Nǐ hǎo everybody, and welcome back to Dragonblogger-dot-com, for yet another computer case product review! For your viewing pleasure, today I’m playing Mad Scientist again and the victim, err, patient on my operating table is the Pangu V2 SW (side window edition) from Deepcool, muahahahaha!!! Alright, enough with the dorkiness, let’s get down to business, shall we? Firstly, as you’ve likely come to expect by now, I have a video presentation for you (thank you ahead of time, for suffering through my dorkiness and consistent brain-farts):
So there you have it folks, that’s the review, nothing more to see…
JUST KIDDING!!! You didn’t really think I’d just leave it like that, did you? Of course you didn’t. By now, unless this is my first article you’ve read, you’re well aware of how I roll, and that means it’s time to get critical! Start loading those rifle mags, ’cause we’re headed to the bullet lists!
- Soft touch plastic top and front bezels, powder-coated cold-rolled steel main structure and side panels. Front and top bezels also are lined on the sides with mesh-covered open channels, 15mm wide x ~10mm deep, and have slits in the plastic through the entire length of each. The mesh is thin, but sturdy and can be easily removed and re-installed.
- Acrylic side window on left side panel.
- Removable 3.5 drive cages; the middle locks in via a plastic slide-rail system, which can also be removed from the top and bottom cages if desired.
- 3.5 cages have the slide-apart drive sleds (sides have metal posts placed to enter screw holes on the drives, to hold them into place, and also have rubber vibration-dampening rings/grommets around the posts), which are compatible with 2.5 drives as well (have mounting screw holes on bottom). There are 6 in total, 3 per drive cage.
- 2x 5.25 external drive slots, with 1x internal, all 3 have a specially-designed hinge-and-lock drive lock system, constructed of plastic (body of locks) and metal (posts to hold drives).
- Front fan intake area is also designed for open-air operation, and to work with 120 and 240 radiators, for liquid cooling. A single 120 rad will work on the top half, if you remove the middle drive cage, leaving you with 3 available 3.5 drive sleds still. To mount a 240 (dual-120) rad in front, the bottom drive cage must also be removed (by removing the 2 screws holding it to the motherboard tray and the 6 screws holding it to the bottom of the case). Additionally, a single 120 rad can be mounted at the back of the case, where the rear exhaust fan is pre-installed, and a 120 or 240 rad can be mounted in the top as well, which is recessed to allow installation without causing interference with the motherboard.
- The top and front fan grills are removable plate-style units, and are interchangeable, taking advantage of pressure-locks on one end and a hook-over-lip design for the opposite end. They are constructed of a dense plastic (shiny) honeycomb-design base structure, a thin steel small-circular-hole mesh, and sandwiched between the two is a paper-thin plastic mesh screen (it’s design is just like a door screen for a home, but made of plastic instead of metal).
- There is a total of 7 fan mounting positions, counting the 2 at the top of the case, 1 in the rear, 1 on the acrylic side panel window, 1 to the right of the PSU mounting section, and 2 at the very front.
- The top and front panels are extremely easy to remove, yet are secured rather well also.
- Motherboard tray covers the entire internal height of the case, also covers the entire width from back of case to edges of drive cages.
- Due to the quality of steel used for the main structure, removing any of the pre-punched/stamped perforations in fan-mounting positions (for better airflow) can be done without compromising integrity.
- Primary color scheme of the case is black, with small silver-grey accents (the mesh liner strips along the top and front bezels, which are easily removable as well).
- Default internal spacing allows for expansion cards up to 300mm in length, removing the 3.5 drive cages allows for up to 420mm (if only the upper-most or single GPU needs this extra space, only removing the middle cage is necessary; if lower-mounted cards also require it, such as additional GPU cards for instance, then bottom cage must also be removed).
- There are quite a hefty amount of pre-punched mounts, on the back and front of the motherboard tray, to run wires and cables both behind the tray and between it and the motherboard. There are also many specially-placed holes around the edges and right side of the motherboard tray, for wire and cable running.
- At it’s widest point (which is the majority of it), there is 20mm of space between the motherboard tray and right side panel, at it’s lowest point there is 16mm of space.
- Though the 5.25 cage is riveted into the case, there are pre-threaded holes to allow one to affix it to the structure with screws, thereby allowing one to remove the rivets that are holding it in and still allow the drive cage to be installed, all while not compromising structural integrity. This quality is reinforced also by a cold-rolled, powder-coated steel cross-bar that is mounted over the top of the 5.25 cage, from left to right. It’s placed so as to allow wire/cable running, without blocking anything, and still providing extra sturdiness to the structure. There is also enough space – between the top of the cross-bar and the top of the case – to allow wires/cables to be run across the top, as opposed to through the holes in the motherboard tray. This can be helpful in certain situations, such as if you need a little extra length in the USB 3.0 wires, because the motherboard has the internal connection for it at the far-left side, bottom or the far-left-bottom corner. Since the Pangu’s ports and buttons are at the top of the case, running wiring/cables through the top and then downward, instead of through holes upon holes, could very possibly be a more realistic approach, perhaps maybe even necessary in some instances.
