BitFenix AURORA Midi Tower Case Review. Today we examine a balanced product from Bitfenix, aimed to offer great visuals and features, while keeping the price tag in check. Boasting RGB and decent cooling options, supporting up to 280mm rads, a reservoir bracket, E-ATX motherboard support, Long GPU compatibility, and even tempered glass panels on either side of the chassis! Is the AURORA the right product for your next rig?
[Features and Specs]
AURORA is designed for high end aesthetically pleasing builds with water-cooled systems carrying an elegant theme of curved lines and glass windows with “BitFenix RGB Chroma Control” and “BitFenix SSD Chroma” certified by “ASUS AURA” letting you take control of the illumination of your system.
AURORA comes with high quality tempered glass side panels on either side of the chassis. One is crystal clear to showcase the hardware while the other is dark tinted to hide the cables behind motherboard tray. “ASUS AURA” certified “RGB Chroma Control and SSD Chroma” are co-developed with Asus Republic of Gamers giving you the ability to customize and illuminate the SSD.
BitFenix AURORA supports up to EATX motherboards whilst having plenty of room for high end water-cooling builds. At the back of the motherboard tray, AURORA leaves plenty of room for cable management to support high end components and PSUs. Both the included hard drive cages are modular and tool-free giving the user the ability to configure the system to their needs. Apart from these hard drive cages which accommodate up to 4 HDDs, the AURORA comes with three modular SSD brackets.
The smart layout allows the user to use up to two 280mm radiators on top and front and a 120mm radiator at the rear whilst having enough space to mount the reservoirs and other water cooling hardware. With the included reservoir mount, you can easily mount water cooling systems without modifying the chassis.
BITFENIX AURORA SPECIFICATION
- – Colour:
- Arctic White/Black
- – Motherboard SPEC:
- E-ATX/ ATX/ M-ATX/ Mini-ITX
- – Graphic Card Length:
- Up to 400mm
- – Power Supply Length:
- Up to 220mm
- – Storage Capacity:
3.5” Drive Bays 2 + 2 2.5” Drive Bays 2 + 1
- – Cooling Capacity:
- Front – 120mm x 2 or 140mm x 2
- Rear – 120mm x 1 (Included)
- Top – 120mm x 2 or 140mm x 2
- – Radiator Capacity:
- Front – 280mm x 1 or 240mm x 1 or 120mm x 1
- Rear – Up to 120mm x 1
- Top – 280mm x 1 or 240mm x 1 or 120mm x 1
- – Front I/O:
- USB 3.0 x 2, USB 2.0 x 2, RGB 7 Colour Cycle button, HD Audio MIC & Headphone
- – Dimensions (WxHxD):
- 215 x 490 x 520mm
- – RGB Functions:
- BitFenix Chroma Controller & BitFenix SSD Chroma – Aura Certified, 7 Colour Mode + Pulse function
- – Cable Management:
20-25mm Cable Management Space
- – Compatibility:
- Graphic Length up to 400mm, Support Dual 280mm radiator, Removable HDD cage, Removable PSU Dust Filter.
Prefer a video run down?[nextpage title=”Packaging and Bundle”]
While it might seem trivial to even talk about the box and its packaging inside, it matters more than you think. On the exterior BitFenix have used a classic eco brown & black card box. With a brief outline of the case design on one side, and feature breakdown on the reverse.
Once opened, I was delighted with the higher quality than usual, packaging they’ve used to wrap and protect the product. Ensuring it arrives in pristine condition.
The bundle is more robust than we tend to see at this price point. With some unique and unexpected additions, such as a reservoir mount, and the RGB SSD mount.
We start our tour on the exterior of the AURORA. There’s something unique about Bitfenix products, despite varying wildly, they all share a common vibe. The AURORA is a simple but elegant case with no slots, optical bays, lighting or anything unnecessary on the front. Standing at 490mm tall, its desk friendly and as we’ll see, despite it smaller footprint it’s able to accommodate a mass of hardware.
We have the all black model, but if black and white are to your taste, then fear not as Bit Fenix have a model in that flavor too. The first impression is great, despite being made of mostly plastic, it doesn’t come across as a budget product. Quite the opposite, with a high-end vibe.
Towards the base, a classic Bitfenix trait with a simple 3D logo. At either side of the concave panel, we find ventilation channels. These will prove vital to allow cool air into the AURORA
The same pattern and air strips have been reused on the top panel, creating good airflow and a clean flowing design. Each of the mentioned panels can be removed with ease.
On the bottom, we have 4 decent sized feet, with padding to aid with vibrations and to offer grip. Only 1 dust filter is found on the AURORA to keep dust in check around the PSU.
