The manufacturer BitFenix released the Enso at the end of 2017. Although this case was chic, it failed many reviews due to the completely closed front and the lack of airflow. To address this problem, BitFenix released a new version a year later (December 2018). This is based on the original version, but offers a large mesh element in the front. Like its predecessor, the Enso Mesh is available in a black and a white version. Both variants are priced € 86.55 *.
On its own homepage, the manufacturer advertises the Enso Mesh with a stylish design, improved airflow and high hardware compatibility. Whether this midi tower can stand out from its predecessor and how it generally performs will be found out for you in this review.
|Model:||BitFenix Enso Mesh RGB|
|Housing type:||Midi Tower|
|Dimensions:||210 mm (W) x 489 mm (H) x 454 mm (D)|
|Weight:||approx. 7 kg|
|Material:||Steel, plastic, tempered glass|
|Front connections||2x USB 3.0 Type-A, 1x loudspeaker, 1x microphone|
|Drive bays:||3x 3,5″ or 2,5″ (internal)
3x 2,5″ (internal)
|Form factors:||E-ATX, ATX, mATX, mini-ITX|
|Ventilation:||Front: 3x 120 mm or 2x 140 mm
Rear: 1x 120 mm
Cover: 2x 120 mm
|Radiators:||Front: 1x 360 mm, 1x 280 mm or 1x 240 mm
Rear: 1x 120 mm
|Max. CPU cooler height:||160 mm|
|Max. Graphics card length:||340 mm|
|Max. Power supply length:||160 mm (with fan in bottom)|
|Cable management space:||23 mm|
|Place for front radiator:||55 mm|
|Price:||Black: € 86.55 *, White: € 86.51 *|
|Special features:||Dust filter, cable management, glass side panel|
Scope of Delivery
The BitFenix Enso Mesh RGB comes well and safely packed in a brown cardboard box with black lettering and is wrapped in a soft polystyrene foam. In addition, the manufacturer has also stuck two protective films on the side window to protect it from scratches. The included accessories are stored in a transparent plastic bag inside the case. This bag contains all important screws, black cable ties, a mainboard speaker and an illustrated manual.
The delivery also includes two pre-installed case fans (1x RGB, 1x standard), pre-installed spacers, an RGB control board and two magnetic covers (1x open, 1x closed) for the lid opening.
As already mentioned in the introduction, the Bitfenix Enso Mesh hardly differs in appearance from its predecessor. Only the solid front was replaced by a mesh panel. In order to clean the dust filter behind it, the magnetically attached mesh element can be pulled forward with a slight jerk. But what BitFenix has not done without with the Enso Mesh are the four narrow RGB strips that surround the front panel.
If you take a look at the lid, it becomes clear that BitFenix has optimized the Enso Mesh for airflow. The manufacturer has also equipped the lid with a grille for two 120 mm fans. In addition, a mesh dust filter was also implemented here. This is magnetic and can be easily removed for cleaning. If you prefer to close the opening, BitFenix also includes a suitable cover. Finally, the I/O panel can be found in the front area of the lid section. It has two USB 3.0 ports, headphone and microphone ports, and three buttons for power, reset, and RGB control.
The right side part of the Enso Mesh is completely closed and fastened with two knurled screws. The left side panel consists of a 4 mm thick and slightly tinted tempered glass and is connected to the body with four flat knurled screws.
If you look at the underside, you can see that BitFenix has equipped the Enso Mesh with huge plastic feet. These lift the body a good three centimetres off the floor and are provided with rubber buffers. So the power supply should have no problems to get enough air. Another positive feature is the dust filter solution for the power supply unit. This filter can be pulled out to the side and should be able to collect a lot of dust due to its fine structure.
There are no special features on the back. The power supply unit is mounted at the bottom, above it there are seven reusable PCI slot covers and the fan opening for the pre-installed fan with a frame width of 120 mm.
In principle, there is nothing to criticize about the external workmanship. The paint has no flaws and there are no sharp edges. Only the colour difference between plastic and metal and the very cheap looking closed lid cover attracted our attention.
In the interior, however, there are no differences to the BitFenix Enso. The Enso Mesh is divided into two chambers by a cover. As usual, the upper chamber holds the mainboard and the expansion cards. Three 120 mm fans or two 140 mm fans can be installed in the front of the Enso Mesh so that the inside can also benefit from the mesh front. If you also want to install a water cooling system, BitFenix has provided the cover with a cutout in the front area. Expansion cards are screwed outside the housing and the corresponding slot bezels are reusable. In addition, the mainboard tray and power supply cover have partially rubberized bushings for the power supply cables. At first glance, however, these seem to be somewhat misplaced or too small in places.
