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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 30, 2009
This was my first build for a HTPC to put in my media cabinet. I decided on this case mostly because it was the only decent sounding (review-wise) case that would fit into my media cabinet. The build itself was such a pain (literally) starting with trying to put the clip-in motherboard standoffs in. The very first one sliced under my fingernail drawing blood. Once I got the mobo in the very first thing I noticed was that the cables come out underneath the PSU and connecting the ATX power made all the very short cables rest right on top of the NB heatsink. The only way to route the cables was to buy a 10" power extension and molex to 2x ATA adapter. This mess blocks the PCI-e slot and one HDD space. The OD screw holes don't all line up with the drive cage holes on two drives I tried. Once built it's now working like a charm but it's not at all attractive (too much plastic) and looks out of place in my A/V cabinet. To do it over again I'd choose different. It works for now.

Now I'd skip the whole HTPC self-build and get a Dell Zino HD but they didn't have those when I did this. Or, I'd look at mini-ITX and a ION board/build.

- Silent
- Well made panels
- Fits in small spaces
- Stays cool with very creative cable routing
- Works

- Clip-in motherboard standoffs difficult to put in and very sharp
- Cabling comes out bottom of power supply and with the GA-MA78GM-US2H mobo rests right on the NB heatsink
- Cables much too short - had to buy extension/adapters
- Power LED way too bright
- Difficult to install OD and HDD
- Poor fit and finish - not all screw holes align with OD screw holes for any drive I tried (3 of 8 max)
- Difficult to get top back on
- Not very attractive looking - too much plastic on the outside and it looks that way
- Doesn't look like it fits in with other A/V equipment
- Included internal fan takes up PCI slot and stays on even when the system is shut down.
- OD drive shield is flimsy and button doesn't reach OD button - I just ended up removing it
- No HDD LED (is it working or is it hung?)
- Not sure how I'll ever get a graphics card in here because of the aforementioned cabling issues but with the 780G chipset on my mobo I haven't found the need
- Expensive for so much plastic facade (the price hasn't dropped at all!)

--- Update Sep-28-2011 ---

This is no longer my HTPC case. I've been using it for a while now and my office PC and now I am converting it into a home server. It's not an easy case to keep things running cool in. The Athlon II x4 I had in it would report temps over 120F under any load. Adding back in the Antec Cyclone blower helped quite a bit. I tried a discrete GPU for a while and that really heated things up but still within tolerances. Happily, the stock PSU is still going strong (it's not a standard size so replacing it would probably have to be with a picoPSU or something like that) though I had to replace the PSU fan because it became noisy. That process was pretty easy though I had to break the factory seal and void the warranty to do so. I have a i3-530/H55 and one HDD in there now and I'll be adding 3 more HDDs (3 in the 3.5" mounts, one in the 5.25" bay with an adapter) for 4 total. Depending on the OS I run, I might add a internal Flash card or SSD.

The bottom line is that it's still going strong. I think it's going to make a nice, small footprint, home server.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 2012
It's a bit of a pain to put things together, you really do need to take the PSU out to get be able to properly install the motherboard. When I moved the PSU back I saw some un-insulated wire -- which I wrapped up in electrical tape -- not a big deal -- but could have been a problem.

When put together, the case is only a couple of inches wider than the itx case I replaced it with -- and A TON more room inside, an interesting way of mounting hard drives vertically. Overall I like it -- good ideas for rubber grommets for HDs and for noise canceling tape for HDs as well, the PSU is very quite and more than adequate for a home server I built -- my setup pulls 90 watts on startup and settles in the high 40s low 50s, so 350 is a bit of overkill, but it's efficient enough so no complaints. 1 Start taken off for the frayed insulation.
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on July 12, 2011
Bought this case 2+ years ago and built it as an HTPC for online movies with Athlon-II X2 245, 2GB RAM, ATI 4350 video card, no Blu-ray but put a silver DVD drive. The look is fantastic. Quality is rock solid and it's very quiet for both PSU and chassis fans. Still running smooth after 2 years.
Install all the stuff can be tricky especially mb's CPU fan is under PSU. Stock Intel and AMD fans are ok but some aftermarkets won't fit due to height limit. Internal is cramped so it may take little longer time than a standard atx/matx case.
After 2 years, I can find just one drawback. There's only one 5.25" open in the front so no way to put an internal flash card reader. I can only use an external. But compared with the build quality, quietness, look, and material it came with, the drawback is nothing. Heard a newer model has a built-in card reader but with a higher price.
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on April 5, 2008
A well built case as you'd expect from Antec, with only a couple of minor faults.

