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These recordings were made with a high resolution, lab quality, digital recording
system inside SPCR's own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber, then converted to
LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no
audible degradation from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent
a quick snapshot of what we heard during the review.
Each recording starts with ambient noise, then 10 second segments of product
at various states. For the most realistic results,
set the volume so that the starting ambient level is just barely audible, then
don't change the volume setting again while comparing all the sound files.
The Nine Hundred Two is well suited for use with a high power gaming system. Its design does not
focus at all on acoustics, but rather, on maximized ventilation the large and numerous ventilation holes, side
window, and the undampened hard drive mounting scheme are testaments to this
fact. However, even a purpose-built "quiet case" like the Antec P183 with much fewer vents and better damped panels can't really silence an inherently
loud gaming system with one or more high powered graphics cards.
The Nine Hundred Two offers better cooling performance at similar noise levels compared to other cases, though at least one high performance GPU is needed before any tangible improvement can be seen. The hotter the components, the bigger the improvement.
The drive bay structure is designed to fit 5.25" drives in any location
while the hard drives have their own removable cages. Removing a cage will allow
the installation of a very long graphics card, up to 18.5" (if they ever
become that long). The Nine Hundred Two could also be utilized to house a quiet
file server, as it is possible to set up elastic suspension for up to nine drives with good ventilation for all of them; this is a really attractive aspects of the design.
The panels are not as sturdy as the rolled steel you will find on cases like
the Sonata Elite, but
the build quality is solid enough unless you intend to abuse the case. The interior is easy to work inside and cable management is excellent
with nice big holes for routing cables and plenty of room behind the motherboard
tray for hiding various odds and ends. The case also comes with four fans, each
with its own fan controller. These fans aren't as quiet as we would like,
but the rear and top fans are fairly good acoustically if you set them to low
speed. For most system configurations, we wouldn't even use the front fans
the porous front panel supplies copious amounts of fresh air.
All in all, the Nine Hundred Two offers much to gamers everywhere, yet has utility for quiet computing users as well. With careful design and selection of quieter compoents, it might even be possible to assemble a pretty high power gaming rig that mostly stays quiet at least when you're not blasting your online enemies with laser beams, proton grenades and the rest.
Antec Nine Hundred Two
* Heavily ventilated = Excellent cooling
* Solid construction/design
* Versatile drive mounting system
* Excellent cable management
* No bottom power supply vent
* Side panels a bit flimsy
Our thanks to Antec
Inc. for the Nine Hundred Two sample.
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