BitFenix Portal compact case is no puzzler

Almost six years have passed since the last entry in the series, but Valve's Portal games still have a substantial group of fervent fans, myself included. Surely there's some overlap between the aforementioned group and PC builders looking to build an HTPC or compact gaming rig. BitFenix's Portal mini-ITX-sized enclosure is small, stylish, and should satisfy buyers in the intersection of the Venn diagram we just described.

The Portal appears to crib its aesthetic from the sentry turrets in Valve's first-person puzzler series. The aluminum exterior panels come in satin black or gloss white, with a skeletal black frame elevating the whole chassis off its supporting surface. The front-mounted power button echoes the sensor on the front of the turrets in the game. The PC components mount to a removable motherboard tray that slides in and out of the chassis easily, thanks to ball-bearing runners.

Gamers will enjoy the Portal's ability to swallow graphics cards up to a 11.8" (30 cm) long, and HTPC builders will be happy with the ability to harbor two 2.5" storage devices and two 3.5" drives. Other specifications may limit component selection a bit more. CPU cooler height tops out at 4.9" (12.5 cm), and only SFX power supplies are supported, though that's less of an issue as attractive SFX options proliferate and graphics cards become more power-efficient

The Portal has air intakes at all four corners of the chassis and along to bottom. The intakes on the top were designed to allow lighting from the graphics card to bleed to the exterior, and the optional acrylic top window really lets oglers take a good look at it. A 120-mm fan is mounted in the front panel, and a second 120-mm fan or a radiator can be mounted to the case's rear panel. Audio jacks and a pair of USB 3.0 ports are integrated into the side panel, keeping them out of sight in an HTPC scenario.

The Portal measures 9.7" x 15.6" x 16.2" (25 cm x 40 cm x 41 cm) with the included stand, and weighs in at 12.8 lbs (or 5.8 kg). The case is available now in four different styles for $140. Buyers can get it with or without a transparent acrylic window in the top panel, and in black or white exterior finishes.

Comments closed
    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    Now that is one nice looking case.

    • Chrispy_
    • 3 years ago

    Portal 3 confirmed.

    • Rakhmaninov3
    • 3 years ago

    Want some rye? ‘course ya do.

    • albundy
    • 3 years ago

    Looks like a pullout trash bin…for the modern home.

    • Chrispy_
    • 3 years ago

    Ignoring the silly size of this for an mITX case, I like how the window and inverted board layout means you’ll actually be able to see the more attractive side of a graphics card for a change.

    • tipoo
    • 3 years ago

    My last case was a lot like this,
    Maybe not quite as heavy

      • Neutronbeam
      • 3 years ago

      Haiku fail.

        • tipoo
        • 3 years ago

        Portal 2 not played fail 😛
        The song lyric wasn’t a haiku to start with:
        She was a lot like you (6)
        (Maybe not quite as heavy) (7)

        It’s close though.

          • Voldenuit
          • 3 years ago

          I haven’t played Portal 2 either, it’s been sitting in my shame pile for years now.

          Damn Valve and not supporting local co-op multiplayer easily on PC.

    • nico1982
    • 3 years ago

    Nice!

    Looks similar to the Prodigy, size wise. I wonder if they’ll make an mATX revision down the line.

    • Sargent Duck
    • 3 years ago

    Where is the cake?

      • drfish
      • 3 years ago

      The cake is a lie.

        • Neutronbeam
        • 3 years ago

        But the CHEESEcake is not a lie.

        • LostCat
        • 3 years ago

        But my birthday was yesterday! I’m pretty sure it’s still upstairs.

    • Growler
    • 3 years ago

    This is a triumph. I’m making a note here: Huge Success.

      • K-L-Waster
      • 3 years ago

      Only if things fit. Sounds like there are experiments to run…

    • Airmantharp
    • 3 years ago

    “compact”

      • derFunkenstein
      • 3 years ago

      I was reading through it thinking it was really cool and might work for my Skylake box, but then I got to the measurements. Hoooolleeeee craaaappp.

