Cooling


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Cooling is important, and the people at Antec understand this. The SX1040 can hold double the amount of fans of what most off-the-rack cases offer. As you can see in the photo, there are two 80mm exhaust fans (included) in the back of the case, right next to where the CPU and video card, two major heat producers, are located. And in the bottom front you can see the brackets for two intake fans. One of them is cleverly integrated into the lower drive cage, providing direct cooling for the drives mounted there. Between these four fans the case has very good air flow in the lower part. The area that gets a little neglected in the cooling department is the upper level where the 5.25″ bays are located. A separate drive cooler might be in order for hot-running devices mounted here.Another nice touch is the way the cooling fans are mounted. The purple plastic fan brackets can be removed without tools, and the fans securely snap into the bracket, rattle-free even without screws.

One small possible improvement could be the addition of a air intake filter to help keep the dust out, considering that there is a lot of air flowing through the large vent at the bottom front of the case.

I was pleased to hear that even with a total of 7 fans the case is a good deal quieter than the Addtronics 7896A with 9 fans.

Other Niceties

You know what they say about cases and big feet, right? They don’t fall over easily. Flip the large feet out for additional stability, or flip them in for a smaller foot print – your choice.

Mounting 5.25″ drives is done with rails that you screw to the drive. You then slide the drive into the bay until it snaps into place. To remove it, push in the metal tabs and pull. Easy and toolless. The cherry on the pie is how the unused rails are stored. There are actually plastic clips in the bottom of the case that hold the extra rails.

The case is as attractive as a beige off-the-rack computer case can get. It looks very sleek from the front due to the door covering up the drive bays and buttons. In addition to looks the door also provides protection from accidental use of the power or reset buttons. One thing you might want to do is tell your CD burning software not to automatically eject the disk when finished to prevent it from bumping into the closed door. If you don’t care for the door at all, it is easily removed.

Both the side door and the front cover are lockable. While the locks partially consist of plastic parts that won’t withstand a ruffian, they at least offer some security to prevent case intrusion.

The case itself is extremely sturdy. You can feel the quality while working with it. It is solid and doesn’t flex.

The motherboard is mounted on brass spacer screws that solidly screw into the motherboard tray, not those flimsy plastic clips that easily break, a bonus in my eyes.

 


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Conclusion

The SX1040 is a great quality case. It is solidly constructed, a far cry from the $30 cases you find on the shelves of some computer stores. The edges are nicely rolled, you won’t find a single sharp edge in the case to cut yourself on. I love the toolless, snap-in, clip-on, quick-release features that make it a breeze to work with this case. It is well thought out with many features that make this case equally attractive for the first-time builder as well as for the expert. It cools well while still running at an acceptable noise level. There is nothing bad to say about this case. It is a clear winner in my book.

Submitted by: Alex “crazygerman” Byron

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