The front panel underwent a few modifications to allow some new features.
A small plastic lid flips up to reveal two USB ports and 1 IEEE1394 (Firewire) port for easy front access. These ports are connected to USB and firewire connectors on the motherboard (if present, depending on motherboard model) via an 8-pin and a 6-pin cable. A minor annoyance is the fact that each pin has to be identified, matched, and connected individually using the motherboard and case manual.
Another addition to the front panel are two additional LEDs that can be used for SCSI devices for example.
The power supply in this case is a high-quality dual-fan cooled ATX12V form factor Antec TruePower model. With 430W it provides plenty of power for current powerhungry CPUs such as the AMD Athlon or Pentium 4. It has the following connectors:
|4-pin Molex drive connectors||7|
|4-pin mini-Molex floppy drive connectors||2|
|12V connector for Pentium 4 motherboards||1|
|20-pin main motherboard power connector||1|
|4-pin fan-only power connectors||2|
|6-pin AUX power connector||1|
|3-pin fan signal connector||1|
In addition, the TruePower 430 features Antec Low Noise Technology, an advanced temperature and fan monitoring system to reduce overall system noise. When the two special fan-only power connectors are connected to standard case fans, the power supply can adjust the speed of these fans as needed. It also regulates the speed of the two cooling fans inside the power supply. By constantly monitoring the temperature, the power supply lowers or raises fan speed automatically. If the system runs cool, fan speed is lowered and noise reduced. If the system runs warm, fan speed is increased and cooling improved. The result is optimal balance between cooling and noise reduction. Lastly, the 3-pin fan signal connector can be connected to a fan header on the motherboard, allowing monitoring of the rear power supply fan via software like Motherboard Monitor.
This case is another clear winner from Antec. Once again, Antec has proven that they care about what the user wants, functionality, and quality. They continue to improve their products by putting thought into development of useful features. This case combines all the previous strengths of Antec cases and adds several desirable features (side panel fan, black case, front USB and firewire ports, advanced noise and temperature control), resulting in a top-notch case. Currently this case retails for about USD 150, which is an awesome deal considering you get a kick-ass case including a high-quality power supply. Normally I always say “You get what you pay for” but in this case I have to take that back – in this case (no pun intended) you get more than you pay for.
Props to Rachel for hooking me up with a case for this review.
Submitted by: Alex “crazygerman” Byron