For the installation portion of our Panzerbox review, we wanted to see what it would be like to install a true mid-range gaming system so we grabbed parts from our LGA 1156 platform test bench and installed them into the Panzerbox. The components included an Intel i7-860 processor, Gigabyte P55-UD6 motherboard, 4GBs of Kingston HyperX DDR3 1600 memory, 160GB hard drive, GTS 250 video card, stock heatsink, and a 750W PC Power and Cooling power supply. After removing the motherboard tray from the case, we installed the motherboard standoffs and secured the motherboard to the tray.
After the motherboard was secured, we installed two sticks of Kingston HyperX DDR3 1600 memory.
After installing the RAM, we moved on to installing our GTS 250 graphics card. We first removed the mesh PCI slot cover, inserted the card, and then secured it to the tray with one thumbscrew.
After mounting the CPU, motherboard, heatsink, memory, and video card to the motherboard tray, we wanted to slide it back into the case to move onto the next stop of the installation process. However, as the photo shows above, we were unable to slide it back into the case with the video card installed because the heatpipes protruded too far and was hitting one of the crossbars on the back of the chassis. So, we removed the video card, slid in the motherboard tray, and reaccomplished the graphics card install. This was a minor issue, but something our readers should be aware of when they make their purchasing decisions.
After removing the optical bay cover (which was full aluminum, not plastic), we installed a SATA DVD burner and screwed in four thumb screws to secure the device to the chassis.
Next, we added our 160GB SATA hard drive to the lower hard drive cage. Installation included four thumb screws (two on each side of the hard drive). After the hard drive was secured to the cage, we screwed in the final thumb screw to secure the cage to the chassis.
Our final step in the installation process was installing the power supply. This was another simple step that involved securing the power supply to the chassis with four thumb screws.
After about 20 minutes of work, we successfully installed our LGA 1156 system into the Panzerbox chassis. Everything went pretty smooth, but we did run into a few minor issues we’d like to address for our readers. The first issue involved installing hardware on the motherboard tray. Users will need to ensure all their third-party heatsinks and PCI expansion cards are not higher than top of the PCI slots provided or the motherboard tray will not slide back into the case. Our second issue involves cable management because there are virtually no places to hide or conceal cables from the power supply, SATA, front panel ports, and fans. Not only is proper cable management critical to the aesthetics of the case, but it also blocks air flow to hardware, which is probably the most concerning part of this particular issue. Hopefully, NZXT will take this feedback into account when they are making future revisions to this case.