        • Airmantharp
        • 3 years ago

        This seems to be a Bitfenix specialty: make a case with a small board that is actually large due to external design elements. I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing, given the kind of performance that can be extracted from mITX solutions, but one has to be at least as interested in footprint as they’re in style and presentation.

        • EndlessWaves
        • 3 years ago

        I’m going for a [url=https://c1.iggcdn.com/indiegogo-media-prod-cld/image/upload/c_limit,w_620/v1482778268/nyvyn2rnnlc1pif4kxz9.png<]Sentry Case[/url<]. Dimensions are 31cm x 34cm x 6.6cm, with the optional stand increasing the width to 11.4cm and height to 36.5cm. It is a crowd funded project so it's not on sale yet but the current schedule is to deliver the last cases to the backers by June/July and retail availability will be after that.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 3 years ago

          The Fractal Design Node 304 is about half the size of this case by volume. It also costs little enough that if I need a smaller power supply, I can do it and still match the Bitfenix’s price. The Node 304 looks like it’ll hold everything I need, despite its smaller size.

          The Node 202 costs about the same as the Bitfenix if I get the model with an SFX power supply, and it’s even smaller than the 304.

          Both of those would be better suited to my needs than this thing.

            • thedosbox
            • 3 years ago

            All of which is true, but neither of the Node’s are what I would call “attractive”. They’re just nondescript boxes. This thing at least has a unique sense of style.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 3 years ago

            It does, but for what I want to do, it’s too big. And yes, those others aren’t nearly as stylish.

            • Airmantharp
            • 3 years ago

            Hey, nondescript boxes are a style all their own!

            (I specifically like Fractal Design’s Define series sans window for this purpose; it’s the right size and shape to be a computer, but if you build it quiet, it otherwise is just another nondescript box)

            • Redocbew
            • 3 years ago

            Another nice thing about the Node 304 is you’re not required to use a SFX power supply with it.

            • Hirokuzu
            • 3 years ago

            Your statement regarding volume is untrue, unless he changed the case he was listing.

            Node 304 (from website) is 19.5L
            Node 202 is 10.2L
            Dr Zaber Sentry is 6.9L (though yes I saw the price. hmm)
            (sourced from their respective websites. Math seemed to check out)
            … Unless by “this case”, you mean the BitFenix Portal listed in the beginning?

            The other issue is that for some people it’s not just a matter of volume but also footprint. These slim cases, when stood up, have a much smaller footprint when you put it at a desk.

            In those terms, the Node 202 still has a larger footprint than the Sentry (125*332 vs 114*322).
            Alternatively, you can get the slightly larger but more easily cooled RVZ02 or ML08 from Silverstone (checking reviews from SPCR)

            • derFunkenstein
            • 3 years ago

            By “this case” i meant the Sentry, which is 41 liters (41 * 40 * 25cm). In that regard, the Node 304 is much smaller, and it lays down (which is a bonus for an HTPC). The Sentry will stand up to be 40cm high, which is too tall for the shelves on my TV stand and if I set it on top, it’d be in front of the TV.

          • PixelArmy
          • 3 years ago

          I always wanted someone to make the Steambox prototype case but $235?!? I understand this isn’t mass market, quality looks excellent and the premium for being the smallest, but that’s 3x (or 2x with PSU) the Node 202’s (33.0 x 37.7 x 8.2 cm, 10.2L) price.

      • southrncomfortjm
      • 3 years ago

      Bit Fenix definitely makes the biggest small cases around.

      • Generic
      • 3 years ago

      [quote<]"compact"[/quote<] * when compared to a companion cube of equal value.

        • morphine
        • 3 years ago

        Or a cake.

      • Chrispy_
      • 3 years ago

      I looked at the pictures, noticed it was mITX and facepalmed at my desk.

      Your post says it all.

    • Voldenuit
    • 3 years ago

    “I don’t hate you.”

      • morphine
      • 3 years ago

      “I seeeee you!”

      • Ninjitsu
      • 3 years ago

      Haha yeah, looks more like a turret than a portal…

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This