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 Antec SX830 and SX840 Workstation Computer Cases
Last updated: 8/14/02

DRIVE BAYS.  The SX800 case has eight drive bays: three hidden, one exposed, and one partially hidden 3 1/2" bays, and three exposed 5 1/4" bays.  All of the exposed bays come with snap-on dust covers.  The three hidden 3 1/2" bays are in a removable cage which rests on a shelve in the motherboard cavity and secured with a large, easily-accessed and executed lever, a couple of fingers at the bottom and one at the top, and no screws.  The drives are well-spaced vertically for cooling.  This bay is the easiest one to remove and install I have yet seen in any computer case.

The exposed and partially exposed 3 1/2 drives mount in a drawer (see picture above) that is secured to the chassis with two thumbscrews.  The upper part of the front panel must be removed to access it.  This arrangement for installing these drives is not as convenient as installing the single 3 1/2" partially exposed drive the Antec KS282 case or the fully exposed drives in other cases, such as the AOpen HX45A, because one cannot push the drive in from the back to align it with the front and screw it in place from the side before removing the cage to install additional screws/drives.

Now for the feature I really do not like about this case... The 5 1/4 inch drives mount with rails.  Rails cost more than screws and screw holes.  It takes longer to install drives that use them than those that are mounted directly to the case.  Almost invariably I have to remount them on a drive to get the alignment with the front of the case correct.  You can't find them when you need them.  There is no rail standard.  Vendors forget to, or purposely do not give extra rails to their customers.  When customers do receive them, they often lose them.  Altogether, over the last 15 years, I have spent man-days searching through my big box of rails trying to find a set to match a customer's computer.  One somewhat mitigating feature with this case is that the extra rails are stored inside of it with clips that hold them to the bottom of the case.  I found no instructions for removing them from the clips or the clips from the case (if that is even possible without breaking them) and found it rather awkward to move the rails for and aft through the clips to remove them.

EXPANSION BOARD SLOTS.  The case has seven slots.  The covers clip at the bottom and screw into place at the top.  The slots are fully punched-out and all but the first one come with the covers already installed.

ATX I/O BACK PANEL.  The case comes with an A.3.a I/O (Intel "Universal") back panel (also called an I/O Shield) which was already snapped into a cut-out in the back of the case.  It matches all of the ATX motherboards reviewed in the Digest to date.  Although washed-out by the flash in the picture it is quite-well labeled.  It is also thicker then the one that was supplied for the KS282 case reviewed sometime ago.  This is the only I/O panel available from Antic for this case. There was a time when Antec carried a wide-range of these panels with various configurations and would send one to owners of an Antec case free of charge.  As I have seen quite a few of these panels and they vary by manufacturer on how they attach to the case, you may have a problem if your motherboard does not match this panel even if the motherboard manufacturer supplies one that matches the motherboard.

HARDWARE.   An adequate assortment of hardware was included with the case, but I have seen better.  It would be nice if some zip-ties were included.

PACKAGING.  The case came wrapped in plastic and packed in a very thick cardboard box.  The styrofoam packing used to cushion the top and bottom of the case is adequate, but I have seen thicker.  All computers should, however, be double-boxed before shipping commercially.

DOCUMENTATION.  The documentation is poor and out-of-date.  I am not asking for a tomb or even something like a motherboard book, but illustrated instructions on such things as how to remove the front panels, fans, and rails, and replace the I/O back panel, need to be included.  Novice users should be told to check the power supply for the correct line voltage setting before plugging it in.  I have seen worse.

DIMENSIONS:  18.6"(D) x 8.1"(W) x 20.6"(H) (52.2 x 20.5 x 47.3 cm)

At 20.6 inches high it is 2 1/2 inches (6.4 cm) higher than the Antec KS282 medium tower,  4.3 inches (10.9 cm) higher than the AOpen HX45A medium tower, and 2 1/2 inches (6.4 cm) shorter than the AOpen HX08 full-tower,

WEIGHT.

SX830: 28.7/30.7 lbs (13.0/13.9 kg) Net/Gross

SX840: 29.7/31.7 lbs (13.5/14.4 kg) Net/Gross

 

An SX840 sits on my computer table.

Larry

Here's what "copperpipe" wrote in our Forums about the SX830 case last October:

Regarding the Antec SX830 case, here is what I like:

-The metal RF shield/backplate for the connectors that came with the Antec case already had a knockout for the onboard network connector.
-Lots of space for clumsy hands working near the motherboard and drives. No sharp edges to cut your fingers.
-Easy to remove the top front and side panels without a screwdriver.
-The two 80mm exhaust fans (included) and the interior design of the case (including air intakes) appear to provide good cooling.
-The brackets for easy installation of additional case fans.
-The heavy duty construction.

What I don't like:

-The drive rails.
-The hidden 3-1/2" floppy drive with the remote eject button.
-300-Watt power supply (PP303X) that is AMD-recommended for only a 900 mhz Tbird and lower. The newer version of the SX830 case has an upgraded power supply (PP303XP) which has 180-Watt output on the 3.3V & 5V circuits. So far, no problems with my 1 ghz Tbird, however.

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