With case modders featured in commercials by companies such as Intel and even showcased in TV shows worldwide, the hobby has officially hit mainstream acceptance. The term “modding” in itself has a very broad definition and is evolving as the number of modders increase. This popularity is followed by streamlined modding solutions directly offered by manufacturers, making what once required complicated efforts into something as simple as installing just another component.
Bitfenix in particular, has been offering various solutions from sleeved cables to various case accessories for those who want a quick and painless way to spice up their system’s looks. Their original Bitfenix Alchemy LED kit has been previously reviewed here at Modders-Inc but the updated version showcased earlier in Computex 2015 improves the idea of simple modding even further with the use of magnets.[sc:sponsor sponsor=”Bitfenix” product_link=”http://www.bitfenix.com/global/en/products/premium-modding/alchemy2-magnetic-led-strips/” product_name=”Alchemy 2.0 LED Kit” product_price_link=”http://amzn.to/1S7xtSP” product_price=”$ $12.99 (12cm)/$24.99 (30cm)/$34.99 (60cm) USD” ]
Bitfenix’ Alchemy 2.0 LED kits are available in five colors: red, blue, green, purple and white. Compared to the original Alchemy LED kit, the orange color has been dropped in favor of a purple option and the green LED has been adjusted to closer match NVIDIA’s green logo. Users can also choose from 12cm (4.75″), 30cm (11.8″), and 60cm (23.6″) lengths depending on their requirements. Included in the package is a 4cm two-way 4-pin male-to-male extender and a male + female molex power connector to 4-pin female (50cm or 19.8″) that can be used to daisy chain multiple Bitfenix Alchemy strips. These were also available with the original non-magnetic LED strip but the 2mm male-to-male extender is no longer included.
This sample in particular is the white LED version but all of them will look similar until the LED’s are actually turned on. This 30cm version has 15 SMD LEDs per strip and each strip is coated with clear polyurethane for a non-diffused light output. Each LED is rated for 60 Lumens (give or take 10%). The 12cm version has six LED chips while the 60cm version has 30 LED chips in comparison. Compared to the original Alchemy LED strip, the distance between each piece of LED has been moved closer together so there is now a greater gap on the continuity of lighting when they are daisy-chained.
Bitfenix has done a good job with dialing the color in these kits are they are quite bright at 60 lumens. Unlike some color LEDs that tend to be too cold looking, these ones have a richer and fuller glow to them. The LED distribution gives a good spread, even if it is non-diffused.
The biggest difference this time however is in the use of magnets embedded on the strip for mounting. These magnets are barely visible unless closely inspected with three magnets distributed across the 12cm version, six magnets on the 30cm version and 12 magnets on the 60cm version.
Prior to the announcement of the magnetic mounted Bitfenix Alchemy 2.0, I actually made a magnetic version from the original Alchemy LED kit using magnetic strips re-purposed from a Thermaltake Core x1 fan filter. Since both the magnetic strip surface and the rear of the original Alchemy strips already had adhesive, putting them together was simply a matter of cutting for length. The width even fits perfectly without any trimming.
But how does this home-made LED strip stack against the Bitfenix Alchemy 2.0 strip? The video below shows how strong the magnets are:
The homemade magnetic LED strip obviously is heavier and thicker but the Alchemy 2.0 shows a very resilient grip, even strong enough to hold up the 18 gram USB drive from the front side. This alternative form of mounting is much cleaner and reusable than the adhesive version on the original although since it relies on magnets, it will only mount on steel cases or surfaces. The polyurethane surface treatment protects the LEDs from damage and is very resilient against bending on angled areas. I would advise some maintenance from time to time however as dust is especially attracted to the coating. Overall, this is a great addition to Bitfenix’ easy modding accessories and a solid alternative to those who are adhesive averse, especially since magnetic mounting makes installation and re-use extremely noob friendly.