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Antec Skeleton

Cage Match: Four Open-Air ATX Chassis

The first chassis in our roundup isn’t really a test rack, though a useable test rack is contained within. Instead, the Antec Skeleton is designed as a portable gaming system enclosure that just happens to be open, for a unique combination of sex appeal and ventilation not found in traditional box-shaped cases.

Because the Skeleton is more of a case than a test rack, it has several nice features one would expect to find on a case (and not on a rack), such as front-panel FireWire, dual USB ports, eSATA, headphone, and microphone jacks. While it’s neither required nor standard for eSATA, we would like to see a few case companies adopt the USB-power-over-eSATA feature many  motherboard companies are using for better compatibility of eSATA thumb drives. The Skeleton is among the majority of cases lacking this feature.

Loosening two spring-loaded, affixed screws allows the internal frame to be slid out most of the way. A plastic locking tab can be depressed to remove it completely, though doing so exposes the user to grease from the roller slides.

Notice that the card bracket is attached to the top cover, rather than the frame. It must be removed in order to slide the internal chassis if cards are installed. Also notice that this is an eight-slot card bracket, supporting double-width graphics cards in a motherboard’s bottom slot.

To prevent slide rail grease from touching our photo bench, we removed the top from the case, rather than removing the sliding frame from the outer frame to show what’s underneath the plastic (photo left). Removing three screws allows the motherboard try to lift out (photo right).

Lifting a metal latching tab allows the power supply tray to slide out. The power supply is secured to the tray using four standard case screws.

Mounting hardware and accessories include a fan for internal hard drives, four external drive trays, several packs of screws, and three reusable cable ties (two shown).

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