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Antec SX830 and SX840 Workstation Computer Cases
Last updated: 7/30/02

INTRODUCTION. If you are looking for a large, but not overbearing ATX computer case and power supply, Antec's SX830 and SX840 Performance Series Workstation Cases are good choices for high-end PCs and small business file servers.  Both models use the SX800 case, which can be obtained separately through OEM/VAR distributors and comes with no power supply or chassis fans.  At 20.6 inches high it is somewhere between a medium and full-tower case in size. The SX800 case is very attractive, constructed with high quality materials that fit together nicely, and is well-designed for good ventilation, low EMI, and rapid replacement of computer components. The retail versions are the SX830 enclosure, as Antec calls it, with a 300-Watt power supply and the SX840 with a 400-Watt power supply.  Both come with two chassis fans.  Because of its larger power supply, the SX840, in particular, is well-suited for a loaded computer with a high-end processor, lots of memory, powerful graphics board, and several disk drives.

BENT METAL. The SX800 case is made from 1.0mm SECC steel (a Japanese standard for general purpose, galvanized, cold-rolled, sheet steel).  Most of the edges are bent-in strength and to reduce the possibility of cuts during assembly.  I found no sharp edges.  This case is quite hefty, is noticeably reinforced, and has very solid "feel" to it.

I really like the side doors.  There are no fingers along the top and bottom that one has to coax into matching slots, as with many tower cases with removable sides.  Instead, the sides are formed into a 3/8" u-beam at the top and bottom.  A rolled cylinder all along the font of the case and a three-sided, square groove formed into front edge of the side engages it and functions like a hinge without a pin from the top to the bottom of the case. The result is a door that is hinged, but not fastened at the front when open, secured at the rear, snuggly fitted at the top and bottom, and easily removed and installed without tools.

To remove either side, one simply unfastens it at the rear, swings door open, and removes it from the case.  The rear of the right side is secured with three screws (although holes are drilled/punched for four screws).  So, is the left side.  However, the left side is also secured with an attractive plastic latch assembly with a lock that will hold the right side on the case without the screws and permits easy removable of the side without tools to access the motherboard, expansion boards, etc.  The picture shows the "Claudia test": my Wife removing the left side.  She had no trouble with it after a couple of practice runs.  I would also secure it with screws when transporting the computer and attach the keys to the power supply fan guard so they won't be forgotten or lost.

There are spring fingers at the edges on the case along the rear, top, and bottom, and along the front of the door, where the sides come into contact with chassis to maintain the continuity of the exterior of the case to reduce electro-magnetic radiation (interference) (EMI) from the case.  These springs do not easily pop off the case like the snap on contacts used in many other computer cases.

After removing the three screws securing it to the rear of the case, the right side was easily removed without having to resort to using a screwdriver to pry it loose.  Just swing it open it a little and pull to remove.

Like the left side, there are EMI springs along the top, bottom, and rear of the case on the right side.  They were missing from the front edge of the door on the unit I received.  That was probably a manufacturing quality control oversight as the slotted holes were present to mount the springs.

After removing the right side, one sees the sheet metal in the interior on which the motherboard mounts from the other side.  It just about seals the lower part of the chassis.  It is not removable like many cases and pretty much blocks assess to the guts of the computer from the right side and strengthens the case.  However, it and the key lock are not going to stop a determined thief with a mirror (who would probably just walk off with the whole computer anyway).

The power supply is screwed to the rear of the case and sits on two channel beams running along each side from the front to the rear of the case.  These beams are also riveted to the 5 1/4" drive bay cage to form a very rigid structure.   The top of the power supply is 2" from the top of the case; however, there are no holes in the back of the case at the top to directly vent this space like the Antec KS282 case.

The other compartment, the for the motherboard, is wide open.  The only significant protrusion is the 3 /12" drive bay.  This case is roomy and easy to work with.

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