Cage Match: Four Open-Air ATX Chassis

Microcool Banchetto 101

Italian brand Microcool makes a feast for the eyes in its Banchetto 101, using chrome accents to reflect various colors throughout the chassis’ 8mm (5/16”) PMMA panels. Shown below in as-delivered form, the Banchetto 101 easily separates into upper and lower halves by lifting the motherboard tray straight up.

Four chrome pins engage holes in the motherboard tray’s rubber feet to prevent sliding. The grip of the rubber feet against these pins makes the tray feel stable, requiring slight effort to separate the upper and lower portions.

Note that the photo above also shows the hard drive and CD-ROM cages removed. A brace between these separates the two acrylic sheets of the base.

Hardware includes seven screw-in stands to support full-height expansion cards and two large packs of thumb screws, in fine-thread and coarse-thread. A neoprene washer beneath the head of each screw prevents scratches.

The 3-bay optical drive cage his held between the two case braces using a single screw.

The four-bay hard drive cage is secured by two screws on its left side.

The back of the power supply faces the front of the case, with two screws keeping its tray in place.

The Banchetto 101’s rear-panel holds a three-fan radiator and pump, and is held in place by four more screws. We added a fan to visually clarify its design.

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.