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 Post subject: Antec Fusion Remote Max
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:07 pm 
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Antec Fusion Remote Max


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:41 pm 
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If they are going to stick a volume knob on these things they should also include a digital amp (like in that MSI Live DIVA) that is controlled by that knob.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:59 pm 
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Very nice looking case and a much more detialed review than I'm used to seeing.

I like what they did with the HD mounting area. I dont suppose there is a way to measure the airflow that comes in via those filters? Im concerned that all the other openings in the case would cause the air to not to move over the HDDs. One doesnt need much air over a HD - but you need some kind of air movement.

And that heatsink looks like it came out of a Sci-Fi "B" movie....

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 4:21 pm 
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IMO it suffers worse than most HTPC cases from "looking like a 1980's VCR player" syndrome. These days everything around your TV is sleek and compact. When you can get a DVD player barely bigger than the case the DVD comes in, having this case under your TV doesnt look so good. At least with a smallish tower case its obvious its a PC and people probably think its pretty small then.

From a geek perspective and a silencers though, the internals are very nice.

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 Post subject: A fistfull of fail
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 4:56 pm 
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Instead of fixing the problems I've noticed in a year's worth of using the NSK2400, it just looks like they decided to go with making everything bigger, including the price:

1) The partition between the motherboard and front drives still obstructs connectors on the rear of the motherboard.

2) The power supply partition is completely dependent on airflow from the power supply for cooling.

3) The noisiest components are all located in the front once again- those rubber grommets don't do squat for noise abatement. They didn't work in the P180, they don't work in the NSK2400, and they never will do anything.

At least there are third party solutions for making the iMon display work well, which is more than I can say for the VFD used in earlier designs.

Another example of bigger isn't always better- just ask anyone with a tumor or a wart.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 5:48 pm 
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SPCR wrote:
The power profile of a 4870x2 is identical to two 4780s.
Techreport's review shows the same consumption under load, but the X2 pulls 60W(!) less at idle.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 5:51 pm 
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There may be an error in the second table on page 7.

The 140 mm fan is more quiet at low speed than the 120 mm fan, yet in the second table (settings 140 off / 120 low) the SPL is 20 dB(A) when it should be 25 dB(A), according to the first table.
When 140 is low and 120 is off, in second table the SPL is 25 dB(A) when it should be 20 dB(A).
Maybe the columns are switched?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 6:05 pm 
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spookmineer wrote:
There may be an error in the second table on page 7.
Reread. The 1st table simply lists Antec's claims. The 2nd table verifies them, or not.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 6:13 pm 
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I'm sure this is not a bad case, but I wonder why they would label such a big case an HTPC case?

I have to disagree with the article's opinion that there is normally more tolerance for noise in an HTPC than in an office computer. It is true that some AV components are noisy but not any that users of this forum would use. (Amplifier with a fan! Incredible.) And most AV systems are not noisy, even when the owners wouldn't care.

Music and movies require low noise parts. Yes a lot of non-classical music is badly mastered to reduce dynamic range but there are often still silences. Same for movies, there are often silences and that's when background noise is most important.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 12:46 am 
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Quote:
I have to disagree with the article's opinion that there is normally more tolerance for noise in an HTPC than in an office computer


I would like to second this point. As SPCR we are interested in quiet computing, be it for home/office, HTPC, carputer/ICE, or whatever. it seems kind of unfair that we would have less demanding requirements of one class of devices, when I would argue it is just as easy to silence an HTPC as it is a normal computer (let alone a gaming computer). if we are going to say "OK, noise is not a criteria for this PC, because it is going to be used in situation X", does that article really belong on SPCR? of course I'm exaggerating to make a point, but I just think noise should be at the heart of everything we do at SPCR, including HTPCs, and no special allowances should be made for specific classes of devices or device usage. Also the ambient noise in an office setting is going to be much higher than at home where the HTPC is (usually) so logically there should be less tolerance for noise when something is used exclusively at home.

//rant over :lol:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 1:11 am 
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jaganath wrote:
Also the ambient noise in an office setting is going to be much higher than at home where the HTPC is (usually) so logically there should be less tolerance for noise when something is used exclusively at home.

I actually agree with your primary point about not being too soft on something just because it is for HTPC, but this last point about ambient noise is flawed. Sound propagates as a wave, so intensity will diminish with the square of distance. This means that a HTPC at 3m from the listener will have a 10dB advantage over a desktop PC at 1m from the listener. I think this offsets any advantages in ambient noise between a typical office and typical home. That said, it is not far fetched to think those willing to take the plunge into HTPC are also those willing to do all they can to ensure as low as possible a noise floor in their "theater".


