Cage Match: Four Open-Air ATX Chassis

Danger Den Torture Rack

Designed as a true test rack rather than an open-frame case, the $150 Danger Den Torture Rack’s oversized proportions allow it to hold up to eight 120mm fans and/or three double-fan radiators. Additional holes on both side panels even support hose-barb pass-through for two of the company’s Black Ice GTX240 radiators, mounted either horizontally or vertically.

As handy as those cooling features may sound, setting up the Torture Rack isn’t a process for the impatient. Users should set aside around two to three hours to assemble it from flat packaging, since rushing the process could result in scratches.

Dozens of screws must be installed, along with protective rubber feet and a power button. Danger Den uses stainless steel hardware to prevent oxidization and frustrate anyone who might otherwise rely on magnetic screwdrivers.

The Torture Rack holds a single optical drive and two hard drives, suspended from the left side panel. Extra-thick 3/8” acrylic (PMMA, aka Plexiglas) panels prevent movement of these parts, in spite of the somewhat precarious appearance, and anyone interested in old tech will also find a floppy drive mount between the lower hard drive and optical drive.

The first and fourth photos above also show the open-frame motherboard tray, a design that allows full ventilation to the motherboard’s back and also eases installation and removal of CPU cooler support plates.

One of the nice things about clear cases is that few photos are required to completely describe features, such as the single power supply mount that places the top towards the nearby right side panel, allowing bottom intake fans to draw warm air away from hard drives.

An open top and front allow easy access to motherboard connectors, though added fans crowd space around the sides somewhat.

Thomas Soderstrom
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.
  • 08nwsula
    the antec is the only frame that doesn't look incomplete
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Onus
    Have you done any EMF testing on these? It seems to me that could be a considerable con on any of them.
  • 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.
  • 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!:
  • 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.
  • jellico
    The Antec rack is the coolest, by far! The rest look like plain, old racks.

  • 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.