What’s goin on guys, Jerry Neutron here, back at it again with another video. Today we’re taking a look at the BitFenix Pandora ATX case. Now if you recall about a month ago I did a build in this case but I never really went over what I thought about it. So this, is the review.
With the Pandora ATX you essentially get a redesigned version of the original Pandora case but without the aluminum side panels and made to fit ATX motherboards.
Up front you get a glossy plastic finish right down the middle with a 2.8″ LCD display towards the upper half which can show any image you’d like. It’s actually a nice touch but to get the most out of it I’d recommend sticking to very basic, black & white images as the LCD isn’t very high quality. It would’ve been nice if the display could have been used as a HUD maybe to display CPU or GPU temps or some other system info rather than a static image.
Also it doesn’t look like it but you do get plenty of airflow up front. Right behind the wrapping side panels you have several cutouts going from top to bottom to bring that cool air into your case.
Underneath the front panel you get a removable dust filter and an included 140mm case fan. As far as cooling goes, up front it supports up to 3 120mm or 2 140mm fans OR it supports up to a 360mm radiator. So, plenty of cooling options there.
At the top of the case you have your front I/O – two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports, mic and headphone jacks and power and reset buttons which have white illuminated LEDs. Also good job having 4 USB ports up front, I almost always use them all so that’s a plus.
Further back you have a removable top panel that you can take off just by pressing down on one side and lifting up. It’s got kind of a mesh dust filter built in so you can use top mounted fans as an intake if you wish. And in this compartment is where you will house your fans or radiator. You can run up to 3 120mm or 2 140mm fans OR up to a 360mm radiator. It’s important to note that the radiator mounting is not offset and there is no room in the main compartment for radiators or fans so everything up top must fit in this area. BitFenix has done a good job though of offering plenty of radiator or fan options both at the top and front of the case.
Now taking a look at the side panels, you can see that they’re a solid one piece design which wraps around to the front. I like the aesthetics of them but I’m sad that they’re no longer aluminum like the mATX version of the Pandora. I feel like the case loses a lot of it’s premium feel with these steel panels vs aluminum. They’re also really thin and there’s a lot of flex in the panels which I’m not a fan of.
Also to add on to that it’s held on by push pins in the front and thumb screws in the back which makes it somewhat odd to line up and mount. I’m not really a fan of it but I can’t think of a better solution either so I don’t know.
On the plus side though you do get a nice sized acrylic window to display all of your components.
On the back of the case you can see the PSU is bottom mounted, there’s a removable dust filter for it as well. And above that there are 7 PCI slots and an included 120mm exhaust fan.
And here’s the main compartment of the case, as I mentioned previously it supports boards up to an ATX size and I really like the layout. You can see the CPU cutout, two SSD mounts, one HDD mount and an optional pump bracket for custom watercooled systems.
The nice thing about this case is that it keeps the power supply in a separate chamber so that your system looks clean and tidy whether you have a modular power supply or not. There’s even two more SSD and HDD mounting points in this area as well so plenty of storage support but tucked away to keep things nice looking. I think I would’ve preferred a dual HDD cage down at the bottom instead of the two separate mounts just to leave extra space for tucking away cables but it’s not a huge deal.
Also it would’ve been nice if they included just a couple more velcro straps to take advantage of all the cable-tie points.
Anyway moving on I decided to build a system in here just to get a feel for building in this case and there’s a couple things to mention. First off, this case is pretty narrow width-wise so don’t plan on sticking any air cooler in here taller than a Hyper 212 EVO, it’s not going to fit. GPU wise you have plenty of clearance, up to 440mm so long graphics cards are a non-issue.
The grommets on this case need to be a lot bigger. Every time I ran a cable through one I felt like they were collapsing and I kept having to constantly re-adjust or hold them in place which was annoying. The bottom grommet especially could use a size increase since you are running all of the front panel connectors through it plus cables from the hard drive or pump, it’s not big enough for that much traffic.
Also the front panel connectors are too short, now I’m running an mATX motherboard here just because it’s what I had laying around but it doesn’t matter. Even with an ATX board they’re too short so I’d like to see them address that.
Overall though this is a pretty solid case, I’m disappointed that they ditched the aluminum side panels but it still looks good and it offers a lot internally which is why I can get over some of the small issues that it has.
Btw if anyone is planning on throwing a custom loop in this case please let me know because I would love to check it out. Just go ahead and comment down below.
But anyway guys, that’s about it. Let me know what you think about this case in the comments, don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t already and until next time…see ya!
BitFenix Pandora ATX Case http://amzn.to/1RbGY7j
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