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Raj 10-11-2014 12:05 PM

Antec ISK 600 Mini-ITX CPU Case
 
Antec is a well known company offering various computer hardware components. The company offers durable PSU units, CPU coolers and amazing CPU cases. This company has 12 product series of CPU cases among which ISK falls under the Mini-ITX category. A portable pc that can be ideal for day to day usage, HTPC and office work. In some places we don?t really need a full size pc. Especially when you are in a process of building a HTPC. HTPC act as an affordable solution to turn your existing home theater system to digital. You can hook a portable computer and expand the capabilities. For that you need a portable case that can offer you durable solution. The case that we are going to review today is Antec ISK 600 Mini-ITX CPU Case. It is smartly designed with all required stuff you need to build your portable system. Being a Mini-ITX form factor case, it is not recommended to use it for mid range or high end system. But you can build a portable pc for your daily needs. Compared to Mini Cases, Mid-Tower and Full-Tower require a fixed amount of space. It is not easy to move them.

But in Mini-ITX case we get more portability. These are small size case that can be moved very easily and require less space to work. Due to small form factor upgrades are limited on it, but you have still got enough option to make it an ideal pc for entertainment usage or for regular day to day work. This consists of chatting, emailing, internet surfing, etc. For me Mini-ITX is good when you want a media server pc. You just have to connect your big size TV to that through HDMI and done. You can stream your movies and use internet directly on a widescreen. For which we will checkout the Antec ISK 600. It falls in the entry level category of ISK series. There are 6 more models. Each of them is having different design and features. Antec ISK 600 would be enough for building a standard pc. The cost of this case is around Rs.6700 on many online website. The cost can be a bit pricy, but the features make the case worth for every penny. You can find more budget cases, but there is lot of difference here. The design of ISK 600 is good and it is well structured. It provides you option to use two 12.5 GPU which many mini cases does not provide. Before checking out the same in more details let?s have a detailed look on the features and specification.

Features:
  • Mini-ITX Motherboard Support
  • Portable and Durable design
  • Sturdy Aluminum Brushed panels
  • Supports two 12.5" Graphic Card
  • Advance cooling design
  • Liquid cooler support
  • 120mm Exhaust Fan included
  • Support all standard ATX Power supply
Specification:
  • Model - ISK600
  • Case Type - Mini-ITX
  • Color - Black
  • Drive Bays - 5 Drive bays. This includes one slim optical drive bay, two 2.5" HDD trays and three 3.5" HDD trays.
  • Expansion Slots - 2 x Expansion Slots
  • Motherboard Mount - Mini-ITX
  • Maximum graphics card size - 12.5" (317.5 mm)
  • Maximum CPU cooler height - 170mm
  • Cooling system - 1 x 120 mm rear fluid dynamic bearing (FDB) fan
  • Top I/O ports - 1 x USB 3.0. 1 x USB 2.0. Audio In/Out.
  • PSU mount - ATX standard PSU
Design:

Antec ISK 600 Box

Antec ISK 600 is designed with a point of maximum comfort. It does not need a very large space to settle. Other cases come with vertical placement. Antec ISK 600 offers horizontal placement that can fit at the corner of a desk quite easily. Antec kept slot for graphics card in case you want an entry level gaming pc, still you can use the case. That is why it gets a bit bigger in size. It is build with good elements. The body is made from 0.8mm SEC steel with brushed aluminum at top panel. There is a single panel that opens from the top. Antec also kept space to add a liquid cooler if you want. You can fit a 120mm radiator to the backside but that can eat up a good amount of space affecting the GPU placement.

Raj 10-11-2014 12:06 PM

Re: Antec ISK 600 Mini-ITX CPU Case
 
Front:

Antec ISK 600

The front panel is removable. You can pull it out. It can be useful when you are trying to fit a slim optical drive. Being a Mini-ITX case you can use the standard optical drive on it. You have to use a slim one which is commonly used in laptops. At the bottom there are two USB ports among which one is USB 2.0 and other one is USB 3.0 with audio I/O ports in the center. Next to that are two keys which are power and reset. There is a led placed at the lower center part that adds more classy look to the case. The space is for optical drive which is reduced for the hard drive mount panel. That sits directly over the optical drive bay.

Panel:

Antec ISK 600

Antec ISK 600 side panel

Antec ISK 600 has a single top panel that covers the left and right also. There are grills on both sides for air ventilation. It is possible to add one fan to the left side if you want. The panel has an aluminum brushed finish that makes it smooth on touch.

