If I have said it once, I have said it a thousand times… it takes a lot to impress me. Computer cases have made a wicked transformation over the years and there seems to be a few staples for me when it comes to my top picks. My main rig runs out of my Zalman Z-Machine GT1000 and my server makes its home inside the simple yet industrial Lian Li PC-75B (one of my all time favorite cases). As computer cases come and go here in the lab I hear the same song and dance; “This will be the best one you have reviewed yet” and for some reason a lot of them just fall short. BitFenix thinks they can break the current losing streak cases have had here with a design that is tough like Ray Lewis yet soft like Cinemax late night movies. Enter the Colossus.
When I started the conversations with the group from BitFenix to have their offering in the lab, I didn’t know what to expect. I had never heard of the company before and I assumed I would just receive some chassis from a manufacturer over seas that wants some publicity for an average product that looks like it should be shelved on the clearance rack at Walmart. Let’s see what we end up with…
The Colossus is a full tower case that is built to accommodate five 5.25″ drives, seven 3.5″ / 2.5″ hard drives, and all the popular motherboard sizes. The Colossus measures 245mm x 558mm x 582mm making it larger in some respects than the monstrous Lian Li PC-75B. Cooling is provided by an already included top 230mm fan and a front fan of the same size. There is the option to add a rear fan up to 140mm in size and the same goes for the bottom. The provided top and front fans are absolutely HUGE and are audibly silent at full speed. I would have liked to see BitFenix provide a rear fan as part of the standard but with the amount of air you can move with the front and top fan alone I can see why they left this optional.
From the exterior of the Colossus you don’t really know what to make of it at first. It has a uniquely shaped front door and a really odd set of LED bands that go around it. These bands light it either blue or red and allow you to choose from 3 settings: on, off, or pulse. The front and top of the Colossus are created using BitFenix’s special SofTouch which is hands down one of the coolest features of the case. SofTouch is a proprietary coating that gives you an almost rubber feel and is resistant to stains and simple scratches.
As you move around, some of the elements that separate this case from its competition start to make themselves apparent. The top is home to a storage compartment that goes about things a bit differently. Not only is this large enough to home a full 3.5″ hard drive, it is also home to your power, reset, LED controls, fan controls, USB 2.0/3.0 ports, audio, and eSATA ports. The idea behind S3 (storage and security system) is that all these can be locked, thus keeping curious fingers from fiddling with your system. The buttons within are big enough for my grandmother to see and the included PWM fan controller adds a nice level of cooling control for up to six fans. The lock on the storage compartment is sturdy enough for normal home environments, but a good tug will break it free (along with a chunk of your case too).