Do you find most mid-towers a little too large, but find small form-factor chassis’ to have the opposite issue? The latest entry to NZXT’s “Classic Series”, the Panzerbox, may have you covered. This sturdy aluminum chassis is neither too large nor too small, yet it still offers ample internal room for effective cooling. It doesn’t look too bad, either!
At a current retail price of $119 USD, NZXT has built yet another very nice chassis in the often unglamorous mid-tower class. I have yet to see anything else this size which supports anything over 120mm fans which impacts cooling efficiency directly. Also, the use of aluminum in this price range is also not seen often. The final build weight of the test PC was a mere 29.5lbs, so you can see there are tremendous benefits with using lightweight materials.
In keeping with the current trend of high airflow, we are not left wanting when the day is said and done. Dual 190mm fans as well as another 120mm fan allows for a lot of air to move in and around components. Foregoing the traditional hard drive cage which always seems to block the front intake fan is a great idea. I was also pleased that the power supply was given access to fresh outside air for its cooling.
Tool-less designs have been another option that has been taken for granted. I wouldn’t say this is a true tool-less case since most thumbscrews were too tight and required a screwdriver to loosen, but this was more of a slight annoyance than anything. I still like having thumbscrews since they are easier to get started when threading them back in.
I was quite disappointed at the high noise levels, though. While the majority of the noise was generated from the rear 120mm fan, the larger 190mm fans were louder than necessary. To NZXT’s defense, you can use a fan controller and turn the speeds down for less noise. But, those of us without a fan controller and don’t have that capability will want to seriously consider one if noise is a concern.
The Panzerbox’s build quality and the attention to detail are the strongest attributes. For such a light piece, I was amazed at the solid design of the structure and the lack of flex. With a full complement of fans included in the purchase price, you do get what you pay for – and then some. If size and weight really matter most to you then you really should take a strong look at the Panzerbox.
Strong, lightweight aluminum design.
Comes complete with fans.
Compact, yet spacious.
Fully painted interior.
Removable motherboard tray.
Great price (~$119 USD).
Fans are too noisy.
Non-reference graphics card coolers may not fit.
Somewhat awkward placement of power supply may not appeal to some.
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