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Tweaking

One of the nicest features of this case is the front control panel. The entire panel bar swivels up or down by 45 degrees. It also locks in place. So if you put the computer on the floor, you can access the panel and read the temperature display from above. Or if you have your machine mounted overhead on a sturdy LAN station, then you can read it and access its ports from below. Here you will find USB, FireWire, and audio ports.

The heads up temperature display connects to twin thermistors inside the case. Beware: these thermistors are very fragile! We mounted one on the motherboard chipset heat sink using tape. The other one went on the Raptor hard drive (which gets surprisingly hot). This allows us to keep an eye on system temperatures.

With respect to noise, at this point the main "bottleneck" is the rear exhaust case fan, even though it is relatively quiet. When turning off this fan (for a few seconds only, to test for sound) the entire machine becomes inaudible—even in a nearly soundproofed room! So the next logical upgrade, if you are so inclined, would be to upgrade the case fans to ultra-quiet models.

After testing this system for a few days, we still found it runs a bit hot. So you might want to add an additional 120mm front panel intake fan. This will boost air intake and blow cool air in and over the hard drive, video cards, and mainboard MOSFETs. Luckily, the Antec case has a convenient front intake fan tray that slides out. They thought of everything! You can thus add more airflow to the hard drive, GPU, and chipset.

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