Articles: Cases/PSU

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Antec NSK3480

As opposed to the previous cases, the Antec NSK3480 is meant for microATX or smaller mainboards. If you don’t have any special requirements to your PC, why not assemble it in a small system case? A modern PC seldom has expansion cards other than the graphics card and some people even use an integrated graphics core. A modern mainboard already incorporates all the interfaces you need, from audio to HDMI. If you have such a system, you don’t need a large and heavy system case.


The front panel resembles the one of the Sonata Plus 550 but with fewer 5-inch bays and without the bronze bezel. The vent holes in the side panel are yet another difference. Moreover, there are vent holes between the protruding silvery part of the front panel and the black part behind it.

Power and Reset buttons and a column of additional ports are placed on the right of the front panel. The ports include one FireWire, two USB and two audio connectors.

The back panel is perfectly standard. It’s good the manufacturer has managed to fit a 120mm exhaust fan in there, which is a rare thing for a microATX system case. The fan belongs to the TriCool series and features speed regulation.

The case stands on black rubber feet.

To access the internals of the case you have to remove the top panel first. Then you should pull the side panels up.

The chassis is as simple as possible. The edges are all finished and rolled in where necessary. The case is again divided into two compartments. The top one contains both 5-inch bays and the PSU. The rest of the components are in the bottom compartment, separated by a metallic plate that has a slit for the interface cables. The power cables are supposed to go to the bottom compartment through the hole in the side metallic plate – its size is regulated by changing the position of the plastic cap.

This design solution makes sense for a compact system case because some of hot components, including the PSU, are separated from the mainboard. Additionally, the airflows are simplified to avoid turbulences.

You can install two 92mm fans on the front panel. Their seats occupy almost the entire internal side of the front panel in such a compact case.

A plastic diffuser is installed on the vent holes in the side panel. It delivers the air closer to the CPU fan. This thing is not very efficient, though. It can only be good for small coolers, similar to the boxed ones. You should remove the diffuser when you install a large cooler.

It is fastened with four screws. You can install an 80mm fan instead of it.

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