XFX TYPE01 Bravo Midi-Tower Gaming Chassis Review

by - 6 years ago

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Introduction


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XFX are better known for their award-winning power supplies and graphics cards, in fact that’s ALL they’re known for, or at least that was true until this arrived in the eTeknix office! We’ve seen the case before at a couple of trade shows, but back then it was just a prototype, and we’re no stranger to seeing things like this at shows, then the products never seeing the light of day in terms of retail.

XFX are moving into the chassis business with the launch of the XFX  TYPE01, a premium class midi-tower chassis and with some already fierce competition in this sector of the market, it’s certainly a bold move. The question is, can XFX compete with the likes of Corsair, NZXT, Coolermaster and many others in this sector of the market? Well if this case is anywhere near as good as their other PC components, then the answer is certainly yes and we’re confident that they’ve got the expertise and industry knowledge to create something spectacular.

  • Unique XFX floating case design
  •  Modern minimalist design style
  •  Seamless hidden disc drive bays with folding doors
  • Three(3) 5.25” External Toolless Drive Bays
  •  Eight (8) Internal 3.25“ Toolless Drive Bays
  • Support up to 8 fans from 120mm to 200mm
  • Up to Eight (8) PCI Expansion slots
  • Top I/O ports including Four (4) USB 3.0 and Audio I/O
  • Mic& Headphone HD audio ports
  • Open Mesh Bottom With Filter
  • Water Cool Ready
  • Isolated bottom mount PSU design
  • Solid and light ABS plastic construction
  • Standard Mid Size tower height
  • Full ATX motherboard compatibility

Priced at a staggering £130+ for pre-order at Scan.co.uk the XFX  TYPE01 really is going to be the play thing of the enthusiast, and at that price I’ll be expecting nothing short of faultless build quality and design. For your money you get plenty of support, with room for eight expansion cards, 3 x 5.25″ devices and 8 hard drives. So let’s get right to it and see just what the TYPE01 Bravo has to offer.

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The box doesn’t look much, but the lines down the side are a sneaky hint at the chassis overall design that you’ll see in a moment.

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Around the back we have a nice run down of the major features as well as a small tear-down image. The box reads; “THE ULTIMATE SCABBARD FOR YOUR GAMING PC. Built with gamers in mind, the XFX  TYPE01 series of PC cases offer a number of features that is sure to please. Designed to “Float” off the surface of wherever you game, it provides ample airflow to your components while its unique design is sure to turn heads.”

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The case comes really well packaged, there a pair of smaller boxes on each end that are lined with thick and soft foam, which is custom cut to the shape of the chassis, more than enough to keep it well protected in transit.

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Inside the chassis there was a components box, this contained all the major fixtures and fittings required to get your system installed. This includes 5 x 2.5″ drive trays, an easy to follow user guide, front panel adaptor and two small packets.

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Inside the packets you’ll find a nicely labelled selection of cable ties, screws, stand-offs and case fittings.

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–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

Exterior


The TYPE01 Bravo features high quality plastic covered panels, as opposed to the Alpha which features aluminium panels. The design is obviously very unique, lots of curves, bold lines and plenty of ventilation. The left side panel looks split thanks to a huge vent that allows for two 120mm fans to be mounted on the side panel interior.

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There is a red and white XFX  TYPE01 logo on an aluminium panel which has been glued to the chassis, it does feel like you could pull it off quite easily though, maybe use screws next time XFX?

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The right side panel is identical to the left, it even features another pair of fan mounts and the stuck on aluminium detail panel.

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The front panel design is pretty bold, featuring lots of deep ridges and a huge ventilation section with a washable dust filter behind it for any front mounted fans. There are three flip-down 5.25″ drive bay covers at the front, perfect for stealth mounting your optical drives.

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At the top you’ll find a power and reset button and an LED indicator.

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And at the bottom you’ll notice another lovely XFX logo.

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The top panel features two large curved sections, they’re only plastic and don’t feel especially strong, but they do help to soften the overall aggressive design of the case.

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Around the back you can really see just how wide this chassis is. It’s as thick as most high-end full towers and this is just a midi-tower on the interior! At the top there is some cable routing space, and more to the right of the expansion slots. A 140mm fan is pre-installed for the exhaust and below that you’ll find eight ventilated expansion slots.

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At the bottom there is an extra long, slide out dust filter that covers the PSU and bottom fan intakes.

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Another 140/120mm fan mount is in the top.

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The I/O panel runs right down the top of the case, not exactly ideal given that many people put their system under their desk. You’ll find HD audio connections, two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0.