Let us now turn to the back of the interior. Here you can find various holding points for cable ties and relatively much space for cables. In addition, a total of five options for mounting hard disks can be identified here. Two 3.5″ or two 2.5″ devices can be accommodated in matching plastic frames in the riveted hard disk cage. Three additional 2.5″ SSDs can also be attached directly to the mainboard tray. Next to the hard disk cage there is the mounting position for the power supply underneath the cover. It should be emphasized here that the power supply unit will later rest on decouplers made of foam rubber.
Due to the external workmanship, BitFenix has not allowed itself any carvers inside either. The lacquering is without flaws and also here was paid attention to smooth edges.
System Construction in BitFenix Enso Mesh RGB
Now we come to system installation. As hardware we use a AMD Ryzen 5 1400* on a MSI B350 PC Mate* (overclocked to 3,8Ghz) with 16GB Crucial Ballistix Sport LT grey DDR4-2666*. The Ryzen is cooled by a Scythe Ninja 5*. A GTX 1060 6GB from Gigabyte AORUS* is responsible for the image output. The power supply does the non-modular be quiet! Pure Power with 400W. In order to enhance the cabling optically a little bit, single sleeved cable extensions from Phanteks.
As was to be expected for a case of this price class, there were hardly any problems during installation. There is plenty of room to work and the space on the front and back is generous. Together with the pre-installed spacers, the system was quickly installed and properly wired.
However, there is one point of criticism here. As previously assumed, the placement of the cable glands is not really thought through. Many newer motherboards have their 24-pin connector very high up on the right side. However, the Enso Mesh is placed in the middle. Here we would have wished for an additional rubberized opening in the upper area. There is also an opening for the 8-pin EPS cable, but this is much too small and is mostly hidden after mounting the mainboard. The cable must therefore be laid before the mainboard is screwed. That’s not very practical.
There are slight limitations with regard to hardware compatibility. Graphics cards up to a maximum length of 340 mm and CPU coolers up to a maximum height of 160 mm are supported. This is sufficient for almost all GPUs and many CPU coolers. It gets a little trickier with the power supply. Since the HDD cage is riveted, the Enso Mesh can only accommodate power supplies with a maximum length of 160 mm. Here it becomes however already very close with the accommodation of all cables.
Mounting hard disks and SSDs is simple and easy. 3.5″ HDDs can be mounted in the frame without tools. The assembly of 2.5″ devices requires the use of normal screws.
BitFenix equips the Enso Mesh with two pre-installed fans ex works. One of these fans is RGB-capable, the other is simply black. Both fans have a normal 3-pin connector for power supply. The RGB fan was even equipped with a Y switch. The maximum fan speed is 1000 rpm. At this speed, however, both fans are clearly audible. In addition, the front fan unfortunately emits clearly audible background noises.
Finally, we come to the temperature measurements. For this I ran Prime95 and Furmark for 15 minutes at a room temperature of 17 °C and then determined the temperature of the processor and graphics card with the CPUID HWMonitor. The test was performed in two different scenarios as shown in the table below.
BitFenix Enso Mesh RGB Lighting Options
As can easily be seen on the power supply cover, the RGB lighting in the BitFenix Enso Mesh is compatible with Asus’ Aura Sync technology. All LEDs are digitally addressable and can be controlled via the Asus Aura Sync Utility and aligned with other components.
If you still use a motherboard without the appropriate RGB headers, the lighting can also be controlled via the pre-installed circuit board. The fan and the RGB strip are connected directly to the board using a proprietary connector. The color combinations can then be switched using the button on the I/O panel.
Conclusion of the BitFenix Enso Mesh RGB Review
With the BitFenix Enso Mesh the manufacturer has tried to improve the predecessor Enso especially with regard to the airflow. The large mesh panel in the front makes this possible. Also the general space conditions for components and cables and the smart and digitally addressable RGB lighting are features that speak for the Bitfenix Enso Mesh.
However, the cable management at this midi tower is somewhat suboptimal. There is enough space behind the mainboard tray, but the cable openings are sometimes too small or a bit misplaced. This makes cable management unnecessarily difficult if components such as large CPU coolers or similar are already installed. In addition, the HDD cage prevents the installation of power supplies larger than 160 mm.
Finally, there’s the price. With € 86.55 * the Bitfenix Enso Mesh has numerous competitors, some of which are even cheaper or offer more features. Although it’s a good case overall, it’s a bit too expensive in our eyes and doesn’t really offer a unique selling proposition.