Antec NSK1480: The Fusion gets Smaller

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The black-and-silver finish is emblematic of the NSK line of cases, and it looks elegant enough. Unlike the MicroFusion version, the fascia is plastic, and is serviceable but unremarkable. If appearance is important, a bigger problem is the optical drive bay, which does not provide a stealth cover, and silver drives are not easy to come by. Still, a black optical drive facia sets off fine against the black lower strip.

Simple black and silver finish. The two-tone bezel makes the case appear even slimmer than it is.

Well vented back panel. Note the two intakes on the top panel as well.

The airflow layout is fairly logical, with the CPU situated next to a pair of 80mm exhaust fans. The fans are Antec's usual TriCool models, with three speeds selectable via a simple switch. They're not the quietest fans in the world, but they're not bad. The major intakes are two large vents on the top panel, one over the CPU and the other over the expansion slots. This covers the two expected sources of heat: processor and graphics card. A small amount of airflow can also be expected to come from the hard drive chamber through the intake there. This intake is on the opposite side of the exhaust fans that drive the airflow, so airflow there can expected to be low without the intake fan running.

Front ports include an eSATA port plus the usual 2x USB, headphone & mic. The ports fit loosely in the recessed front panel — there are gaps around them that could potentially trap dust in long term use.

Not a lot of room for venting, but the four expansion slot covers have holes in them, and there's a limited amount of intake above the motherboard ports.

These two 80mm exhaust fans are both right next to the CPU.

Although it is not in a separate chamber, the power supply is mostly isolated from the rest of the system by virtue of its positioning: The intake draws air in from the side of the case and exhausts it out the back. A smallish vent at the front of the power supply does allow some hot air to circulate into the case, but at least the power supply fan (often the hardest fan to control) is at the front of the air path. Some of Antec's other cases isolate the power supply completely. That said, the case is not really intended for high power systems that need heavy isolation to keep the PSU cool and quiet.

A small amount of PSU exhaust may be recirculated back into the system though, since the back panel next to the PSU is likely to act as an input in most configurations. However, unless the unit is in a confined space like an A/V cabinet, the effect is probably too small to worry about.

Both vents on this side are intakes: PSU intake in the foreground, and hard drive intake blurred in the background. Most users will not need the drive intake.

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