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BitFenix Pandora / i7-5960X / 2-way GTX 980

by philip



Date Published

March 19, 2015

Date Built

March 17, 2015

CPU Clock Rate

3 GHz

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.241 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

7.01 GHz


The BitFenix Pandora is not a large case. But when presented the opportunity to build with it, I was on a mission to figure out what kind of horsepower we could squeeze into it.

This build was originally scheduled for a few months ago, but we ran into a few snags acquiring the right motherboard. Obviously it's not your typical build. Video of the build is in the process of being edited - we'll post the YouTube link once it is ready.

I haven't benchmarked it yet, but I suspect the top GTX 980 will throttle from heat. We'll test it and see how it performs. The backplates leave very little room for airflow, even removing the small section on the bottom card.

The Pandora case is very slender, which presents a nice profile on a desk. However, that comes at the expense of cable management space behind the motherboard tray. Keeping the cables clean, particularly with two drives and two video cards, was challenging. The only real available space to route cables was through the front interior. There is a bit of room behind the motherboard tray, but not enough to route everything. Trust me, I tried.

For a simpler part list, this could be a perfectly sufficient case. For more complex builds, I'd probably recommend something with a different layout and more room behind the motherboard tray.

Comments Sorted by:

skemble 24 Builds 9 points 49 months ago

Oh my... This is nice!

kylclrk 3 points 49 months ago

I've never seen that case before. It's so pretty. =)

EDIT: Oh, the rest of the build is pretty cool, too. ;)

NukeFlash 1 point 49 months ago

Nice system! how good does it run?

Swatop113 1 Build 1 point 49 months ago

Great build and pictures.

Meithen 2 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

Great build, awesome case!

PyroFuzion 1 Build 1 point 49 months ago

Looks amazing :)

SpaceNarwhal 1 point 49 months ago

Great build but why are there no SSD's?

philip staff submitter 10 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

I botched the part list in an edit. Fixing now...

JasonUK 12 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

Nice build. I hope the HDD still works!

TechyinAZ 14 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

WOW!! Amazing computer! Looks beautiful with that case. I love small builds the best.

nitsugahw001 1 point 49 months ago

This is so cool. I personally don't like the case because some minor gripes and disappointment though I prefer other cases. But this is a solid enthusiast build.

swiftfishy 2 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

If at all possible I'd remove the bottom graphics card's backplate.

philip staff submitter 10 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

Yep. I addressed this in the pictures showing removing part of the bottom card's backplate.

swiftfishy 2 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

oh sorry, i didn't see those last couple. Also the NZXT H630 Build / i7-3960X / 3-way GTX Titan is sexy af.

Fsylar 1 point 49 months ago

Titan x have been available 4 purchase for 3 days direct purchase from nvidia

2002whitegt 4 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

This is very nice, lots of power in a small case. I really debated getting this case.

Kiruba 1 point 48 months ago

How much watts does it consume on full load with CPU over clocked.?

SilkyZ 1 Build 1 point 48 months ago

Mmmmm.... this looks nice. I like the smallness of it.

I plan on doing a 2xSLI (970) build in it myself. I was planning on air cooling it, so my question is how are the temps with the 2 cards in there? Also, do you think the cable management would be easier without the rad up front?

TheGhzGuy 1 point 47 months ago

Amazing build! I would gladly use this computer any day of the week! If only you could get an H-220X in there!

MBeezy44 2 Builds 1 point 47 months ago

That's an awesome build I'm thinking of using this case for my next build. Do you think a semi-modular power supply could work in this case?

jblessing 1 Build 1 point 44 months ago

How's the performance on the 980s? Any thermal throttling in that case?

ZeAtomicBomb 1 point 43 months ago


wilfordjason 1 point 40 months ago

How is the cooling on those GTX 980's? I am planning to do a similar build haha, worried that they may be too close to each other..

DomiZGamer 2 Builds 1 point 39 months ago

If I bought this case, could I mount a H100i GTX rad with 2 sp120's at the top? I would remove the HDD cage, since i only want an ssd.

Hobert 1 point 34 months ago

Is this case aluminum or some form of metal.

Krafko 1 point 33 months ago

Is this better than mine? http://pcpartpicker.com/list/KRntgL

Krodin 1 point 32 months ago

But can it run minesweeper on low?

MLGComputers 1 Build 0 points 49 months ago

You should have just 2-Way SLI Titan X It...

Brynner 1 point 49 months ago

Really? 2 way a titan X? ...

Ajjasper792 2 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

Why not? and the Titan X's arent out yet lol

Brynner 1 point 49 months ago

By saying "Really? 2 way titan X?" I was being sarcastic thinking u thought they where out.

Brynner 1 point 49 months ago

Anyway there out now :/

MRE_Teck 1 Build 0 points 49 months ago

Nice but please fix the orientation on the water block!

philip staff submitter 10 Builds 2 points 49 months ago

Why? The water block orientation was the one that provided the least tension on the tubing and also the cleanest tubing run.

MRE_Teck 1 Build -1 points 49 months ago

It drives people's *ocd crazy and one of the most annoying things on a build

Jackson_Tyler96 3 Builds 0 points 49 months ago


philip staff submitter 10 Builds 2 points 49 months ago

That's not going to happen. On my 250D build, I oriented it so the text aligned, and people screamed murder because it left the tubing more twisted. It's a lose-lose situation - either way one side is going to be annoyed.

Jackson_Tyler96 3 Builds 0 points 49 months ago

How do you deal with your conscience!?

philip staff submitter 10 Builds 4 points 49 months ago

I keep in mind the build is for me and not for other people, and that no matter how I do it there will be people who don't like it. There is no perfect build for everyone, and that's ok by me.

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samules 0 points 46 months ago


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philip staff submitter 10 Builds 2 points 49 months ago

Whoops! The EVGA board was what we initially intended to use, but it had two main issues. First was that it only had one USB 2.0 header, so we needed one more (one for the H100i, and one more for the integrated display on the front of the case). The second issue - and a bigger one - was that the USB 3.0 header was down below the last PCIe slot, so that when you ran SLI the second card would overlap the port. It would have been either SLI or USB 3.0, but not both. Fortunately though we were able to use the EVGA board for something else, and then pick up the Asrock which had two USB 2.0 and the USB 3.0 in a better location.

As for the reference cards - we actually bought them shortly after release of the 980. This build (and video content) was originally slated for almost 5 months ago, but got sidetracked due to the motherboard and a few other things.

vincemark 2 Builds 2 points 49 months ago

plus the reference blower design would be better for such a tight build.

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