Press embargo lifts today on a new mini-ITX case from BitFenix, the “subtle, yet remarkable” Portal. The “subtle” aspect might refer to the resemblance of the logo (and to some degree, the case), which appears to resemble the turrets from Valve’s video game of the same name, but that’s really a positive feature.
The Portal is, first and foremost, designed to house HTPCs. The space and thermal limitations of mini-ITX cases typically make it difficult to jam a real gaming PC inside, and the best chance for CPU cooling in this instance is a 120mm intake slot that can fit an AIO radiator. Still, Bitfenix does stress the versatility of the case: there are two 3.5”/2.5” bays and one 2.5” bay, so there should be enough for all the components of a decent gaming system. The 120mm is one of two fan mounts on the main chamber of the case: the other is a tiny 80mm fan (both contain fans by default), something we’re interested in noise testing later. Thermal tests will be interesting--although there’s very little space, the CPU is directly in the path of airflow and the GPU and PSU are thermally isolated, which is promising. Bitfenix describes the fans as “stable airflow for basic Office and Home Theater PCs.”
The GPU is housed fan-side-up at the very top of the case, forming its own chamber. No riser is used; instead, the whole motherboard is inverted, which is difficult to see from the outside without a side panel window. The window is at the very top of the case, and will therefore only show off the GPU. This is similar in execution to the iBUYPOWER Revolt 2 that we reviewed ages ago.
One interesting functional aspect of the Portal is its removable main chamber, which slides out on rails like a drawer. Other than the front panel connectors, all internal components (including the fans) are packaged within the inner chamber.
The Portal is offered in black, white, and windowed varieties of both colors. The shell is aluminum, the chassis is steel, and the window is transparent acrylic.
We’re waiting on further pricing and availability information, and hope to review the enclosure once samples go out.
- Patrick Lathan