Disappointed in my Antec NSK6580. Suggest other options?

Enclosures and acoustic damping to help quiet them.

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Shamgar
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Disappointed in my Antec NSK6580. Suggest other options?

Post by Shamgar » Tue Nov 25, 2008 8:17 am

Please excuse me for my long post. I want to share my thoughts on this case and hopefully get some suggestions at the end. I am not an out and out enthusiast, so please forgive me for any ignorance on my part. We are all here to learn from one another.

I bought an Antec NSK6580 to house my 'budget' build which comprises of these parts [so far]: AMD Athlon X2 4850e, Gigabyte GA-MA78G-DS3H, 2x1GB Kingston DDR2 800, WD6400AAKS, Pioneer DVR-216BK.

Because I live in a climate which can get very hot in summer (40+ C -- but only 20-25 C max. now), I wanted to go for either a Solo or a P182 when I originally planned my build some months ago. But the price became too high due to the exchange rate, so I searched for a less expensive option. That led me to the NSK series of cases with the included Earthwatts PSUs. I settled for an ATX sized 780G board, so, both the NSK2480 and 3480 were ruled out. The 4480 received some negative feedback here on its build quality so I did not consider that either. Basically, I prefer a sturdy ATX tower case over an mATX case one given the choice, so I went ahead and purchased the NSK6580 as it seemed good value. (Not as good a price as you would pay in North America, but that's another story.)

After unpacking the case, I find the side panel flexes significantly due to it being bent. This is unacceptable for a case that isn't that 'cheap'. Of an el cheapo OEM case, I could forgive its shortcomings. But I expect much better from Antec. The steel they use these days is not as durable as in their earlier cases from a few years ago. I found that the power supply on/off switch is loose and doesn't inspire my confidence long term. Other things I found disappointing were its rough matte paint finish, stiff power/small reset button and that flimsy front plastic bezel. The Earthwatts 430 upon turn on (with only ATX cable connected to motherboard) is not inaudible to me even from across a room. In other words, it's not the quiet quiet I am looking for.

I could have just received a poor sample, but I'm sure there are other people with similar dissatisfactions in the NSK series of cases. I realise it is a lower end line after all; but as consumers and PC users, I think we are being sold a little short in terms of quality. Several owner complaints on this forum and others turned me away from getting a Solo. Yes, if you are in North America or Europe, Antec's customer support is very good, but elsewhere on planet earth, it is not so. By the way, I have contacted their global customer support, but I don't think I'll get very far with them, so I will just have to return this case to my retailer.

For people using the 3480/4480/6580 cases as servers, second or third PCs tucked away out of view somewhere, I'm sure it would be fine for its purposes. But for a sole day to day computer in a bedroom or study, I personally cannot live with it. So now I am forced to spend more on a case and a separate PSU when I thought I could save a few dollars and get a 'reliable' Antec solution. I don't intend for this post being a 'rant' of a dissatisfied customer. I want to share another view and give others fair warning also of what they might expect. This is not a put down on the NSK series which is certainly better than other brands' budget offerings. It just should be a lot better than what it is. I have stuck by Antec through the years and they are the first case I suggest to friends and family. But now, I am not so sure. They must improve quality of the next generation of Solo, P18x, NSK or whatever else, or it'll just be more of the same.

Now, if you have got through all that, I would like to know if there are any other quality ATX tower cases that I should consider besides Solo, Sonata, P182 that I would be happy building a very quiet system in with minimal modding. As I mentioned earlier, price is an issue, but if there are few other options, I may just have to take a risk with the Solo (hopefully not get any busted buttons) and put a Corsair/Seasonic PSU in there.

Thank you all for your patience.

Aris
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Post by Aris » Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:35 am

Lian Li has good build quality, but you'll have problems with vibration induced noise since all their cases are aluminum. Also they tend to be fairly pricey, and you already mentioned that as a negative for antec cases.

I've heard good things about silverstone, but havnt seen one myself.

Other than that, everything else is pretty run of the mill. The small quibbles you have found with this case you'll find with pretty much all cases. Plastic bezels is pretty much the standard now a days. If you dont like antec steel, your going to hate other company's steel. Antec uses .8mm cold rolled, its actually one of the best in the industry. Buttons being loose is also fairly common with every case i've ever seen, since most are made of plastic which is a fairly cheep material.

If these things actually bother you as much as you say they do, your going to end up spending A LOT of money for something better. Most cases made by other company's have much more shortfalls than what you have now.

I've seen a lot of different cases, from el cheepo, to lian li, to antec and everything in between over the last 10 years. The best build quality case i've ever seen is the Antec Solo. You can get a solo without included power supply, which will help you save a bit of money so you can get a good quality quiet PSU separately. Like an Enermax Modu82+, or Corsair 520/620HX.

