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Antec PerformancePlus 660AMG Mini Tower Case
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Date 23rd September 2002
Author James "Agg" Rolfe
Manufacturer Antec (USA)
Distributor Altech Computers

Introduction, Features

A sometimes-neglected part of building a new PC is the case. Much thought is given to details like motherboard chipset, CPU speed, video card etc.. but often, the case is simply "and a case" with little though to the specifics. This is despite the fact that, with perhaps the monitor being the only exception, the case is the longest-living part of a new system. Overclockers and enthusiasts generally have a rapid upgrade cycle and over the course of a year or two may completely change the innards of their machine. I've always been of the mentality that the case, which becomes your workspace when swapping components or rebuilding machines, should be a high-quality component itself.

So, let's take a stroll through the garden with Antec's PerformancePlus 660AMG Minitower.

Click to Enlarge

This "AMG" series of cases from Antec is a very dark grey, almost charcoal colour. It's quite a difficult colour to photograph correctly, seeming to appear slightly lighter when viewed from an angle. Even through the magic of Photoshop I had difficulty making the photos match the real-life colouring. However, in real life, the effect is very nice. The dark colouring gives the machine a professional, almost server-like appearance. The styling and general quality of construction adds to this impression.

It's quite a heavy case. Steel construction and no skimping on fabrication lends a very sturdy feel to it. Some cheapo cases you can pick up and twist diagonally - not so the Antec.

Click to Enlarge

It seems that, with all the photos I took, I neglected to get one of the right-hand (when viewed from the front) side-panel. No great loss, it's a screwed-in-place, featureless sheet of charcoal-coloured steel. The left side, though, has a couple of interesting features.

The first is the moulded handle used to remove the side panel. This makes it easy to get into the case for maintenance. It's lockable, but I wouldn't consider it a high-security solution. There doesn't seem to be any unique pattern on the key so it wouldn't be too unlikely that someone else could have the same key.

Click to Enlarge

The second feature is of course the side intake fan, nicely positioned to blow air directly onto a video card in the AGP slot. The fan supplied is a basic Antec 80mm with a passthrough molex power connector. It's just begging to be replaced with one of their LED fans but isn't too noisy and seems to move a fair bit of air.

Click to Enlarge

At the front of the case is a pivoting Antec logo which reveals 2 USB ports and a FireWire port. Note that this isn't a passthrough to the connectors on the back of your motherboard (as seen on some other cases). These connect directly to the motherboard's extra port connectors. Antec provide these connections for individual pins, so you'd have to be careful to connect the pins correctly to your motherboard or the ports will be mis-wired. Front-mounted USB ports are very handy for digital cameras, USB storage or other occasionally-connected devices.

The reset and power buttons (far side of picture) are recessed to prevent accidents - a pencil or similar will be needed to reset the machine. Note also the 4 LED's.. from the top down: Power, HDD Activity and two extra ones marked simply I and II. You could hook these up to other devices with activity LED support such as extra HDD/RAID controllers, HDD's themselves if they support external LED's, or even your network card.


All original content copyright James Rolfe.
All rights reserved. No reproduction allowed without written permission.
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