Antec SLK3700 mid-tower Case

Cases|Damping
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Easily removable 3.5" drive bays. Large 5-drive bay has decoupling rubber grommets.

Looking at the interior you'll notice that the 3.5" external drive cage is easily removable by flipping a lever. The five-bay 3.5" internal drive cage is also quickly removable by unscrewing a thumb-screw and pushing down on a latch. These are typical Antec extras, well thought-out additions that make it very easy to add or remove drives.

One more extra feature to note are the white rubber grommets that are used to secure the 3.5" internal drives. These serve to decouple the drives' vibration from the case frame. This will make for quieter drives and less case vibration as well. The drives are held in place with special shoulder bolts that create just the right amount of tension on the grommets when the bolts are tightened all the way. The case interior is incredibly roomy and very easy to work in. This offsets the lack of a removable motherboard cage.

The included power supply is the Antec SmartPower SL350, a good 350 watt power supply that should provide more than enough power for the average computer builder. It's not as quiet as its big brothers in the TruePower series but is a very good PSU none the less. (Editor's Note: It does not belong on SPCR's Recommended Quiet PSU list, but it's easy to swap out the PSU.)

Also on the inside you will find the plastic mounting brackets for the two 120mm case fans although only one fan is supplied by Antec and it's not particularly quiet. These brackets allow the fans to be snapped into them without the need for any screws. It's a simple mounting system but may not be optimal for low noise.

Attention to details: Two push buttons on the sides of the bezel loosen it for ease of removal. It's a nice touch, just like the locks and captive thumbscrews for the side panel.

The two stamped 120mm fan grills are rather restrictive and tend to create air noise and turbulence. These grills, plus the fan mounting system are the weakest points of an otherwise well designed case. The quiet PC enthusiast may want to look into improving these areas. A few minutes spent removing the restrictive fan grills, ditching the plastic fan mounts and drilling a new set of fan mounting holes will go far to improve the noise level of this case. (Editor's note: Antec say they are working on a revision of this case; one anticipated change is much more open vent grills, like the one found on the back of their Sonata case.)

After a small grill cutaway mod on the back panel.

There are also two front-mounted USB ports on the SLK3700AMB but they terminate with ten separate pins instead of a single connector. You will need to carefully read your motherboard manual to determine the proper location for each individual connector.

CONCLUSIONS

Overall, I am very impressed with this case. It's certainly a "sleeper", it doesn't look too fancy and isn't being touted by Antec as a "Quiet PC" case (see the Antec Sonata) but it sure works well for this purpose. This case has excellent ventIlation due to the roomy interior, well designed front bezel and two 120mm case fans. You can achieve very good airflow with just one low-speed 120mm fan in the SLK3700AMB. Couple that with nicely damped hard drive mounts, solid steel construction and a noise muffling front door, and you've got yourself a wonderfully quiet case.

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