PC Cases / AccessoriesPC Hardware Reviews

NZXT Panzerbox Mid Tower Computer Case

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Observation

NZXT Panzerbox Mid Tower Computer Case computer case, Mid Tower, NZXT, Panzerbox

  Having used the Panzerbox case as my main system for the last several weeks I found it to be a good case for the most part.    As I mentioned earlier it is taking the place of my HAF 932 that normally sits by my side here on my desk.   First I must mention that although the HAF is a ginourmous case it does well for keeping my hardware cool and gives me plenty of room to tinker about.    However taking it to LAN’s is about as convenient as taking a mini fridge.  The thing is huge and heavy.  The Panzerbox on the other hand is quite managable.  Even fully loaded the thing is light and not to bad for moving short distances.    Like all cases the Panzerbox could use a handle but I have LAN straps that seem to work fine for most situations.  

  So as to the assertion by NZXT that the case is LAN ready I’d say it’s about as ready as any other case out there.   The case is indeed lightweight and although it’s not as small as some Mid towers it’s about as roomy inside as they come.   Plus not to many have two large 190mm fans installed stock.     Sure, there’s no handle but no case company has been able to pull one off that wasn’t horribly done.   So, I’ll give NZXT kudos for a small lightweight case for sure.

NZXT Panzerbox Mid Tower Computer Case computer case, Mid Tower, NZXT, Panzerbox

  It’s not all sunshine and lollipops with the Panzerbox though.  There were several problems that I found with the case that can mostly be categorized under the heading “bad airflow”.      This case has a built in hotspot for graphics cards that is unforgivable.   As I mentioned earlier the Graphics card is being smothered being boxed in on one side by the PSU and on the other side cables and hard drives blocking direct airflow to the graphics card.   There are several things that can help out with the situation.  One face the intake on the PSU so it sucks out some of the hot air that comes off the GPU and have the PSU exhaust it out the back.   This isn’t an ideal solution but it’s an option.    Speaking of PSU’s a modular PSU will help cut down on the clutter a lot.    Although you are given a space to shove unneeded cables under the PSU you still will always have a bunch of cables going to the other hardware in the case.  Sure it can be routed better than the mess you see below but it’s still an issue.   There’s very little room to route behind the motherboard tray as well but it’s do able assuming you have longer cables on you PSU.

NZXT Panzerbox Mid Tower Computer Case computer case, Mid Tower, NZXT, Panzerbox

  Another thing that will help the heat situation is a Graphics card that has rear exhaust cooling.    Pushing hot air out the back will greatly benefit the heatbox design that is the Panzerbox.   Still the problem of getting direct fresh air remains but a rear exhaust card is helpful.   I would also like to mention that the add in card brackets are vented for better airflow so at least with enough positive pressure you can push some of that air out the back.   Perhaphs a 120mm fan zip tied directly below the graphics card would improve overall temps.

  In General my overall case temps were slightly higher using the Panzerbox compared to the HAF 932.   The greatest difference was the 5C increase of my graphics card temps at idle and load.     I found that the CPU didn’t really have as much as an increase in temperatures and only increased about 3 degrees Celsius.     Even with the minor increase in temps stayed within the acceptable range.   The CPU peaked using Prime95 at 65C and during constant gaming the GPU reached around 63C.   A little high but still acceptable.

NZXT Panzerbox Mid Tower Computer Case computer case, Mid Tower, NZXT, Panzerbox

  The last cooling observation I would like to mention is also in regards to the two large fans on the case.    Not the cooling they produce but more to the noise that they produce.   To most people this isn’t a factor and in truth this being a gaming case this won’t be an issue for most people purchasing it.    This observation is truly just for the Audiophiles out there.   So if fan noise doesn’t bother you please just skip to the next section.  

   For those who do care about such things it’s important to note that these fans make quite a bit of noise.   It’s really not even the fans but the sound of the wind sucking and blowing through the small diameter round mesh that creates a “hum”.     This is one of the first things that I noticed when I turned on the PC inside the Panzerbox.   Honestly it came as a surprise that the fans would make as much noise as they do.    The fans are enough of a distance away from the mesh that they shouldn’t directly pull and create the whine, but they do.    I can’t find the exact dBA level on the NZXT website nor to I have a tool for recording the level of noise.  If I had to guess though it would be in the range of 35-40 dBA’s. 

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