With the Antec Veris Fusion 430 we had installed an Intel Core 2 Duo E6300, Gigabyte GA-G33M-DS2R motherboard, OCZ 2 x 1GB DDR2-1000 Platinum XTC EL, Gigabyte GeForce 8600GT, and Western Digital 750GB HDD. On the software side was Mythbuntu Linux.
Everything installed without a hitch, except for the graphics card. The standoffs are already in place so you just have to slap in your motherboard and screw it on. The hard drive was very easy to install, except for the fact that you do have to screw one side of the hard drive in from the bottom of the case. This can be a pain if you don't do it first. The power supply cables were all long enough to reach and cable routing was not so much of a problem. Hard drive cooling is always a priority for me so I connected a 120mm fan and let it sit on the case.
Now the problem with the graphics card... We happened to choose a passively cooled Gigabyte GeForce 8600GT for this review and everything was fine and great until we tried to close the case. The passive heatsink was too tall! Thus we have been running this system with a loose top for now. So those of you who are planning on using a passively cooled GPU or a large active GPU cooler such as the Sytrin KuFormula Ultra, make sure that the heatsink doesn't protrude more than a half inch from the top side of the GPU board.
The most important thing for a HTPC is silence. That's why we chose a passively cooled 8600GT. Honestly with the fans set on low, we could barely tell it was on. With the fans set on medium, it could be heard from close up, but not at viewing distance (~10ft). At high, there is definitely an audible hum, but if you really need the extra cooling, it's not too terrible of an option. Ahh, the VFD. Don't you love configuring VFD's? I know I DON'T. At time of writing, the VFD is not directly supported by the current version of lcdproc (v0.5.2). The VFD of the Fusion 430 Black V2 is different from the Fusion V2 Silver and Fusion V1. The good news is that there is a patch for lcdproc and lirc that will fix everything! I won't duplicate the instructions. The process can be found here at this link. Unfortunately, we were unable to get the VFD working with the patch, but this is due to a defective VFD unit. Antec had issues with some of the early units. Judging from the comments and feedback, we will give the VFD patches the benefit of the doubt.
As you can see, this is an amazing case, but what you might not see, is that it has a not so amazing price tag of $199 USD to match. However, if you are looking for a HTPC case, there are few more solid and more stylish than this Antec Fusion 430 Black. Thanks to Dean's patch, there are no major downsides to this case that we had found. We still think they really should have included a remote with this case. It would be one less thing for people to hunt for. Bottom line: If you are looking for a stylish HTPC case that will blend into your living room decor, then this case is definitely worth taking a good hard look at.
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Phoronix Product Rating: 9 / 10