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 Post subject: Antec NSK1380 review
PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 3:17 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2007 1:33 pm
Posts: 141
Location: The Netherlands
The Antec NSK1380

We all know Antec. The P150/Solo (now the Sonata Designer/Plus), the P180 and later on the 182. The NSK3480 and the 4480. But the NSK1380 is much well known. And much less used.

Few notes: I don't have professionale equipment, so no noise statistics and no power recordings. All sounds mentioned in this review are subjective.
Furthermore, I was very eager to put the pc together, so I don't have any pictures from the empty case.

The reason
I had to build a pc for my little brother. His old one was very old (an AMD Duron processor), the motherboard's condensors started leaking. Oh yeah, and since he dusted his pc his mouse and keyboard stopped working for some reason (USB and PS/2 connectors stopped working). He needed a new one. He doesn't game, just some typing (Word), surfing on the web and msning. So not much power was needed.
I selected the following components:
- AMD Sempron LE-1150 (45W, with stock cooler);
- MSI K9N6SGM-V motherboard with GeForce 6100 onboard VGA;
- 1 GB ram (Kingston);
- Samsung HD161HJ, a 160GB hard disk;
- Samsung DVD-burner (SATA);
- And of course the 1380.
In the first set-up, I also used an old Maxtor hard disk which had some data left on it.

Image

First impression
When I first saw the case by itself I loved the looks, but I also noticed it was quite wide. This is because the mATX motherboard lies flat.
The upper panel however had a very strange gray coloring. It didn't quite match the side panels. A bit disappointing.
It was also pretty heavy, because of the metal that covers the side and upper panels.

The inside
The case is opened by a single thumbscrew on the back. Then the upper panel can be removed and after that the two side panels. When you remove the upper panel you immediately notice the CD/HD-cage. It's very hard not to. Inside the CD/HD-cage, 3 hard disks and 1 5,25" drive can be placed. For the hard disks, thermal pads are installed to remove the heat.
Removing the cage reveals what's underneath: lot's of cables. Especially those from the PSU. They come out at the bottom of the PSU and lie down on the floor. They are rather short though. It is a little case, but I could imagine them to be impossible to install to a hard disk that would be hanging vertically. There also is a fan connector (for the PSU fan), with two wires. One for RPM-monitoring and one ground.
Then there are two boxes. On with a slot cooler like this one. The other box had some screws, a rounded IDE-cable (very welcome) and a power cable in it.


Installation
The installation isn't very easy. Because of the little space and all the PSU cables are in the way when placing the motherboard. Installing the cooler must be done outside the case. Otherwise it's absolutely impossible. (I've tried to put the fancable of the CPU-fan in the header with the motherboard installed. I did it, but it wasn't easy at all.) Other note about the CPU-cooler. There's little room between the motherboard and the PSU for a heatsink, about 65mm. Way to little for like a Mini Ninja.
Placing the motherboard isn't easy too, because of the power cables hanging over the bottom. You have to constantly lift them to enable installation. After the motherboard is in the case (and under the cables, it's pretty easy. Antec has placed 4 hooks and 2 standoff's to place the motherboard. The hooks are great. You push the motherboard underneath the hooks, place the screws in the standoff's and you're done.

Installing the DVD-drive is very straightforward. You take the cage, shove it in, and tighten it with 4 screws. You have to do it before placing vertical hard disks though, otherwise you can't reach the screws.
Then the hard disks, I didn't use the horizontal place but instead used two vertical. I used the screws with the rubbers around them. They are supposed to remove vibrations from the hard disks. But, they didn't totally fit through the holes. (The result was that the upper panel didn't fit anymore and I scratched it a bit.) I probably should have used the other screws, but I didn't, so I took a drill and made the holes a little larger (Note the holes on the right, where the upper and lower one are bigger.). Then it all fit and installation continued.
After everything is connected to the motherboard what's probably the worst part begins: installing the cage in the case. Or more specificly: the cables to the hard disks and the player. You don't have any room at all to put the cables in the drives. When you lift the cage a little (for more room) the power cables are almost too short to reach the drives. But if you manage that and after some bloodloss, you're done.

