BitFenix Pandora Window Review (Page 3 of 4)

Page 3 - Physical Look - Inside

Consistent with its exterior, the interior of the BitFenix Pandora Window is well finished. Everything is painted black, and there are no initial signs of any particularly sharp edges or corners. However, sharp corners are found on the side panels when removed. It would have been nice if BitFenix could have integrated the back removable panel along with the side panels to make both front and back symmetrical in terms of its panel design. This way, it would make the design much more slick without having any sharp corners, in my opinion. As you can tell from the photo above, the interior layout is pretty snug, as there is barely any space left between parts. You will see this more in detail later in the review when I install all the necessary hardware. As I have mentioned on the previous page, BitFenix designed the Pandora to be as slim as possible, but it does make things a bit hard to work with. A drive rack can be found between the power supply area and the front along the bottom. Personally, this seems to be a very tight space to fit anything but laptop drives or SSDs, since all your cables from your power supply will be in that area as well. On that note, you will be able to fit a SSD on the front side of the rack, and the windowed panel will show off this area nicely.

The BitFenix Pandora Window is able to accommodate mATX and mITX boards, so all risers are pre-installed or have holes ready for you to install additional risers if needed. Because of its limited space, a top 120mm fan is included instead of having it mounted on the back. In my opinion, I find this a better layout in pushing warm rising air more quickly out of the case. The back also accommodates ventilation holes for better airflow. The backplate opening is rather large for users who decide to use aftermarket heatsinks with backplates.

In the photo above, you will see the power supply bay, which is featured on the bottom of the case. It includes a removable dust filter, which is convenient for cleaning and for preventing nasty stuff from clogging up your power supply. The large opening beside the power supply gives you plenty of space to route your cables behind the motherboard tray. You can also see the five expansion slot openings here, just above the PSU area, all of which have thumbscrews for your convenience. However, you may expect that the thumbscrews are screwed on too tight from the factory. For such a tight space, I would personally recommend taking off the back panel held in by three screws on each side, then loosening each thumbscrew with a screwdriver before working in this area. If BitFenix could have designed the back panel to be part of the side panels, this would have made the whole design of the case much cleaner and easier to manage during installation, again, in my personal opinion.

Taking a look at the front, you will find all your corresponding cables to the power, reset, audio, USB 3.0, and front panel digital display, all of which are bundled nicely in black, which corresponds to the rest of the case. You will also find another 120mm fan in the front along with a dust filter from top to bottom. This is a great addition for expandability with an extra 120mm fan for users who prefer to have one. Users may also use this area to slot in their 120mm or 240mm radiator configuration. Below it is half of a drive rack, in which you can install your drives. However, as aforementioned, I find that there will be quite a bit of wiring that will be fed through this area, especially from your power supply, that I personally do not think it's a great idea to fit more components here. I simply bundled all my wiring in this location. There are two additional rubber grommets on the top of this rack, where you can feed any wiring through for your convenience.

Here is a shot of the back side, in which many people do not pay as much attention to, and I must criticize BitFenix to be one of them. Most people who are self conscience about clean cabling will complain about this area as there is very limited space to feed all your cables behind your motherboard tray, especially the 24-pin power cable. In my opinion, the space behind the motherboard tray is quite fundamental to good cabling. However, BitFenix did not provide very much space for users to do so. Following BitFenix's philosophy in showing off all of your nice hardware, I believe that good cable management is definitely a big part of it, and I wish BitFenix could have accommodated more space here in that regard. I understand that BitFenix has good intentions in creating a very compact case while keeping slick looks. However, I am a strong believer of clean cabling in producing clean looks, and insufficient space does not cut it. On a side note, I later installed the Cooler Master Nepton 240M, which I will review shortly, with two additional 120mm fans, totaling four 120mm fans on the radiator. I noticed that even with this configuration, there is still some space between the inner most fans and the motherboard. Most end users would probably be installing shorter video cards anyway with such limited space, and I believe BitFenix could have shortened the overall length of the case to provide more cable length to the area behind the motherboard tray. Overall, I think BitFenix has done a good job in creating a functional interior, minus the limited space for cable management. It is nice to make a case as slim as possible, but I half a centimeter of extra width will make the ownership experience a lot better.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Installation and Conclusion