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Old June 5, 2008, 10:14 AM
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Default Antec new open concept case.

This looks good for you guys always reviewing stuff, quick and easy access to components.

COMPUTEX 2008 Spotlight - ANTEC Comes Out of Closet With Skeleton | Futurelooks - Digital Lifestyle and Technology for the Masses
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Old June 5, 2008, 11:04 AM
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I believe a few of the reviewers use these:
Highspeed PC Tech Station Review
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Old June 5, 2008, 11:43 AM
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Default Very Nice

Nice little toy there.
The TechStations are great units don't get me wrong, but this unit looks alot more solid then the build it yourself type.
The huge fan on the top is a nice feature as well, keeps things really cool instead of having to rig up or lay across 80MM and 120MM fans on the hardware.

Sliding trays are a great feature.
The concern about the large fan getting in the way of bigger heatsinks is valid for the SkelMini, but for the regular one, from what I can see it looks like it would have more than enough space for everything.

Would be interesting if they were able to include some sort of side panel for it though, so at the end of the day you could snap two panels on the side and have it looking a little cleaner.
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Old June 5, 2008, 11:53 AM
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Actually the lower shelf mount tech stations do a great job of putting air across the mobo chipset. I've yet to have a problem with an OC on the test bed which could be fixed with "better" airflow.
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Old June 5, 2008, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
large Skeleton features a slide out motherboard tray
...so you have to go through an extra step to get at the crap that would be right there if the thing was square. I wonder if the hard drive trays are screwless or if you have more work ahead of you there.
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Old June 5, 2008, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
I wonder if the hard drive trays are screwless or if you have more work ahead of you there.
Did you watch the video.
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Old June 5, 2008, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TopDogZero View Post
Did you watch the video.
Yes. It shows the trays clipping into the chassis but it does not show how the drives connect to the trays. All the Antec cases I have require you to screw the drives to the trays before sliding the tray into the case. This is nice for many cases because you screw them into little rubber bushings that dampen noise and vibration. I love my Titan 650s. It is not so great if you want to keep a score of drives around for different purposes or batch testing. Imagine sticking 6 drives in this thing to test RAID cards; you have to mess with dragging cables all over the place to hook them up.

The side mounts were obviously trays and not real drives. Maybe those two front panel bays were naked drives slotting into a hot swap style bracket but I can not make it out as the video is too dark. I doubt it as they clipped in too easily for normal hot swap bays. Even if they are then the bays are most certainly SATA only and that kinds of reduces some of the options. No problem for people who want to use the rig for reviewing only new gear but anyone who wants to use this for as a test bench for troubleshooting walk-in problems at a real shop would have to bugger around with it constantly.

If this is supposed to be for people who want to do a lot of swapping for testing why was the guy hyping up the colored LEDs in the fan? Are we going to get a breakout with OCing under green, OCing under blue, and OCing under red?

The fact that the thing has to slide apart seems really cumbersome to me. It looks like you would need a good 12-14 inches of free desk space in front of it so you can get access. I do not know about you but that is the place I like to put my coffee and my notepad.

Most test bench rigs kind of reverse the mainboard so the ports are on the same side of the unit as the drives and such. This way everything is easily accessible for inserting and plug/unpluging. The way the cowling and brace of the top fan dips down in the back you may have fouling problems getting a larger heatsinks in there for some OC tests.

The guys at my local computer store do not even have a bench like any of the ones that have been posted. They just use a slab of stiff, close cell, and electrically insulated foam with a slit cut in it for the expansion card brackets. Pop the mainboard on the foam and install whatever you want and power it up. No worries about screws, fittings, or tight spaces, and the foam really reduces the flex of the mainboard when you slot in the expansion boards. (Of course, they do not OC these rigs, just build and fix them.)

It is stylish and kind of nice looking. I see this more for people who want something distinctive and the "conveninece" to change a part ever couple weeks with a little less fuss than a normal case. I hope people who buy it enjoy it but my intuition tells me this thing would be about 5% more convenient than a spacious normal case for day2day testing and troubleshooting.

YMMV
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Old June 5, 2008, 05:22 PM
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Good points Jack Rabbit, it seems Antec has produced a case for a select few enthusiast who like to upgrade often and like some thing different.

It is good to see case manufactures come up with new designs even if they don't work or just plane don't look good, it's good we got away from those beige boxs but it seems like lately it has started to stagnate with many cases looking like each other. With my main rig that's not a problem since it is also my HTPC and is locked away in my entertainment center (not visible) so I got a case with features I wanted instead of looks. But for the vast majority of users looks do matter to some extent.
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Old June 5, 2008, 06:56 PM
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If I had a car it would be a Volvo. They are boxy but they are good. I like my cases simple, square, and straight through. But I know everyone likes things different and I wish this dial on demand, made to order, paperless office would allow for more variety and more choice.
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