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XFX's Type-01 Series Bravo case reviewed

Large and in charge
— 3:41 PM on October 15, 2014

If there's a theme in PC hardware companies' product line-ups of late, it's to provide as much of a one-stop solution for the PC builder as possible. XFX is no stranger to this strategy. The company is best known for its high-octane AMD Radeon GPUs, but it sells power supplies and PC enclosures, as well.

Today, I'm here to look at the Type-01 Series Bravo Edition, XFX's first entry into the enthusiast case market. I'm going to see if the performance of this stylish chassis is in keeping with that of XFX's other enthusiast-friendly products.

The Type-01 Series Bravo Edition is a striking case, but not because of a wild color scheme or dozens of blue LEDs. Instead, this case has gobs of sheer presence.

The Bravo is mostly matte black, save for a couple of red metal strips on the sides of the case. These strips boldly announce the XFX brand and Type-01 designation to the world. Arched plastic fascias at the top and bottom of the case serve as a counterpoint to the relentless right angles elsewhere. The overall effect is one of subtle menace, like what might happen if the last-generation Mac Pro collided with something out of the Mass Effect universe. I like it.

Another element of the Bravo's dominating presence is its bulk. XFX classifies this case as a mid-tower, but the arched fascias add a few inches to the case's overall height. At 26.6" tall, 13" wide, and 22.2" deep, the Bravo is one of the largest mid-towers I've ever seen. Its elevated design isn't just for show, either. The bottom panel is vented along most of its length, so there's plenty of room for intake airflow.

At the front of the Type-01 are three stealthy 5.25" drive bay doors, plus a pair of equally stealthy buttons for power and reset duties. Each of the hidden drive bay doors has an eject button for the drive inside, as well. While the stealthy buttons do blend into the front panel, they're difficult to locate by feel, which means that turning the system on can involve a bit of fumbling around. A solid white LED bar in the power button indicates that the system is powered on, and another such light bar in the reset button indicates drive activity.

Up top is a group of USB ports. Two of these are USB 2.0, while the other pair is USB 3.0. There are also a couple of jacks for headphone output and microphone input. This arrangement of ports looks nice, but the rear-most ports are difficult to access when the Type-01 Series is under a desk—a problem that isn't helped by the case's towering height.

Each side panel features a full-height, unfiltered vent. These vents wrap around the top of the case, as well. The outer face of each panel is actually a plastic shell that's fastened to a more traditional metal panel inside. This arrangement might hint at different-colored versions of the Type-01 to come. All it would take for a white (or yellow) Bravo to come into being would be an appropriate set of plastic shells for each part of the case.

From the rear, the Bravo looks like most ATX cases. There's a single mounting point for fans and radiators, which is populated by an XFX-branded 140-mm fan. (Smaller 120-mm fans and radiators can fit in the same spot, too.) Also at the rear: a standard ATX port cluster cutout, a group of expansion slot cutouts, rubber-grommeted holes for external water-cooling reservoirs, and a mount for the PSU.

Here are the Type-01's specs in tabular form, for easy comparison with our other case reviews:

  XFX Type-01 Series Bravo Edition
Dimensions (H x W x D) 26.6" x 13.0" x 22.2" (51.8 x 23.2 x 56.2 cm)
Supported motherboards ATX, micro-ATX, mini-ITX
Expansion slots 8
3.5"/2.5" drive bays 8
2.5" drive bays 5 (in dedicated configuration)
Fan mounts 1x 200 mm (front)
3x 120 mm (side)
1x 120 mm or 140 mm (top)
1x 120 mm or 140 mm (rear)
Radiator mounts 1x 120 mm or 140 mm (rear)
1x 120 mm or 140 mm (top)
Included fans 1x XFX 200 mm (front)
1x XFX 140 mm (rear)
Front panel I/O 2x USB 3.0
2x USB 2.0
Max. graphics card length 12" (30.5 cm) or 14" (35.6 cm) with dedicated 2.5" configuration
Max. CPU cooler height 6" (15.2 cm)
Max. power supply unit length 10" (25.4 cm)
List price $129.99

At $129.99, the Type-01 Series Bravo Edition faces some fierce competition, most notably from the Corsair Obsidian Series 450D, which Geoff found worthy of a TR Recommended award. I have an Obsidian 450D in my lab, and I'll be pitting it against the Type-01 Bravo later in this review.

Before we go any further, a note: I'm not oblivious to my own greasy fingerprints in the pictures above. It's just hard to clean the outer surfaces of the Bravo. None of the mild cleaners I had on hand had much effect. Even a microfiber cloth, which usually lifts grease from surfaces like a sponge, didn't do much. Since stronger cleaners and solvents might attack the plastic exterior shell, I had to concede defeat. Should you purchase a Type-01 Series Bravo Edition of your own, be aware that your fingerprints and smudges might not come off, even after extensive cleaning.

Now that I've toured the exterior of the Bravo, let's open 'er up and see how XFX laid things out inside.