Casings Guide

BitFenix Outlaw review

The BitFenix Outlaw - A Different Take at Entry-level

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Overall rating 8/10
Cavernous interior; can accommodate large graphics cards
Able to install numerous cooling fans
SofTouch surface treatment on front panel
Lots of thumbscrews required to install drives
Bash out expansion slot covers
No dust filters for cooling fans
Only 1 exhaust fan supplied out of the box

Internal Design

Internal Design

The BitFenix Outlaw shakes thing up internally by having an inverted motherboard tray design. That is, the expansion slots are placed higher up the casings as opposed to the I/O ports and the CPU area. This, BitFenix explains, is because such a layout keeps the graphics cards closer to top of the chassis for improved cooling (the case has dual top fan exhaust vents)  Couple that with the importance of GPU power over CPU these days, the layout seems to be evolving with times where GPUs are one of the biggest power drawing components and one of the hottest around, surpassing what CPUs demand these days.

Further to that,  BitFenix also mentions most users have only a single optical drive these days, making it more convenient for users to install larger or multiple graphics cards. Practically speaking, this is true if you are only going to have a single optical drive. If you have two, installing a second graphics card for CrossFire or SLI is going to be tricky. However, considering that is more probable for one to have multiple hard drives as opposed to optical drives, BitFenix’s unorthodox layout does make some sense. One other small upside of the design is that it allows having the graphics card face up so that it's more visible (for some who like to flaunt their goods).

Installation is pretty straightforward as the BitFenix Outlaw eschews mounting racks for good old thumbscrews. Obviously, this is a cost-cutting move, and while the thumbscrews are easy enough to use, it does make installing 5.25-inch and 3.5-inch devices a tad more tedious, because you have to use thumbscrews on both sides of the casing to ensure a secure fit. To add, while BitFenix lists a 2.5-inch bay in the specifications, in reality it is not strictly a bay to speak since 2.5-inch devices such as SSD are installed by mounting directly to the bottom of the casing by means of screws.

Installing the motherboard required the use of regular standoffs and screws so you’ll need your screwdriver here. And it’s bit disorienting at first because of the inverted layout of the board, but you’ll get used to it soon enough. Overall, installation is mostly straightforward but tedious because of the number of thumbscrews you have to fasten in place.

As for cable management, there's no space behind the motherboard tray so you'll have to tread cables through the front. Thankfully, there's a compartment just beside the HDD bays that allows for users to stuff their excess cables into.