Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
After releasing the Pandora, which was a sleek and elegant design for Micro-ATX or smaller systems, BitFenix received a ton of user feedback for what was to be the second coming of this chassis. Users, of course, wanted the chassis to be able to house an ATX motherboard, which takes the original mid-tower chassis and blows things up to the full-tower category. They also wanted things like front facing SSD mounts, and a bay-less design that offers room for all things water cooling related.
BitFenix did not stop with just the more obvious elements of this design, though. They closed off the bottom of the chassis with a full-length PSU cover plate for starters. Enlarging the tower also allowed BitFenix to add additional water cooling support, without encroaching on other components. BitFenix even took the exterior into considerations, and rather than having just the rounded front, this time they added steel elements to the rear of the chassis to help continue that rounded look, this time, both in the front and at the back. Also gone is that oddly shaped side panel window, as this time there is no drop down section of it, yet you can still get a great view of everything inside of the chassis.
With all of that in mind, it seems that BitFenix took a good concept, and while introduced in a basic form with the original Pandora, this time around things are much more refined. BitFenix asked the masses for ideas and did they ever deliver by taking all of the ideas and criticisms to heart. What you are about to see, in our mind is an evolution, leaps and bounds step forward in the Pandora chassis. While our first look at a Pandora chassis left us wanting and did not overly impress us, this time around, you are going to find that BitFenix keeps their unique styling, yet at the same time, have delivered us a larger, much more impressive chassis to share with you today.
Unlike our Pandora, the Pandora ATX only comes in black at this point, and the Pandora ATX is made mostly of painted steel components, with bits of ABS plastic here and there to complete the aesthetic appeal. In this full-tower version, you can house Mini-ITX and Micro-ATX like the original, but this time, ATX motherboards can also find a home inside. The front I/O panel offers users USB 3.0, USB 2.0, and HD Audio ports, and at the back of the chassis, we are offered seven expansion slots to fill. The exterior also offers a 2.8" TFT LCD screen on the front, which sports a resolution of 240x320 pixels. By default, this is setup to display the BitFenix logo, but with software, it can produce any image that you drag and drop via their software. This feature is not available in the Pandora ATX Core.
Inside of the chassis, we are offered a total of four locations to house 3.5" drives, and the same is found for 2.5" drives because they use the same mounting plates. This means that there is room for a total of four storage drives altogether. We also notice that the Pandora ATX offers not one bay for optical drives, helping to clean up the looks of the interior. As for the cooling, the chassis is shipped with a single 140mm fan screwed into the front bezel. In this area, you do have the option for up to three 120mm fans, or you can also opt for a pair of 140mm fans here. The rear of the chassis also comes with a fan in place, this time, it is a 120mm fan, with no options for a 140mm fan installation here. The top of the chassis houses the same fan configuration as what the front offered, but unlike the Pandora, the Pandora ATX offers a deeper well here for fans and thin radiators. The last things we see on the cart includes the 9.92kg weight and the 203mm width, 510mm depth, and 558mm of height that the Pandora ATX is.
Shopping for this chassis may be slightly confusing, but don't let any of that fool you. Currently, there is only one version of the Pandora ATX, no matter if the naming includes the ICON or not. Anything you see listed with the Pandora ATX naming will be black, and it does include the ICON LCD screen. The only other version we can find a mention of is the lesser equipped Core, and that does not even show up on the BitFenix website at this time. Amazon lists the Pandora ATX for $134 with free shipping at the time of writing.
Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD4-B3
- CPU: Intel Core i7 2600K (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair H80i GT (buy from Amazon)
- Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws F3-12800CL6D-4GBXH
- Video Card: ZOTAC GeForce GTX 970 AMP. Extreme Edition (buy from Amazon)
- Storage: SuperSpeed 128GB SSD
- Power Supply: SilverStone SST-ST85F-G (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit (buy from Amazon)
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