One of the greatest things about PC building in this day and age is that you have the richest variety of options when it comes to personalizing your build. You can always opt to the utilitarian black chassis but as many and most gamers want, a sense of personality and a hint of individuality is an unwritten rule in creating your personal battle station.
BitFenix is a company that has been on the forefront of creating the new era of CPU chassis design, dropping old school mentality and providing an array of products that cater to the new generation of systems builder all the while keeping the doors to a feature-rich chassis to those without much cash to burn. We reviewed the budget-friendly BitFenix Comrade a while ago and we commented that despite us liking it, it had a rather simplistic style that may not appeal to all. Fast-forward a few months and BitFenix now unveils the BitFenix NEOS: technically a brother to the Comrade but bears a totally different front mesh and color palette that should cater to many builds.Join us as we take a tour around the BitFenix NEOS Color chassis collection.
|Color (Int/Ext)||Black/Black, White/White|
|Dimensions (WxHxD)||185 x 429 x 470|
|Motherboard Sizes||Mini-ITX, mATX, ATX|
|5.25″ Drive Bays||2|
|3.5″ Drive Bays||3|
|2.5″ Drive Bays||3|
|Cooling Front||2 x 120mm (optional)|
|Cooling Rear||1 x 120mm (included)|
|I/O||1 x USB3.0, 1 x USB2.0, HD Audio|
|Power Supply||PS2 ATX (bottom, multi direction)|
|Extras / Features||Front Dust Filter, PSU Dust Filter, Tool-Free Drive Locking|
Closer Look – Packaging
BitFenix packages the NEOS in a simple brown, cardboard box. Much like their other products, the packaging bears monochrome artworks of the product with specs and variant indicated on the narrow sides. The wide sides feature detail highlights of the product with a large BitFenix logo adorning the front which wraps to one of the sides.
Closer Look -Â Exterior
The BitFenix NEOS is one of the most highly varied chassis out right now with multiple SKUs available all of which are of the same internals but bear a signature color palette which is sure to easily please a lot of builders particularly parents building for their kids or loved ones. The rear of the chassis shows us its a bottom-mounted PSU model with up to 7 expansion slots available for ATX boards. A single 120mm exhaust grill with the included fan is included in the package. The main highlight of the BitFenix NEOS is the selection of front colors ranging from black, white, red, purple etc. all available in black and white bodies with either windowed or non-window side panels.
The sides of the BitFenix NEOS are rather plain with the stock non-window side panel. The windowed version though has a large cutout with an acrylic clear window to let your peek inside your system. The window is quite large and gives you a nice, wide view of the internals which is certainly a moodmaker if you have a brightly lit system.
Front panel I/O includes a USB3.0 and USB2.0 port as well as audio jacks. There is provision for two 5.25″ drives accessible via the front. Although the question remains… why in this day and age do we still have USB2.0 in the front?
Closer Look -Â Interior
The BitFenix NEOS reuses the inner frame found in both the BitFenix Comrade and Cougar Archon. This inner frame design is quite popular and other companies have also based their chassis around it. The most notable features of this frame is its support for modern, mid-range to high-end components. Provisions for long GPUs, large mobo tray cutout as well as 2.5″ drive trays make the BitFenix NEOS’ internals very friendly to even the most demanding high-end straight builds.
The drive cagesÂ are fixed on the front of the case so if you’re thinking of slapping a 240mm rad in there, you’d have to dish out the heavy artillery to cut it out of place. In vanilla NEOS though, the drive trays are stacked in 3s, with three 3.5″ drive trays at the bottom and three 2.5″ in the middle.
At the back we can see more clearly the large tray cutout where you can easily do maintenance on your aftermarket coolers that require retention barces. The motherboard tray is fixed and held in place together with the drive cages. There are holes for routing cables from behind the tray but…
At barely 1″, there is very limited space on the rear of the system and the side panel that covers this spot don’t raised excess for more room. It is highly suggested that you either dump your cables at the base in front of the PSU.
A single 120mm rear exhaust fan is included with the NEOS. To complement the colored nature of the chassis, we highly suggest going for a windowed side panel along with some BitFenix Spectre Pro LED fans to deck out the interiors. If you just want some lights, BitFenix also sells Alchemy LED strips in varying colors for your modding needs. You are free to be creative and use other brands as you see fit for your build so don’t limit your choices.
Closer Look – System Assembly
Here is our test system with the BitFenix NEOS. Note that the lack of top 240mm radiator mounts limit our cooling options to 120mm rads (notably AIOs) and air coolers not higher than 170mm. You can try 180mm but that’s already way out there as the seen below:
Our large Phanteks PH-TC14PE isn’t a fit for the NEOS so if you’re going high-end air, stick to some low-rise towers but AIOs are highly recommended still to really showcase the internals.
Note: Since the BitFenix NEOS and Comrade share the same inner frame, we will be reusing some of our observation for the Comrade here.
Let’s break down the score for the NEOS:
Build Quality.Â As with theÂ Comrade, the BitFenix NEOS is well-built and sturdy. Weâ€™ve commented on how eyeball-scorchingly cheap the Archon was in the original review and reiterated it in the Comrade reviewÂ but BitFenix has taken the frame to a whole new level, dashing it with a bold styling of colorful allure that not even a colorblind person could resist.
Functionality.Â The BitFenix NEOS, as mentioned, brings with it tons of time-saving features as well as premium usability touches that you would normally pay a premium for. As weâ€™ve pointed out, there is a limit to how much you can pack in the NEOSÂ and a high-end dual-tower cooler plus two SLIâ€™d custom GTX780s is reasonably well beyond the capabilities of the chassis but if youâ€™re fronting those specs, get a larger capacity chassis. Fact of the matter is still, the BitFenix NEOSÂ is well-equipped to handle specs up to higher-midrange.
Bundle.Â There isnâ€™t much in terms of in-package goodies but you do get quite plenty with the chassis itself. Built-in stand-offs, self-locking trays, tool-less PCI slots and drive bays, etc. thatâ€™s plenty of pre-included goodies.
Vaue.Â Here is where it all boils down to. BitFenix intends this chassis for the budget-conscious consumer and with a price tag of $49.00, it is well within reach.
The BitFenix NEOS is one of the best choice for builds aimed at girls and kids or just about anyone looking for a flamboyant chassis as a testament to their playful or otherwise outspoken nature. The large array of colors makes it so that anyone has something to choose. Add to that the clear window option to admire the interiors and you have a chassis that is sure to get people talking… all without breaking the bank.
The BitFenix NEOS has no business being this affordable. Its rich feature set and widely appealing looks sets it apart from anything else in the market and most certainly its price range.
The BitFenix NEOS comes in large variety of colors so check with your local seller along with a windowed side panel option. We give the BitFenix NEOS our B2G Value Award.