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Large feet and the curve design leave a huge clearance of 2 inches below the case, which is part of the reason this midi-tower stands as tall as a full tower chassis.

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–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

Interior


The interior is finished in black, with a few red clips on the optical drive bays. There is a small CPU cooler mounting cut-out at the back, although I can’t help think that it looks a little too small and could have been cut a little wider.

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There’s plenty of ventilation in the base, great if you have a longer than usual PSU and you can also install a 120/140mm on the right, near the hard drive bays.

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Cable routing is plentiful, with lots of high quality rubber grommets littered around the motherboard.

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The three 5.25″ drive bays each come with a quick release mechanism, but there is also an optional 3.5″ hard drive bay fitted in the bottom cage.

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Semi-modular hard drive bays offer up room for eight 3.5″ or 2.5″ hard drives in this configuration. The left wall of the top five bays can be unscrewed and moved closer to the front. Combined with the 5 x 2.5″ drive trays in the box you can convert these into 2.5″ only bays and free up extra space within the chassis. Unfortunately you cannot remove the hard drive bays completely.

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Here you can see the hard drive bay trays,  which are only plastic, but are tool free for 3.5″ drives.

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In the back there is a single 140mm fan installed. It comes with a 3 pin connection and a pre-installed molex adaptor to ensure maximum compatibility.

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The expansion slots are all fitted with reusable ventilated covers and quick release thumb screws for easy access.

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Here you can see the top 120/140mm fan mounts, although I can’t help but think that there is a lot of wasted space here, with no room anywhere for a 240mm radiator despite the cases large size.

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Around the back I found the cable management space to be quite limited, with 15mm being about average for the bulk of it, but there are a lot of cable routing holes and plentiful cable tie loops, so it should be relatively easy to achieve a good look.

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The front panel covers flip down, of which I’ve just pulled one forward to demonstrate.

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The side panel door is made from two section’s, with the chassis exterior being bolted on to the inner main frame. This allows the fan mounting holes to be hidden behind the exterior grill, but may also have something to do with XFX offering a different choice of exterior panels with their Alpha (aluminium) model.

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–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

Complete System


The total build time on the XFX  TYPE01 was 25 minutes, but it’s not surprising it was quick to put together because despite its huge size, heavy-duty styling and high price tag, it is still just a midi tower. Everything clipped into place with relative ease, the only issue being the re-installation of the right side panel, as the sleeved cables I use have quite large connector blocks.

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We’ve brought out the new XFX XTR power supply for this case, which is a little longer than the Silverstone one we have been using and it does compliment the TYPE01 rather nicely.

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Water cooling space may be limited, but that hasn’t stopped me from fitting a Corsair H80i, although given the width of this case you could easily get some incredibly large air coolers in here, such as products from Phanteks and be quiet! I may have got a slim 120mm radiator in the top, but it just makes more logistical sense to use the back fan mount instead. There is certainly room for a multiple GPU setup, and dependant on your motherboard PCI layout and GPU configuration you may get 3-4 cards in here.

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While I can move the hard drive bays over to the right to free up more space, it really isn’t needed and the bulk of today’s high-end cards won’t be wanting for more space anyway. What I would have liked is to be able to remove the top part of the hard drive bays completely to clear airflow from the front fan, but only one side of the hard drive bays can be adjusted.

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With all the panels back in place it hardly looks like I’ve done anything with this case, just as big and bold as when I took it out of the box.

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Of course a side on view will give you a sneaky view of our components, although I guess this view would be a little more limited with side fans installed.

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–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

Final Thoughts


Price

There is no easy way of saying this. The case is really expensive, especially so for a midi-tower. I understand that XFX have tried to do something different and in many ways they have, but at the same time I’m not so sure it’s worthy of the premium price tag bestowed upon it. In terms of features, capabilities, and build quality you can get a lot more for your money else where. However, in terms of unique style and design, you won’t see anything quite like it and you can’t put a price on that part. With pricing at £130+ for pre-order at Scan.co.uk the XFX  TYPE01 is definitely on the upper-end of the scale.

Overview

Oh boy, where do I start! I’m really torn about the XFX  TYPE01, because I think it’s awesome and I love it, but the reviewer in me is saying that it’s a product that feels underdeveloped. Let’s start with cooling, there are a few fan mounts around the chassis, but not all of them offer sufficient filtering. There are no dust filters on either side panel or in the top panel. Sure there are filters on the front and bottom panels, but on a chassis this size which already features limited fan mounts and lots of ventilation areas, you’re going to have a hard time achieving a positive air pressure. Put simply, this chassis is going to be a dust magnet. Water cooling options are severely limited and in a case of this size, at this price, that is almost unheard of these days. There is a huge amount of space to work with on the TYPE01, with a massive top panel that has two arches of plastic over it, so surely there was room for long vents under there and a minimum of a 240mm radiator space?

