Completed Build, Noise and Temps, Conclusion
Looking at the completed build I have to say the build would look a lot more finished with larger motherboard and at least a pair of GPUs. A massive (and expensive) enclosure like this screams for one of those cost-no-object builds that has more GPU power than any game can even make use of, but this serves as an example anyway. (I'll just start asking manufacturers to send at least $2k in components along with all cases from now on. We'll see how that goes!)
Around back we get a better look at two sides of the S10, and you can see how the power and data cables snake around and up the storage half rather neatly, thanks to a channel dedicated to this. The power supply I used for this build (a Corsair TX650) is a pretty average example of a PSU in terms of cable length, but I still had zero trouble reaching even the top hard drive mounts, which are nearly two feet from the bottom of the enclosure!
The fan hub requires a 4-pin molex connector and supports up to 10 fans
Powering the 7 included fans is a hub located behind the motherboard tray, and since it's just a hub there is no speed control. The 5.25" bay up top on the enclosure offers the potential for a fan controller, but no fan speed controller is included – disappointing considering the price of the S10.
Temperatures and Noise
|Processor||AMD FX 6300|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte GA-78LMT-USB3 (AMD AM3+ mATX)|
|Memory||Kingston HyperX Predator 8GB PC3-19200 DDR3 (at 1600 MHz)|
|Graphics Card||Sapphire AMD Radeon R9 280 Dual-X|
|Storage||HGST 250GB 7200 RPM HDD|
|Cooling||Corsair H100i GTX AIO Liquid CPU Cooler|
|Power Supply||Corsair TX 650W|
|OS||Windows 8.1 64-bit|
To load up the CPU I used Prime95 on the blend setting for 5 minutes, and measured the results using HWMonitor for the FX-6300 CPU. For GPU temps I ran the Unigine Valley 1.0 benchmark twice, using GPUZ to note the maximum load temp from these runs. Ambient temps were a warm ~24 C on this day, so your results will vary from those in the chart below.
Having nothing like the S10 to really provide a good comparison, I will add that these results are excellent for the components used. The idle and load levels were as good as any I've seen recently, and are the equal of an open testbench result.
When it comes to noise we have a slightly different story, and here the lack of a fan speed controller hurts the result. Noise levels at system idle were 37.5 dB (room 34 dB), and at full CPU load these were unchanged. The case fans running at full speed were louder than H100i GTX in quiet mode, and this would have been a different story had I been able to lower the fan speeds. To achieve better results you would have to either bypass the included fan hub and use motherboard headers or add a speed controller. At full GPU load noise was 40.0 dB, not bad for the R9 280 Dual-X, but not the lowest result I've seen. The S10 does a very good job of moving air, but does not seem to block noise particularly well.
I had a difficult time making up my mind about the Antec S10 enclosure. It's an impressive design with impeccable construction, and it can handle anything you throw at it in terms of components. Were it priced down in the $300 range I would have less of a reason to complain about the lack of a fan speed controller, but it is a must with this many fans - which spin at full speed regardless of temps without one. The plastic front and top panels might be called into question considering the price, but they have a nice appearance and the enclosure is very sharp-looking overall.
There are many positives to take away from the S10, including the very high fit-and-finish of the construction, the best tool-less drive bays I’ve ever used, massive cooling support, and the innovative dual-chamber design. The cost of the enclosure is going to end up being a barrier for most, and the enclosure market is saturated with so many great options. I would like to see the S10 sell for $50 - $100 less as reviewed, with perhaps the model with tempered glass doors (which will apparently also be available) justifying the initial $499 price tag. But the pricing still hasn't settled and will probably continue to fluctuate at retail.
Update (08/04/15): A day after our review was published the price of this enclosure dropped by a whopping $150 to $349 on Newegg, and on top of this there is a $50 rebate from Antec. This changes the story quite a bit with a final price of $299, which is where I would have liked to see this enclosure from the outset.
- Top-notch construction
- Innovative design
- Engineered for an easy build
- Generous storage support
- Oustanding tool-free drive mounts
- Massive cooling support, 7 fans included
- Removable fan/radiator brackets
- Room for the largest builds including quad-GPU
- No fan speed controller
- Very high introductory price - falling fast, however
Overall I was highly impressed with Antec’s new Signature S10 enclosure. The price should continue to drop a bit as we have already seen both a rebate and free PSU offer out there (none at time of press), but there is a tangible difference between this and the average enclosure once you start building with it. The level of fit and finish is exceptional, and if you’re in the market for a full tower - and can afford it - I don't think you'll be disappointed by the S10. A fan controller is a must to keep noise levels down, and really should have been included, but for an ultimate build I think the S10 makes a great foundation.