Antec MicroFusion 350Manufacturer: Antec
UK Price (as reviewed): £126.49 (inc. VAT)
US Price (as reviewed):
The Antec MicroFusion 350 is the micro ATX version of Antec's awesome Fusion HTPC chassis, which won an award in Custom PC Magazine (bit-tech
's sister publication) a few years back. Rather than being a carbon copy (or steel as the case may be - no pun intended) of its bigger brother, the MicroFusion has undergone a few design adjustments. The most obvious difference is that the MicroFusion features less brushed aluminium on the fascia which gives the case a two-tone, somewhat retro feel.
It features three 80mm fans all of which have three speed options which are selectable via a small switch that protrudes from each one - we found all but the slowest setting unacceptably noisy for a home theatre case and even the slowest setting wasn't what we'd call silent.
Two fans are situated in the main chamber of the case and are fitted in an exhaust configuration. This leaves the task of intake to the third fan and your CPU cooler which, depending on your motherboard, should line up at least partially with the ventilation holes atop the case.
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The third fan resides in the single internal 3.5in bay so your storage should see some decent airflow. If you needed to fit a second hard disk here, there is plenty of space for two with a little modding to hold the second in place though officially there is only one 3.5in bay. In addition to providing good cooling for your hard drive, Antec has used rubber spacers on the underside which should help to keep vibrations to a minimum.
The two feet at the front of the case are fashioned in silver aluminium to keep things looking smart while the feet at the back are more like grippy rubber stoppers. These will stop the chassis from slipping around while you're spring cleaning your living room, or rummaging around behind your TV, or something.
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The MicroFusion is equipped with a 350W 80-Plus certified power supply fitted with an 80mm fan which exhausts hot air directly out the side of the case and provides plenty of connectivity for a fully fitted system inside the chassis. Our test kit comprised of one SATA hard disk, one SATA optical drive, a micro-ATX motherboard and a graphics card and there were still two Molex connectors and a 5V connector spare.
Because of the MicroFusion’s small dimensions, the expansion slots are half-height so you will need a half-height graphics card to build a complete system inside this case. Most of you will likely stick with an integrated graphics chipset, but if you have a half-height card but the bracket is full-height, removing the bracket is as easy as unscrewing the bolts either side of the outputs and you're in business.