There’s no easy way to say it, the Antec S10 is £399.99 in the UK from most retailers, although you can get it for £359.99 + shipping from Overclockers UK and $499.99 in the US. You have to take your hardware pretty seriously to put down that kind of money on your chassis and you have to think, as well as overlook several rival offerings that are for the most part £100 cheaper. Of course, if you’re installing a dual socket motherboard, Xeon processors, a RAID array, four GPUs and more, the cost of this chassis is still likely to be one of the cheapest components of your build, so perhaps it’s all relative.
Antec has really pushed their limits on this one, it’s great to see them aim high and tackle the enthusiast market head on and without a doubt, the S10 is a very competitive product in terms of specification and aesthetics. Unfortunately, like any other chassis in the world, it’s not perfect. Of course, much of what I see in this chassis is subjective, everyone has their own tastes, but I’d certainly see some revisions to the design before I was crowning it one of the greatest chassis in the world.
Let’s get the minor issues out of the way. The front panel is plastic, a metal panel would have completed the aesthetics nicely, with the thick metal panels on the side feeling someone tacked on to an otherwise plastic coated chassis. Does the design look lesser for it? Only a little, at the end of the day, this is still a great looking chassis, but I’d have liked the finish to be a little more uniform and “premium” given the price. The power button, it’s tiny and wobbly, I want a chunky and reliable mechanical switch on my £400 chassis, that’s really not asking for much. The door locking mechanisms are a bit rubbish and the plastics don’t compliment the metal doors at all. They do their job, but they just feel a little cheap. The rear side panel door is a little tough to close unless you strap down excess cables, as the passthrough from the PSU section to the motherboard only has a small cut-away, this can be tricky if you’re routing a large amount of cables, but again, this is really only a one-time issue and just needs a little extra effort to resolve. The top panel has a plastic cover on it, not sure what it does or why I would want the chassis equivalent of a baseball cap on my premium product, but at least you can toss it to one side should you not like it. Finally, there are no secure locks on the side panel doors.
All that aside, there’s a hell of a lot that I do like and even a few things that I love about the S10. The side panels are the height of aesthetic beauty in their own right. That thick cut metal with its thick brushed texture finish is a joy to look at, even if it is a finger print magnet. I think Antec know it’s a fingerprint problem too, as they’ve included a high-quality microfiber cloth in the box, which I thought was nice of them.
The triple compartment design is fantastic, as the hard drives, the power supply and your SSDs, as well as the motherboard area are all independently cooled and air filtered. Most chassis have the air pass over the hard drives, which some of you will know, get rather hot on their own, they then pass that air to the GPU area. The S10 has three fans that blow directly on the back of the graphics cards and that’s going to bring tangible benefits to those trying to cool a quad-GPU configuration. The cooling is further enhanced by seven pre-installed fans, yes this chassis is expensive, but seven fans don’t come cheap either, so it’s nice to see them included, as is the fan hub for up to eight fans in the rear of the chassis.
So to sum up, this is a fantastic chassis that would be well suited to an enthusiast gaming system or workstation. It supports the latest and greatest hardware on the market and plenty of it, giving you room for multiple graphics cards, huge banks of storage and it houses it all in a chassis that is built with a focus on silent performance. The downside, it’s damn expensive and while I’m not comfortable paying the current retail price, I may twitch for my credit card the day I see one closer to £250.
- Great aesthetics
- Thick aluminum side panels
- Triple compartment design
- Easily accessible air filters on all intakes
- 7 fans pre-installed with options for water cooling
- Fan hub
- Dual door design
- Tool-free drive installation
- Quad-GPU support
- Shallow 5.25″ bay for fan controller/card reader
- 4 x USB 3.0
- Side panel doors can’t be locked or secured tightly
- Plastic front panel
- Plastic side panel clips for holding doors and filter
- Cheap power switch
- Small cable pass through cutout behind motherboard can be tricky
- Optional top panel plastic cover makes no sense to me
- The chassis is quite expensive compared to rival offerings but does come with seven fans pre-installed and huge aluminium side panels, which don’t come cheap anyway
“The Antec S10 is certainly offering a good amount of innovation, it’s like no Antec chassis that went before it and offers a competitive alternative to many of the Lian Li, Cooler Master, Corsair and many more ultra high-end chassis that are on the market. If Antec can work on getting the price down a little, I’d happily regard this as one of the best chassis on the market, despite its numerous minor flaws.”
Thank you Antec for providing us with this sample.