NZXT Panzerbox 26

NZXT Panzerbox Review

A Closer Look - Inside »

A Closer Look - Outside

The chassis makes a great impression. It is wider than traditional cases, but only as high as a mini-tower. NZXT has managed to keep the depth of the Panzerbox to a minimum as well - while most other manufacturers extend the length of the chassis to make up for lost room.

The entire front and top of the case has been created with a single piece of metal mesh. Even though the frame makes a very solid impression, the mesh could have used a bit of reinforcement. NZXT has partially addressed that problem by shaping it on the top, but has not done so on the front. The rear of the case looks completely unique. It will be interesting to see how NZXT has layed out the interior of the case.

Both sides are made of the same material as the entire frame of the Panzerbox - Aluminum. They both have an air vent in the lower area of the board. While this is great, as it offers access to fresh air for the PSU and other parts of the case on one side, it is pretty useless on the back of the mainboard.

Taking a closer look at the front there is a 190 mm fan hidden behind the front metal mesh. There is no dust filter anywhere, as you can clearly see the cooling unit. While the mesh should hold back larger pieces of dirt, the fine stuff will make it into the case. The top is occupied by three 5.25 inch bays. NZXT has located the power and reset button on the left edge of the case, right to the top drive bay.

Turning the chassis over, starting at the bottom of the Panzerbox we have the seven mainboard expansion slots with easily removable and reusable covers. Next to that is the PSU bay. This accounts for the width of the Panzerbox and you are free to install the PSU to pull hot air out of the case or draw cool air in from the side panel opening. Due to this layout you have to make sure that the expansion cards do not have cooling that extends over the upper edge of the PCB, as there is very limited space. The top holds an 120 mm exhaust fan and two openings for water cooling tubes. There is plenty of space above the mainboard, so water cooling is a definite possiblity. I am eager to see what modders do with this case.

The I/O is located near the top of the Panzerbox. This is perfectly fine if you leave the chassis under your desk, but is not the best postion for LAN parties. Gamers generally place their PCs right next to their monitors at these gatherings. The best spot for such a scenario would have been on the side of the case. There is another 190 mm fan in the rear ceiling of the case. It draws hot air out of the case. As you can see, NZXT has shaped this part to add structural integrity to the mesh.

The rubber feet have no profile whatsoever. This is great for ultimate grip - just like slicks for race cars.
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