Date: October 17th, 2006
Article by: Mike Carter (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Antec
<--CLICK FOR DEALS ON AN ANTEC FUSION HOME THEATER CASE IN THE UNITED STATES
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PRODUCT PICTORAL AND WALKTHROUGH (cont'd)
The optical drive rack is removable, simply by lifting up and rotating forwards a bit. There is room for only one optical drive, which must be mounted on the bottom.
Behind the optical drive rack, you can see the backside of the VFD display.
The Fusion is designed strictly for mATX motherboards, which fits with the idea of a small, quiet media center. Here, you'll find the reason for the small, interlocking blocks in the parts bag. Next to the 80mm fan grille is a tabbed mounting block. By mounting an 80mm intake fan, and adding the blocks as needed, you can direct airflow directly onto your CPU heatsink, increasing cooling power. If you choose, you can also remove one of the 120mm fans, and block off that grille with the included plate, to further refine the airflow. This is a neat idea, and one that's worth experimenting with. For testing purposes, I left the blocks off and both 120mm fans in place.
The motherboard tray is not removable, and includes standoffs and mounting locations to fit various motherboard configurations. Due to the triple-chamber construction, the motherboard section is a bit tight.
The cables from the front panel connectors are routed through a hole in the HDD chamber wall, and you have those 120mm fans on the side. Along with that, the mounting tab for the modular CPU ducting sticks out quite a ways. I had to pull the front panel cables out of the hole in order to drop the motherboard in.
Once you start to plug the motherboard in, you'll notice two odd things. One, there is no power LED plug. Rather than use a motherboard header, Antec uses a Molex plug to power an LED that lights up around the power button. I found this to be a little strange- a regular motherboard plug would have done the same job. Also missing is a PC speaker plug. The Fusion doesn't have a PC speaker. Since most current motherboards still use POST-code beeps to report errors, I'm surprised Antec chose to jettison the speaker completely.
The HDD chamber holds two HDDs, in a rubber-mounted setup. To install your hard drives, you remove the screws holding the top bracket in place.