We like the simple layout without a mass of drive bays to take up the front of the chassis and destroy air flow like so many other designs do. We still like the shape, and elegance this chassis delivers. The ICON display offers a ton of potential to customize it to near anything you can think of, and the window on the left offers a superb view of everything you install, except for a few storage drives and the PSU. We also like the PSU cover, as most do, but adding room for water cooling at the front, allowing wiring to pass through it, and throwing in a pump bracket just sweetens the pot a bit. Also, with only two fans blowing through this chassis, the most we could hear from it was 26dB of noise with both fans running at full speed.
There are some cons to the build though that we need to address, but nothing overwhelming, or that detract from the chassis much. First of all, we found that on the first boot, the BitFenix logo came on through the ICON display, but once we got to the OS, it disappeared. It wasn't until we installed the software that it came back, but after that, we found it to be fully functional.
There seemed to be an error in the specifications as we only found three 3.5" drive locations, not four, and while we did find the reservoir bracket installed at the top of the chassis, it seems like an odd location. The only other thing we need to address here is the lack of sufficient air flow provided out of the box. Here again, the chassis is designed to allow more fans and get more air flow, for the cost, we wanted more.
Considering all things, we still like what the Pandora ATX chassis has to offer. We are glad that they did not just super-size the original Pandora, as that would have resulted in a lackluster presentation. Instead, we get to see a sleek look, smooth and curvy exterior, which offers a completely open concept inside. The PSU cover is almost a must to get buyers interested these days, but everything about that specific component was on point. Wiring through it is simple, adding a pump or hard drive to it is easy too, and it also stops short enough to allow water cooling in the front in the form of 360 or 280mm radiators.
The end product was clean, and with this large of a window, it adds points for BitFenix. The only thing that we see which could slow down potential buyers is the current price, but innovation and retooling have its costs, and they can't just give away these cases and still stay in business. So, even though it may be on the pricey side, the Pandora ATX delivers in ways the original could not, and proves that BitFenix took every bit of advice when designing this chassis, and arrived with a serious contender for your money.
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)
|Quality including Design and Build||95%|
|Bundle and Packaging||94%|
|Value for Money||89%|
|Overall TweakTown Rating||94%|
The Bottom Line: Taking the Pandora name to the next level! While fairly costly to obtain, BitFenix shows that they can innovate and listen to customers. The Pandora ATX chassis has a lot to like, a bunch of included goodies, and plenty of room to grow with your needs.
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