Overall and Final Verdict
I came into this review blindly loving the bright orange color, but after having the chance to build in the case and live with it for a few weeks it’s the details that I really like. Like my last Caselabs case, the Bullet BH7 has its main exterior shell made out o 2.3mm aluminum. The thick aluminum and Caselabs attention to detail put Caselabs cases into a league of their own when it comes to build quality. When you buy a Caselabs case, you buy a case that could last a lifetime where most other cases are going to show their age after a few years. For me with my previous Fridge build and its giant Caselabs case, it was a problem because no one else has built an HPTX motherboard, so I had nothing to upgrade to in that case.
Anyhow, the new bullet design is a new direction for Caselabs, focusing on a more compact design that could be a little cheaper than past Caselabs cases. With an overall capacity of 30 liters, the BH7 ends up being one of if not the smallest full ATX case on the market. It takes up less overall space than a lot of the ITX cases. So for someone who is looking to still fun a multi-card configuration and have room for other PCIe devices in a small form factor you now have an option. The slip design was a little hard to work in, but it does do a good job of hiding all of the ugly things like hard drives, your power supply, and wiring all up under the sexy stuff. Caselabs has the Bullet line available in 6 different color options currently including a few colors that you aren’t going to see on other cases like the orange, the lime, and the purple.
As for downsides to the design. The main downside that you are going to have to deal with is the limited space when it comes to cooling options. They designed the case for air cooling and basic all in one watercoolers and they didn’t leave much room for those even. For air coolers, you can’t run full tower coolers unless they are shorter like the Noctua NH-U9S that I went with. You have a total height of 146mm available. You can fit an all in one cooler attached to the fan mount above the CPU but it's going to be tight and your cables are going to be really long. As for custom water cooling, it is also possible, but you will have to get creative. Fitting a radiator on the front can be done with a shorter video card and tucking in a tube reservoir can be done if you don’t run dual GPUs like I did. My other complaint was just a nit-pick really, the power button LEDs are bright blue. For the black, gunmetal, and white cases this is fine. But with the orange case it stands out a lot, a nice orange button or white would go much better with the case.
The other thing to consider is just how much the Bullet BH7 is going to run you. Caselab cases are a perfect example of you get what you pay for. They never skimp on quality and that shows, but their cases always cost more than the other cases on the market. So with the Bullet BH7, a base case is going to run you just under $230. There are a few options when picking out your case that can raise the costs a little more. For example, the tangerine orange finish of ours costs another $10. The second window is $10 as well. The carrying handles are $20 if you order them with your case or $22 separate. Then it's $15 for the lighting mounts. In total, the case tested here today was $284.90. Stock or with the bells and whistles, both prices aren’t exactly cheap. But the price starts to seem more reasonable if you remember that you will most likely use your Caselabs case in multiple builds where the cases that are half as much aren’t going to hold up as long. In other words, I wouldn’t consider the Bullet BH7 a value, but it is still a good buy. With the mATX and ITX options being much cheaper, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few popping up in the future as LAN rigs as well. I plan on running the BH7 as my main PC but have seriously been considering picking up another for my wife’s PC as well.
A small note and something we don’t have to consider typically. With their popularity, Caselabs has also been working on expanding production. Until then, though, buying a case directly from them has a long lead time. Ordering from one of their listed re-sellers can cut that down. Most have a few of the basic black and white options for quick shipping and Mod-One has a shorter lead time for all of the custom orders. So that is a con currently, but it could change in the future.
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