NZXT Panzerbox Review (Page 1 of 4)

By: Kenneth Kwok
With bits added by Jonathan Kwan
December 2, 2009

Ingenuity and great designs have revolutionized the world. Time and time again -- from the very first computer, to the first tanks that were rolled out during the First World War. Speaking of tanks, one of the most famous tanks of the Second World War was the German-built Panzer IV. The Panzer IV revolutionized the tank designs of many countries with certain elements that are found even in today's modern tanks. The Panzer IV simply bulldozed over the opposition when it was first introduced; it was simply more than the opposing forces could handle from these powerful mechanical bulls. While it was far from the best tank of the war, it was a very valuable contender that led to much better and reliable designs later on. It's a fact that early Panzer IVs were unreliable, and had quite a load of problems. Even with all that, they managed to inspire a whole new approach to both interior and exterior tank engineering and design. At this point, you are probably wondering why there is such a huge history lesson in our latest review today. Well, the answer is actually quite simple. We have a new product that takes on the bold title of the Panzerbox. One thing that we appreciate in the naming of this product, is that it just simply evokes a feeling of dominance and a sensation of having a product that could make all other of the same category seem silly. With such a great name also comes a great deal of expectation. Any case that can hold such a dominant sounding name should not only be a great source of ingenuity and new ideas, but also should crush the competition. Well, we hope so at least -- just like the early Panzer IV, there could always be room for improvement for progress of the overall product. Anyway, the product that we received was manufactured by NZXT, which has already been known for good budget cases like the NZXT Beta we have previously reviewed. Today, we will see how much the NZXT Panzerbox can live up to its bold name, and if they really trample over its competition and leave them in the dust.

Before we begin... here's a little history. Please do not read the following section if you are very easily offended, and have a lacking sense of humor haha. We mean it with all good intention and nature at every meeting!

(In an office.)
"So, I want a Panzerbox for my next review."
"A what?"
"Did you just say 'Panzerbox'?"
"Like Panzer tank Panzerbox?"
"You're getting it just for the name aren't you."
[A few weeks later.]
"My Panzerbox arrived!"

Anyways, we received our sample unit of the NZXT Panzerbox from American Future Technology's office from California, USA. As we have previously mentioned, AFT is NZXT's parent company. Our unit arrived in great condition and was shipped in retail packaging. UPS Standard was used for shipping, and I must say that I am impressed by how good the condition of the package was when it arrived.

Unlike the NZXT Beta, which was a value case more than a performance chassis, the retail packaging of the NZXT Panzerbox is now actually in color (!) and has important features listed at the front in addition to a picture of the Panzerbox. One thing I find interesting is that it says "LAN READY" on the front of the box. Now what exactly does that mean? My best guess is that it relates to its portability and size, however I would assume there is always the need to actually build the whole computer before going to a LAN party haha. Specifications of the Panzerbox is found on both sides of the box. The retail box was well designed with black and white as its background colors. These two colors contrast nicely to both the black of the case, as well as to the dark blue that was used for the Panzerbox text.

Opening the retail package reveals the NZXT Panzerbox sandwiched between two Styrofoam brackets; which kept the case from moving around inside the box. A thin plastic bag was used to protect the chassis from any scratches, and preventing dirt from entering the case. The choice of packaging material was more than adequate to prevent any damage during shipping, which actually happens quite frequently. Inside the case is an additional accessory box, which was tied down to the case to prevent it from moving around during transport.

Before we go any further with our deep look into the Panzerbox, let's take some time to look at the specifications of this case, as obtained from NZXT's website:

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, 1 X 190mm fan@1100RPM, 150CFM (included)
- Rear, 1 X 120mm, TOP, 1 x 190mm fan@1100RPM,150CFM (included)
Drive Bays:
- 3 External 5.25" Drive Bays
- 4 Internal 3.5" Drive Bays
Material(s): Aluminum Construction
Expansion Slots: 7
Power Supply: 500 WATT PS2 ATX 12V 2.0 (Optional)
Weight: 6.3 KGS (W/O Power)
Motherboard Support: ATX, FLEX ATX, Mini-ATX, Micro-ATX

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