Again. The PC case has been reinvented again. Antec has unveiled the S10, the first in an ongoing series of Signature high-end cases, all with the three highest heat output components -- power supply, hard drives, and motherboard -- separated into different chambers and unique thermal zones. The idea is for you to build the most powerful PC you can, without the annoying hurdle of actually cooling it.
First and foremost, this is a good looking case. You'll be able to buy it with either aluminium or tempered smoked glass case doors, and the entire case is finished in a dark brushed aluminium. It's also pretty damn big, measuring 602mm high, 230mm wide and 590mm deep, and heavy at just over 39 pounds -- that's 17.71kg. All that weight and heft should mean it's utterly solid, though, and its size means you can fit four 330mm-long graphics card in a quad-SLI or quad-CrossFireX arrangement. In terms of I/O, the front/top panel has four USB 3.0 ports as well as HD audio for a headset and microphone.
The Antec S10 is built around a three-chambered design -- a large, traditional space for motherboards (from mATX up to eATX, if you want to find yourself a massive server board or multi-GPU SLI setup) and high—end air or water cooling, a lower chamber where a power supply can be mounted upright or inverted, and a large front section where nine hard drives (six 3.5-inch, three 2.5-inch) can be stored.
There's also space for five 2.5-inch laptop or solid state drives in the PSU chamber, and all of them are tool-less with drive trays and silicone grommets to cut out vibration (if you're using mechanical drives, at least). Each chamber also has its own washable mesh filters for air cooling -- and 120mm fan intakes and exhausts on the power supply and hard drive chambers, with three 120mm intakes and two 140mm/120mm exhausts. That setup means you could run one massive 240mm water-cooling radiator to cool your CPU, and one even more massive 360mm radiator to cool your graphics card(s).
The entire Antec S10 is built around that wonderfully convenient trick of physics that says cold air sinks while hot air rises. That's why you're supposed to use the top of the S10 for exhausts, with cool air being drawn in at the base first for graphics cards -- usually the most heat-producing of all PC components -- and then rising up past the CPU. An efficient power supply won't need separate cooling, nor will a decent SSD, but there's the option for exhaust cooling in both zones to keep drawing fresh, ambient room temperature air through.
Antec sought out some help from Astro Studios -- the design firm that helped out with the Nike Fuelband and all of Astro Gaming's headphones. Premium materials and dark finishes were the design language they worked in, and Antec also wanted glass doors and precise angles in there as well. "Going fast just sitting there" is how Astro vice president Kyle Swen refers to the S10's looks.
Prepare to empty your wallet for the Antec S10, though; it's priced at an eye watering $499.95 US dollars, so expect to lay out another couple of hundred once it reaches Australian shores. Availability, though, is yet to be confirmed. Until then, here's how good it looks in the flesh. [Antec]