Microcool Banchetto 101 Open Air Modular Chassis ReviewWed, May 19, 2010 - 12:00 AM
Microcool Banchetto 101 Open Air Modular Chassis
Microcool is an Italian company that started in 2003 and its first hardware cooling offering was the North Pole chipset cooler. Microcool has since made a range of thermal products including passive coolers for chipsets, mosfets, and Thermaltech thermal tape. They also have an open air chassis, or tech bench as some call them, called the Banchetto 101.
Microcool says the Banchetto 101 is “a case that is there but you cannot see” and for a good reason. The case is not the focus with this type of ‘enclosure’, it’s the parts. The open air design is meant to allow quick and easy access to the entire system for changing parts or testing areas that are normally a large pain to get to in a standard case. It also allows the user to show off all the hardware as well. To make access easier the entire chassis is modular and assembled with thumbscrews; no tools required. The bulk of the Banchetto 101 is made from clear Methacrylate sheet; most know it as Acrylic. The clear sheets allow for the case to pretty well meld with the parts that are installed.
Now, the Banchetto 101 currently costs $255 in the US and is up against other open air cases like the $150 Antec Skeleton and the $150 Danger Den Torture Rack. It is also going up against the $160 High Speed PC HSPC Tech Station, and a standard cardboard box the motherboard came in the arena of tech stations. I know there are others, but these are the ones I can think of at the moment, and none have the configurability of the Banchetto 101. Now let’s take a look at the Banchetto 101’s specifications and then tear into the Banchetto 101 to see if it worthy of the higher price tag.
- Light, compact and transparent
- Entirely modular
- Rapid fastening system for motherboard, VGA and PCI
- Support for radiator with up to three fans
- Universal docking for pumps and trays
- Rapid POWER and RESET push buttons
- Model: Banchetto 101
- Dimensions: 400(L) x 350(W) x 362(H) mm
- Weight: 5.3 Kg
- Methacrylate shelves (8mm)
- Aluminum racks (1.2mm)
- Chrome steel bolts and screws
Now let’s look at how the Microcool Banchetto 101 open air tech bench is packed.