BitFenix Pandora M-ATX Review

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BitFenix Pandora M-ATX Review 2

Introduction

BitFenix is a well-known manufacturer of PC cases, fans and accessories and a firm believer that consumers should not have to change the way they are to get the most out of the latest hardware, but instead the hardware should function as an extension of one’s self. Over the years, BitFenix has done a great job of keeping up with customer demands by offering innovative and uniquely designed cases without comprising on their values. When designing a case, BitFenix takes into account what the community itself wants by considering their needs and previous feedback and they also consider what gamer’s need which is to not have to worry if their hardware is going to let them down in the heat of battle. When all is said and done, BitFenix is determined to think out of the box when needed and offer products with amazing performance and innovative designs.

As mentioned, BitFenix is all about providing their customers with what they want and they do this in a number of ways. Not only do BitFenix consider customer feedback when designing new cases, they take into high regard comments on products they already have on the market. One of the many things they do is release extra accessories for their cases; these can come in the form of interchangeable front and side panels with or without windows, IO ports, and also releasing cases in a number of colours they feel will please the industry. Aside from the accessories they offer for individual cases, BitFenix also offers a great line of other accessories, such as a wide-range of fans, fan controllers, LED strips and extension cables that a lot of come in numerous colours as well to make sure there is something for everyone. For a closer look at some of the BitFenix accessories, please see me previous review on them HERE.

Today I will be taking a look at one of their newer cases they have released by way of the Pandora. The Pandora offers innovation in an elegant package while remaining to be a highly functional option. The Pandora is the first case from Bitfenix to off the BitFenix ICON Programmable Display. The BitFenix ICON is a simple to use LCD screen that is featured on the front of the case and will allow users to display almost any image they want on the front of their Pandora and it is so simple to use, all you have to is download and extract the software to your PC, get an image of the correct size which has a size of 240 x 340 resolution and is either in JPG or PNG format and then you simply drag the desired image and drop into onto the software, wait for a second then hit a key when prompted and PRESTO, the LCD screen will now featured that image.  Aside from the BitFenix ICON, the Pandora also features a nice curved design with easily removed brushed aluminium side panels and can come with or without a window.

Now that we have a bit more information on BitFenix and the Pandora, let’s watch the review video which is followed by a written conclusion:

Video Review

Conclusion

Jumping right into things, the performance for the BitFenix Pandora is quite good for a case designed to house an m-ATX build. It comes with two 120mm fans pre-installed, one intake and one exhaust which create good airflow inside the case. The rear exhaust fan is actually placed at the top of the case to  play on the fact that heat rises and also there was no designated room for an exhaust fan in the rear of the case. In terms of thermal performance, there is no real room to add more fans or a water cooling loop, though if you have an AIO CPU cooler with a 120mm rad/fan you could replace the rear exhaust with it. If you are looking for a bit better performance, there is room at the top of the Pandora where the 120mm exhaust fan is mounted and though the room next to it is dedicated for a 3.5″ hard drive, it would not be that hard to add an extra fan or even maybe fit a 240mm radiator for an AIO CPU cooler, you may have to do some drilling and create a couple of mounting holes though, something which I feel BitFenix should have added for those not wanting to add a 3.55″ hard drive in this space.

The design aspect of the BitFenix Pandora is going to probably be where it shines most. Not only does it have the BitFenix ICON LCD Screen, it also features nice curved edges and easily removable brushed aluminium side panels. Removing the side panels reveal some ventilation where the front intake will pull its air in, there is also a magnetic fan filter on the front to help try and keep as much dust out as possible. There isn’t a whole lot of room behind the motherboard tray for cable management but if you spend the time, you can have a clean look build when all is said and done. Speaking of cable management, depending on the hard drive you wish to use with the Pandora, you may have to do some creative placement or cable management as the designated areas are not so close together. BitFenix have decided to set the mounting for the 3.5″ hard drives as one in the top and one in the bottom and have used a similar setup for the 2.5″ drives as well, I must say it is a very unusual system and one I am personally not a fan of.

Value, as is beauty, is in the eye of the beholder if you ask me! Either way, the BitFenix Pandora comes in at around £95 depending where you purchase it from and for the price is not the worst value I have seen in a case recently. While there is definitely room for improvement, the BitFenix Pandora has some one of a kind features that of course, will add to the value for money ratio. If you are looking for something unique and don’t mind paying a bit extra to get it, then the Pandora may be right up your alley and again, let’s not forget about the BitFenix ICON which is quite a unique feature to come standard in a case.

When all is said and done the BitFenix Pandora is definitely a one of a kind case and while it may have some minor downfalls, the unique features it has to offer more than makeup for it in the long run.

I would like to thank BitFenix for sending the Pandora in for review and look forward to seeing what they have in store for us in the future.

awards-gold

  • Performance
  • Design
  • Value

Summary

Pros:

- Unique BitFenix ICON LCD Screen
- Brushed Aluminium side panels are easy on the eyes
- Side panels are easily removable
- Included fans offer decent thermal performance

Cons:

- No real room to upgrade the cooling
- No secondary fan mounting holes in the top section
- Hard drive mounting locations are a bit off
- Not the easiest cable management system

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