BitFenix Pandora ATX Review

Exterior

So, straight into it with the case, as you can see it looks remarkably like the original pandora, however, the window is now a full square rather than the reverse ‘P’ shame of the original came with. The case seems to have grown up substantially, the original Pandora did feel somewhat cheap in comparison to the Pandora ATX. The finish seems to be far nicer on this and the case does feel more sturdy.

IMG_0307

The front IO panel is again similar to the original Pandora, this time, we see two USB 3 ports and two USB 2 ports, this is a little bit of a double edged sword, it would be nice to see all 4 ports USB 3 but a lot of motherboards would then need an adapter as some still don’t support more than one USB 3 cable. It does show that BitFenix have actually thought about this case. The power and reset buttons are also here as well as front audio ports.

IMG_0248

Now, this is a massive improvement on the original Pandora, thumb screws! YES! Although the front of the case still has ball socket type latches the back has screws, this ensures panels don’t fall off when you are trying to carry it, for most this probably isn’t such a problem, but I have almost dropped my whole build when lifting it onto a display stand for ASUS! Luckily it was caught and everything was ok, but it is certainly nice to see this addition.

IMG_0219

Oh no, taking the rear side panel off the case wasn’t a problem at all and it was sturdy enough, however, the windowed side panel is very flimsy, there just doesn’t seem to be enough metal to keep it from flexing.  I have tried to take a picture of this, but it was hard to capture, you can certainly see that it is somewhat twisted though.

IMG_0257-Edit

Underneath the case we have a dust filter for the PSU and also some nice little feet to ensure that airflow can circulate.

IMG_0188

Interior

Inside the case we have 2 fans already installed, a 120mm fan at the rear and a 140mm fan at the front. The 140mm doesn’t come with the core version according to the above spec so  this is a nice little extra for those who buy the Pandora ATX.

IMG_0203

At the rear of the case right below the fan, we have the rear PCI-e slots, with a total of 7 we know BitFenix are ensuring most users will have plenty of space to expand.

IMG_0194

So, now we can see the PSU cover, it has been very well done, it is simple, has a grommet on the top to allow for any cables through that you would like to go to the headers on the motherboard and it also has a nice space cut out of the front so that radiators will fit in nicely. On the top of the PSU cover we can see the first SSD/HDD mount as well as the pump mount. The pump mount has a sponge top, which will reduce vibrations, and also plenty of holes for us to attach all the common pumps that are on the market, this is a really nice addition to the case.

IMG_0202

Speaking of spaces for storage, we also have 2 SSD mounts inside the case, these use a nice thumb screw system so you can mount the SSDS to the bracket, then just attach the bracket to the motherboard tray. A lot of companies are using this system now and I really do like it.

IMG_0210
Around the back of the motherboard tray, we can see yet 2 more SSD brackets (a total of 4 in the case) and also in the PSU area we can just about make out 2 more SSD/HDD brackets, plenty of space for storage! We can also see that BitFenix have used velcro straps in this case too to ensure that cable management is a breeze, we also have 20mm to work with. The original Pandora does lack in the cable management area so it is great that the Pandora ATX has addressed these issues.
IMG_0230

The top of the case still has the nice quick release filter, just push on the near edge and it will pop up, here my lego man is holding the top for me to ensure a good picture!

IMG_0237

oh, wow! I wasn’t expecting this, underneath the cover we have a huge space for your radiators and fans. Water cooling support is always nice to see and this is great thinking.

IMG_0243

This area has enough room for a 360mm long, 40mm thick radiator as well as a standard 25mm fan, I have mounted them this way just for the picture, but you can use any orientation. Thicker radiators would not fit here unless you moved the fans to the inside of the case.


IMG_0242
The front of the case also has room for another large radiator, this also has a filter to ensure that your beautiful build won’t get dusty.

IMG_0266-Edit

After doing a very simple mock-up build into this case I am impressed by what I see, the only downside I spot during the build was that long GPUs may block the pump mount.

IMG_0292

Unfortunately I don’t have any spare air coolers so I can’t finish my mock build however there is ample space so most coolers on the market should fit in fine.

IMG_0297

So they are the basics, let’s have a little look at the Pandora ATX and the older Pandora side by side and also take a look at the ICON display.

Leave a Reply