Articles: Cases/PSU

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I bet you haven’t seen many system cases of this form-factor with a non-standard component layout and meant to be assembled by the end-user. Two exhaust fans (Arctic Fan 3) are placed where you’d expect to find the power supply:

Their design is as original as the design of the whole system case:


The fan has little of its own case; the queerly-shaped blades are placed at a wide internal; and the depth of the fan is a good 5 centimeters. These features all become more understandable if you read up the fan specification: 1900rpm max, 28CFM (or 48 cubic meters per hour at the max speed), and very modest power requirements (12V, 0.12amp). The specification is just excellent, yet I will check below how the fan meets it in practice. The power supply is located in the bottom front part of the case:

And it is equipped with two more Arctic Fan 3. A special soundproof container for the hard drive is installed in front of the PSU – I’ll talk about it shortly. All the system fans work to exhaust the air from the inside of the case. The outside air comes in through the openings in the bottom and rear panels and cools the graphics card and the processor, respectively. The hot air accumulates mainly at the top of the case and is exhausted by the two rear fans. The rest of the inside air is exhausted by the front fans and cools the power supply along the way.

This airflow design is original – no one seems to have used it in home computers. By the way, the non-traditional internal layout and the special stand give much freedom to the exterior designers. The front panel plays no role in case ventilation, so its shape can be varied at will.

The cable of the power supply is neatly laid along the bottom of the case.

The power supply is one of the best available models for midrange computer systems.

The Seasonic SS-350ATC features an active PFC device and supports a wide range of input voltage – it will work normally even if the mains voltage is unstable in your area. Such PSUs also reduce the load on your UPS device. If you take two identical PC configurations, the one with a Seasonic SS-350ATC is going to work longer on the same UPS than the system with an ordinary 350W PSU. The specified max currents are sufficiently high (17 amperes is declared for the 12V channel which is the most crucial power rail in modern computer systems), meaning that this PSU can power up even a serious gaming configuration. The low power dissipation makes the Seasonic SS-350ATC an ideal choice for building a quiet computer, too. Since the PSU is not in its customary place here, it lacks a turn-off button, and the only way to power the computer down completely is to unplug the power cord from the wall socket. Not an elegant solution, but you can buy a power strip with a turn-off button, if you wish.

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