Done installing the components that is. Inside your little case it's a mess. The cables from the PSU are everywhere. And there is very little room for improvement because the cables are too short to put them elsewhere. Also because the molex and SATA cables have to reach to your drives.

Noise
Then the great moment arrived: starting the little cube. Because I used a stock cooler and a lousy, old hard drive, noise was quite high. All right, way too high. After installing XP and copying all the data from the old hard drive I removed that one and it was a great progress. The old hard drive could almost be used as a vibrator and that was noticable. The whole CD/HD-cage shaked when you put your hand on it. Moreover, the whole table shaked. The anti-vibration rubber wasn't doing it's job quite well. But the Samsung generally couldn't be heard. Not above the stock fan that is.
After disabling the AMD-cooler with SpeedFan the only noise left was the 120mm power supply fan. I think it's a generic TriCool fan without the switch. It runs at 930RPM according to SpeedFan. It's clearly audible, not very annoying, it's the whoosh you hear.
With the slot cooler on the noise certainly increases. But the airflow out of the case is a lot higher too. The cooler runs from a molex at 12V. It sounded like you added a second TriCool fan but at a higher voltage. The slot cooler also had a little clicking. It wasn't an improvement at all.
I didn't use it in the set-up (did put it in there though, but not connected), because the temps were low enough.
The noise on load was the same, thanks to the low-power processor I used. The fan didn't ramp up (Fortunately, else it would have been very fast.).

Temperatures
The temperatures were good, due to the low power setup. I didn't test it very thoroughly and wasn't interested much in load temps. I did try to run it fanless and it worked very well, but that stopped when I put the CPU under load (with Prime95). The temperature kept rising until it reached 55 degrees. Then the screen began to flicker and I stopped Prime95 and started the fan.
Code:
Temperatures
CPU   ~25 (with fan, idle)
CPU   ~33 (fanless, idle)
MB    ~24
HDD1  ~32 (Samsung, writing)
HDD2  ~44 (old Maxtor, reading)

But, the airflow inside the case is very low. There is very little intake, a bit more outtake, but it won't be able to cool a more than average-powered rig.

Conclusion
Summary:
+ Looks
+ Sturdiness
+ Slot cooler provided

- Noise of (optional) slot cooler
- Very though to install
- Cabling is a mess
- Heatsink can't be higher than 65mm
- Rubbers on screws don't work too well

Is it such a bad case, because of all the negatives and the little positives? Not at all. It just has many little shortcomings. Added up it isn't the best choice. But it isn't the worst choice either. The stock fan isn't too quiet and the rubbers remove some vibration.
I don't think the NSK1380 is a very good case for SPCR enthousiasts. The stock fans are too loud and hard to replace. The 120mm fan is placed inside the PSU and the PSU has to be opened to replace it, thus voiding your warranty.
I do think it's a good case for your run-of-the-mill family that types something and does a little internet surfing, like my brother. It's easy enough to cool the things needed for this and the noise is low enough. And that's probably the only thing it's good enough for, I wouldn't buy it for a HTPC due to the low airflow. But if I ever needed a low power rig (maybe a light file server) with a low power CPU I would certainly look for this one and consider it after swapping the PSU fan to a quieter Scythe fan.


Edit: I was planning to try and install a duct, but eventually I didn't, because the heatsink wasn't aligned with the PSU enough for exhaust. That's why I just used SpeedFan to disable the CPU-fan when the CPU temperature is below 40 degrees. (Which will probably be always.) Now the pc is pretty quiet with only the stock Antec TriCoolish fan, not silent, but very acceptable.
Also added a few things to the summary.

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Ankh-Morpork had dallied with many forms of government and had ended up with that form of democracy known as One Man, One Vote. The Patrician was the Man; he had the Vote.
Terry Pratchett - Mort


Last edited by FlorisNielssen on Mon Mar 17, 2008 4:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 3:46 pm 
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Well you've run into all the same issues that people have said about the NSK1300/Aria. Basically to be a real silent pc, the psu must be removed and mods must be done...such as the fun picopsu setups. However it is possible to have a moderately quiet pc in stock form with a low power setup. Really the loudest things will be the 120mm psu fan and maybe the video card.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 9:42 am 
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Location: Molde, Norway
I changed the P.O.S. PSU-fan for a Zalman ZM-F3. It's not inaudible, but it's definitely silent. Due to the poor airflow within the case, and since the slot-cooler is too noisy, I zip-tied a Zalman 80mm fan to my previously passively cooled 8600GT. I also changed the stock Intel HSF-fan for a Zalman 80mm. All the fans come with optional resistors, so the they now all run at (allegedly) 5.5V.

