|Antec Eleven Hundred Computer Case|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by Dan Ferguson|
|Tuesday, 22 November 2011|
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Detailed Interior FeaturesIt's great tha most new cases include tool-less installation hardware. Simple spring loaded mechanisms are all but standard for 5.25" bays for holding one or more optical drives.
The levers included in the Eleven Hundred are a nice addition to the series, and work decently enough. The first few attempts at sliding the drives in and out took some forcing and wiggling, but the levers eventually smooth out. I found that I had to pull the levers out when installing the drive as well as when removing the drive.
The smaller 3.5" drives were much easier to install. Simply pop on a couple rails and slide them right in. To remove the drive just squeeze the curved tabs at the end of the rails and pull. There are several different styles of rails out there, and for the most part the style doesn't make a huge difference. Some cases are wide enough that a hard drive can be installed with the port facing rearward or forward. In the Eleven Hundred the case is wide enough for either configuration, but the rails will only mount the drive in one direction, and the cage is mounted too close to the front panel. A small nuance, but perhaps useful to someone.
The Eleven Hundred is an unusually deep mid-tower case. The extra depth allows for large motherboards and space, but it also allows room for more fans. In addition to the front fans (not included) Antec left space to mount two interior fans on the drive cage (also not included). I've never actually benchmarked or used two front fans and two frontal interior fans. Intuitively I have a hard time believing that they will make much difference unless the hard drive cage is full.
While we're on the subject of fans we can look more closely at the "central" power hub. It's a small PCB with a male molex plug for power input and four 3-pin fan outputs. The top and rear fans are both plugged leaving only two more jacks for additional fans. Since there is potential to install seven more fans in the Eleven Hundred you'll need to use some type of daisy chain or splice. The hub best serves the side fans, but you'll need to run either a solitary power cable or an extension.
The build in this case could have been my fastest build ever. There is tons of space for running and organizing cables. Tons of space for my hands and long cards. Tons and tons of space!!! Everything dropped in and secured quickly. With the motherboard in place you can see the spacious interior. The CPU cutout extends past the end of the motherboard (which is slightly shorter than average). In fact the case is so spacious that some of my cables were too short to run behind the motherboard.
There was one thing that kept this from being my fastest build. Well, four things really. The grommets in the mobo tray kept popping out. You can see in the picture above at the bottom where I left one grommet hanging loose. The rubber was too soft, or the holes to big, or the seatings were too shallow, or some combination of all three left me constantly fighting to keep them in place. It was almost faster to pull the grommet out, run the cables through, then try to fit it back in place. An unexpected frustration that Antec can hopefully mend (will hopefully mend).
One last thing worth mentioning is that the USB 3.0 cable terminates in a motherboard header without any adapters for a 2.0 port. This should be less and less of a problem going forward, but many people are still in a transition stage, especially if you're considering this case. Overall I have to remark on how clean the installation was. Excepting the one hiccup it was a very positive experience.