- The motherboard tray, at the bottom, even has a decent amount of space (at least a good 10mm) between it and the PSU, which is also reinforced by punched-through brackets, which double as wire/cable-running holes.
- The CPU cooler bracket access hole in the motherboard tray is 132mm wide x 125mm high, though 1 of the corners also sticks inward a small bit, making it not quite a rectangular shape, but almost. It’s necessary, so as to accommodate a standoff point.
- To the left of the expansion slots (left when looking from inside the upright-standing case) are 2x grommeted holes, the grommets being easy to remove and replace. This is great for not only liquid cooling systems, but also for wire/cable runs, adding a secret power switch, extra USB ports, etc. Around the top and bottom of the holes (the holes run vertically) are honeycomb/hex mesh holes, punched through the steel. This is convenient for allowing heat to dissipate out of that area of the case, but also can be removed if one wished to, for any number of custom modifications to this area of the case.
- There are 7x expansion slots on this case, each one containing a specially-designed “blank” (perforated middle, hook-style bottom to ensure a snug and secure fit) that’s been painted a beautiful gloss/semi-gloss black and held in by a matching-painted thumbscrew. Note that, fresh out of the box, these are very tight and need to be loosened with a screwdriver, if they’re to be accessed.
- Side window is affixed by 8x screws, using a specially-customized design, consisting of square holes (through custom-molded studs) in the window, square holes punched through the side panel, and small pointed-tip screws. On the outside, it appears as though held in by the rounded-faced vinyl fan-mounting posts (such as those used for vibration-reduction when installing case fans), however it’s a clever disguise. The plastic/vinyl studs are rounded on the face, but the main portion is a square peg, which is pushed through the square hole in the panel and into the square hole of the window’s studs, then the screws are installed from behind the window, holding it all together with pressure from the inside.
- The thumbscrews that hold the side panels on are made of steel and are encased in a dense knurled plastic. The plastic is very tight around the steel also, very secure.
- The raised bumps that the PSU sets on are covered with small black, circular rubber pads. This is real rubber, not rubberized foam.
- Power button is just the right size, circular and placed up on the top, along with the (tiny) reset button, 2x USB 2.0 ports, 2x USB 3.0 ports (which have a standard internal connector on the opposite end), a headset jack, a microphone jack, and the power + HDD activity LEDs.
- The case feet are just the right height for most people (basing this on many years of customer-relations service experience), constructed of dense black plastic and a dense foam pad ring on the bottom, and are affixed to the case by a single screw each.
- 5.25 drive covers are made of the same steel mesh as the front and top filters, have black foam filters installed behind them, and are removable from behind the bezel (must be removed after removing the entire front bezel from the case, as they’re held in by clips on the backside of it).
- In addition to the motherboard standoffs which come in the accessories box, there are 2x pre-installed standoffs (removable, of course) that have the lip on the top, which is designed to fit into the mounting hole on the motherboard, holding it in place whilst one secures it with screws.
- Even with the window installed, taller heatsinks (such as the Deepcool Gamer Storm Assassin, for instance) can still be installed and used, with almost no issue (I say almost, because it depends on the directional orientation of said heatsink, and where the socket is on the motherboard).
- Due to the design of the left side panel and it’s window, if one desires to use the fan mount portion of the window, yet they have a taller heatsink (which will almost touch the window), they can remove the screws from the window, rotate it clockwise, then re-attach/re-install it and doing so will then open up access to the mounting space for the fan.
- Installing the motherboard’s I/O back-plate is very easy, yet just the perfect level of tightness so as to secure a perfectly-snug fit.
- PSU mounts to the bottom, rather than the top.
- The motherboard tray also is engraved with a legend, telling you what each of the alpha-numeric engravings are at every single standoff insertion point. This is such a wonderful tool to have at your disposal, because it will certainly be something easily overlooked. It doesn’t matter how many rigs you’ve built, how much experience you have with PC repairs or diagnostics, etc., at some point we all run into brain-fart territory and need a little assistance.
- The 2x LED fans that come pre-installed, though they’re pretty to look at, are very generic and push such a small amount of air, that they are practically useless. They don’t even have a model/serial number, and in fact the sticker on the back of each is completely blank. They look nice, even when powered on (they are clear, but have moderately-bright blue LEDs installed). They also are pre-wired with both the 4-pin Molex connector (basic creamy white, only 2 wires are installed in this) and the 3-pin fan header connector. I’m unsure as to why they’re wired this way, as both connections provide the same voltage output to them, which appears to only be 5V best I can tell (I sure hope they’re only that slow and not pushing much air because they’re not pulling 12V anyway, if they’re performing like that at 12V, then that’s an even bigger concern).
