Articles: Cases/PSU

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The Antec ISK 310-150 does stand out among the other computer cases. It is meant for users who prefer high-quality and compact devices as it features robust metal, restrained exterior design, quietness, very compact dimensions and excellent expansion opportunities (two HDDs, a second fan). It is not without flaws, though. The expansion card fastener makes the card bend and the PSU has very low efficiency. So, the price looks too high to us.

The other three products are competitors, but the InWin IW-BM643 is obviously the least attractive of them. It is the least convenient when it comes to installing components (you cannot connect the front-panel connectors to the mainboard’s header if you’ve got an optical drive installed), has poor ventilation (especially for the graphics card) and a rather high level of noise, and its exterior design is questionable. However, most of our criticism disappears if you don’t install an optical drive whereas the opportunity to install both 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch HDDs simultaneously is unique among the tested products.

The Foxconn RS-338(L) and InWin IW-BP659 are very similar to each other in dimensions and ventilation (both are actually the best among the four computer cases in this review in terms of ventilation) but differ in expansion opportunities and noisiness. The Foxconn allows installing an internal card-reader but its HDD options are limited to one 3.5-inch drive whereas the PSU limits the height of the expansion card’s components. The InWin, on its part, can accommodate a second 3.5-inch HDD (only a slim one – such models are only available in capacities up to 1 terabyte) and has no limitations concerning the expansion card’s width but doesn’t allow to install an external 3.5-inch device and has no Reset button. The difference in acoustic comfort is substantial: the Foxconn is better in the noisiness of both the exhaust fan and the PSU fan. That’s why we’d prefer the Foxconn despite its thinner metal and not very well designed supports for positioning it upright.

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