The Lazy Days of Summer Case Review

Atech STK6551, Continued

A look inside the STK6551.

The most striking difference in the STK6551 is the all-acrylic exterior that is transparent down to the blue colored steel liner of the inside. This all-acrylic exterior allows for some interesting custom adaptations, as case modders can insert different types of lighting between the steel and acrylic surfaces to achieve some outstanding effects. Atech, however, did not elect to push this creativity. While it retains a Macintosh-type look, the STK6551 is all PC.

There are several things that Atech noted from our last review of the AFT6551; the most important change is the inclusion of an oval-shaped window within the side panel of the STK6551. For those concerned with RF, the blue steel liner inside the outer acrylic housing provides good protection from the interference that can occur with other cases. One of the things that we strongly disliked about this case is the lack of a front fan option, and Atech's design that positions a speaker in the front of the case instead of a fan that would improve airflow and circulation. Atech seems to ignore the fact that many higher end enthusiasts would choose this case more willingly if there were an option for a front fan. The rear fan does provide significant exhaust from the case to move the heat out; in extreme overclocking situations, however, this case isn't very well suited. This sends a mixed message to the case madder who might be considering the purchase of this case.

Another puzzling thing that we noticed about the STK6551 was that, while the cutouts and holes are already placed in the front of the case behind a flip-down door, all of the connectors for the front-mounted USB/ audio/ 1394 ports were absent. As far as we can tell, this indicates that the connectors may be optional on the STK6551. (A discussion with Atech indicated that this was simply an oversight on their part; the STK6551 does ship with the front mounted USB/ audio/ 1394 installed and cabled.) It would be possible to modify this case to accept a front fan, increase the airflow, and add the lighting, elements that would show off the true potential of this case.