Fan speed control? BitFenix has an app for that

Computex — I’ve seen a lot of PC enclosures this week, and they’ve all started to blur together. Well, the whole week is kind of a blur. A few tidbits from my visit with case maker BitFenix stand out from the noise, though.

The most interesting new product BitFenix displayed at the show was a multi-channel fan controller with a touchscreen interface. Dubbed the Recon, this double-height 5.25″ drive bay insert is still in the development stage, as evidenced by the fact that the touchscreen was busted and had to be replaced by a mockup. The circuit board behind it was working, and BitFenix has more than one way to control the thing. In addition to Windows software that lets you monitor temperatures and control fan speeds, there’s an Android app with similar functionality. Remote system monitoring with a smartphone is a neat trick, but iDevices will have to wait. Getting an app through Apple’s approval process requires a lot more work, which is why BitFenix is starting with Android.

On the enclosure front, BitFenix has a whitewashed version of its Shinobi to keep up with the Joneses. The firm is also rolling out a series of cheaper cases starting with the $40 Merc Beta. You don’t get much in the way of amenities at that price point, but the Beta has a nicely blacked-out interior, cut-outs for socket access and cabling, tool-free drive bays, and an upside-down internal configuration. Come to think of it, that is a lot of amenities for less than it costs to take a family of four to the movies. An Alpha version of the Merc adds more fans, vents, and associated mounting brackets.

BitFenix’s upside-down approach extends to the new Outlaw, which does a 180 with the motherboard. The flip-flopped internals require the main access panel to be on the right of the case, a configuration that might work out better for some folks depending on how their desks are organized. Hot air rises, so it does make sense to put the CPU socket as low in the case as possible. Perhaps it’s time to move the PSU back to its old-school position up top.

The Outlaw looks like another low-cost option, but BitFenix has more coming for the high end of the spectrum. Two high-performance cases are in the prototype stages, and they’re both designed to offer gobs of room for massive fans, big radiators, and other extreme cooling gear. The one pictured above is getting close to being ready for production. We weren’t allowed to take pictures of the second prototype, which is larger and offers a more angular overall design.

Comments closed
    • bluepiranha
    • 8 years ago

    White on a Shinobi case is a bit of a letdown, surprisingly…toolless drive bay clips aside, maybe it needs something more to break up its unrelenting whiteness. It feels oddly antiseptic. Or maybe it’s just how it’s photographed?

    Then again there’s only the single image of the chassis’ internals on the gallery, so maybe BitFenix did something with the exterior unseen in the photo.

    That fan controller looks sweet. I’m still not entirely convinced about controlling your rig’s hardware via smartphone (such as the Android fan controller app and Asus’ Bluetooth BIOS access) due to security risks.

    • jimmy900623
    • 8 years ago

    Pretty good post. I just found your site and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your posts.In any case I’ll be subscribing to your blog and I hope you post again sooner

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    • holophrastic
    • 8 years ago

    LOOK! Another rectangle!

    Holy shit. Why can’t any of these companies think of anything else?

      • Skrying
      • 8 years ago

      This is a weak criticism. There are increased difficulties and costs in manufacturing unusual cases. Further these cases must conform to a wide variety of standards. Most of which involving how rectangularly shaped objects must fit inside. Most importantly there’s probably just no market for oddly shaped cases.

      I suggest making your own case.

      • indeego
      • 8 years ago

      Waiting for this list of rounded peripherals you have a desire to put in your rounded case.

        • destroy.all.monsters
        • 8 years ago

        I too am waiting until there’s a toroid case for my next build.

        No, not really.

        It would be cool though.

    • destroy.all.monsters
    • 8 years ago

    We really are living in a golden era of case design. Silverstone, these guys, Corsair, even Cooler Master and Zalman make great cases.

    • jalex3
    • 8 years ago

    that fan controller is actually a pretty nice idea, i wish we could of seen the inside of that new high end case though.

      • Meadows
      • 8 years ago

      [quote<]i wish we could of seen[/quote<] You're kidding me.

        • DancinJack
        • 8 years ago

        This ought to be at least a little bit comedic.

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