BitFenix Pandora Core Window mATX Case Review
BitFenix Pandora Core Window Final Thoughts and Conclusions
There are many options for building a system around a mATX or mini-ITX motherboard, most use similar designs to accomplish nearly the same thing. BitFenix broke the model with the Pandora and gave us a new style of case. Instead of the common cube type case, the Pandora looks like a mid-tower case, just a bit smaller, it measures 160mm x 420mm x 465mm (W x H x D), which makes it about 60mm (2.4in) too short to support a standard ATX motherboard.
Being a small case, doesn’t mean that BitFenix cut corners on hardware support. The Pandora will support up to one 240mm liquid cooler, graphics cards up to 350mm with a front intake fan (less if using liquid cooling), and multiple hard drive configurations supporting up to a maximum of four drive (2x 2.5″ and 1x 3.5″, plus one location that will support either a 2.5″ or 3.5″). However, there is a limitation on the CPU cooler height, 134mm is the maximum height of the CPU cooler, using liquid cooling this wont’ be an issue. The Pandora Window on the side panel has a slightly unique feature that allows you to show off a 2.5″ drive, which makes it nice to show off your best SSD.
The exterior of the Pandora is made out of brushed aluminum and has two exterior color options, black and silver. Possible configurations do not stop there, each version of the Pandora is available with a solid side panel or a side panel with a window. The configuration includes a 2.4″ TFT LCD on the front panel which you can customize with a static picture, the BitFenix ICON system is a unique way to customize your case. Each of the various configurations come with a slight increase in price. The Pandora Core is the base model, which steps up to the Pandora Core Window. The configuration with the TFT LCD is the Pandora, and the Pandora Window.
One of the nice things about the Pandora is the size, at being 160mm wide it won’t take up a lot of space. However, that is also one of the drawbacks, especially when it comes to cable management. There is an extremely small amount of space behind the motherboard tray for routing cables. It took several tries to get the cable management just right, ultimately the power cable had to be routed on the front of the motherboard tray and the other cables secured next to the back 2.5″ drive, along the little channel. In the next version of the Pandora, maybe BitFenix could consider going a little wider to provide a little more space so all the cables can be routed behind the motherboard tray. Of course that defeats part of what makes the Pandora great.
|Pandora||Model Number||Price||Live Pricing|
|Pandora – Black||BFC-PAN-300-KKXL1-RP||$148.00 + Shipping||Click Here|
|Pandora – Silver||BFC-PAN-300-KSXL1-RP||$148.00 + Shipping||Click Here|
|Pandora Window – Black||BFC-PAN-300-KKWL1-RP||$139.00 Free Shipping||Cick Here|
|Pandora Window – Silver||BFC-PAN-300-KSWL1-RP||$139.00 Free Shipping||Click Here|
|Pandora Core – Black||BFC-PAN-300-KKXN1-RP||$126.00 + Shipping||Click Here|
|Pandora Core – Silver||BFC-PAN-300-KSXN1-RP||$126.00 + Shipping||Click Here|
|Pandora Core Window – Black||BFC-PAN-300-KKWN1-RP||$143.00 + Shipping||Click Here|
|Pandora Core Window – Silver||BFC-PAN-300-KSWN1-RP||$137.00 + Shipping||Click Here|
The BitFenix Pandora is in limited supply right now as it has been just released, looking around it is available at Amazon starting at $126 plus shipping and goes up from there depending on the configuration. With a price premium of around $25 for the high end Pandora Window that includes the 2.4″ TFT LCD, I can see that model being the most popular. Don’t forget that BitFenix also provides a 1 year warranty on their cases.
Legit Bottom Line: If you pick your components wisely with the space limitations of the Pandora in mind, then the Pandora will make an excellent mATX or mini-ITX system. It has a very stylish exterior and provides many of the features enthusiasts demand in their cases.