- The LEDs in the top bezel are affixed into their respective holes by hot glue. This normally isn’t a concern, but I found that it’s easy for them to come loose when the wires are tugged on, even in a small degree.
- The reset button, though it doesn’t often get used by many people, is a bit on the tiny side, almost tiny enough to be annoying. One may find themselves having to use a pen or stylus to push the button if/when the time comes to use it.
- Though the front fan mounts are designed to accommodate radiators, and Deepcool provide you the full-length screws to attach fans to the bracket, it’s a bit too proprietary. Many may find themselves modifying this, in order to use other screws, or if going for silent operation, sound-dampening mounts (like the vinyl or rubber “screws”). The lengths of the screws provided to affix fans here also don’t account for the possibility that one may wish to use a rubber sound-dampening pad there as well, so though there’s a decent length of thread at the one end, it may not quite be enough to allow the fan to be mounted securely.
- The bottom of the case is designed really well, however the “filter” that’s on it is a bit, shall we say… disappointing. It’s attached with 1x screw in the center and has tabs along the edges, to hold it into place, however it’s made of a cheap and flimsy plastic-like material (Is it plastic? I don’t know.), and has a tendency to slide out of it’s tabs very easily when one places their hand under the case. Honestly, it would have been better for Deepcool to have left that part out of the equation completely.
- I like the window, but the brown smoke color of it just doesn’t fit the rest of the case, and stands out in a not-so-pleasant way. If it were grey smoke or clear, it would be much better (clear being the best option). Also, though it’s nice that they drilled the holes for a fan to be used on the window, there simply aren’t enough to help ensure enough air is efficiently pulled through, so as to actually cool the inside of the computer. Also, it’s a bit odd that there are other breather holes below the fan mounting section, when a much better option would have been to either leave it alone completely or to set it up for another fan.
- The drive sleds are a bit too fragile. They’re nice, don’t get me wrong, they also work well for their intended purpose. That being said, it’s very easy to accidentally render one useless, especially if somehow left near a decent amount of heat (even direct sunlight for a brief period of time will soften them up some, and potentially warp them).
- If one decided to remove the hinged locks on the 5.25 drive cage, they’d find it quite difficult, due to the design of the hinges themselves. Though not impossible to remove, they are definitely quite difficult, and then if done, one is left with a small eyesore (the hinge piece of the cage itself sticks out like a sore thumb).
- The case supports a max size of 120mm for case fans. Though it’s not all too huge of an ordeal, 140mm case fans are quickly trying to become the norm, but case manufacturers are the ones who keep limiting their use by not building cases which accommodate fans up to 140mm size. I honestly hope that the next version allows 140mm fans throughout, as they push much more air and are much quieter as well. It also brings to mind, that Deepcool have a decent assortment of 140mm fans, which are very nice and powerful-yet-quiet too, so it would only make much sense that they would accommodate themselves by building cases which utilize the 140mm fans they themselves make and sell.
The Deepcool Pangu V2 SW is a pretty decent computer case, competing with the lower-to-middle-priced market (such as the Bitfenix Comrade that I recently reviewed, though from what very little I’ve seen for pricing, it seems this one is targeting a price point nearly double of that one) and doing a swell job at it. As you can clearly see, there are a lot of pros and not very many cons, thankfully, and overall it’s an appealing case in just the right price point of the market. By no means is this a super-high-end case, and in no way do Deepcool claim otherwise, however it most definitely is quite impressive. Yes, it’s technically a gaming case, but I don’t recall anyone ever establishing that such a title means that it has to be on the high-end bracket. In fact it’s all about a combination of overall features and aesthetic appeal, of which the Pangu V2 SW has loads of both.
Now I present you with a large selection of hi-res images, showing many of the features mentioned above, for your convenience:
Overall, the Deepcool Pangu V2 SW computer case is a great value and one that I can solidly give recommendation for purchase, though, again, one must be mindful of what bracket of the market this is targeted at. Don’t expect a case that’s so inexpensive to be the same quality or caliber as one that is twice the price or higher (though it really is well worth the price it is at). Finally, Deepcool and I are very interested in your feedback, so please leave some in the comment section below. After all, we’re not a bunch of Professor Xaviers here, so we need to actually read what you have to say, in order to know what you’re thinking. 😉
It’s been quite a pleasure to have reviewed this beautiful and beastly computer case for you, I can’t wait for them to arrive in the North American market (which is very soon), and I look forward to many further Deepcool product reviews in the coming future. Thank you for watching the video as well, and I hope you enjoyed the bits of humor I added to it (I hate boring videos). I’m Ronald DMNKLR Smith for Dragonblogger.com, signing off so that I can get back to work on bringing you yet another product review. So until next time folks, remember that I want to know what you want to know about. Have a great day!