Antec NSK2400 / Fusion Media PC Case

Cases|Damping
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THE INTERIOR

Here is what greets the eyes when the top cover is removed. The bottom of the photo below is the front of the case.


Three compartments inside.

The front middle and right is a compartment for two hard drives. Directly behind that is the main chamber for the motherboard which contains the two exhaust 120mm fans. A partition wall divides the front and back compartments, but this wall does not come all the way up to the top; there is a gap of about 1.75" at the top. The left side is partitioned with a full height wall that runs front to back. It holds the power supply and the 2-bay optical drive cage.


This photo shows much of what's discussed in the previous paragraph.

One function of the off-center front-to-back divider is to provide support for the top cover panel. You can see the rubbery grommet strip applied to the top of the divider, which helps to damp the contact against the top cover. The end result is that acoustically and mechanically, the top cover actually behaves like two smaller panels. There are holes in the partitions for routing wiring between all the compartments. One is clearly visible in the photo above. This one allows the opening size to be adjusted, which is very convenient for routing wires through, then closing it up tight to maintain isolation between the chambers. There are two other openings, as shown in the photo below, which is looking down at the center front area next to the HDDs from above. There are also clips for holding wires and little slots equipped with plastic wire ties, all for cable management.


Left slot leads to PSU chamber, below the CD drive tray; right slot goes to motherboard chamber.

The three holes allow cables to be run any number of different ways. With some motherboards, it will be best to run the cables through the front low opening under the CD bays, into the HDD chamber, then into the mainboard area. In others setups, you might split the cables between the front hole (under the CD bay) and the adjustable slot closer to the PSU. There's a lot of flexibility to aid in good cable management in order to reduce the cables' impedance to airflow.

AIRFLOW

As mentioned earlier, the two 120mm TriCool (3-speed) fans are set up for exhaust. For exhaust fans to work, there must be intake vents, and for ideal airflow, the intake and exhaust vents should be roughly the same in area. The location of the intake vents also determines the path of the airflow through the case. Let's see how the airflow paths in the NSK2400 are supposed to work.

The gap between the raised silver portion of the bezel and the black portion, looks like a grill, but this is purely cosmetic. It is not open, and there are no intake vents on the front panel.

There are three main intake vents:

Intake vent 1: The back ~70mm square vent in the back panel is the closest vent and therefore, the most important intake for the fans. The holes on the slot covers in the back also act as intakes if the slots are not filled. The pathway of airflow from the back vent(s) to the fan closest to the back can be adjusted with the use of several simple plastic locking baffles, as shown in the animated GIF below. The baffles can help reduce the airflow shortcut which can occur between the back vent and the nearest fan. Airflow which goes in and out of the case without passing by or through cooling fins is wasted airflow.


Adjustable airflow baffles. Note speed switch for fan on purpose-designed hook.

Intake vent 2: The slots on the top of the cover are positioned over the PCI slots. The fans will draw air from these slots, and in the process, the cooler outside air will travel at least a little across the graphics card, helping to cool it.


Top cover vent positioned over graphics and PCI cards area.

Intake vent 3: The bottom of the front hard drive chamber, whose area is ~50% vented, is also a primary intake vent. Because the partition wall between the front and the motherboard chamber is open at the top, the 120mm fans will draw outside air from the bottom vent. Although these vents are farther away from the 120mm fans than the back vent, they are much larger in area; at least as much air will flow through them.


HDD section with vented bottom.

NOTE: It should be noted that for proper airflow, you should plan on having at least a couple inches of breathing room around the sides and the back. It would help greatly if the unit was not placed atop another heat-spewing component.



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