With the system completely installed several things become very apparent. First, a modular power supply is a must; there simply is no place to stash power wires and still use the 3.5” bays. Second, you will need to research your choice of CPU cooler in order to make sure it will fit when it comes to the height of the cooling tower. This is an issue due to clearance given by the 250mm fan that sits above the motherboard area. Our measurements show that anything over 92mm in height will give you some issues, so this means that you will have to use a shorter third-party cooler or the retail boxed cooler that comes with Intel and AMD processors. The last thing that you need to know is that it is advised to block out the afternoon to install your system into the Antec Skeleton. Since this case is so open you’re going to want to take your time to run the wires and tuck everything out of the way. It can be done, but it will take time and the right hardware.
If you plan on hauling the Skeleton anywhere then the above is very important. You’re not going to want to haul the case to a LAN party with your drive hanging off the side. SATA connectors get broken all the time while protected inside a standard a case, let alone sticking out in the air for anything to hit. You can see how this is something to keep an eye on in the picture above.
Final Thoughts and Conclusions:
I spent a good solid afternoon with the Skeleton installing parts and what not, and a couple days using it. In the process this case got more people sticking their heads in my office and asking “what in the world is that?” than any other case I have ever reviewed. The Antec Skeleton is a good conversation piece and will make you the talk of the water cooler for sure!
When I first found out about the Skeleton I thought it was cool and even cooler when I got word I was going to review it. After spending an afternoon with the Skeleton I became very frustrated with it. This, I think, was mainly due to the hardware I was trying to fit into it, lack of documentation, and lack of space to hide things. With parts properly selected for the Skeleton the afternoon would have gone a lot smoother, but using what I had made things interesting to say the least.
The Skeleton can be found online for as little as $164 plus shipping; for that money you get a sharp looking case that will be guaranteed to turn heads. Overall I have mixed feelings about the Skeleton. The geek in me loves it; the dad in me is scared of it. As a father of two under the age of 10 there is more then one occasion that something will go flying across the room. Even in my office I was leery of people around the system that were holding drinks and leaning over the case. Those that have pets at home might also want to think twice as a cat on catnip might find the 250mm disco fan a little too interesting.
Bottom Line: The Antec Skeleton is a very unique and innovative case, but with anything radical it will not be perfect for everyone.