Ultimately though i think your standards are a bit too high. I mean really its just a box that holds all your stuff and keeps it protected. How often do you really touch your buttons, or the case itself except for maybe opening your optical drive occasionally. Just sit it someplace, turn it on and dont think so much about that button thats a little loose on the back. Once its all put together the only things that really matter is how it looks visually, and how loud it is. If the power supply is too loud then replace the PSU with something quieter. Stock powersupplies that come with cases pretty much suck across the board. Getting a good, quiet, quality PSU stock with your case is a rarity. Its not something you should expect.

bgiddins
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Post by bgiddins » Tue Nov 25, 2008 3:30 pm

...I'm quite happy with my Antec Three Hundred combined with a Corsair VX450 - it came to around $200 AUD. I looked at the NSK6580, but decided to spend a little extra on the Three Hundred so I could choose my PSU - for the money it's a good case IMO.
[size=75][b]Server:[/b] Antec 300|Corsair VX450|Intel Q9550 E0|Asus P5Q-VM|8GB Kingston DDR2-800|Xigmatek HDT-S1283|1xWD3000GLFS|4xWD10EADS[/size]

speedkar9
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Post by speedkar9 » Fri Nov 28, 2008 5:54 pm

Aris wrote:If these things actually bother you as much as you say they do, your going to end up spending A LOT of money for something better.
I was in a similar situation back when I had an Antec Three Hundred + EA-380. The EA PSU was just way to loud, and all the sound was just leaking out the open front panel of the 300. I became frustrated, as this was my bedroom PC, and must be quiet. I ended up selling both of them, in light of getting something quieter, and perhaps a case that was more enclosed, on a budget of course.
I looked toward the Sonata III and Sonata Designer 500 with their included PSU's. Both of which would cost me an extra $30, on top of what I sold the 300 & EA-380 for. I checked out the case, build quality on the Designer was fine (essentially a SOLO/ P150), but the bad experience with an Earthwatts and that 80mm fan scared me off.
I eventually settled with a used P180 + S12II 380, which cost me an extra $60 on top of what I earned! Both of them are running fine right now, although I cant stand the front door on the P180, as it is much flimsier than the front panel on the 300.

Of course this now makes my 7200.10 Seagate the next loudest thing in my PC..... :twisted:

mentawl
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Post by mentawl » Fri Nov 28, 2008 11:15 pm

I'm afraid the NSK-series cases are about as good quality a case as you'll get for the price, considering the quality of the PSUs as well.

I'd like to put forth a recommendation for the Sonata, though. It's a very solid case, and is on its third iteration, so most little irritations have been worked out. The plastic of the front bezel is more substantial than the NSKs, and the HD cage is less "leaky", acoustically. I own a Solo and a Sonata, and the only reason the Sonata doesn't house my main system anymore is that my 9800GTX won't fit in it.

Shamgar
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Replaced with a Solo + VX450

Post by Shamgar » Fri Nov 28, 2008 11:16 pm

An update... I returned the NSK6580 due to a bent side panel and for the reasons I stated above. The store was happy to give a replacement/credit/refund--no questions asked. I setted for a partial exhange and got a Corsair VX450. Next step was getting an Antec Solo. There are only 4 decent computer parts retailers in my city. Hard work trying to get a Solo... After some enquiries: only one store even stocks it. The salesman over the phone tells me, "Don't worry, we've got a few in the warehouse. It's not a very popular case." I'm guessing that also means, "We're happy to offload you one." Win win situation.
Aris wrote:I've seen a lot of different cases, from el cheepo, to lian li, to antec and everything in between over the last 10 years. The best build quality case i've ever seen is the Antec Solo.
Aris, I trust your judgment. I think I'll be very happy with this case. It's what I wanted to get originally until the finances got a little tight.
Ultimately though i think your standards are a bit too high.
True. But I'll live with that. :D
Stock powersupplies that come with cases pretty much suck across the board. Getting a good, quiet, quality PSU stock with your case is a rarity. Its not something you should expect.
True, in most cases (ignore pun), but concerning the Earthwatts, which is marketed as a high efficiency 'near silent' PSU which retails on its own for a little less or sometimes the same as a VX450, it falls much short of the VX's standards. Many people would be happy with it however, and that's fine.

speedkar9, I like you also considered an Antec Designer 500 (white Solo), hoping to sell off the EA500 afterwards. That was not a given, and I prefer the Solo's colour, nomenclature, no PSU... so I went with that.

pony-tail
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Post by pony-tail » Fri Nov 28, 2008 11:27 pm

I live in an area with similar heat issues ( maybe 1 or 2c cooler ) I am using NSK3480 s . I have found that the one I have just bought has a different ( noisier ) PSU than the 2 I bought a year ago . I would dodge a Sonata in 40c heat - you would need to have the fan running at 1500 rpm to cool it ( I have an Athlon X2 6400 + / M2N32SLi / 2 x Gf 8800gt combo in one it overheats after an hour with the rear fan on medium ( tricool) in summer heat but is OK on low in 30c temps it seems to be ok up to about 34 or 35 c the becomes un coolable . As much as I dislike the P180 /182 etc in the temps you describe I would recommend that case . The PSU I would leave to some one who knows a bit more about the current run than myself to make a recommendation .
Small Fast and Silent - Quiet SFF With Gonads!

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