|Antec Eleven Hundred Computer Case|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by Dan Ferguson|
|Tuesday, 22 November 2011|
Page 7 of 7
Computer Case Final Thoughts
I'm finding that I really like the extended mid-tower cases, especially the ones being released lately. They come packed full of features, though perhaps not EVERY feature, and they can handle most hardware configurations you can throw at it. They're big enough to provide space for an easy build without being so big that they cost extra cash or no longer fit in your computer spot. They allow you to put in a modest motherboard, PSU, graphics cards and adequate cooling, and leave space for adding more, bigger, faster, better. These cases will easily support and cool three and four GPUs. They've got USB 3.0 and dedicated spots for SSDs.
They're ready to move forward with you, grow with you, accept whatever decide. These larger mid-tower cases remind me of when SUV's started appearing in the car market. Consumer options went from car/van/truck to minivans, SUVs, cross-overs and everything in-between. I don't know if computer cases will soon see a similar divergence of classes away from standard, mid and full sized ATX, but I fully expect to see a wider range of customized offerings that blur the lines between classes. I'd love to see a point where we can choose our features the same way you can choose a custom package for your car. But until then we'll keep reviewing cases and find our favorites.
Antec Eleven Hundred Conclusion
When it came time to build the Eleven Hundred the performance was almost spectacular. The extra depth and width provided tons of space to quickly add and remove parts as well as run cables without restriction. But the grommets in the motherboard tray kept dislodging and impeded the build. Once the cables were through and the grommets all replaced it was an easy matter to organize the cables into clean bundles and secure them to the tray. When it came to cooling, the case was setup for success. There are spots for 9 fans, but only two were included. The top 200 mm fan was a quiet workhorse, and the rear 120 mm fan pulled its own weight. In the default configuration the negative pressure setup couldn't keep up with cases that just have more fans. Finally, when it comes to configurability the Eleven Hundred excels with motherboard options (up to XL-ATX), and USB 3.0, but otherwise doesn't offer anything special.
The Eleven Hundred keeps with the main visual theme of Antec's gaming series with slight modifications that give a cleaner look. Though slightly more boxy I think it eliminated many odd lines, angles and visual obstructions. There's enough style and pattern to avoid the boring box look but the layout is functional and familiar.
Characteristic of Antec's quality, the Eleven Hundred uses solid steel construction with rigid plastic in mostly non-critical areas. The one exception is the left side of the hard drive cage and interior fan mounts. The joins and seams are well crafted and the coating is durable. The front panel can be pulled off, but it won't come off accidentally. The feet are made from hard plastic which can magnify noise, would be nice to see something soft. The bottom and front filters are well constructed and functional.
USB 3.0, removable filters, side left, side right rear and top fans (or at least potential for such), deep motherboard tray, large CPU cutout, tool-less install...the Eleven Hundred has lots of good stuff going on inside. Panels are easy to remove, thumb-screws on the PCI slots, nine expansion slots, what's not to like? There's even a fan power hub and mounts for fan controls on the back panel. But to get the full functionality out of the case you're going to have to put in some effort. You'll need to provide the additional fans, and find ones with control switches if you want to use the back panel.
As of late November 2011, the Antec Eleven Hundred is available for $129.99 at Newegg. This is really a difficult case to compare monetarily against the competition. If you look at cases offering 9 or more expansion cards, there's almost nothing even close to the price class. The closest competitor as far as i can tell is Rosewill's Thor V2 which had a very mixed reception, but it was a full tower case. So how do you value a one-of-a-kind? If you don't care about expansion ports then you can get better features for the same price point. If you don't care about case size then you can get large cases that offer more for a little more.
This case was very difficult to rate. You may agree or disagree, and I'd love to hear your thoughts (kindly). I can't help but feel like Antec cut some corners to hit the price point. Any sane person who wants to run multiple GPUs in this case is going to pony up extra for adequate cooling, and it's hard to say exactly what will be required. For me it would be a minimum of two more decent 120 mm fans. I'm also miffed at their choice to short-change the fan controller. Not that I'd use it much since it's inconveniently located at the back, but just because it's not as good as they did in previous case models. To Antec: this could be a GREAT case. Add two decent fans, firm up the grommets by adding a hardening agent to the rubber, and fix the fan controller. If history tells us anything, we expect to see Eleven Hundred V2 with improvements.
+ XL-ATX Form-factor compatible
- Only comes with 2 fans
Final Score: 8.85 out of 10.
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