As we begin our tour within the confines of this case, we see ourselves looking straight down the pipe where the optical drives will reside. The front bay covers are easily removed by taking a screwdriver and prying inward just a bit on the tab of the cover plate.
Of note concerning the installation of the optical drives is the fact that Antec is still using a rail system for these devices. I have come to enjoy the ease of removing a drive when necessary and just sliding it back in place when needed.
Next up are the 3.5" drive bays. You can fit up to six drives this enclosure, so this would give you room to add in a floppy drive, a backup device and still have room to run a four drive RAID array just for fun. But wait; let's take a peek at how these drives are mounted:
The entire bay is easily removed from the case for easy installation of the hard drives. The two removable bays each hold up to three devices each, so you can just remove the entire bay, install the drives on the table in front of you and then just place it back into the enclosure. You'll never have to worry about dropping screws into the innards of the case again!
Though this isn't a new feature, I'll cover it for those who are not familiar with the Antec line of enclosures. The bottom 3.5" bay has a built-in mount for an 80mm x 80mm x 25mm fan. With the hard drives currently available today, heating is becoming a severe problem. This allows you to not only add precious airflow to the case as a whole, but also allows that fresh cool air being brought in to the cooling scheme to flow over the hard drives.
Again, this is not a new feature, but it is certainly one that I hope never goes away. It keeps the drives cooler during operation and also saves you the expense of buying a separate hard disk cooling device.
Since this model is based on the older PLUS1080 design, it was no surprise to see mounts for a pair of 80mm fans on the back of the case. Better yet, there were a pair of 80mm fans already in place, but these are the only two fans that come as standard components when the case is purchased. There are three more 80mm fan mounts to fill yourself, so keep this in mind when you look at this case. While it isn't imperative that you fill all five fan mounts, it is most definitely recommended.
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