Microcool It Banchetto 101 Case
Author: Zahn Funk
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 03-27-2010
Provided by: Microcool It

The Banchetto comes shipped in a colorful retail box, enclosed in Styrofoam and covered with plastic wrap. All of the accessories, which include riser card mounting posts, a plethora of thumbscrews and the optional side fan bracket, are also individually wrapped and stored in separate compartments in the Styrofoam so they aren't rattling around with the case during shipping.

The Banchetto, like many other bench cases, divides the components into two tiers. The top part holds the motherboard and other core hardware such as processor, memory, any add-in cards and heatsinks/coolers. The lower half houses drives and power supply, as well as any other bulky gear such as water cooling radiator and reservoir. Eight millimeter thick methacrylate shelves form the top and bottom plates separating each section. These are completely transparent and have numerous large cutouts for better access to components, wire management and/or help in cooling. One millimeter thick aluminum brackets provide mounting points in the lower section for drives and power supply, while steel stirrups in the center support the load of the structure.

One thing I immediately noticed upon examining the Banchetto is that the metal parts of the case that come in contact with the acrylic had rubbed and scratched the clear plastic, apparently during shipping. All the screws holding the hardware together seemed tight enough but the entire chassis still has some wiggle to it that allows these pieces to move at the points where they touch. Other than these spots the acrylic is gorgeous, so smooth, so clear and polished, however as I would find out later, so easily scratched.

Black rubber pedestal feet with chrome tops elevate both the upper and lower sections. These give almost two inches of clearance for ventilation and cable management. Oversize, chrome-plated power and reset buttons adorn the front edge of the top plate, while black anodized aluminum provides mounting for up to a triple 120mm rad at the rear. Thick chrome motherboard stand-offs come pre-installed on the top surface, along with seven pre-drilled holes for the riser posts. Thumbscrews are used exclusively throughout the case for all attachments. A dual 92mm fan bracket can optionally be installed along the right side to blow air over the board components.

The bottom front of the Banchetto houses three separate aluminum brackets; the one on the right for the power supply, the center offers three 5" bays and the left side holds as many as four 3" drives. The aluminum is only 1.2mm thick and can be bent fairly easily, in fact the power supply bracket arrived slightly tweaked as shown above. This also undoubtedly contributes to the whole chassis' ability to flex somewhat. Let's try installing some hardware into the Banchetto 101.

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