The computer now runs very quiet - except one thing: THE HARD DRIVE. Gah, the mounting of the hard drive in this case is really something Antec should change. Basicly, you wedge the harddrive between two 1"x4" pieces of steel that stick out vertically from beneath the optical drive-mount. This then ensures that every little tick the hard drive does is transmitted to your ears, unmuffled. They did a puny attempt at deafening it a bit, by adding some screws with rubber on them. Hey engineers, the rubber won't help unless it separates the drive from the metal!

The case itself is reminiscent of its bigger brother, tre P182, as the sidepanels are made up of the plastic, aluminium sandwich, providing some sense of soundproofing.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 10:42 am 
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Does the case have stealth bay for optical drives?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 2:13 pm 
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Yes, optional. You can mount the drive 'outside', so you can see the front, or behind a stealth bay.

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Ankh-Morpork had dallied with many forms of government and had ended up with that form of democracy known as One Man, One Vote. The Patrician was the Man; he had the Vote.
Terry Pratchett - Mort


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 Post subject: Surprised
PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 6:44 am 
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Location: Greenstone, Ontario
I'm wondering if Antec have updated the nsk1380, since I built a system using it for our office and found it to be dead silent. People in the office were wondering if it was even running. There isn't much heat load at all mind you though, we used an Intel executive series motherboard (integrated video) with a 3.0 Wolfdale processor and a 640Gb seagate 7200.11 hard drive.

It was definitely inconvenient trying to connect the drives, but it's been a superb and very quiet performer for us. The lack of lights except for the one power led is also nice and minimalist.

I loved it so much I've done another one for a different office and I'm getting one for home now. I was going to go with the Aerocool M40 for home, but read about a lot of issues trying to get video cards to fit, not to mention limitations of powersupplies or optical drives due to size limitations.
(the home board is going to use an Asus p5e-vm hdmi so we'll see how that works out)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 6:52 am 
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Not that I know.
I think it also depends on the ambient noise. In an office I can imagine the ambient to be a bit higher than in my brothers bedroom, so the fans aren't heard that good.

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Terry Pratchett - Mort


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 Post subject: Re: Surprised
PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 8:44 am 
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It's probably due to the low power and heat combined with the office environment. I can't hear any of our dell machines in the office, but they'd be much more noticeable at home. Also I assume you're not using the cyclone blower which adds some noise. Really you just have the one 120mm fan to worry about and if that's moving slowly, there's not much noise to speak of.

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Main: I5-3570K at 3.7ghz, 16GB DDR-1600@1.35v, Asrock Z77 Extreme6, Corsair 330R, Seasonic 760XP2, Sapphire Radeon 7950| Secondary/Lan: Core i3-2100, 4GB, Msi H67MA-E35, Radeon 6790, Sugo SG02| HTPC: Core i3-2100, 4GB, AsRock H67M-ITX/HT, Antec ISK300-65| NAS: Core I3-2100, 8GB, Antec TP-550, Lian Li PC-Q08B, 4X2TB WD Green| Lappy: Latitude D620 Core 2 T7600, Quadro NVS 110M


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:31 pm 
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Hi all,

For those of you who have opened the PSU up, is the stock fan of standard thickness or is it of a slimmer build? I plan to get this case and fan-swap the PSU with a quieter model.

TiA!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 5:34 am 
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Zorander wrote:
For those of you who have opened the PSU up, is the stock fan of standard thickness or is it of a slimmer build? I plan to get this case and fan-swap the PSU with a quieter model.

Hello

If memory serves me its a standard thickness fan.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 6:56 pm 
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AuraAllan wrote:
Hello

If memory serves me its a standard thickness fan.


is 120x120x38mm considered the standard and 120x120x25mm the slimmer version??

