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NZXT Panzerbox

NZXT Panzerbox

NZXT keeps the new cases coming and they’re back today with their newest offering: The Panzerbox. The name alone conjures images of Germany’s elite Tiger tanks from the Second World War. Their imposing size and armor were a sight to behold on the battlefield as they dwarfed other tanks and effortlessly deflected seemingly lethal blows. At least, that’s how I envisioned it. My war experience is limited to the History Channel, tabletop gaming, and Battlefield 1942, so I might be mistaken.

Courtesy of NZXT

Courtesy of NZXT

But back to the Panzerbox. NZXT’s latest is an all-aluminum getup with dual 190mm fans and a perforated front and top panel to allow for a ridiculous amount of airflow. We’re big fans of the Antec Nine Hundred at Icrontic but the Panzerbox, just from our initial impressions, looks like it’ll give the incumbent Antec a run for the money. We aim to find out. Let’s start ze Panzer, Hans!

Specs

Model: Panzerbox Series
Case Type: Mid Tower Welded Aluminum
Front Panel Material: Aluminum
Dimensions (W x H x D): 244 X 455 X 455 mm
Cooling System: Front, 190mm fan@1100RPM (150CFM);
rear, 120mm; top, 190mm fan@1100RPM (150CFM)
Drive Bays: 3 external 5.25″ drive bays and 4 internal 3.5″ drive bays
Materials: Aluminum
Expansion slots: 7
Power Supply: 500W ATX 12V 2.0 (Optional)
Weight: 6.3 KGs (W/O Power)
Motherboard Support: ATX, Micro-ATX, Baby AT

What’s in the box?

The Panzerbox comes packed in a nice glossy cardboard box depicting all its features. The chassis is sandwich between Styrofoam end caps and comes wrapped in a thick plastic bag. Our box was a bit battered in shipping, but the Panzerbox itself emerged in pristine condition.

box

The retail packaging for the Panzerbox

When we unpacked the whole lot, the size of the case really becomes evident. It’s a fat daddy that should come with a Wide Load sticker. This bad boy is almost 9″ wide across the front panel. The front panel is perforated aluminum that curves over the top edge to form the top panel, ending at the back of the case. One 190mm fan sits low on the front panel of the case and ends under the three 5.25″ bays. The top panel features two USB connections, stereo jacks for a headphone and mic, and an external eSATA connection. The rest of the case’s top panel is dedicated to the second 190mm fan.

frontquarter

Our Panzerbox arrived in pristine condition despite box abuse.

The aluminum side panels are vented near the bottom and present one of the case’s major style elements by extending past the edge of the chassis reminiscent of armor over a tank’s treads. They mount to the chassis by two thumbscrews per side.

top

The 190mm fan dominates the top panel.

The back of the case features an additional 120mm fan, vented slot covers, and two grommets near the top for water cooling tubing With a PSU mounted and the screws for the removable motherboard tray installed, the back side starts to look like a breeding ground for thumb screws.

backside

The thumbscrews have been breeding!

Inside the case you’ll find a box containing all the screws, motherboard standoffs, and mounts to install a 2x120mm radiator in place of where the top 190mm fan sits at the top of the case. Despite coming with copious thumbscrews, the Panzerbox only comes with six motherboard standoffs. Six. Seriously? An ATX motherboard usually mounts at nine points; sometimes more. Motherboards need to be securely mounted and six standoffs aren’t enough.

accessories

The Panzerbox's OEM accessories.

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Comments

  1. Thrax
    Thrax Looks like a pretty slick case. A shame about the heatsink issue, though. Poor foresight on NZXT's part.
  2. Gargoyle
    Gargoyle Too bad the PSU blocks the cards, but while the cards are the things I change most frequently in the case, that's still not very often. A modular PSU would make removing it temporarily fairly painless, too.

    I dig the mounts for the radiator. Too bad the case fans aren't adjustable, but what else would I use the other 5.25 bays for but a rheostat?
  3. BuddyJ
    BuddyJ The heatsink fouling was a real disappointment for me. If I were to rotate the heatsink 90 degrees, it wouldn't be a problem, but there are some HSFs out there that don't give users the option. Luckily, the Noctua is a breeze to install.

    They show the NZXT fan controller in some of their PR shots. I think it really livens up the front of the case while fitting in with the overall design.

    In testing, I installed both my HD 3870 with the TRad2 and with the stock cooler. Getting to the cards was easy - I just unscrewed the four thumb screws holding the PSU in, rotated it out of the case, and dropped in the video cards. It's that simple to install and remove the PSU.

    Alternatively, had I used a smaller heatsink, I could have just pulled the mobo tray. heh.
  4. shwaip
    shwaip How many internal HD mounts are there? It really only looks like there are 2 of the removable ones, and the first HD would get all the airflow.
  5. Komete
    Komete Good review and interesting case. Gives me some Ideas. Glad to see NZXT is keeping it fresh.
  6. Leonardo
    Leonardo I think it's a bit of a stretch, figuratively speaking, to consider that case a mid-tower. In my consideration, it's in the compact category. It appears to me to be very well suited for a near-OEM configuration: ATX or M-ATX motherboard, one hard drive, one optical drive, OEM CPU heatsink, standard size video card, and not much more. It looks perfect for build for someone who wants a custom computer look without the desire for high performance tweaking and frequent modifications
  7. DrLiam
    DrLiam I just have the fear that if I put my beer on top of the computer case, moisture will get in. :x
  8. BuddyJ
    BuddyJ
    shwaip wrote:
    How many internal HD mounts are there? It really only looks like there are 2 of the removable ones, and the first HD would get all the airflow.

    There are two mounts under the 3 5.25" bays, and two in the removable tray inside the case. If you are worried about HDD airflow, mount your drives in the standard location, right behind the big front fan and remove the inside tray.
    Leonardo wrote:
    I think it's a bit of a stretch, figuratively speaking, to consider that case a mid-tower. In my consideration, it's in the compact category.

    I don't know what physical size you're going off of, but the Panzerbox is 9.6" x 17.9" x 17.9". Compared to an Antec Nine Hundred at 8.1" x 18.4" x 19.4", you'll find they're very close. The Panzerbox is just a bit shorter and wider, with much better clearance around the socket at the expense of less clearance around the cards.

    I disagree regarding your proposed use. It would be overkill for an OEM system and the fans are too loud for people uninterested in performance air cooling. It's much better suited for water cooling and people using big heatsinks with heights approaching or greater than 160mm.

    I'd love to set up the Panzerbox with a dual 120mm radiator on top, mount the pump where the removable HDD tray goes, and put a reservoir under the optical drive for a water cooling setup for the CPU. Then I'd Crossfire the biggest/meanest cards I could find, and let the big 190mm front fan take care of airflow across the board.
  9. fatcat
    fatcat The PSU blocking the expansion slots, no top mounted exhaust fan and the vent on the left side of the case completely useless with the PSU blocking it turned me off.

    Get an Antec 300/900/1200 or NZXT Rogue

    Now for the watercooling people, where is the side window to show off you 1337 watercooling setup?
  10. Thrax
    Thrax It has a 190MM top fan.
  11. fatcat
    fatcat
    Thrax wrote:
    It has a 190MM top fan.

    I totally missed that. Just saw the front and rear fans.

    muh bad.
  12. BuddyJ
    BuddyJ Also, if you have a PSU with a top/bottom mounted fan, it'll draw air directly through the vent in the side panel. The side panel vent is well placed in that regard. It's not useless at all.

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