There are a few things that you would expect at this price range and chassis size that just aren’t here at all, such as fully removable hard drive bays to allow for front radiators, there are no 2.5″ drive stealth mounts behind the motherboard, no dust filters on side panels, and there isn’t much cable routing space behind the motherboard. Given that this is a midi-tower inside full-tower clothing (see: It’s huge!) you would expect more usable space in general. Then we have the fan mounts behind the motherboard, the right side panel still has room to screw on two 120mm fans, but you can bet there is no purpose, or space to actually do so.

The chassis is needlessly large too, there’s two inch’s of clearance from the ground thanks to the large feet on the base, and the curved top panel serve little or no purpose given that there is no ventilation under them. Then we have the issue of the top I/O panel, if you put your chassis under your desk you may find that you cannot access USB ports, or at least find them a little trickier than they would be on the front or side.

Build quality is for the most part pretty tough, but a few things raise concern. The side aluminium strip with the XFX logo looks great, but it’s only glued on and I could easily pull it off if I wanted… I don’t want to. At this price range, there is a lot of plastic, the top curved panels are handy for lifting and moving the case, but they bend quite a bit and I fear that they will break if you try lifting the case this way too often. The main construction of the chassis, interior components, front panel, etc all feel robust and well put together, but only end up making the weaker parts look weaker.

Sounds like I hate this case doesn’t it? Well you’re wrong, I love it! And that’s why I’m so torn about it. It’s impractical, it’s big, it’s actually kind of stupid, but it just looks so different from anything else on the market that I want one. Despite its drawbacks, I bet that if you’re reading this review because you loved the design, then you hardly care what I’m saying by this point because there will be a fair few of you who still want one regardless. The TYPE01 is the first time XFX have played their hand at the chassis market, it’s far from perfect, but it is a great effort none the less. I really appreciate that XFX have tried to do something a little different from everyone else in terms of design, it’s just a shame that its component compatibility and internal fittings are a few years out of date when compared to the similarly price options from rival brands.

Pros

  • Unique design and style
  • Lots of high quality cable routing grommets
  • Plentiful tool free hard drive bays
  • Strong and reliable core construction

Cons

  • More air filters would have been nice
  • Aluminium strips feel poorly attached
  • Limited control over hard drive bay configuration
  • Top I/O panel doesn’t seem ideally placed

Neutral

  • Right side panel fan mounts need to be removed, it’s obviously a cost saving trick by reusing panels, but at this price range it’s not really what you want to see.
  • CPU cooler mounting hole needs to be wider
  • Full tower size, despite only being a midi-tower

“I suspect XFX are already well aware of the shortfalls of the TYPE01, but I also bet they sell out of these cases pretty quickly too. It’s a Marmite product, you love it or you hate it and while I may have picked a few faults with it, I love it, I’d just love it even more with a few tweaks to the design. Their first entry to the chassis market is a bold one, beyond adventurous, so let’s hope that they go back to the drawing board and create another eye opener for their next attempt.”

Thank you XFX for providing us with this sample.

Article Index

  1. Introduction
  2. Exterior
  3. Interior
  4. Complete System
  5. Final Thoughts
  6. View All

Author Bio

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4 Comments on XFX TYPE01 Bravo Midi-Tower Gaming Chassis Review

  • Skidmarks says:

    Hoo boy that case looks like a dreadful mess to me, not my taste at all. I’ve seen overpriced, impractical cases (ThermalTake Level 10) often enough but at least some were sexy (In Win 901/904). Generally I like XFX products (especially their Seasonic built PSU’s) and I hope their next attempt is a much better looking, far more practical and far, far better value for money attempt. Until now XFX products have always been reasonable value for money and I hope it remains so.
    P.S. I’ll have to test this case myself soon so I’d better keep an open mind.

    • aruffell says:

      I agree but I don’t. I think that if any established manufacturer was to do this, I’d agree with you, but this is still a first attempt for XFX so credit where credit is due. Yes the stylish is a bit 80’s in terms of the slats, but the idea is there. I’m keen to see if they take our comments on board and develop something with more design flair.

      • Skidmarks says:

        It probably looks nicer in the… ahem, plastic than it does in pics. It’s the price and practicality in the review that really caught my attention. At this point in time I’m not sure I’ll ever get to see it let alone test it.

  • Derek Johnstone Macrae says:

    WANT

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