I have bought a demo ANTEC ARIA, and i think its too loud.

There is
"ANTEC PSU/ Replacement for Aria/ NSK1300/ NSK1380 (AR350-B)" to be bught, does anyone know if its a upgraded/less noisy PSU ??


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 11:22 pm 
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bandittm wrote:
AuraAllan wrote:
Hello

If memory serves me its a standard thickness fan.


is 120x120x38mm considered the standard and 120x120x25mm the slimmer version??

I have bought a demo ANTEC ARIA, and i think its too loud.

There is
"ANTEC PSU/ Replacement for Aria/ NSK1300/ NSK1380 (AR350-B)" to be bught, does anyone know if its a upgraded/less noisy PSU ??

120*25 is standard.
120*38 is a "fat" version.

Don't know if the replacement PSU is less noisy then the original.
I would just swap the fan in the original PSU.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 1:03 am 
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AuraAllan wrote:
120*25 is standard.
120*38 is a "fat" version.

Don't know if the replacement PSU is less noisy then the original.
I would just swap the fan in the original PSU.


Ok, so i guess i need a 120*25 fan?


Any suggestions on what fan i could get? I have looked at these.

What kind of dB/airflow mix should i go for?

A fan with Flow : 122 m³/h
RPM : 1400 o/min
14 dB(A)

I guess that would be justabout right??



PS: ANybody know the specs for the orginal psu fan? (rpm/airflow/dB)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:10 am 
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bandittm wrote:
Ok, so i guess i need a 120*25 fan?

Yep.
I would buy the Nexus 120mm Real Silent
I think its the best fan of those shown on that site.

Edit: Do you have a site like the Danish site EDBpriser and the Swedish site Prisjakt in Norway?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 11:48 am 
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AuraAllan wrote:
bandittm wrote:
Ok, so i guess i need a 120*25 fan?

Yep.
I would buy the Nexus 120mm Real Silent
I think its the best fan of those shown on that site.

Edit: Do you have a site like the Danish site EDBpriser and the Swedish site Prisjakt in Norway?


Ok, you have tried the Nexus-fan?

I was first thinking about the SilenX iXtrema PRO 120mm 14 dB(A) its twice the airflow and less dB.

We have http://prisguide.hardware.no/cat.php?cat_id=44 in Norway! :-)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 12:02 pm 
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bandittm wrote:
AuraAllan wrote:
bandittm wrote:
Ok, so i guess i need a 120*25 fan?
Yep.
I would buy the Nexus 120mm Real Silent
I think its the best fan of those shown on that site.

Edit: Do you have a site like the Danish site EDBpriser and the Swedish site Prisjakt in Norway?
Ok, you have tried the Nexus-fan?

I was first thinking about the SilenX iXtrema PRO 120mm 14 dB(A) its twice the airflow and less dB.

We have http://prisguide.hardware.no/cat.php?cat_id=44 in Norway! :-)

No, I haven't tried the Nexus but alot of SPCR regulars have. Haven't anything but good about those fans.
Try searching for SilenX on these forums and read about them.
You probably shouldn't buy anything from them.

Thanks for the prisguide link :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 12:10 pm 
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Location: Norway
Ok, thx alot for the help.

Will probably buy the nexus and another one, just to be on the safe side. :-)

EDIT:

PS: The NEXUS have been used in that PSU-type before ofcourse?

PS2: I actually have an extra MIST 120mm laying around, is that worth a try before i order a Nexus?????


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 Post subject: Antec NSK1380 review
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 11:21 am 
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The case was quiet enough at first; a soft whoosh from the PSU fan in the living room was acceptable even by the wife, who is easily irritated by the noises that computers make.

Original setup:
1. Maxtor IDE drive
2. ECS 945 board w/E2200 dual pentium
3. 2 GB RAM
4. provided slot fan not installed

Well I went and added a Samsung 180GB SATA drive and it started making a fairly loud noise.

Ordered a Scythe Kama-flex SA1225FDB12L (1000rpm). However, the fan connector in the PSU had only 2 pins so I could not install this fan which has 3 or 4 pins. On further investigation it was the stock Intel CPU fan that was making the noise.

