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Athenatech: 400 Series, Continued

2003 Winter Case Review Part 2: The ATX Avalanche
By

Athenatech is focusing on the integrator/value segment of the market with the 400 Series. This case is almost a return to the past with a semi-attractive front bezel reminiscent of the Dell XPS. Athenatech is looking to make a good impression with the front bezel, but does not follow through with this value oriented offering that weighs next to nothing. While the construction of this case is fair for a case of this type, it certainly is not stellar when compared to other cases in its genre within this review. Still, there is unquestionably a market out there that wants a value price with an attractive quality look that will keep buyers interested.

Athenatech foregoes many of the normal bells and whistles that we have found in other Athenatech cases, instead opting for a straight ahead value approach that certainly looks out of place when compared to the other quality standards of cases presented elsewhere in this review. If you want sharp edges, you can find them here. This case is hard tooled and has riveted construction that exhibited very little bend and very little twist in our testing; but the inner rolled edges were often sharp.

A look at the inside of the 400 Series.

We found the 400 Series quite cramped inside. We were able to install our test system with very little difficulty, even though Athenatech again failed to provide any comprehensive instructions or documentation for this 400 Series case. In the testing configuration that we received from Athenatech, the case requires only one 80mm fan, but it did include the side panel air guide. What is more puzzling, though, is that Athenatech did not even bother to include the 80mm fan in the front of the case that is used for intake. The cooling potential of this case was average, but it definitely is not targeted at the overclocker, enthusiast market space. It did run somewhat hotter than the other cases we tested. We are not exactly certain why this was, but it could partly be due to the position of the air guide in relation to the rear exhaust fan, which obstructs some of the airflow from front to rear of the case. After removing the air guide and replacing it with another 80mm fan, our results did improve somewhat.

The plastic bezel of the 400 Series is quite attractive. It gives this case an interesting, yet elegant, appearance, particularly with the power switch located near the center. The finish of the case is adequate, but not stellar. While we did not see any evidence of problems with the painted finish, we were not overly enthused by the quality of the black paint that was used for the side panels and top of the case. For a value proposition, however, the 400 series is probably quite suitable.

Summary
  1. Introduction
  2. Bezel, Bezel... Match My Case!
  3. Bezel, Bezel... Match My Case!, Continued
  4. The Review Process
  5. Antec: Performance One Series P160
  6. Antec: Performance One Series P160, Continued
  7. Antec: Performance One Series P160, Continued
  8. Antec Solution Series: SLK3700-BQE
  9. Antec Solution Series: SLK3700-BQE, Continued
  10. Antec Solution Series: SLK3700-BQE, Continued
  11. AOpen A600 Series: A600B
  12. AOpen A600 Series: A600B, Continued
  13. AOpen A600 Series: A600B, Continued
  14. Aspire: X-Alien
  15. Aspire: X-Alien, Continued
  16. Aspire: X-Alien, Continued
  17. Aspire: X-Dreamer II
  18. Aspire: X-Dreamer II, Continued
  19. Aspire: X-Dreamer II, Continued
  20. Athenatech: 400 Series
  21. Athenatech: 400 Series, Continued
  22. Athenatech: 400 Series, Continued
  23. Athenatech: 7800 Series
  24. Athenatech: 7800 Series, Continued
  25. Athenatech: 7800 Series, Continued
  26. BeanTech: BT85
  27. BeanTech: BT85, Continued
  28. BeanTech: BT85, Continued
  29. BeanTech Igloo Series: IGLOO 12
  30. BeanTech Igloo Series: IGLOO 12, Continued
  31. BeanTech Igloo Series: IGLOO 12, Continued
  32. Casetek LAN PARTY Dreamer: CK1021
  33. Casetek LAN PARTY Dreamer: CK1021, Continued
  34. Casetek LAN PARTY Dreamer: CK1021, Continued
  35. Casetek LAN PARTY Dreamer: CK1021, Continued
  36. Cooler Master: ATC-201B-BXT
  37. Cooler Master: ATC-201B-BXT, Continued
  38. Cooler Master: ATC-201B-BXT, Continued
  39. Cooler Master: ATC-201B-BXT, Continued
  40. Cooler Master Wave Master: TAC-T01-EK
  41. Cooler Master Wave Master: TAC-T01-EK, Continued
  42. Cooler Master Wave Master: TAC-T01-EK, Continued
  43. Cooler Master Wave Master: TAC-T01-EK, Continued
  44. Enermax CS-5171LBFS-B
  45. Enermax CS-5171LBFS-B, Continued
  46. Enermax CS-5171LBFS-B, Continued
  47. Fong Kai FK-333ATX
  48. Fong Kai FK-333ATX, Continued
  49. Fong Kai FK-333ATX, Continued
  50. Inwin IW-S564G-ATX
  51. Inwin IW-S564G-ATX, Continued
  52. Inwin IW-S564G-ATX, Continued
  53. Inwin X Series IW-X710
  54. Inwin X Series IW-X710, Continued
  55. Inwin X Series IW-X710, Continued
  56. Jeantech Butterfly Series 2011
  57. Jeantech Butterfly Series 2011, Continued
  58. Jeantech Butterfly Series 2011, Continued
  59. Jeantech Butterfly Series JN424SB
  60. Jeantech Butterfly Series JN424SB, Continued
  61. Jeantech Butterfly Series JN424SB, Continued
  62. Lian Li PC-6077
  63. Lian Li PC-6077, Continued
  64. Lian Li PC-6077, Continued
  65. SilverStone Technology Lascala Series / SST-LC01
  66. SilverStone Technology Lascala Series / SST-LC01, Continued
  67. SilverStone Technology Lascala Series / SST-LC01, Continued
  68. SilverStone Technology Lascala Series / SST-LC01, Continued
  69. Superpower Superb Series KC2301B
  70. Superpower Superb Series KC2301B, Continued
  71. Superpower Superb Series KC2301B, Continued
  72. Thermaltake Xaser III Lanfire Series: VM2000AD
  73. Thermaltake Xaser III Lanfire Series: VM2000AD, Continued
  74. Thermaltake Xaser III Lanfire Series: VM2000AD, Continued
  75. Thermaltake Xaser III VM3000A: Skull Series
  76. Thermaltake Xaser III VM3000A: Skull Series, Continued
  77. Thermaltake Xaser III VM3000A: Skull Series, Continued
  78. Conclusion: An Extraordinary Number Of High-Scoring Cases Makes Picking The Winners Difficult
  79. Conclusion, Continued
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