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Cage Match: Four Open-Air ATX Chassis

Banchetto 101: Evaluation

The Banchetto 101 uses fine-thread holes for its drive and power supply trays, motherboard standoffs, and expansion card stands. We don’t have to question whether or not this was a good choice, since we stripped one of the expansion card stands while inserting it. In fact, it took less effort to strip the mounting hole than it did to turn the hold-down screw into the stand. Tiny burs on some threads forced us to test fit remaining screws on corresponding stands before finishing installation.

Once installed, the remaining card stands didn’t “stand up” well to the weight of a GeForce GTX 285 graphics card, leaning in a manner that indicates more threaded hole failures may be on the horizon.

One workaround is to install the card stands with the threads facing upward using your own supply of 8-10mm-long M3-0.50 screws from underneath the motherboard tray. This alternative installation also requires the procurement of M3-0.50 nuts to secure the card, but the threaded ends are handy for preventing an unsecured double-slot card from falling over.

One other installation issue was that, because the power supply faces the back of the Banchetto 101 chassis, extra-long 18.5” PCIe graphics card power leads attached to our Corsair power supply were still too short to reach the top of any graphics card. Instead, Cosair’s longer modular cables were required. The ability to store unused power leads between the drive trays and radiator mount certainly made the system look clean, but the loss of two leads would be hard to take in a multi-card system.

A few user-performed modifications would make the Banchetto 101 an excellent test stand, but its best function as-sold is as a display rack for motherboard, graphics card, RAM, and CPU cooler marketing specialists.

Pros:

Completely open access to all motherboard sides
Pull-off motherboard tray with rubber feet
Supports four hard drives and three optical drives internally
Hole beneath CPU socket for cooler support plate access
Gleaming acrylic construction with reflective chrome accents
Handy power and reset buttons
Rear panel supports triple-fan radiators and liquid cooling pumps
Reversed power supply eases button access and hides cables
Optional side-fan bracket for chipset, VRM, and DRAM cooling

Cons:

Fine-thread holes in acrylic panels easily stripped
Pull-off motherboard tray slightly hinders portability
Reversed power supply causes cables to be too short
Included screws too tall to use with optional side-fan bracket

Best For:

Component showcase display booths

Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • johnny_5
    When I had a desktop I would just leave the door off. It was unfortunately fairly noisy, but these would suffer the same problem anyways.
    Reply
  • 08nwsula
    the antec is the only frame that doesn't look incomplete
    Reply
  • kikireeki
    I though the point of having an open-air Chassis is to be simple and fast but these are far-cry from that! very cool nevertheless.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    kikireekiI though the point of having an open-air Chassis is to be simple and fast but these are far-cry from that! very cool nevertheless.
    I'm using the Torture Rack 2 right now to test several motherboards, I've added two push-through standoffs to keep them in place without screws.
    Reply
  • Onus
    Have you done any EMF testing on these? It seems to me that could be a considerable con on any of them.
    Reply
  • thackstonns
    I wanted the Banchetto 101, but found a skeleton for 100bucks new. A friend won it in a land contest and didnt want it. So I went with that. It is a good case the only thing that really pisses me off is I have to unplug all the front panel stuff to slide the tray out. Also I am building a bench for it to set on out of acrylic to house my radiators and pump. I cant figure out a good way to run the cpu waterblock though. The top cage does come off with 4 screws, But I have looked everywhere and cant find thumb screws that fit. Otherwise I would just use that instead of sliding it in and out.
    Reply
  • dragonsprayer
    whats wrong with a table or desktop with mobo box and antistatic plastin? works great less hassle! here is a photo from years and years ago! best desk to set up is martin lab testing set up (photo of martin lab persmission given to copy his stuff) - this is the s$#t!: http://s63.photobucket.com/albums/h138/4rothrocks/?action=view&current=Worklog15.jpg
    Reply
  • dragonsprayer
    part 2: we build every system on a mobo box with anti static, we burn in the cpu/psu/mob/gou at max oc in the bios for 24-72 hours - i.e. 920 is burned in at 4-4.4ghz air cooled. we have done this since 2003. then hard drives are hooked up and the system programed. this even done for water cooling built with air cooler then converted to water. The gpu, mobo, psu, cpu and hard drives are tested then installed in the case. The system is then run on orthos and 3dmark loops and other tests for up to 7 days. So the mobo box, anti static works great - stick hdd on there bags, use the mobo box from the system.
    Reply
  • jellico
    The Antec rack is the coolest, by far! The rest look like plain, old racks.

    Reply
  • duolc
    I use a Skeleton for my Case. Dust is an issue but a quick shot of air here and there and I can keep it under control.

    I Use an Asus Silent Knight CPU Cooler And It did not fit originally. I had to shave off one of the supports to make it fit.
    Reply