Antec 900 Review
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February 8, 2009, 08:06 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Hamilton, Ontario Canada
Antec 900 Review
When I bought the Antec 900 I had two main things I wanted out of my new case: lots of space to work in, and good cooling potential. The Antec 900 fills both of these needs very well. It however does have it's drawbacks and little flaws. None of the flaws are big enough to make me regret buying it but they can cause frustration to some people.
The Antec 900 features spaces for four 120mm case fans as well as one 200mm case fan. There are two case fans at the front, one on the side, and one in the rear. The 200mm fan is at the top. I have the Thermaltake TT-1225 case fans in all four spots. The 200mm fan provides great bang for your buck when looking at how much air it pushes compared to it's volume. It is able to push an advertised 134CFM while only operating at 30 DB. This is at the high setting. There is also a medium and low setting for those looking for a lower volume. Overall I would say that the Antec 900 is a very good cooling solution. You can pop any four 120mm fans you wish into it to give you whatever combination of raw cooling or silent operation you may want and the 200mm fan is a beast the likes of which I hadn't seen before.
The Antec 900 is one of the best cases I have used in terms of build strength. I have used cases before in which I was worried that the material on the inside would bend or break if pushed too hard. The 900 feels like a case that could possibly take a beating and keep on going. I don't like to punish my cases but accidents do happen and it is always better to have a case that can take a little than one that will fold. This is a double-edged sword: the thing is very heavy. Even when empty this is easily the heaviest case I have ever owned and when full it is that much bulkier. This isn't a huge deal because I can still carry it but I would of liked it to be lighter. I guess I have to ask whether I want the strength I just praised or the portability of a lighter case that might be weaker.
The design choices made by Antec on the 900 is by far it's only poor features. If you ever have to replace the 200mm fan (which I have due to my own carelessness) you are in for a horrible experience. The sheer amount of little screws and bits needed to be taken off and put back on to get access to the fan is mind boggling. It literally took me about an hour to replace what is essentially a case fan. Then you have the front case fans which to install those you need to take off the front panel, remove the Hard drive cage, screw them on and then put it all back in the case. This is a true pain just to install case fans and hard drives. The front does have mesh panels in front of the fans which help keep a great deal of dust from the actual fan so cleaning is made easier. SLI users may want to worry a little. By the looks of where my one GTX 260 is if I added a second I would have to remove the hard drive cage altogether and mount them in the 5.25” bays. My last gripe with design would be the lack of a tool free setup. It is so common on recent cases that I was surprised to not have one with the 900. I'll admit it isn't something that needs to be there, in fact most tool free expansion slots at the back I have to remove for modern dual slot video cards anyway, but it seems like something that could of been added with minimum pain to Antec.
So overall I find myself giving the 900 a recommendation to users, but with a warning that it is not a pain free case for many and will come with quirks. If cooling and space are prime concerns though, you will find few better cases for it's price range.
Final Score: 8/10
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