At Computex earlier this year, Antec showed us a prototype of the Skeleton. We recently received a sample of the final product. The whole chassis looks different now, which is good. Let's first start with a quick discussion of the case functionality. Who would need or want something like this? Frankly, I don't. I like small and sleek cases, preferably stored under my desk where I don't see or hear the PC. However, this case may be great for people that frequently change motherboard jumpers, and add or reconfigure other items. Some might even like the appearance of the case, which is a highly subjective area; many of us think it looks rather ugly, but as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

If you're mostly interested in the functionality, the outward appearance is rather irrelevant. Form follows function and that is an important part of this chassis. It looks somewhat like a lunar station with its half-moon structure and the large 250mm fan in the top. The front has the usual buttons and jacks: power, IEEE1394 FireWire, two USB ports, an eSATA port, and headset and microphone jacks. On the left side we find the reset button as well as a small status LED embedded in the plastic frame.

All of the cables hang out the back of the case, since there is nowhere to hide them. In the center of the chassis is a mounting plate for a large ATX motherboard, and as we will below you can slide the tray out of the chassis. The back has a thin clear acrylic frame installed that helps provide support for expansion cards (i.e. graphics cards). Below the motherboard in the back is the tray for the power supply. The sides feature a metal plate perforated with hexagonal shapes, and like the motherboard tray the PSU tray is removable. The fan in the top can be turned on and off with a small switch at the back, and a second switch allows you to control the LED lights.

Installing the components is fairly easy. You can slide the whole inside of the frame out the back by removing two screws on each side in the back. The power supply mounts in a small cage that can also slide out off the main frame. You can use a variety of power supplies, with an 80mm fan or 120mm fan, though a model with an 80mm fan would make more sense in this case since there are fewer obstructions to block airflow. After installing the main components, the motherboard easily slides into the frame and you can tighten the screws.


Houston? We have a problem.

Unfortunately, we couldn't install our three NVIDIA GeForce 8800 Ultras since we could not slide the motherboard tray back into the chassis. As you can see above, the first and last graphics cards collide with the upper part of the chassis. However, if your graphics card does not have a bulge like the 8800 Ultra you will not have this problem. In addition, we were able to slide the motherboard tray into the chasses without the cards and maneuver them into the slots inside of the chassis (though this required more effort than usual). The installation of all the other components went without problem.

Antec delivers a very sturdy case with the Skeleton and it's already available in the U.S. Europe still doesn't have any in stock, and the one shop that lists the Skeleton is asking €340 ($465) for it. The U.S prices are a little more moderate, starting at $140. Whether you find that price acceptable or not is for you to decide. However, there is another issue to consider. An open case like this does not have any EMI protection, which means in the worst case you will have problems with radio and/or TV reception when the system is on, particularly if it's near your stereo/television. Despite that, the case is something new in a market full of normal, dull cases. The exclusivity alone will attract some customers; there are certainly users who frequently swap components or simply like the unique design who will be interested in getting their claws on the Skeleton.

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  • kondor999 - Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - link

    Your sort of 'professional" is what made me leave Tech and go to medical school. You are completely out of touch with modern tech, aren't you?

    Overclocking a Tandy 3000 by 10%? Swapping crystals? Who the Hell cares?

    And if you think it doesn't take some skill to overclock today - you're hopelessly uninformed. You ever build a custom liquid nitrogen cooler for that Tandy? No - I suppose not. Do you even know what a Peltier cooler is?

    Maybe you should pull your head out of your ass, stop screwing with 25 year old useless junk (like that Tandy) and learn something about the current state of the art.

    Jeez, I'm 42 - but you sound like my grandfather. The only people who still think the Amiga and Mac were toys are bitter old fossils who fail to recognize that both the the Mac (for its brilliant interface) and the Amiga (for its innovation in using seperate chips for graphics and sound) were instrumental in creating the modern PC that we know and love today.

    Reply
  • Pythias - Tuesday, October 21, 2008 - link

    Nerd Rage! Reply
  • Clauzii - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    I have a PS/2 Model 30. Still works and yes, can be taken apart faster than any modern PC :D Reply
  • TestAccount - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    Contrary to popular belief, the PC was more of a toy machine than the Amiga based on game sales.

    The Amiga's professional sector was video (editing / rendering / broadcast graphics). So quite a bit of professionals came across the Amiga. If any of you remember the Newtek's Video Toaster you know what I am talking about. Also the "channel channel" as I used to call it, aka the guide channel on cable, was run on Amigas. Every now and then when they would update the guide, you could see the Workbench in the background.
    Reply
  • TA152H - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    You're using pretzel logic. Everything on a PC sold better than on an Amiga. So, considering the huge installed base of PCs, naturally even games sold better. Proportionally, especially back then, PCs were the business machines, and Amigas were much less. I never saw one in a business in my life. I'm not saying no one used them, but they were by no means something most people came across as the original poster had said.

    I'm not knocking them, by the way, they just weren't business machines. I liked the 68K line a lot, and I hated x86 assembly with a passion. The 68K was much more elegant, but the operating system for the Amiga was primitive compared to OS/2, and they simply didn't have the quality of software available for it. And, of course, with IBM being so important back then, connectivity with mainframes was very important as well. I don't think the Amiga had a 3270 emulator, but maybe it did.

    It's a pity that everything is based on the x86 now, arguably the worst instruction set from that era. It's a real irony that the worst one won, because of a poorly thought out decision by IBM to use a clearly inferior processor (as compared to the 68K). Now we're stuck with it :-P.
    Reply
  • kondor999 - Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - link

    BTW, my La-7 will eat your Ta-152H for lunch - anytime, anywhere baby! Reply
  • emilyek - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    Is Antec trying to create a liability lawsuit machine?

    People will spill their Mountain Dew in it.

    Or perhaps people's babies or pets will decide to poke around in it while it's running.

    Seems like a bad idea to me.
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    Unfortunately Antec can't make sure its customers are not stupid, so they might have to throw a label on the box that says something to the effect of "If you have kids or rodents don't buy this case". Reply
  • Griswold - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    Agreed. But they can protect themselves with a huge red sticker on top of it saying "do not pour liquids on your computer, keep out of reach of your children and pets and do not poke the little gizmos with a pen or similar objects". :p Reply
  • Risforrocket - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    Meh. Too open, too unprotective of expensive and delicate computer parts. And it's not really cool enough to overcome those faults. I won't buy one. Reply

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