I have been reviewing the Antec enclosures for quite some time now and have always hounded then for the lack of a removable motherboard tray. So you can imagine my surprise when I began digging into the internals of this model and noted the feature.
Many folks have said that if there is ample room inside a case, a motherboard tray becomes unnecessary. I tend to disagree with this concept simply because it is so much easier to install the mainboard, processor, HSF and memory modules when the tray is sitting conveniently on a table in front of you. It makes installation a good deal easier than mucking around within the enclosure.
But wait, we have already seen the attention to detail in regards to noise on this case, what can you possibly do to keep up this tradition?
How about a plastic cushion to rest the motherboard tray on? These plastic inserts sit across the rails which act as the mounting platform for the tray. They are sitting slightly higher than the metal arms and provide a means for a plastic on metal contact patch to keep vibrations from the case structure.
But why would you need this sound dampening effort on a motherboard tray? Consider the power of today's modern heatsink/fan combinations. With 80mm fans spinning well in excess of 6,000RPM, you can see the possibility of vibration transferring to the case. And while Northbridge coolers don't have as much power as a standard HSF, they are getting beefier all the time and can make use of the vibration-eliminating features of this Antec enclosure.
Moving onto the cooling aspect of the case shows a good deal fewer fans than you might be accustomed to seeing. Only two fans reside in the stock form of this enclosure, but both are massive 120mm housings. Pictured above is the rear housing and this is the recommended placement of the single fan that comes with this case. I would suggest getting a second to use as a front intake (pictured below), but that is up to you. With the larger size of these fans, you can get slower speeds with higher air ratings to keep noise even lower.
This is the housing assembly for the front fan. It has proper filtration in place and mounts directly in front of the hard drive tower to provide extra cooling for fast spinning drives. For the sake of importance I will reiterate, get another fan!
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