Antec Fusion Remote Max HTPC case

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Nov. 21, 2008 by Mike Chin

Product
Fusion Remote Max
Premium Home Theater PC Case
Manufacturer
Antec Inc.
Market Price
~US$200

The Fusion Remote Max came from the same design initiative which produced the Antec P180 series (P180, P182. Mini P180 ) and the NSK2400/Fusion cases. It is meant to compete with similarly big cases from Silverstone, Thermaltake, CoolerMaster and Moneual, but Antec has kept the pricing substantially lower than most of the direct competition. The Max is a bigger version of the smaller mATX-sized Fusion, which has become one of the most popular HTPC cases on the market today. For some, the larger size of the Max is a better match to the typical gargantuan high end home theater receivers.

The FRM is the third product of collaboration between Antec and myself. As with the P180 and the NSK2400/Fusion cases, I was the thermal / acoustic design consultant on the Max project. In large part, it is an adaptation of the P180 series case to a horizontal layout. The primary design goals for the FRM were quite different from those for the previous projects. The main goals are reflected in the promotional language Antec is using for the Max:

"Spacious enough for dual graphics cards, the Fusion Remote Max enclosure enables you to build the ultimate home theater PC, perfect not only for enjoying digital media, but for playing the latest games. This case features a stylish aluminum front bezel with an LCD, a built-in IR receiver and a remote control to work the included iMEDIAN HD software. If that weren't enough, the quiet-running 140mm fan and noise-reducing design provide whisper-quiet operation."

Some of the key features include:

  • Three separate thermal zones — for the motherboard, the hard drives and the power supply.
  • Power supply cooled by outside air independent of other components.
  • Hard drives and components on the motherboard cooled by directed airflow from 120mm and 140mm exhaust fans in main chamber.
  • Sturdy 0.8mm steel chassis construction.
  • Free-breathing, directed in/out vents for ideal airflow.
  • Soft silicone rubber grommet mounting of hard drives to minimize noise-causing vibration transfer.

The Fusion Max (as it was originally called) has been coming for some time. The project actually began before the original NSK2400 / Fusion was released, and it's been shown at a number of shows since then.

A QUICK LOOK

The FRM comes in a colorful retail box, like most Antec products. It is quite large. The case is packed with closed-cell foam end caps for shock protection. A box of screws and other parts, an owner's manual, and the iMon remote control are included.


The usual full color retail box.


A big knob that looks like it's for volume, a display over the stealthed optical drive, and a drop down cover across the bottom of the front. Except for the big 140mm fan grill on the right, the Fusion Max looks like minimalist high end audio gear. Note the reflections from the shiny silver surround of the front rubber feet.

ANTEC FUSION REMOTE MAX SPECIFICATIONS
Remote Control Deluxe 56-button remote control and iMEDIAN HD by iMON software for media management and playback
Front Panel Aluminum plate front bezel with Liquid Crystal Display (LCD), built-in IR receiver and volume control to work with media center applications
Unique Design Triple chamber structure to separate the power supply, hard drives and motherboard for cooler and quieter operation
Cooling / Airflow System - 1 side (standard) 140mm TriCool fan
- 1 rear (standard) 120 mm TriCool fan
- 1 (optional) 120 mm front fan mount to cool the graphic cards
- Air guide brings fresh air to the CPU Cooler
- Built-in washable air filters
Drive Bays
5 Drive Bays
- External 1 x 5.25”
- Internal 4 x 3.5”
Motherboard up to standard ATX (12" x 9.6" or 30.5cm x 24.5cm)
Expansion Slots 7
Front Ports - 2 x USB 2.0
- Audio In and Out
- eSATA
- IEEE 1394 (Firewire)
Material 0.8mm cold rolled steel construction
Dimensions / Weight • 7.5"(H) x 17.5"(W) x 17.8"(D)
• 19.05cm(H) x 44.45cm(W) x 45.21cm(D)
Net Weight: 19.6 lbs / 8.9 kg
Gross Weight: 24 lbs / 10.9 kg

The case is built to the 4U standard. "U" refers to server rack mount sizing, 1U = 1.75". Without the feet, the chassis is 7" tall, or 4U; with the feet, it is 7.5". This is similar to the Silverstone CW series cases, the Lian Li PC-C32, CoolerMaster MC Media 280 series, most Moneual cases (like the MonCaso we reviewed last year) or Thermaltake Tenor/Bach and DH series.



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