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 1:39 am 
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"ATI HD 4870 graphics card (160W TDP) 512MB review sample."


Eh, finally! :lol: (too bad it's not the 1GB version, everyone else seems to indicate it's more power efficient)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 8:52 am 
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jessekopelman wrote:
Sound propagates as a wave, so intensity will diminish with the square of distance.

(Cube?
At any rate this would be with an ideal setting with no reflections. In a completely reflective environment it doesn't diminish at all (all the energy reaches the person).
In practice yes it's lower but I would imagine not 9db lower.)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 10:21 am 
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i'm really surprised you even bothered with SLI/Crossfire. Every review i have seen to date has confirmed its a very hit or miss option. You could get great results in a couple applications, or around the same as a single card in others, or even lower performance on still other applications. It just doesn't seem worth it, especially if silence is your goal.

Overall it looks like a fairly good implementation. Theres your standard Antec "must ensure broadest user acceptance" all over the place, but i suppose that cant be helped. Like the excessive airflow around the CPU region.

For the true SPCR users, i see dropping the 140mm fan all together, and closing that vent up completely. Replacing the rear 120mm fan with something quieter and undervolting it. Since the thermal region of the PSU area is separated, you could likely do well with a passive 400w PSU from Fortron. Use the intel SSD, go with a single graphics card option with an AC S1 or similar large passive heatsink on it. I did like the optional interior 120mm fan for the video cards as well as the ability to remove the center HD racks by default. I know a lot of Sonata/P150/Solo users that would have loved that option. So if its a hot card, use the same quiet undervolted 120mm fan that you used on the rear of the case.

The one thing i was really dissapointed with, and i see it all the time with "HTPC" cases. Is the lack of a slot loading faceplace. I think i saw one mini-itx case do it the right way, where they shipped the case with a slim slot loading DVD RW drive with a single slot on the faceplate to match perfectly with the drive. Its the little things that like this that drive me crazy when i see the front of these sorts of cases. I also didnt like the USB/Firewire ports behind the flip down cover. I would also have liked to see some sort of SD reader built in, especially since theirs only one external drive bay which is for an optical bay. So SD card readers are basically impossible with this case.

Overall though i think they did a good job. Just looking at it you can see Antec's signiture design all over so the things you like are there and even the things they do you cant stand. But if you use Antec cases like i do, you just overlook these things and mod the negatives out of it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 5:52 pm 
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Is there a blue stripe across the front, or is that just a trick of the camera?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 7:52 pm 
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psiu wrote:
Is there a blue stripe across the front, or is that just a trick of the camera?


Yeap...trick of the camera...just reflection...


I wish Antec also released a Silver Front fascia version of it...i don;t know why they brought out only one colour, while other fusions have 2 versions...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 8:30 pm 
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Im in the market for a HTPC case, do anyone know if it can take a ATI4850 with AC S1 without bending the fins???

Mike or anyone with experiance with this case, could you enlighten me in this and would it be possible to messure the clearns between the AC S1 heatsink at the top cover??

Any info about this would be great :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 2:22 am 
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I would tend to agree that SPCR is too forgiving when it comes to HTPC noise. I *do* notice my HTPC drive (WD Green power) from time to time, even though it probably measures less than 23 dBA@1m. In a room that was too quiet to measure (i.e. <15 dBA), even quiet noises are still audible, and can irritate.

That said ... *any* extraneous noise (talking, music upstairs, any multi-media use of the HTPC) is enough to cover the ambient noise. I notice it when I'm loading media; if anything is playing it's silent.

However, with a louder fan ... I definitely think it would be audible during quiet sequences / pauses in music, despite being located behind my TV.

One thing I should clarify: I don't think Mike is advocating that you shouldn't try and silence your HTPC to the best of your ability, or that noise isn't a criterion for evaluation. We specialize in noise ... and that involves thinking beyond just a "noise=bad" mentality. The fact is, there *is* a difference in how noise is perceived from an HTPC vs. a tower machine. That 3m vs. 1m distance *does* have an effect, as do the ambience, the conditions of use and the "quiet room" issue.

We would be remiss in our duty to explore the world of computer noise if we did not raise this issue because our analysis would be incomplete. Our 1m measurement distance is designed to simulate an actual usage situation to the best of our ability, but that situation is not the typical one for HTPCs. You will note that the section called "Acoustics around a Media PC" does not actually draw the conclusion that some of you have jumped to; it doesn't say that noise doesn't matter for HTPCs. All it says is that the environment around HTPCs are typically noisier than most tower PCs.

