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Old February 3, 2009, 09:02 PM
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Default Antec Sonata III Review?

Hey guys.

I just unpacked my new Antec Sonata III case and wanted to share my initial impressions. (the wife doesn't really care for my hobbies)

1) Why did Antec rivet the right side panel into place as part of a single sheet of metal? I owned an original Antec case (the model escapes me now), and I still remember a time when the side where the motherboard was mounted could be removed. Why you might ask? Well because this case definately needs a couple of sheet of sound dampening on the sides. Leading me to...

2) ...the metal quality has gone WAY down! They practically put paper sheets in these things! If you tap on the door it sounds like thin tin. Antec's older cases were just as expensive but way higher in quality. You'd think they were courting Dell with their corner cutting measures! There is no way that sound is going to mind passing through the metal in this case. Hence my complaint about the side panel not being removeable. I could at least beef it up with some rubber foam.

3) The rubber HD grommets are a nice touch, and so is the dust filter, but how the hell do you get the filter out? Leading me to...

4) ...the manual is 100% useless. They've included enough generic nothing in the manual's 6 lanugages that it could say "thin tin metal case" on the front and pack it with all their models. It wouldn't make a difference. If I have to rip my front plastic face off to get to the air filter, its going to be a pain in the arse doing it on the floor with a packed system.

At $129 CND on sale, I'm not complaining too much. I could have paid the $150 I've seen it as recently as last week. The PSU is a supposedly solid 500W, and every site reviewing it seems to think its quiet, but I have my doubts. I'm certain the PSU and large case fan are quiet, but what does it say when the case materials themselves don't lend to silencing the system inside it?!?!? Or at least make the panels removeable and accessible so I can do what they won't.

Either way I'm sure my disappointment will be a thing of the past when the rest of my rig arrives. But if I hear my WD Black 640Gig through those thin panels, its the LAST Antec I'll be buying or recommending. In the PC hardware business, reputation is everything. When I see a "Legendary Silence" case made out of crap compared to cases not 5 years prior for the same price and better quality, I call BS.

No I haven't searched the forums for cases comments and reviews. I assumed the last piece of my kit I would have to worry about would be an Antec case quoted as supplying "Legendary Silence". Next time I'll be shopping around for a manufacturer that seems to pay closer attention to details.

Thanks letting me vent. (though I'm not pissed, just disappointed in general)
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Old February 3, 2009, 09:25 PM
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Sorry bud but you paid $130 for a good case and a good power supply. For sure it won't be dead quiet. You'll need to change the fans. Noctua are pretty quiet but they might be too expensive for your liking. Check out this: Antec Case - Antec Sonata III Quiet Case
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Old February 3, 2009, 09:32 PM
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look at the bottom of the front facade
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Old February 3, 2009, 09:53 PM
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Thanks slntdth93, I finally noticed how to get the filter out. I expected there was a way but I was so caught up in the idea that I would have to unplug and lift up the case enough to pull out a 6"+ filter.

I'm sure its a good case and I know its a good PSU, but I still can't help but be a bit disappointed. I read the reviews and I too a look at it in a show room. But now that I have it home it seems like its missing an additional layer on the sides and top. The fact the side, no matter the explaination, isn't removable is a con in my book.

I'll take a look at my fan options when I get this baby all assembled. I might end up chaning my tune when it's all together.
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Old February 3, 2009, 10:06 PM
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I've used that case on 8 or 9 builds for business clients. I have one under my desk at work with stock fans. I won't say it's inaudible but it is pretty quiet. I think once it's together you'll be happy with it.
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Old February 3, 2009, 10:34 PM
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FYI: do you have Rev 1 or 2?

Rev 2 has a black face plate Rev 1 is chrome.

If you have Rev 1 get the faceplate changed out its known to have static discharge issues.
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Old February 3, 2009, 10:39 PM
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Well now I'll have to look. Thanks for the heads-up.
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Old February 3, 2009, 11:40 PM
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Different strokes for different folks. Sometimes it's a feature, sometimes it's a bug. Stick a sheet of foam on the removable side panel, takes the clang right out of it, in my experience. And if you're serious about shutting the system up, you can definitely do better than those Tri-cools. The fixed motherboard tray and back panels can be a pain, but they're also two less possible sources of vibration down the road. And the power supply alone is easily worth $70-80.

Honestly, I think you're getting concerned for no reason. At one point, I had a overclocked Q6600 and a 8800GTS 640 in that case, both on air, and the case airflow could handle them both - with the fastest fan spinning at only 1000rpm. In its range and size, it's definitely one of the better cases out there.
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Old February 4, 2009, 05:47 AM
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I quite like the Sonata III. Its not a great case, but for a cheap build its a nice case with a pretty good PSU. The only real problem I have with it is on two of the three PCs I have made with that case, the PSU fan on two of them is getting increasingly loud. One to the point where I have requested an RMA with Antec because it is actually LOUD, especially since that PSU is supposed to be part of my HTPC.
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