Let’s start installing hardware in BitFenix Shinobi to see how practical it really is. First of all, PSU goes in. You can mount it either with cooling fan facing upward or downward. I prefer it downward because it’ll provide some fresh air for the cooling fan from the bottom of the case instead of sucking hot air from inside the case. Fan slot in the PSU area has a dust filter so you shouldn’t be worried about the dust. Most of the cables of our PSU are modular but the ones that are fixed; we routed them to the back of the motherboard.
Next comes the hard drive installation, all it is needed to install hard drive is taking of the tool-less mechanism from both sides by turning the little knob present on it and putting them back on after sliding the hard drive inside the case. If you have a long graphics card (like HD5970, HD6990, GTX590), it would be better to plan beforehand that where you should be installing the hard drive as you’ll have to leave the cage empty in front of the PCI expansion slot where the card will go in.
Optical drive installation is also pretty simple though we didn’t install one (We don’t use one anymore, they are history now). The bay cover can be removed by giving it a slight push from inside. To install the drive you need to push the tab present at the bottom of the tool-less mechanism and it’ll pop out, slide in the optical drive and put the tool-less thingy back on and that’ll do it.
Next goes in the motherboard. As mentioned earlier, Shinobi has enough space and appropriate mounting holes for mini-ATX, mATX and full size ATX motherboard. We’ll be installing ASUS P8P67 PRO which is a full size ATX motherboard. Just place it in the case and screw it down with the help of provided screws. We already had the CPU cooler installed on the motherboard; otherwise you can install it later on with the help of CPU cooler retention cut-out (though it wouldn’t have worked in our case due to the placement of socket on the motherboard). BitFenix Shinobi has enough space on the top part of the case to install top fans even after the installation of a big CPU cooler (Thermalright Venomous X) with two fans.
PCI Expansion slot openings are closed by plain metal covers held with the help of thumbscrews. In order to install a PCI expansion card, you need to take off these covers, slide in the card and screw the thumbscrews back to prevent it from any damage. It is noticeable here that even after the installation of Radeon HD 5870 (length= 11 inches approximately) there is still an inch or so left.
Next up is the cable management; it was a breeze with the help of cable management holes. All the cables were routed properly through the appropriate holes. One issue I usually notice in budget oriented low end cases is the absence of a cable management hole at top of the motherboard tray for the 8-pin CPU power connector; Shinobi has that.
This is how the back looks with all the cables tied properly. We didn’t use black zip ties that were supplied with the case because we have enough of our own white ones.
Closing the side panel wasn’t an issue because BitFenix left enough space at back of the motherboard tray for cables. With all the hardware installed, front looks same as if it was empty.