2003 Winter Case Review Part 2: The ATX Avalanche

Antec Solution Series: SLK3700-BQE, Continued

As mentioned earlier, the cooling setup comes stock with a single 120mm fan in the rear of the case. We added the second 120mm front-mounted fan for all of our testing. The generous sized intake ducts in the front of the bezel of the SLK3700-BQE allow this front-mounted, 120mm fan to intake a great deal of fresh air that can then be exhausted by the rear 120mm fan. We found this cooling configuration to be quiet as well as efficient. We are still uncertain as to why Antec does not just throw in the second 120mm fan in its packaging of the SLK3700-BQE. The SLK3700-BQE had no problems passing any of our testing. We would rate its performance as above average in cooling potential.

The front-mounted USB ports on the SLK3700-BQE.

The SLK3700-BQE offers two front-mounted USB 2.0 compatible ports, but unfortunately does not offer either 1394/Firewire or MIC and headphone jacks. While it is clear that this case is not particularly targeted at gamers, we still contend that these front-mounted ports should be standard equipment on every case. While Antec offers these ports on many other models, it seems that the SLK3700-BQE has been omitted from its list.

To help reduce shock and vibration the hard drive trays are removable and are rubber grommeted at the bottom of each tray. As with the Lanboy, we noticed a great deal of improvement when using these rubber grommets. It should be noted, however, that the drive trays are very close to the side panel edge of the case, which can make installation somewhat tricky for novices. However, if you follow Antec’s well-written documentation that is included with the SLK3700-BQE Series, you should have no problem installing the hard drives. Overall, we think that this method works well. It would be nice if Antec incorporated a more screwless design in future revisions.

Antec’s SLK3700-BQE unfortunately does not break much new ground compared to what we have seen in the past from the Lanboy Series, as the Lanboy Series is basically the same case internally. The lack of a side window and the black finish of the SLK3700-BQE will be a hit with many DYI enthusiasts. We are still somewhat unclear as to how this product fits within Antec’s overall product strategy. While we still like the style of the SLK3700-BQE Series, it seems to lose a bit of its luster when compared to many of the other cases in this review that are at a similar price point. Many users will likely opt for cases that cost about the same as the SLK3700-BQE Series and offer fancier features. When evaluating price, however, do not forget that an Antec branded 350 Watt power supply is included at this $99 US MSRP, which does add extra value when compared to many of the $99 cases that do not include a power supply.

With its top-notch design and engineering, the SLK3700-BQE is definitely a good buy when the included power supply is factored in.