Antec NSK3300: Quiet Out-of-the-Box

Cases|Damping
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July 27, 2006 by Devon Cooke

Product
Antec "New Solution" NSK3300
MicroATX Tower with SFX12V 3.0 compliant power supply
Manufacturer
Antec
Market Price
US$65~100

Over the last few years, Antec has steadily been building a market for quiet-oriented cases. Antec's collaboration with Mike Chin, editor of SPCR, to build the P180 and, more recently, the NSK2400 and the Fusion HTPC cases, is part of this effort, but their noise-centric efforts go beyond a couple of joint products. The Antec Sonata was the first to be marketed as quiet case as far back as early 2003, and, more recently, the P150 / Solo brought an effective drive suspension system to the masses.

The NSK3300 continues this effort. It uses the dual-chamber design from the P180 jammed into a box that's the size of a bottom-of-the-line granny computer from Dell or HP. Just to make this perfectly clear, the case is just 14" tall, substantially smaller than the 17'~19" height of typical mid-towers. There's hardly a desk it won't fit under.

It also lops off a third of the price and includes a "high efficiency" power supply in the bargain. It's Micro-ATX only — if you need space for six expansion cards, SLI, or the cutting edge, top-of-the-line motherboards, the NSK3300 probably isn't for you. On the other hand, fully featured Micro-ATX boards are easy to come by these days, so it should be perfectly capable of housing components for mainstream users.


A surprisingly big box for such a small case.

The NSK3300 showed up in a retail box stuffed to the gills with packing material. In between the two recycled cardboard ends was enough foam to make a small mattress. There should be no concerns about shipping damage unless UPS decides to run it through with a forklift.


Packing material everywhere.

SPECIFICATIONS: Antec NSK3300 (from Antec's web site)
Case Dimensions
14"(H) x 7.8"(W) x 13.8"(D)
Drive Bays
4 Total
Front Accessible
2 x 5.25" (with one removable HDD bracket), 1 x 3.5"
Internal
1 x 3.5"
Expansion Slots
4
Cooling System
- Up to 3 Fans
- 1 rear 120mm TriCool (standard)
- 2 front 92mm (optional)
- 1 80mm chassis air guide (optional)
Main Board Size
MicroATX (9.6"x9.6")
Power Supply
300Watt
SFX
ATX 12V for AMD™ & Intel® systems
Weight (Net / Gross)
14.4 / 16.3 lbs
6.5 / 7.4 Kg
Motherboards
MicroATX
Special Features
- Side panels
- Front USB Ports
- Firewire Port
- Audio In/Out

FEATURE HIGHLIGHTS: Antec NSK3300 (from Antec's web site)
FEATURE & BRIEF COMMENT
High-efficiency 300 Watt SFX v3.0 power supply
- Universal input
- Active PFC and high efficiency design for superior environmentally-friendly operation
300W is more than enough for most systems; few manufacturers make higher capacity SFX models.
Dual-chamber structure separates power supply heat and noise for cooler & quieter operation
Isolated heat sources are very important for low noise.
Advanced cooling system:
- 1 Rear 120mm TriCool 3-speed fan
- 2 Front mount for optional 92mm fan
"Advanced" = a TriCool fan? Seriously, though, given the small main chamber, in/out venting is generous.
4 Drive Bays
- Front Accessible: 2 x 5.25” (with one removable HDD bracket), 1 x 3.5”
- Internal: 1 x 3.5” (or 2 x 3.5” with one in 5.25” bay) with silicone grommets to isolate drive vibrations
No room for RAID arrays, but that's to be expected in a MicroATX case. The silicone grommets are the soft ones found in Antec's P150 and P180 cases.
4 Expansion Slots
Dictated by MicroATX
Front-mounted ports for easy multimedia connections
- 2 x USB 2.0
- 1 x IEEE 1394 (FireWire®, i.Link®)
- Audio In and Out
Standard on all but the cheapest cases.
0.8mm cold-rolled steel construction
Perfectly adequate for good rigidity given the smaller size of the panels.
Accommodates up to MicroATX motherboards (9.6” x 9.6”)
The key to its small size.



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