This case does not have a removeable motherboard tray like a lot of 'cube' cases, however the optical/harddrive mounting cage lifts out easily to make installation easier. The PSU fan is very quiet, and the kit includes an optional blower that mounts in one of the rear slots a to exhaust air from the case. The case comes with plenty of screws and rubber grommets to dampen any vibration.

The 'universal' optical drive cover works fine but the button doesn't quite reach the actual drive button unless pressed very far in.

There is not much clearance above the CPU for larger heatsinks due to the PSU. Also, this case uses a smaller-than-normal PSU. A standard ATX PSU will not fit, though that's part of what makes this case more compact than others.
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on January 7, 2009
This is a wonderful case for building a compact system, especially an HTPC system. I only recommend that experienced installers go with this case because everything "just fits". You also need to make sure that you get the right size CPU cooler and route wires properly. One issue I had that prevented this review from being 5 stars is that the power supply was never checked to work properly. When I first started the system, the power supply had a loud noise to it and then the fan stopped. After further investigation, the wires behind the fan were tie wrapped and the end of the tie wrap was in line with the fan preventing it from spinning. I had to open it up to move the bundled wires. But then it worked fine.
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on June 1, 2011
This case is pretty slick. It has great air flow and it runs very silent. Also it came with all the screws and everything I needed to install my new Intel chip and board. It is a bit cramped in there so I had to get a little creative with moving the wires around so not to obstruct the cpu fan and not rest them on the heat sink. But overall a very good design and fit my micro atx board very nicely. Rookies be careful putting these systems together. It's been long time since I've built a system and it took me a while to get it right.

Also a warning, this case comes apart very easily if you feel like you are forcing something open you probably are going about it wrong. Be gentle.

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on December 16, 2008
This is a great little case for those who have limited space, or just like well designed products. This case has a 380 Watt power supply built in, which is custom for the case. !!!Beware!!! Because of this case's extremely small dimensions, you must make sure your heatsink is not too tall, due to the custom PSU very few heatsinks fit. However, the scythe shuriken fits well enough and is a decent cooler. Also, this case has great sound protection for quiet operation, nice rubber pads for HDD's and such.
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on August 21, 2011
I have three of these because the first was so reliable. It works. It is sturdy. What else can be said but I would buy another.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2009
This is a great LITTLE case. It is for the experienced builder but you will have a great little machine with superb Antec quality. Other builders have noted problems on cable length and the cramped quarters. One of the SATA power cables is virtually useless. The others are of sufficient length. Plan the installation from the bottom up. Life will be easier if you place your components on the motherboard before inserting it in the case. It is a minimalist case. You'll need to add a card reader externally for instance. One item needs careful thought. Be sure your DVD drive has BIG BUTTONS. The first one I tried was a Sony and the skinny little actuator button did not make contact with the Sony's reliably. The next was an Optiarc which had a big button and worked fine. You will be well rewarded for your efforts with a great looking case that takes up very little room and runs cooly and quietly.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2012
1) When I opened box, back side corner had damage like as distorted. So, back panel for main board was not properly installed.
Response from Seller indicates that Inspection before shipping was not conducted by Seller.

2) Power supply occupies lots of space, so bundle cooling fan or slim design is only available. Replacement of power supply could be trouble either.

3) Recommendation : no.
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