Four thumbscrews hold the glass panels in place. Before we even look inside I must state they are really dark. For me personally, that’s my ideal for a glass window, but for a show off rig.. clear might have been a better option?
Be careful when removing the panels too, as they are hefty!
A great layout, that’s good to go for most but can also be tweaked if you need more room. As is, it’ll take a board up to E-ATX in size, any GPU, a single SSD on the vertical mount, and even more into the two trays below or above.
Have a longer PSU? No problem as the AURORA can accommodate a max of 220mm.
Standoffs are preinstalled inside the AURORA
Rather than offering legacy 5.25 bays, Bitfenix instead installed a removable dual bay caddy for 3.5″ drives
The show off feature of the case… will be installed into this SSD caddy
If you are building a RIG with lots of drives, the AURORA is a solid choice, with even more storage in the lower caddy. These are both removable, if you needed more space for a custom water cooling setup.
You install a PSU up to 220mm in length, with no clashes or limitations and theirs a chunky grommet to feed wiring into the backside
The additional holes around this mount, will be beneficial when cable managing. The I/O cable is ample is length, and all black to keep the build clean.
The darkened panel helps on the backside of the case, as you can’t really see inside too much, unless you add some lighting
I’m really impressed the layout here and the number of options for a build. My initial gripe was space between panels and tray, however, more on that soon.
The CPU cutout has been done correctly. It will for sure, play its role in allowing CPU and water block installs, without the hassle of removing the board first.
RGB/lighting is a big part of the product, but I don’t agree with the choice to power this via Molex rather than SATA power, Why? well, with a modular PSU for example if would mean introducing extra legacy wiring, which is a shame
If you don’t feel like making use of the SSD mounts in the front, or using the RGB lighting solution? You can add 2x 3.5″ drives directly on the rear. These are held into place with thumbscrews but are secure. As you’ll need to screw the SSD directly the actual plates.
They line up perfectly with the neighboring grommets.
This particular large cutout is ideal, to route SATA/Power into your drives for the lowest chamber. Above this, is a further smart cutout for additional wiring. while it would be great to see grommets, they are small and low-key, so it really doesn’t spoil the ascetics
This smaller hole is a handy addition not seen on many products. We use them to route smaller header wires such as front audio.[nextpage title=”Build & Observations”]
Despite my initial concern about the lack of space, the peak is 25m and 20mm elsewhere, and thanks to the many routing holes, I manage to assemble a clean build with no problem.
This is a simple air cooling build, but the AURORA is yearning for a watercooler and for sure, some additional lighting. The SSD tray doesn’t really do much alone until we added an RGB strip into the mix. Those darkened side panels, are both a blessing and curse depending on your taste. For me they tone down the lighting and offer what I need, others may feel they limit the lighting too much.
[Clearance and observations]
The case out of the box, has no issues at all. There’s no middle HD cage blocking a longer GPU. Some taller tower heatsink just won’t fit though, with a limit of 160mm. That said, the case is heavily geared towards watercooling anyway, so we can’t complain or knock off marks
For AIO users, no worry areas to mention, you can install up to a 280mm in the front or the roof. Custom watercoolers, it’s 100% feasible to add your kit in here, thanks to the removable drive cages and free reservoir mount. Note the mount is centered and not offset
So then it’s time to wrap up our findings and deliver a verdict. The AURORA is heavily designed around the steamroller trend of RGB lighting. Being an ASUS Aura certified product is a big deal, to be clear your not limited to using only ASUS kit, but it would make sense. RGB is a love/hate element but if you’re reading this review, there’s a good chance you’re a fan. What’s often overlooked with lighting, is the option to dim or turn it off, it is not a fixed feature, the beauty is flexibility and control.
Let’s start with the negatives; I honestly can’t anything significant, other than my neutral stance with the dark glass panel vs. clear. Onto the positives, the products speak volumes, so much is on offer here. The decision to retail the AURORA in both black and white is a wise move. Products like this don’t come along often, its clear a lot of research has gone into the finished product. Out of the box, it will appeal and cater to the needs of many different users. With no modifications needed for the enthusiasts either. Watercoolers rejoice as you’ve been taken care of with some great possibilities, considering the product size. This isn’t your generic WC ready product and the only thing missing is a dedicated pump mount
Pricing, I feel is very fair considering what you can fit inside, the feature set and those sleek glass panels. I expected somewhere closer to 100GBP. To recap, the AURORA looks great, can accommodate the largest of hardware, has an elegant RGB element, is WC ready. What more could we ask for in this price bracket?
After much debate… we’re granting Value & Design
price is £75 – 90