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Antec Fusion 430 HTPC Case

First Impressions

The case is packed in a box just slightly larger than the case itself.

The Antec Fusion 430 in its box

Right off the bat you will notice the case is heavy. It weighs in at 18.74 lbs/8.5kg and with the package it is 21.61lbs/9.8kg. The weight is really noticeable with a smaller size case like this one. Its heaviness is due to the use of 0.8 mm cold-rolled steel throughout, except for the front panel, which has some plastic mounted on it. While it appears that an ATX board would fit into the case (19.5"/49.5cm wide by 20.1"/51cm depth by 8.1"/20.5cm height), it only supports microATX boards. This is because the Fusion is has three distinct chambers.

Inside the Fusion 430 Case

There is an area for the motherboard, power supply-optical drive and up to two HDDs. This not only adds weight but creates very good structural strength in this case. The fit and finish of this case are very good as there are very few sharp edges and no noticeable defects or short comings. They do use a plastic door in front of the optical drive. This could prove to be a point of failure, but only time will tell.

The VFD communicates system information on the front panel. It also provides a graphic equalizer display when using some applications.

The Fusion 430 has a VFD Display.

The Fusion Black 430 has an LCD Display.

There also is a volume knob with very good feedback, so it both looks and feels like a piece of stereo equipment. Also, notice the glowing ring around the power-on button, which is nicer than a standard glowing green LED indicator.

The Fusion 430’s volume knob

The optical drive door does a nice job of concealing the standard 5.25" optical drive. A black drive is preferable in this setting, especially when the tray is fully exposed while ejecting a disc. A white or beige drive would definitely ruin your HTPC’s look. So to test the look of this case as a piece of home theater or A/V equipment, I asked five people to look at my new home theater set up. On first inspection, they all thought it was some type of receiver and only two of them knew it was a PC.