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Antec NSK2400 Media PC Case

Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 3:34 pm
by MikeC
Antec NSK2400 Media PC Case

Update, December 21, 2006: A postscript about the Antec Fusion (A higher end HTPC model) has been added.

Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 4:11 pm
by qviri
I have no typos to report, so I'll just say:

That's awesome.

Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 5:19 pm
by omgy
I'm dissapointed with the lack of a stealthed optical drive bay! Bah.

Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 5:38 pm
by josephclemente
Nice review! I have this case for my HTPC computer and I LOVE it. If my main machine was MicroATX, I'd use this case for it as well.

On page 5 the all-copper Zalman heatsink became an aluminum/copper 120mm version modded with a Nexus fan. I didn't see this change in the text anywhere... Or did I miss it?

Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 5:42 pm
by MikeC
josephclemente wrote:Nice review! I have this case for my HTPC computer and I LOVE it. If my main machine was MicroATX, I'd use this case for it as well.

On page 5 the all-copper Zalman heatsink became an aluminum/copper 120mm version modded with a Nexus fan. I didn't see this change in the text anywhere... Or did I miss it?
You're right -- I completely forgot about that HSF change. Too much data in this review, my bad, will hasten to correct.

PS -- CORRECTIONS MADE

Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 6:04 pm
by alphabetbackward
Would the NEC 3550 DVD-burner look okay? The silver one that is. For that matter, would the ASUS one? Basically, the few silver DVD-burners on Newegg.

Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 6:07 pm
by MikeC
alphabetbackward wrote:Would the NEC 3550 DVD-burner look okay? The silver one that is. For that matter, would the ASUS one? Basically, the few silver DVD-burners on Newegg.
You'd have to have them side by side with the case to tell, and it might change with different lighting. Ask Ralf Hutter about using dyes to custom color match optical drive bezels.

Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 7:32 pm
by eternizer
Excellent review as always!
I'm glad that you've invested 8 pages on this well-designed case. Well worth it!

Btw, I wish you could've suggested more options for HSF since the choice seems somewhat limited due to the short height. For example, I wonder if it's possible to passively cool a low-power CPU since this case has two fans close to the CPU zone. I totally understand you couldn't put any more info into already-too-long article though. :wink:

Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 9:28 pm
by MikeC
Elsewheere, I did list a bunch of HS that did NOT fit... found it (in another NSK2400 thread) --

"The distance from the top of a mounted CPU to the chassis cover is 4.75" or 12cm. The HS must be shorter than this.

"HS that will not fit include Scythe Ninja, Katana, Arctic Cooling Freezer 7/64 Pro, Thermalright HR-01 and Zalman 9500 (altho you could bend the top fins of the 9500 to force it... it's about a quarter inch too tall.)

"The original Arctic Cooling Freezer HS are 11cm & will thus fit. So will almost all top mounted fan HS, including the Thermalright SP120/92. As long as the fin orientation is left / right (not front / back) when mounted on the board, and the fin spacing is not too tight, any decent size HS will work well.

"Spire just sent me a vertical HS sample that fits -- SP601B3 The fin spacing looks too tight for great low airflow performance.... tho it might be good enough for a lot of CPUs. "

Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 9:48 pm
by eternizer
Yeh, I saw that and thus I thought you would try the Spire one and tell us how it performs in NSK2400. Or SI-120 passively... Well, just my thought. Perhaps a CPU fan won't add much noise unless you replace all other stock fans. Anyway, already great review~
Btw, the original AC Freezer is 12cm, not 11cm (at least the spec says so). So, it's a tough call...

Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 10:53 pm
by Mr_Smartepants
qviri wrote:I have no typos to report, so I'll just say:

That's awesome.
I agree, it's awesome.
I do have a typo to report however:

From page-5

The most important results of the PSU testing:

* The base noise level is low but not the best, measuring 24 dBA@1m
* The PSU fan ramped up only when the intake temperature reached 32°C.
* The PSU ran quite cool; it's a good candidate for a slower, quieter fan swap.
* Efficiency is quite high, well above 80% in the 150W~300W range.
* Voltage regulation was excellent, as was Power Factor, which just just about perfect.

double "just" which I imagine the first one should be "was".