Now, perhaps that does imply that noise matters less for HTPCs (and perhaps I am missing another part of the article where the "noise doesn't matter" idea is stated more explicitly). All that means is that you can now put a more powerful (or more compact, or allocate resources for a huge heatsink to something else) computer into the same system and not worry about the constraints of silencing, because, once the noise is below ambience, there is no effect advantage to be gained. It also means there's more tolerance for changes in noise when the system is playing media ... i.e. a warbling fan that kicks in under load really doesn't matter as much.

I think there's considerable room for debate about *how much* difference there is between the silencing requirements of an HTPC vs. a tower, but please don't get upset simply for noticing that there is a difference ... we wouldn't be doing our job if we took a "lower noise at any cost" attitude. Past a certain point, this is obsession, with no real benefits.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 7:39 am 
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I've been looking forward to this review for a long time (as have others), and I'm very appreciative of all of the work put into it. :)

However, I've been working with HTPCs and involved with the HTPC community for several years, and I'm disappointed that this particular HTPC was setup as a gaming system. Building a silent HTPC has always been important because people generally do not want a noisy system in their living or entertainment room. It's true that this system would likely not be noticeably audible when watching a movie or TV, or when listening to music. However, HTPCs often run 24/7, and people do not watch/listen to media all the time. It's more likely that the HTPC is doing something in the background (i.e. recording TV) while people are doing something else (entertaining guests, talking on the phone, etc.). The last thing people want is to compete with the noise emanating from their HTPC. In fact, I would suggest that having a silent HTPC is more important than having any other PC that is silent.

This is just meant as constructive criticism, and I hope it's not taken negatively. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 9:31 am 
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Would have been much more interested in a review of the Micro Fusion 350 since it is visually more appealing than the Max. Also interesting from a silent PC standpoint (can Antec build a chassis that cools well and cools quietly using 80mm fans?). However, I understand why this was reviewed (support for full ATX motherboard, 140mm fan, etc.). Is a review of the Micro Fusion 350 in the queue somewhere? :D

-D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 12:12 pm 
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Quote:
I think there's considerable room for debate about *how much* difference there is between the silencing requirements of an HTPC vs. a tower, but please don't get upset simply for noticing that there is a difference ... we wouldn't be doing our job if we took a "lower noise at any cost" attitude. Past a certain point, this is obsession, with no real benefits.


I do apologise if this comes across as flogging a dead horse, that is not my intention.

I suppose my main point is, most HTPCs do not involve massive amounts of CPU or GPU power (as gaming machines do) , therefore the heat output is relatively low, and as such there is no excuse for them to be noisier than a standard tower (although I am aware of the limitations of many HTPC cases, too many use 80 or 60mm fans rather than 120mm, and many are cramped and badly laid out, but the same can be said of many towers to be honest). when I consider the ingenuity and resourcefulness that I have seen from fellow SPCRers over time, I do feel that with a bit of undervolting here and the right fan choice, it's absolutely achievable for our HTPC machines to be just as quiet as a tower-based setup. it's not difficult and as dedicated silencers we should set the bar quite high (or low!) in terms of the noise level that we expect.

Also, re: the 3m vs 1m issue, of course in an ideal world this is true, but for the Lilliputian homes found in the UK and much of Europe, it is not always possible to have the home theatre set up the correct distance away from the viewing equipment.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:45 pm 
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Blue wrote:
In fact, I would suggest that having a silent HTPC is more important than having any other PC that is silent.


I agree ... but it seems I'm a dissenting opinion at SPCR. I've also tried using my HTPC for gaming, and it was not a particularly good experience because my TV overscans the edges of the signal, making it difficult to hit certain edges of the screen. In desktop / movie mode I can compensate with the ATI Catalyst driver, but anytime there's s resolution change it becomes a problem. It's also a pain to use a keyboard or mouse on a sofa, without a desktop, using a console controller seems easier. I can't see the gaming-on-an-HTPC being a very common scenario.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:58 pm 
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croddie wrote:
jessekopelman wrote:
Sound propagates as a wave, so intensity will diminish with the square of distance.

(Cube?
At any rate this would be with an ideal setting with no reflections. In a completely reflective environment it doesn't diminish at all (all the energy reaches the person).
In practice yes it's lower but I would imagine not 9db lower.)

