with.

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