Excellent review Mike.

Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 10:56 pm
by acaurora
I am definately happy to see this review, Mike. After being with Ed, Russ, and Charlie @ CES, I definately did get to become VERY familiar with this case. Definately has a lot of potential as well as flexibility in varying customer needs. I myself plan on getting one to use as a HTPC, with probably a fanless 7600GS, Athlon 3700+ San Diego, a single 74 GB Raptor and maybe one of 'them new 750 GB Seagate 7200.10's w/perpendicular tech when they come out! ;)

As for pricing, NewEgg has it for $80 I think, but Fry's has it for $100. I am always wary about ordering cases online... =[

Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 11:08 pm
by hravn
Looks really nice, but without stealthed optical bays I won't be buying...

Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 11:53 pm
by cAPSLOCK
Once again a great creative airflow path... The downside though, is that all sides of this case have some sort of intake/exhaust, which might be ok for those of you in the US with a huge living room and a huge A/V rack with lots of space, but for those that are tight on space this could be a problem... Although I don't see any other way of making a quiet HTPC case that's any better in this aspect... :roll:

Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 12:06 am
by Buzku
Wow! I am really amazed by this case. Definitely my next case if I get enough money from summer job (I mean after buying new VGA-card and motherboard).

Antec really has been THE casemaker after P180. No one can really challenge them in silent cases. Also I like Antec's design, especially in P150 and this case.

Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 3:37 am
by charger2000
very good review Mike, as usual..., very interesting the various configs to match the most silent combination.

A couple of questions:
would you say that those new fans from Scythe are quiter than the "usual" Nexus ?

I believe that CPU temps should drop down a bit using a Thermalright XP90/90-C with a low noise fan ? Right ?

Maybe the perfect config would have been with a Smartdrive 2002C below the optical drive.

A bit of a shame Antec did not include a firewire connector on the front... :roll: and why Antec does not sell many cases WITHOUT the PSU ?

Nik :)

Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 4:39 am
by QuietOC
Mike,

You state in the conclusion:
Sure, it doesn't allow SLI to be used, but given how few people actually use SLI, it could find a good niche in the gaming market.
I don't see any reason why the case wouldn't support the eVGA 131-K8-NF44-AX.

Maybe we could get some real stress testing with a couple of 7900GTXs!

Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 6:25 am
by marcmercer
Does anone know when the fusion version of this case is likely to be released?

Marc

Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 9:03 am
by bbzidane
just wondering
why is the date 2005 on the first page?

Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 9:34 am
by valnar
I have a regular black ATX desktop case now for my HTPC. It's not pretty, but I haven't gotten around to replacing it yet. This looked intriguing until I saw it only supported mATX. Any word on a full sized ATX version? I have three PCI tuner cards, among other things.

-Robert

Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 10:25 am
by Aris
its probably the best HTPC style case ive ever seen to date. their are some critics id like to make about the review. just things i wish you would have done differently.

a Ninja running fanless next to the exhaust fans.

a "passive" system (ie: no fans on the video card, cpu heatsink, or any other heatsinks), using just the 2x 120mm case fans (nexus running at 5-7v), and a seasonic PSU with a nexus fan swap in it.

an attempt at suspension on the hard drives

--------------------------------------------------------------

the only things i saw i didnt like about the case.

i wouldve liked to see vents on the bottom of the case below the PSU. so you can have 120mm fan psu's pull cool air straight from below the case.

and stealth drive bays for the optical drives. black is easy to match, but their seems to be a million different shades of silver.

Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 10:28 am
by qviri
Aris wrote:a Ninja running fanless next to the exhaust fans.
The Ninja won't fit in the NSK2400. Not many tower heatsinks will; look at the height, it just barely fits a 120mm fan.

Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 1:22 pm
by JazzJackRabbit
So not even Scythe Katana fits the case?

Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 4:43 pm
by Tiamat
Interesting. I wish it was all black though. All of my stereo equipment is black.

Also, hmmm, i wonder how a dual 120mm radiator would look like attached to the outside of this case... ;p

Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 5:10 pm
by learning_bird
Good review and very well thought case as it seems .

In my opinion, it could be an almost perfect case if it weren't for the lack of:
1- A frontal FireWire 400 port.
2- Stealth drive bays for the optical drives.
3- A quieter PSU fan.

Adding this wouldn't cost, probably, more than $10 to the final cost. I would be willing to pay those $10. If building a totally new system that will cost you from $700 to $1000, what are $10 on such budget?

What is the opinion of Silentpcreview readers? Would you trade a slightly higher price for those features?

Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 6:04 pm
by merlin
learning_bird wrote:Good review and very well thought case as it seems .

In my opinion, it could be an almost perfect case if it weren't for the lack of:
1- A frontal FireWire 400 port.
2- Stealth drive bays for the optical drives.
3- A quieter PSU fan.

Adding this wouldn't cost, probably, more than $10 to the final cost. I would be willing to pay those $10. If building a totally new system that will cost you from $700 to $1000, what are $10 on such budget?

What is the opinion of Silentpcreview readers? Would you trade a slightly higher price for those features?
I get the feeling some of these features will be on the high end version of this case, the Fusion. Keep in mind that this is a low end case after all.

Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 11:37 pm
by tempeteduson
Aris wrote:the only things i saw i didnt like about the case.

i wouldve liked to see vents on the bottom of the case below the PSU. so you can have 120mm fan psu's pull cool air straight from below the case.
I don't think PSUs have vents at the top (which would be the bottom in this case).

On another note, I would have liked a front Firewire port (6-pin)... and stealthed drive bays and a VFD and a volume knob. :lol: But this is a budget case, and all of those features are available on the Fusion. Plus, the Fusion has a real aluminum front panel.

I might spring for the Fusion, but I can't get over the sheer value you get with this case. It's cleverly designed and well thought out in all departments. The first case I would buy for an HTPC without hesitation!

Oh, and a great review, SPCR. Very well written! Aside from the correction of a few punctuation errors (I'm a perfectionist :D), I would have liked to see some comments on heatsink compatibility. I know that Mike has discussed this issue in another thread, but I would have liked it here just for the sake of completeness in a product review.

Thanks and keep up the good work!

Regards,
KTK

Posted: Sat Apr 22, 2006 4:03 am
by aidanjm2004
Nice little case for the money. maybe this will be my htpc case. :)

Posted: Sat Apr 22, 2006 6:07 am
by mshan
re. Fusion

Will that volume control adjust the global Windows volume control (and thus should work with any Windows program)?

Posted: Sat Apr 22, 2006 8:28 am
by IsaacKuo
learning_bird wrote:In my opinion, it could be an almost perfect case if it weren't for the lack of:
1- A frontal FireWire 400 port.
2- Stealth drive bays for the optical drives.
3- A quieter PSU fan.

Adding this wouldn't cost, probably, more than $10 to the final cost. I would be willing to pay those $10. If building a totally new system that will cost you from $700 to $1000, what are $10 on such budget?

What is the opinion of Silentpcreview readers? Would you trade a slightly higher price for those features?
1 - don't care personally, but I can see how it would matter to others
2 - would have been nice, but I'd rather have had a black front
3 - don't care (most of us rarely find stock fans acceptable regardless)

In the opinion of this SPCR reader, there is exactly one thing this case desperately needs--an extra 30+mm in height above the CPU.

Also, it would have been nice if there were an optional slot in the main partition to allow a full size motherboard to fit. The power supply mounting would have to be raised a bit, of course.