No, you are completely wrong about reflections. The losses I am talking about are due to wave propagation. Just by traveling the energy is dissipated. Even with a 100% reflective surface, energy is lost before it reaches the surface and more energy is lost on the way from the reflecting surface to the listener. The only way to counteract this loss of energy is to tune the size and shape of the room to create standing waves. Remember, we are talking about waves here, not particles. This is not a simple Newtonian physics problem.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:05 pm 
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Quote:
a silent HTPC is more important than having any other PC that is silent.


I agree. If I'm going to build my first HTPC, it has to be (near) silent. If I want to play games, I'll use my PC or my PS3.

This review was well done for the gaming system, but I would love to hear someone approach this build from a silent HTPC perspective and report here, even if months later.

Cheers,
Philip


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:41 pm 
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philipms wrote:
This review was well done for the gaming system, but I would love to hear someone approach this build from a silent HTPC perspective and report here, even if months later.
How would that differ? The fans are alreday tested and cooling suffices for a high-end gamer system. The article stressed several times that anyone with humble equipment should easily be able to build a quiet HTPC with this case.

I have the impression that SPCR users are smarter than the average hardware forum kiddie and are able to extrapolate certain information without needing a step-by-step manual.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 10:49 pm 
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Devonavar wrote:
Blue wrote:
In fact, I would suggest that having a silent HTPC is more important than having any other PC that is silent.


I agree ... but it seems I'm a dissenting opinion at SPCR. I've also tried using my HTPC for gaming, and it was not a particularly good experience because my TV overscans the edges of the signal, making it difficult to hit certain edges of the screen. In desktop / movie mode I can compensate with the ATI Catalyst driver, but anytime there's s resolution change it becomes a problem. It's also a pain to use a keyboard or mouse on a sofa, without a desktop, using a console controller seems easier. I can't see the gaming-on-an-HTPC being a very common scenario.


Yeah, i would also agree, HTPCs need to be really quiet. HTPCs are intereseting for gaming IMHO, but mainly as a secondary system. For typical "TV-friendly" games, that i games that you use joypads for (wich there are plenty of to the PC, joypads that is), or maybe steering wheels.

AtW


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 12:59 pm 
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I for one am glad that they built a gaming system in this case. Given that there are lots of cases that can do a minimalist HTPC system, even within the Antec line, this case seems to be meant to appeal to someone after a more taxing system. The fact that it can accommodate a Crossfire/SLI configuration speaks volumes.

For those of us who want to have our HTPC systems perform as gaming systems as well, this article provides welcome data.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 9:18 pm 
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Blue wrote:
However, I've been working with HTPCs and involved with the HTPC community for several years, and I'm disappointed that this particular HTPC was setup as a gaming system.

The case (pun intended) dictates that approach. The Fusion Max is made for gamers. It's main feature is the size—big enough to fit large graphics cards and many hard disks. If you don't need powerful graphics cards and/or a RAID array of more than two drives, the Fusion will do you just fine, and be really silent.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 12:28 am 
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I'm a bit disappointed not to see a normal HD in the test, an SSD drive it's absolutely not representative for heat

:?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 7:05 am 
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Modo wrote:
The case (pun intended) dictates that approach. The Fusion Max is made for gamers. It's main feature is the size—big enough to fit large graphics cards and many hard disks. If you don't need powerful graphics cards and/or a RAID array of more than two drives, the Fusion will do you just fine, and be really silent.

The Fusion Remote Max is actually part of Antec's Veris case series, which are marketed as media cases and not gaming cases. True, it was designed to fit large graphics cards, however it's primary purpose is to serve as a HTPC. It seems to be agreeable that HTPCs need to be silent. :)

I also want to note this on the SPCR About Us page:
Quote:
SilentPCReview.com was launched in late March 2002 to provide in-depth articles, equipment reviews and news stories related to silent computing.

Note that gaming systems are generally not built with silence in mind, and I believe it is the general consensus that this site is geared more towards the silent community as compared to the gaming community.

Also, it doesn't appear from the review that the FRM is a good choice if you want to use more than two drives for storage.
Quote:
The biggest challenge with a drive in this system is that if you want best system cooling, then you want to leave the center bay open. This requires the hard drive to be mounted in the PSU chamber, which will receive minimal airflow with a 120mm fan PSU, especially if you have to do any cable management in that space. But that is still the best compromise.
and...
Quote:
My personal choice would be one VelociRaptor elastic suspension mounted in the left / PSU chamber. All storage of media files would be done off the computer, on a NAS or media server.


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