Best Budget PC Case? | Bitfenix Nova Review

What’s goin on guys, Jerry Neutron here, this time I’m back with some PC hardware and today we’re gonna take a look at a budget case from Bitfenix. They’ve just released this new case called the Nova and it’s looking to be the bang-for-the-buck king with a price of around $45 bucks. So let’s take a look at it and see if it’ll be the next go-to budget case.

Starting at the front, you’ve got two USB ports up top, one of them USB 3.0 which is always welcome in a budget case. As well as power and reset buttons and mic and headphone jacks. And just below that, you’ve got a 5 1/4″ bay, I’ll probably throw a blu-ray burner in there because streaming is for casuals. And then if you follow along the edges of the front cover you’ll find these mesh strips leading down all the way down towards the aluminum badge at the bottom. This is where the case gets its airflow, it’s not head-on in order to help with noise and prevent a little bit of dust build-up.

Underneath the front cover the Nova supports two 120mm fans. I actually attempted to install two different brands of fans up front and both of them were too thick to fit which I thought was kinda strange because Bitfenix says it’ll support standard sized fans. So yeah I’d probably just go with slim 120mm fans up front if you are going to install any just to be on the safe side. One other thing I would like to see up front is a dust filter, even if it’s one of those cheap magnetic ones. They’re pretty much a must have in any case even with the intake not being directly in front of the case, still gotta have em.

Moving on to the left side of the case, you can see the side panel with the optional window. So maybe if you were a business you could opt for the windwoless side panel for your workstations or if you’re just a young guy with a small budget you can pick up the windowed version for your build. The side panels are thin and the window is prone to scratching so be very careful with how you handle this thing. I’m not gonna knock them because it is a budget case, it’s just something you need to be aware of.

Bitfenix Nova

Moving on again let’s look at the back before we open it up. You’ve got a 120mm mounting point up top, a fan is included there with the case. There are seven PCI slots on the back and a bottom mounted power supply. One good thing about this case, is that it does have a pretty nice looking dust filter for the PSU so that’s cool.

But let’s finally open this thing up and look at the internal layout. So first off, this case supports ATX motherboards but you can install a micro-ATX or even a mini-ITX board in here if you’re a weirdo. There’s a nice large motherboard cutout for installing your CPU cooler although I find it much easier to just take the motherboard out, that’s up to you.

You get a few holes for routing cables which is a major plus in any budget case. No actual grommets but that’s okay because you know, budget case.

So as I mentioned previously, this case comes with a 120mm exhaust fan. This happens to also be the only location where you can install a radiator since the top of the case is completely closed off and there’s not enough room up front.

Clearance-wise you can run a power supply up to 220mm long, a graphics card up to 320mm long and a CPU cooler up to 160mm tall. So pretty much anything up to a Hyper 212 EVO in height and shorter should work there.

For storage you get this nice little drive cage which can hold 4 3.5″ drives and just above that is room for two 2.5″ drives. So for such a small case you get plenty of storage options which is nice to see.

If we look behind the motherboard tray you can see there is basically no room for cable routing other than over by the holes up front. Not sure what the thought process was here. I’m not gonna stuff all of my cables up front so I’d like to have a lot more room behind the motherboard tray.

But anyway, let’s throw a build in here and see how everything comes together.

Alright so here is the final build, I’m running a micro-ATX motherboard, a Hyper 212 EVO which barely fits, its practically touching the windowed side panel and an R9 290.

Bitfenix Nova

I also threw in a couple 3.5″ inch drives and an SSD. Since I’m not running any fans up front I turned the drives around to hide the SATA cables, just to clean it up a little bit. Everything came together pretty well, minus that one orange SATA cable because I couldn’t find a black one laying around.

As for cable routing, I also noticed there’s no hole for routing the CPU power cable so I ran it behind the motherboard and through the CPU cutout. Luckily my power supply has flat cables so I didn’t run into too much of an issue when it came to cable management but I imagine this would be a pretty big pain with rounded ones.

Overall this is a pretty good attempt at a budget case from Bitfenix and certainly better than the last budget case I owned but personally I wouldn’t mind paying a few extra bucks for a case that was just a little bit bigger all around with a dust filter up front and routing for a CPU power cable.

However if you’re on an absolute budget and you just can’t spend anymore for whatever reason, this case should definitely be on your list of considerations.

But that’s pretty much it guys, leave a comment down below with name of the case you’re currently running if you watched all the way to this point, you know what to do if you liked this video. Subscribe if you haven’t already and until next time, see ya!

Bitfenix Nova –
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