We are huge fans of cases that break the standard of what everyone else is offering, and just like the Prodigy, the Portal is a Mini-ITX chassis that cannot be ignored. The gentle curves, the use of textured aluminum panels, the black body accents, even down to the thick wire frame feet, the Portal is a work of art to have poised on your desk.
While we did run into the fact that we had to remove the SSD tray to fit an AIO into the chassis, it was well worth the effort, as it can be tough to find a great CPU air cooler that is under 125mm in height. We did not run into any issues with fitment, all we saw was a solid chassis design with many tricks up its sleeve, which has us liking the Portal more and more the longer we ponder what it offers.
We were even surprised when it came to testing out the chassis with our components installed. While 120mm fans can be silent without much effort, it shocked us not to have to hear a drone of noise from the 80mm fan at the back. The most we got from the chassis was 31 dB of noise at the back of the chassis, and it is so well ventilated that we did not see any of our components venture outside of the average range of temperatures. While this most certainly is not the typical layout we all expect in chassis design, it is plainly apparent that BitFenix has done their homework and delivered a chassis where every aspect has been planned out and well executed.
The only thing that will keep this chassis out of the hands of the average user is the cost. We can appreciate that designing such a unique chassis costs money, and developing the tooling to make a rounded chassis from aluminum is not very affordable either. So while many may scoff at this chassis based on the $234.99 price tag we are seeing at NCIX right now, we also know that those who appreciate elegance, art, and the game Portal will have to have this chassis come hell or high water.
Coming from someone who has seen just about everything current in cases, while the cost is up there, we find no fault with it. We can appreciate everything about the Portal mini-ITX chassis from BitFenix, and if it were our money being spent, we would not be able to click on the buy button fast enough. Even if you were never a fan of the game Portal, and have no idea who GLaDOS is or what a turret is, we still feel that the Portal chassis has so much going for it that it does not matter in the end.
Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD4-B3
- CPU: Intel Core i7 2600K (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair H80i GT (buy from Amazon)
- Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws F3-12800CL6D-4GBXH
- Video Card: ZOTAC GeForce GTX 970 AMP. Extreme Edition (buy from Amazon)
- Storage: SuperSpeed 128GB SSD
- Power Supply: SilverStone SST-ST85F-G (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit (buy from Amazon)
Last updated: Nov 15, 2019 at 01:16 pm CST
The Bottom Line: BitFenix takes another stab at a premier Mini-ITX chassis and struck gold! The Portal is a case with all of the right bits, a shape and elegance anyone will love, and while costly, it takes a bit of cash to get the best the market has to offer.
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