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Microcool Banchetto 101 Tech Bench - Page 2
Written by Brook Moore   
Monday, 26 April 2010 00:00


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The 5.25” drive bay must be removed to add in a 3.5 drive or two, there is a single thumb screw on the bottom front of the 5.25” tray to achieve this. Removing the screw that holds in the 5.25” bay I noticed that the threads this was screwed into are acrylic, something you will want to make note of! If you screw these in to tight, or skewed, you will destroy the threads in the acrylic and therefore no longer be able to secure that bracket. While you have the 5.25” tray out, it is a good idea to install you CD / DVD drive, or you will be pulling it out again to install it, as you only have access to one side of it when installed :).


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Now that we have the drives installed lets install the PSU in the far right slot, while I understand that the PSU must be oriented in the way it is (PSU Power Plug facing out) it doesn't mean I have to like it. If you flipped the PSU around it would be an utter mess of internal PSU cabling, however, by repositioning the PSU block to the rear of the case, they could have alleviated this.

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Moving along we now install the Motherboard, in this case an MSI X58 Platinum. Most of the thumb screws work just fine, there are a couple that I must get out the screwdriver and install as there are too many capacitors and heatsinks around to get my thumbs in, you might have better luck then I. The thumb screws that secure the Motherboard actually go into metal stands, unfortunately these metal stands do screw into acrylic threads, and yes, you will have to remove or install different ones for different Motherboards.


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Now that we have the Motherboard in we can install the add-on cards, mainly, our Graphics card. Here is where I install my first two metal posts that support add-on cards (2 because the Graphics card I am using uses two slots). Once again I notice that I am screwing metal posts, with metal threads (of course) into an acrylic base that has acrylic threads. I must tread lightly as there is a good chance, a very good one when working with what is basically a long bolt, that I could strip out these threads and be up shits creek. If I do not have the posts in for at least one of the Graphics cards support bracket, it will be left dangling in the wind...


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So I get the posts installed, the Graphics card and the CPU Fan / Heat Sink, now I can start cabling the system up. Here is where I run into the “cable shortage” issue. The main PSU cable / connector is to short to route the path they have designed, I must take a short cut to reach, and it is taught using this short cut. Next I route my CPU additional power cable, that is just fine.


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The final cable is the Graphics card power connector, this is woefully short and will not in any way, shape or form make it to the Graphics card, I must use a 2 Molex to PCIe adapter I have lying around. My PSU is a very standard PSU, it's a Cooler Master RP-500-PCAR. The main power cable measures 18 3/4“ (47.6cm).

Powering on the system it is as expected, somewhat loud, but, for me, that's OK. I will be using this as a test bench as it fits that need. If I were to Water Cool this system, there would still be some noise from the Graphics card and a small 90mm fan I would install to push air over the NB/SB, though it would be minimal.

 

Temperatures on the CPU, GPU and Hard drives are all well within reason, the CPU at full load reached 58C, this compares favorably to the same setup inside of a case, where it routinely reached the mid 60's. The only thing that ran slightly warmer was my Hard Drive, in my old tech bench and in my standard case, there is a fan that would direct air over the HD, that is not the case with the Banchetto 101. While the metal bracket the HD mounts to will pull some heat away, only air movement across the HD will keep it's temps down.

Final Words

The is a very unique case, there is definitely a sex appeal to the design, it grabs your attention. While you can tell the craftsmanship is 2nd to none in all aspects, I think the design team forgot to check the standard cable lengths for PSU's, I know they vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, I would think you would find the shortest cabling on a common brand and make sure your solution fits that metric.  Maybe the Banchetto 102 will take that into consideration along with glued in metal recievers for the screws?

All in all I like the case, I like it very much.  The fit's my specific need and will replace my longstanding tech bench (hey, 3 years is huge in this industry) well.  I can get by any of the “shortcomings” mentioned earlier. To be sure, some time down the road the acrylic will not look as clean, some scratches and what not, but that's mine, I remove parts on a weekly basis. The average user won't have that issue, as long as they are careful when screwing metal screws into acrylic threads, they will be just fine.

One other possible down side is the price. This is a case that's designed to look good as well as function, and it shows in the slight premium you will pay for it. There is very little in the way of competition for it however, unless you opt for one of the other (aesthetics or test bench functionality). If you want both, then you will be hard pressed to find another product that fulfils both categories at the same time as well as the .

 

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