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Antec Aria Cube mATX

I bought a new case today. I have been looking into this case for a few weeks now and I was sure I would buy it until today. I saw a forum post over at MorphZone where someone claimed it would be hard to fit the Pegasos in it due to the CPU card..

I went to the computer store and had a looked inside the case. I thought: "What the heck, I take the chance". And so I did. I was pretty certain it would not fit. It looked way to narrow between the PSU and the bottom. However, I opened the packaging and tried fitting the Pegasos and guess what? It fitted just fine! There is "plenty" of room up to the PSU, about 8-10 mm or so. The PSU is located just perfectly above the fanless CPU for putting away the hot air.

Description of case:
It is a small MicroATX blue/silver cube with built-in 8-in-1 USB Cardreader. It has one external 5.25" bay and one internal 3.5". This is one of the few cases where you finally get rid of the ugly, useless external FDD-slot. The CD/DVD-slot has a nice "hatch" that works with any standard CD/DVD-unit. No need to buy a black one. For further details check out the official site. Worth mentioning is that a soft, short, rounded IDE-cable perfectly made for this case is also included.

The case is small. It really is. I have built Mini-ITX cases before but this was the hardest case ever, due to the CPU-card and the stupidly placed ATX-connector on the Pegasos-board. I would recommend that you remove the PSU before fitting the motherboard (however, it is not necessary - I didn't). Be very careful. I mean it.

When I finally had mounted the motherboard, the Radeon and connected the 8-in-1 Cardreader to the internal USB-header it was time for the CD and HDD. The cage was very easy to flip-up and remove. Just mount the HDD and CD then put it back and connect the included rounded short IDE-cable and the powercables.

When everything is connected, always recheck all cables, cards, memory etc to be sure they all are where they should be. When you really are done, screw back the side panels and top cover and boot it up. If you connected the powercable from the front panel you will see a bright blue light when you boot it up. You will hardly notice the 120 mm PSU-fan. According to the specs it is rated at 25dB.

8-in-1 Cardreader:
This is a great device. MorphOS and Poseidon 2.2 found it right away and I can mount SmartMedias and Compact Flashes just as if they were a normal disk. Be sure you have Fat95 and the latest Poseidon installed. Both can be found on Aminet. I also noticed it is very fast. 500KB images were transferred in like two seconds. Grabbing them from the camera to the external USB-ports are slower.

Other frontmounted ports:
There are 2x USB 2.0, 1x Firewire, 1x Earphone and 1x Microphone plug. I have not tried any of these yet. I have not had the time yet to do the hardware hacking required. Since the Pegasos only has one USB-port onboard I chose the Cardreader. The Firewire port is header-based and does not fit on the internal Firewire-port, out-of-the-box.

The PSU is a small mATX-PSU and boosting 300 Watts. Overkill for a Pegasos of course, but these are made for powerhungry x86's. The PSU fan is 120 mm and rated at 25dB. I can barely hear it from about a metre distance. The PSU contains ventilation holes inside the case to keep a good air flow. As I wrote earlier - some of the vents are just above the CPU which is just perfect for a fanless G3.

Final words:
I like this case alot. I am so far very happy with it and I can highly recommend it to anyone wanting to get rid of that large ATX gray thing. It looks great on a desk and glows wonderful in the dark. On major advantage is the Cardreader and no external 3.5" bay.

I bought this from InetData and costed 1195 SEK which equals to 130 EUR.

I see no limitations at all with this case. The limits I have are the Pegasos-board only having one USB-header and a normal Firewire port internally instead of headers. Lets hope this changes (with USB 2.0 of course!) with Pegasos-III.

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Added:  Tuesday, June 22, 2004
Reviewer:  Ironfist
Related web link:  Official Antec Product information
hits: 11262

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