The BitFenix Pandora ATX Case Reviewby E. Fylladitakis on August 11, 2016 9:00 AM EST
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BitFenix is a company that is strongly focused on the design of PC cases and the supply of case modding parts. They currently produce over two dozen cases, covering nearly all segments of the market, with most of them being marketed as visually unique cost-effective designs. Many of their products have been through our labs, from the $39 Merc Alpha to the $159 Shinobi XL, each with its own target group, strengths, and weaknesses. Today we are looking at the latest design - a scaled up version of the Pandora.
BitFenix owes a lot of their recent success as a company to the Pandora. It is a case that was loved for its design and price to performance ratio. However, the Pandora was compact and could only take up to Micro ATX motherboards, with limited expandability and cooling options. In this review we are having a look at a newer version of the Pandora, the Pandora ATX, which shares the aesthetic design of the original Pandora but is both much larger and comes with extensive support for liquid cooling systems.
Tthe Pandora was BitFenix’s first case with aluminum parts and designed to combine aesthetics with versatility. The original Pandora was designed for Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX motherboards only, something that was a deal breaker for many advanced users and gamers, but did not stop the case from succeeding in the market. As such, BitFenix decided to design an oversized version of the Pandora, the Pandora ATX, as a case with a similar aesthetic design but large enough to support ATX motherboards and advanced liquid cooling systems. We are having a thorough look at it in this review.
|BitFenix Pandora ATX|
|Motherboard Size||ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX|
|Internal||4 × 3.5"
4 × 2.5"
|Cooling||Front||3 × 120 mm or 2 x 140 mm (1 × 140 mm included)|
|Rear||1 × 120 mm (included)|
|Top||3 × 120 mm or 2 x 140 mm (none included)|
|Radiator Support||Front||Up to 360 mm or 280 mm|
|Rear||Up to 120 mm|
|Top||Up to 360 mm or 280 mm|
|I/O Port||2× USB 3.0, 2× USB 2.0, 1× Headphone, 1× Mic|
|Power Supply Size||ATX|
|Dimensions||510 mm × 203 mm × 558 mm
20.08 in × 7.99 in × 21.97 in
|Prominent Features||· 2.8" BitFenix ICON™ Display
· One-piece powercover and MB tray
· Top, Front and Bottom Dust Filters
· 360mm Radiator Support
· 20mm Cable Clearance
· Graphics Card Length up to 440mm
Packaging & Bundle
We received the Pandora ATX supplied inside a large and fairly sturdy cardboard box. The case is protected inside the box by two thick Styrofoam slabs and a nylon bag, providing adequate shipping protection. Aesthetically it may be just a brown box, but BitFenix spent some effort and resources trying to make it appealing via simple geometric artwork and a schematic of the case itself.
The items bundled alongside with the Pandora ATX are fairly standard, with the exception of a metallic brace that can be installed to give the rear of the chassis a rounded appearance. The rest of the supplied items are for the installation of devices and parts inside the case, a few cable ties, and a thick metallic company logo. As this case has an LCD installed, BitFenix thoughtfully decided to leave the installation of the case badge up to the user.
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SimonJM - Friday, August 12, 2016 - linkThe display would've looked better if it was OLED. The non-black background of the screen doesn't blend so well with the black case.
Jackattak - Friday, August 12, 2016 - linkA reset button? In 2016? Seriously?
HomeworldFound - Friday, August 12, 2016 - linkYes, Many cases still have one of those. If you've tried feature games from the Windows 10 Store you'll be so happy to own one.
pedjache - Saturday, August 13, 2016 - linkYou seriously need a reset.
pauliem30 - Sunday, August 14, 2016 - linkI just got this case the other day to do a review on. I'm very excited to do the build in it!
ES_Revenge - Tuesday, August 16, 2016 - linkI have an original [mATX] Pandora. While I like the case, I always wondered why the thing is so tall for an mATX case that doesn't really seem like it needs to be as tall as it is. It seems as though they could have just made it slightly taller and allowed an ODD somehow (which I know no one cares about anymore but at the time it still sort of made sense). Even if they could have incorporated a slot and allowed a vertical slim/slot ODD it would have been cool.
Well now it seems they have just gone ahead and made the case even taller, but to fit a full ATX motherboard instead. I dunno I don't see the point. There's lots of competent mATX boards out there these days and have been for quite some time. Vast majority of ppl I see with full ATX boards these days have like one or two slots used and then 5-6 ones sitting there doing nothing. ATX just seems passe these days. There's even mATX cases that support SLI and mATX cases that have a "fifth slot" opening (which the original Pandora itself has), in case you have your second GPU slot at the end of the board. With all that the Pandora full ATX seems a bit pointless.
Personally I didn't get the one with the display at the time because it was ~$50 more and it didn't seem worth it because the display is not capable of much. Fast forward a few years and it seems functionality hasn't improved at all. Basically just still a static display with little use. I know they released the source code or whatever so ppl could do whatever with it, but it seems like no one has. I always used to think a cool application would be to display album art, which would automatically change with whatever track you were listening to. Surely they could have a plug-in for programs like MediaMonkey, etc. which could accomplish this. Instead it seems the use of the display is still very limited and all they bothered to do was make the case bigger. The display has even made it on to cases like the Aegis but again other than it's appearance and $30-50 premium over the "core" case without it, it's not really something of that much use. Looks cool for a day and then you forget about it.