Antec NSK3300: Quiet Out-of-the-Box

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The NSK3300 shares the same silver-with-black-trim color scheme as the recently released Solo — and most of Antec's recently released cases. The silver bezel is raised from the front of the frame, allowing the smooth fascia to coexist peacefully with the intake vents that surround it. The bezel is slightly smaller than the case itself and the silver color attracts the eye, casting the illusion of being smaller than it actually is and effectively hiding the air vents behind it. This is a considerable aesthetic update over Antec's previous SLK series, which now look quite dated.

The silver-and-black color scheme is common to many of Antec's recent cases.

The primary intake is through the front bezel, which is vented all around its perimeter, except for the top. The individual holes themselves are small, but the total area is large enough to provide a balance of airflow from the front and rear vents. Much of the air is likely to come in through the bottom, where the venting is more open than the rest of the bezel. The vent is raised about half an inch from the bottom of the case to prevent it from being blocked by deep carpeting.

Soft silicone feet (like those used on the P180, P150, Solo, NSK3300 and Fusion) should help reduce vibration from being transmitted from the case. This can help reduce noise if the system rests on a resonant surface or a hard floor.

A large portion of the bezel is open at the bottom, and
soft silicone feet reduce vibration transfer.

Airflow in the top chamber is provided by the 80mm fan in the SFX12V power supply. This unit looks very much like several Seasonic SFX models we've seen and examined in the past, and given Seasonic's obvious involvement in Antec's NeoHE power supply (and the one found in the NSK2400), there's little reason to doubt that it is indeed made by Seasonic. This is a good thing; chances are, this SFX is quite efficient, and pretty quiet.

A single TriCool 120mm fan mounted on the back panel moves air through the main chamber. The TriCool is standard in most Antec cases, and features three selectable speeds. The lowest speed is acceptable for use in a quiet system, although quiet enthusiasts will probably still find it too loud.

There are also a few secondary vents on the back panel. The PCI slots are vented, and there is a smallish vent above the expansion slots. They will act as intakes or exhausts, depending on the airflow pattern that results from other fans and/or components in the system. They should help keep the video card a bit cooler.

The layout looks traditional from this angle, although the size of the power supply is unusual.

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