|Antec DF-35 Dark Fleet Computer Case|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Wednesday, 07 July 2010|
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DF-35 Detailed Exterior Features
The Antec DF-35's three 5.25" device bays have snap-down, swing-out trim pieces (I'm not sure what else to call them). These snap down very firmly and your optical drive drawer will not be able to push them open. They're easy to release, though: just press lightly in on the left side where it snaps down into the case.
At the top front of the case, on either side of the 2.5" drive bay, are the power and reset buttons. Just below are two USB ports, unlabelled microphone and headphone ports, and, just visible to the left of the USB ports, two tiny holes through which shine blue power and HDD activity LEDs. The left hole is for the power LED and the right hole is for the HDD activity LED. The two USB ports are spaced far enough apart so that interference between two items plugged into them is unlikely; I see too many cases with the USB ports placed so close together that you can really only use one at a time.
Each of the two front 120mm fans has its own fan controller knob, visible in the lower right of this photo. The fan controller is hardwired into the fan body, so you can't replace these fans and retain the controller.
A nice touch: each fan swings open easily to reveal three drive bays; a removable dust filter pops out for easy cleaning.
2.5" drives slot easily into (and out of) the top SATA drive bay (the picture below shows the drive fully inserted). But given the amount of space on top of the case, why didn't Antec make this a 3.5" SATA bay? That would have accomodated both 2.5" and 3.5" drives, and most enthusiasts I know have a lot more 3.5" drives laying around than notebook drives or SSDs.
These two switches on the rear of the case allow you to set "Low" and "High" speeds for the top and rear fans...so every fan in the case has a fan controller! Nice. But as with the front fans, the controllers are hardwired directly into the fan body. Each of the case's four fans has a four-pin Molex pass through connector for power, with no three-pin connector, so you'll need to connect each fan directly to your power supply rather than to motherboard headers.
The side panel fit is a little sloppy: even with the panels fully in place, there's about a 1/4" gap between the back of each side panel and the back of the case.
Now it's time to explore the inside of the case.