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Panzerbox is an all-aluminum case with removable motherboard tray and two huge 190 mm fans from NZXT. Let’s see if this is really a good case.
The first thing we noticed about this case was that it is wider than normal. This is due to the unconventional position NZXT put the power supply. The wider body also allowed the use of 190 mm fans on the top and front panels.
Panzerbox has only three 5.25” bays and they are not meshed. On the other hand, the portion of the front panel where the fan is attached is completely meshed, so is the top panel. One terrific thing about the two 190 mm fans from Panzerbox is that their blades really measure 190 mm. Some cases carry 200-mm and 230 mm fans that are actually 190 mm fans with a bigger frame. This fan has both the standard peripheral power connector and the small three-pin power connector, so you can install it directly on the power supply or on the motherboard, where you can monitor its speed. According to NZXT each 190 mm fan can provide 150 cfm of airflow, but they don’t say anything about speed.
[nextpage title=”Introduction (Cont’d)”]
The traditional jacks and connectors are available on the top panel, as seen in Figure 4. Panzerbox comes with two USB ports, one eSATA port and microphone and headphones jacks. The two USB ports are too close to each other, preventing you from installing two “fat” USB devices at the same time.
In Figure 5, you can see the top panel from Panzerbox, see how it is completely meshed. This helps hot air to exit the case (as hot air tends to go up) and also provides support for water-cooling radiators (more on this later). The top fan is identical to the front fan (190 mm, 150 cfm).
On Panzerbox the power supply is not installed on the top or on the bottom of the case. It is installed above the expansion cards. This allows Panzerbox to be a mid-tower case and, at the same time, support the installation of water-cooling radiators with two 120 mm fans inside the case, on the top part. On the top part you can see the presence of two holes for hoses from water-cooling solutions, protected by rubber covers, so you don’t need to break anything on your case if you want to have an external radiator. One 120 mm fan is available on the rear panel (no word on speed or airflow) and like the other two fans it has both types of power connectors. All slot covers are meshed, which helps improving airflow.
Now let’s take a look inside Panzerbox.[nextpage title=”Inside Panzerbox”]
In Figure 7 you can have an overall look inside Panzerbox. As you can see all internal parts are painted black.
As shown before the slot covers are meshed. Daughter boards are fastened to the case using black thumbscrews, which we think is a better solution than using screwless mechanisms, as they tend to break after a while, especially if they are made of plastic.
You can see the rear and top fans in Figure 9. See how the top panel is meshed. On Panzerbox you can install a water-cooling radiator with two 120 mm fans. In order to do that you need to remove the top 190 mm fan and use the two provided brackets to fasten the radiator to the case top panel.
[nextpage title=”The Motherboard Tray”]
One of the highlights from Panzerbox is the removable motherboard tray, which helps a lot building the computer, see Figures 11 and 12.
On Figures 13 and 14 you can see Panzerbox after we assembled our PC. Pay close attention to the position of the power supply, which is installed with its fan facing out.
[nextpage title=”The Disk Drive Bays”]
This case has three external 5.25” bays and four internal 3.5” hard disk drive bays. No support for external 3.5” devices (floppy disk drives, for example) is given. No screwless mechanism is available, but the product comes with black thumbscrews.
[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]
NZXT Panzerbox case main specs include:
- Style: Mid-tower
- Application: ATX and smaller form factors derived from this one.
- Material: Aluminum, painted black.
- Power supply required: Doesn’t come with the product.
- Available colors: black.
- Side panel: Meshed.
- Dimensions: 17 ½” x 9 39/64” x 17 ½” (44.5 cm x 24.4 cm x 44.5 cm) (H x W x D).
- Net Weight: 13.89 lbs (6.3 Kg)
- Gross Weight: N/A
- Bays: Three external 5.25” bays and four internal 3.5” bays.
- Expansion slots: Seven.
- Fans: One 190 mm on the front (150 cfm), one 190 mm fan on the top (150 cfm) and one 140 mm on the rear.
- Extra features: Support for water-cooling radiator inside the case.
- More Information: https://www.nzxt.com
- Average price in the US*: USD 120.00
*Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]
NZXT Panzerbox is a mid-tower case targeted to the user that wants a high-quality all-aluminum mid-tower case and doesn’t want to sell a kidney to buy one. Here is a summary of what we found about this product.
- Top-notch quality.
- Outstanding price for an all-aluminum case.
- Meshed top panel.
- Support for internal water-cooling radiators with two 120 mm fans.
- Removable motherboard tray.
- Bay covers could be meshed.
- No anti-vibration mechanisms for the hard disk drives.
- The two USB ports are too close to each other.
- Reduced number of hard disk drive bays (four) may be a problem for high-end users.
In summary, we think Panzerbox presents an unbeatable cost/benefit ratio for users looking for an aluminum case with strong airflow. It couldn’t be better priced and even mainstream users can enjoy having their first high-quality all-aluminum case.