Here's the spec:
5.25" Drive Bay:
3.5" Drive Bay:
2.5" Drive Bay:
Steel body, plastic bezel
205(W) x 483(H) x 505(D) mm
Standard ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX
6 (through the 3.5" drive bays)
2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, 1x Mic, 1x Audio, 1x Power, 1x Reset
1x 120mm Front Intake, 1x Rear Exhaust
Unfortunately I did find a downside to this panel and that is the way they have chose to fix the acrylic window to the metal. In an effort to keep a sleek looking design they haven't gone for screws or anything that would be very visible, instead they have chose to bend metal from the panel to go through gaps in the acrylic. Not only has this meant the acrylic is quite thin but also the
The front I/O is located on the top right at the front. With two USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 you get a lovely amount of connections and the fact they are orientated vertically helps aesthetically. Power buttons on the Ronin don't impress me unfortunately as the power button is quite wobbly and I've never seen the point in reset buttons that cant be pushed just with your finger.
To finish up the exterior we have the underside of the case. BitFenix have opted to go with a magnetic dust filter on the bottom that covers both the power supply vent and an optional 120mm fan mounting spot. This is so much more convenient than a sliding dust filter but you will have to lift the case up to remove it because of the shape. The feet unfortunately are nothing special.
Starting with the stealth shield as it is the first this you come across when opening the case; I have very mixed feelings about this addition. Aesthetically it is new and different having two layers for having a viewable interior and allows you to choose to either show or hide areas of the case without making mods to the side panel. It also has a hexagonal pattern layered onto the surface with a nice thick
The drive sleds on the other hand are a little new and interesting. Rather than being a 'bend to fit' design that most manufacturers have opted to go with in the past, BitFenix have introduced a design that slides open in the middle allowing you to place the drive in and slide it closed around the drive. These feel just as secure and easier to use than previous designs when they contain a drive.
With a good storage and expansion set up I could definitely see myself using this case for a work/office system especially seeing as you get three 5.25" drive bays and four usb ports. the dual 3 HDD cage split I think is a great idea as well as it keeps everything looking and feeling a lot simpler than when you have a case with random mismatched cages that have from anywhere from one to four drive bays in. The new sled design also works well with it being easier to use, just remember to not forget these don't bend as there's no going back.
The BitFenix Ronin case definitely stands its own ground in most areas of its design but it lets itself down in cooling potential, the main thing that it has lost when they've shrunk the case down from a standard sized ATX case. It DOES still have some water cooling capabilities but there is many other cases out there that offer better options such as extensive front rad support. If I was to use this case myself in a personal system I would probably recommend taking the two included spectre fans and placing them as exhausts in the roof and bringing in some fans for the front intake with a little bit higher airflow.
A Ronin review can't end without a mention of the Stealth Shield. I really do like the idea and am interested to see how and if it gets further developed but I think for this instance the integration was a little bit of a let down. It's a feature I would be scared to actually use had I bought the case for my own system and would only take it on and off as few times as I possible could. Had the steel bracket been a little thicker and firmer I would have maybe seen the Shield being something new that would set a new path in the same way 8 expansion slot cases and such have over recent years.
Being let down slightly with cooling capabilities the Ronin received a7.5 out of 10 for its rating disregarding price meaning had it given that little bit extra cooling wise it would be a top rated product. We also have chosen to give it a 7 our of 10 on value because it offers all the features we love to see in this price range and is definitely of a high value standard.