Installed the provided slot fan -- everything is quiet again.

Lessons learned:
1. Find out what is making the noise first
2. Install provided components first

--germsteel


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:59 am 
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hi there...

Pros: Solid construction, very easy disassembly, Antec quality. Very quiet until it warms up the cpu fan gets in gear. I bought it beacuse I liked the small size and thought it would look good on a desk. Might be a decent case with a low power cool running cpu.

Cons: Lack of cooling, no option for more cooling. I made the mistake of using a hot chip (kuma 7750) now I get to listen to the fan all the time. I might make a duct from the top vent to the CPU, cut a hole in the side and install another fan.

Other Thoughts: NSK1380 (should have bought the Mini P180)
M3A78 EM
AMD Athalon X2 Kuma 7750 (should have bought a Athalon X2 245)
4 gigs Kingston 1066 that won't run past 800 without errors (returning)
1 TB WD Caviar Black
Win TV PVR 150

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:15 am 
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More cooling?
Just add more 120mm fans =)

But in conclusion, should buy nsk3480 instead, much more usability.
I like my 1380 though =)

Stock psu build
Image

580w ATX psu build, 3xCoolmaster Blue 120mm
Image


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 Post subject: 2 year follow up
PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 10:48 pm 
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The little slot fan failed. The one I bought from frys is very loud I am going to cut the brackets under the DVD drive so that my 120mm Scythe fits.

Good luck.


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 Post subject: slot fan failure: the upside
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:31 am 
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Never mind cutting up the drive cage (it would be nice if it could be disassembled).

I SpeedStep to min. in the BIOS for my Intel Dual Pentium E2200 and I disabled the slot fan. Temps stay around 35 - 45*C almost silent.

Woooohooooo!!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:27 am 
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I'm sorry to dig up this old thread, but I wanted to ask if the case is possible to use without the PSU? And if so would a Ninja II fit? (Pico user here....)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 11:33 pm 
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Tobias wrote:
I'm sorry to dig up this old thread, but I wanted to ask if the case is possible to use without the PSU? And if so would a Ninja II fit? (Pico user here....)

Take a look at these threads:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... hp?t=38787
http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... hp?t=50626
http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... hp?t=50001

There may be more threads about this.
Try searching for Aria, NSK1300 or NSK1380.

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 Post subject: Re: Antec NSK1380 review
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:38 am 
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Hello All,

I'm a newbie to this forum so hello.

Sorry to drag up an old thread but, I got the NSK1380 and have recently been having problems with it; basically it's stopped working. I've replaced the PSU, motherboard and RAM. I've chekced all the connections and that the processor it sitting correctly. I'm at the end of my knowledge so can anyone else throw any suggestions my way on fixing it.

Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Antec NSK1380 review
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:50 am 
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Here is my solution for better airflow in the Antec NSK1380.
I am considering adding an additional hole/fan in the side for the graphics card, but I am unsure if it should suck in or vent out the air ?
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Antec NSK1380 review
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:53 am 
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bluemarce305 wrote:
Hello All,

I'm a newbie to this forum so hello.

Sorry to drag up an old thread but, I got the NSK1380 and have recently been having problems with it; basically it's stopped working. I've replaced the PSU, motherboard and RAM. I've chekced all the connections and that the processor it sitting correctly. I'm at the end of my knowledge so can anyone else throw any suggestions my way on fixing it.

Thanks.


Take the motherboard out and PSU out and run them in another case or on a workbench. You need to attack the problem step by step until you isolate it.

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 Post subject: Re: Antec NSK1380 review
PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:34 am 
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Airflow improved
Image
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Antec NSK1380 review
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 11:45 pm 
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Location: Poland
These are some very nicely execute holes. Talk about steady hand ;)
Still, what kind of innards do you run to actually need so much wind? The inside of your 1380 certainly looks empty. Actually, emptier than mine, and I run a puny system.


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 Post subject: Re: Antec NSK1380 review
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 6:03 am 
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How so you get to the NSK1380 power supply fan to clean it, check it etc?


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