Noise and Thermal Testing

Without anywhere to put a dedicated graphics card in the Antec ISK 110 VESA, testing winds up being a bit more truncated than we'd expect. In a way some of these results are going to seem academic, essentially reviewing SilverStone's NT07-1156 heatsink/fan unit about as much as the case itself.

Ambient temperature during testing hovered between 24C and 25C.

CPU Temperatures

SSD Temperatures

These test results are actually a little more interesting than I'd expected; despite the ventilation, the heatsink has to do all the work of keeping the CPU cool. With no directed airflow in the system outside of that, the processor actually runs notably warmer than in larger, more closed off cases with more directed airflow. Only the Cooler Master Elite 120, with its poor intake airflow, posts a worse temperature on the processor, but those thermals are still perfectly reasonable.

On the other hand, the SSD in the ISK 110 is running much hotter than I'd like. The bottom panel really needs more ventilation than it has; a peak temperature in the mid-40s is still within spec for most 2.5" drives, but that's with just a single SSD. A second drive, especially a mechanical hard drive, could bump thermals up a few degrees and start edging pretty close to 50C, which is spec for some drives.

CPU Fan Speed

Fan speed in the ISK 110 is middle of the road. As long as you're using a processor that runs fairly cool you shouldn't have too many issues with it; we still have some headroom on ours.

Noise Levels

The flipside to the Antec ISK 110 VESA's design is that while it relies solely on the heatsink/fan combo to actively cool the system, it also relies solely on the heatsink/fan combo to actively cool the system. That means with a unit like the SilverStone one we use, the ISK 110 VESA can run comfortably quiet even under load.

Testing Methodology Conclusion: Good Deal, If You Need It
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  • bobbozzo - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    On page 1, "drive moderate-to-low voltage hardware" should probably be changed to "drive moderate-to-low wattage hardware". Reply
  • bobbozzo - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    My (fanless) firewall is an Atom motherboard running in a Morex T3310 case, which appears to be about the same size.
    It comes with a 60 or 80-watt external power brick and 80-watt internal DC-DC power supply.

    It only holds one 2.5" drive.

    It does not VESA mount.

    From your description of the Antec, the Morex may be easier to assemble, and may be a little better looking.

    The grill mesh is very fine on the Morex, so it's possible airflow would be worse.
    Reply
  • Belard - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    The photos show a VESA mount and a dual drive cage.

    But the heat is enough of a problem with just a single drive.

    It would be better to make it slightly bigger to have proper cooling.
    Reply
  • bobbozzo - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    I was talking about my Morex case. Reply
  • londiste - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    i could get a fairly busy itx motherboard (based on the pictures, at least as busy as yours) into the case without taking out the power circuitry board.

    however, when trying to hide as much cables as possible away from the perforated side, and trying not to cover the ventilation slits in the side at the same time, i did have some trouble getting the side panel back on.

    i have to say that the power brick gets uncomfortably warm after heavy load already with my puny g620. i used to run the same system with a 80w picopsu and 60w brick which stayed considerably cooler...
    Reply
  • nethermancer - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    I have one of these attached to the back of a 22" monitor and I cannot see the enclosure during normal use. This makes it like an All-in-one PC and my daughter really likes the small footprint in her room. I used an AMD A6-3500 triple core CPU and it really flies with an SSD and 4GB RAM. Could have done with a beefier PSU and allowed me to use a decent quad core CPU though. Antec managed a tiny 350W PSU on their minuet 350 case so why not here? Reply
  • Lonyo - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    Well I would expect they should be able to get a 150w PSU in there, but then what exactly are you going to do with a 150w system in such a small case? It would probably burn up.
    Plus 90w is probably actually enough for a quad core CPU, as long as you aren't running it with any other hardware (which you can't).
    Reply
  • MrMilli - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    Why does something like this need to be this expensive? There's barely any use of material, especially compared to full size towers. Reply
  • SodaAnt - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    It includes VESA mounting hardware and a power supply. Reply
  • MrMilli - Saturday, September 01, 2012 - link

    VESA mounting kit: $5
    Delta PSU: $15

    So that doesn't explain the cost.

    You can buy decent mini towers including PSU for less than $50. Why does this need to be $80?
    Reply

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