Raj 10-11-2014 12:09 PM

Re: Antec ISK 600 Mini-ITX CPU Case
 
Back:

Antec ISK 600 Mini ITX Case

At the backside you can see a power port at the bottom left with a fan grill. The case comes with a single 120mm fan attached to it. The motherboard socket is at bottom that only supports Mini-ITX. There is no way we can use a regular board on this. And at the bottom there are two slots for the graphic cards. There is nothing special at the bottom side. There is no dust filters provided. I was expecting dust filter at the bottom panel which is not provided.

Interior:

Antec Mini ITX Case

Inside there is a fan control button available that can allow you to set the fan on high or low rpm. The cables are placed inside which are not so properly arranged. When you are done with the setup it is very hard for you to use cable ties to arrange all cables inside. It is better to use them from start. After adding the psu try to pull out all the cables and place them properly so that they don?t block the air flow.

Hard Drive Panels:

Antec Mini ITX Cpu Case

If you check inside Antec ISK 600 case you can see smartly arranged space for different hardware component. For example there are separate mount panels for a 2.5inch and 3.5inch hard drive. You can place them separately on the panel. These two panels sit on the top side and are easy to remove. This are not like tool less drive bays. They just offer you a platform to hook the drive. At a time 2x 2.5inch drive and 2x 3.5inch drives can be used. It is quite easy to place the 2.5inch drive on the panel. Two can be fitted on the panel and one drive can be fixed on the left part from inside. The drive directly faces the CPU cooler.

Raj 10-11-2014 12:10 PM

Re: Antec ISK 600 Mini-ITX CPU Case
 
PSU Placement:

The power supply slot is placed at the front side. You can use all standard ATX power supply on the same. So there is no special requirement for the psu size. This is one best thing here. Because if you are going to use a graphics card or a liquid cooler then you will need additional power connectors which is not possible on mini PSU. For fan there is one at the backside. The internal part gets really congested when you add too many stuff and this is not good for cooling. It is good to use this kind of case where you have AC in the room. Antec CSK 600 is a great choice for entry level builds pc. For gaming you can use a GPU but the output will remain limited due to Mini-ITX board. You can make an amazing entry level gaming pc, or an HTPC with it.

Setup:

Antec ISK 600 Mini-ITX CPU case would be a great choice if it has a bit less price or if there was a PSU attached in it. It does not come with it that adds more to the build cost. Overall Antec ISK 600 Mini-ITX is an easy to setup case if you are not really thinking of adding too many things. It is an ideal solution for home, office and for making a media server. You can add good amount of storage to make a simple HTPC for entertainment purpose. If you don’t want to spend much on the hardware then you can try buying a combo board. That comes with an APU and standard video memory to run games on low resolution. This would help you to get better HD quality on widescreen TV. A board that I had recently tested was Gigabyte E350N. The cost of this board is around Rs.4800. It offers AMD A45 chipset with AMD Radeon HD 6310 Integrated Graphics onboard.

It can be an ideal solution for building a good entry level pc. In the same way there are many combo boards available that comes with an APU and decent hardware configuration. Latest model allows you to use high ram and storage capacity. I will recommend you to find a board that should at least allow you an onboard HDMI port. So that if you are using this pc for entertainment purpose you can get HD resolution. The above model that I had mentioned has as single HDMI port. So here you can save money by avoiding a gpu. Combo boards save money for a processor and gpu both but don't expect much high processing power from the same.

Conclusion:

Antec ISK 600 comes for Rs.6800 approx. This might look pricy to you, but the case is reliable for making HTPC system. Building an entry level pc is recommended on the same. But if you are having a good Mini-ITX board in your mind that can offer you gaming output then add a good CPU cooler or at least a liquid cooler would be the best option. So that you won't have any issue with heating here. This is because after fixing up the hardware there is less space left inside for air to move around. Hot air can only be pulled out from the back exhaust fan. Here liquid cooler will help you to keep your CPU cooler for longer gaming usage. Or else regular CPU can be more than enough. The good part here is that we have an option to use dual GPU on the same and the cabinet has enough space to connect a 12.5inch graphics card on the same. I would recommend this a good value case and it would be lot better if there is a PSU in it.

Pros:
  • Great Design
  • Good Build Material
  • Support for 12.5inch GPU
  • Liquid Cooler Support.
Cons:
  • No PSU
  • Pricy


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