Antec Eleven Hundred Computer Chassis: Hardware Review

 
by  •  Aug 14, 2012

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 Say Hello to the Antec Eleven Hundred

Antec Eleven Hundred Top Antec Eleven Hundred Computer Chassis: Hardware Review

The Eleven Hundred Computer Chassis is billed as being the new flagship model in Antec’s line of PC Gaming Chassis. Joining the ranks of the Twelve Hundred, Nine Hundred, and LanBoy Air models, the Eleven Hundred stands on its own, and shines. I recently rebuilt my current gaming system, using this case, and was surprised by the results.

Features

The Eleven Hundred has a wealth of features for anyone looking to build or upgrade their current setup. It’s a Super Mid Tower case, making it in between the Full and Standard Mid Tower in overall size. The case supports XL-ATX, Standard ATX, microATX and Mini-ITX motherboards, while still offering enough room to stuff every possible gadget and goodie you can think of inside.

The overall dimensions are 20.7″ H x 9.3″ W x 21.5″ D. Both side panels detach, with one clear window featuring space to mount two 120 mm side panel fans. The other side panel features a spot to mount a single side panel 120 mm fan, which blows directly on the CPU through a large cutout, allowing additional cooling to the underside of the motherboard.

Antec Eleven Hundred Side 1 Antec Eleven Hundred Computer Chassis: Hardware Review

A large 200 mm blue LED fan is mounted on the top of the case, and pulls air out of the case at a respectable rate, while a single 120 mm standard fan is mounted on the rear panel. Additional mounts are placed throughout the case in strategic places, allowing for a seven additional 120 mm fans to be mounted. Four of these mounts are located on both sides of the hard drive bay, allowing a constant airflow over your HDD.

Because of the way the motherboard is oriented in the case, additional cooling is not needed if you utilize all the fan slots. The RAM sits below the 200 mm fan, and both it and the CPU benefit from the minor whirlwind it produces. Still, if you chose, the case adapts well to liquid cooling, with two cutouts on the rear for the coolant hoses, or by removal of the rear 120 mm fan and mounting a self contained liquid CPU Cooler.

One of the thoughtful features Antec chose to include, was the use of slotted PCI brackets on the rear panel, secured by thumbscrews. Normally, you have to buy slotted brackets at about 10 bucks a package. This small feature not only saves you a bit of money at the start, but with nine over all expansion slots, this contributes greatly to cooling the entire case.

On the front of the case is an audio I/O panel with two USB 2.0 ports, and two USB 3.0 ports, the ports connect inside the case onto your motherboard, so in order to utilize them you will need the appropriate headers. There is also three slots for external 5.25 devices, such as a DVD drive, which utilizes a tool-less mounting system. There are however, no slots for smaller 3.5″ devices, such as a standard card reader.

Inside you will find six 3.5″ drive bays, each allowing a hard drive to be mounted with the same tool-less design featured on the external bays, and a dedicated twin 2.5″ bay for mounting devices such as SSDs. Near the top rear, a small circuit board with three 3-pin fan headers which is in turn is powered by a 4 pin molex connector.

Antec Eleven Hundred Side 2 Antec Eleven Hundred Computer Chassis: Hardware Review

The power supply is mounted on the bottom, and features a filter for keeping some of the dust out. Even if you are mounting a Standard ATX motherboard, there is still enough room to mount a second power supply, if needed. There are no vents or cutouts, however, so you will have to get creative if you decide to.

The final detail of note here is the cable management features. Modular power supplies are nice, but expensive. With the Antec Eleven Hundred, all the cables inside can be routed through grommet lined holes cut out in the motherboard tray, then tucked in a space that is about 36 mm wide, spanning the entire height and depth of the side panel. Let me tell you, there is nothing that helps a PC stay cleaner, and cooler, than having all those cables out of the way.

Ease of Use

I found the overall build to go rather smoothly. The rail mounted, tool-less design of the expansion bays allow easy mounting and removal of both the Hard Drives, and the DVD drive. There was plenty of room in the case for everything, and there was no angling or “gently persuading” components to fit in place.

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Still, I have to point out that the case does not come with a manual. In an attempt to “go green,” the manual for the case is located online, in the support information. This small, money saving feature was a source of aggravation for me, since the computer was in parts. Luckily, I had a few other devices on hand, so I was able to finally decipher how to mount the fans using only two screws each, as that is all the case would allow.

Design

Antec outdid themselves, the cooling features and cable management are what makes this case shine for me. I do wish there were a space to mount a card reader or similar size device, but I have not missed using the one I had installed in my previous case.

The size is ideal for someone who wants enough room for all of their components, but does not want to have a skyscraper sitting on their desk. Also, with its black color, and the ability to turn the LED fan lights off via a switch on the rear panel, the case would be ideal in a professional setting in addition for a home gaming rig. It’s not overly heavy, even with all the components installed, but I doubt you will want to lug this thing around parties. Stick it where you want it, keep it clean, and leave it alone.

Performance

Now this is the part where I get excited. Since I am running overclocked components, and multiple graphics cards, things tend to get a little hot on the inside.

The prior temperatures of my CPU were idling around 30-35 degrees on standard voltage, and cranking up to over 40 at idle when I overclocked. During gaming, I would watch nervously as they climbed up, and I would eventually back down my overclock, or abandon it altogether, GPU temps were similarly high, with a range of around 40 degrees under idle to over 70 while gaming.

Since moving everything over to the Antec Eleven Hundred, I have watched my idle temps on CPU drop to 23 degrees, this is after setting a modest overclock of 3.6 Ghz on an AMD 1100T processor. My AMD Radeon HD 7870 is running at 31 degrees, while a second Nvidia GTX 460 is setting at 36.

All told, I am seeing upwards of a 10 degree drop in temperature on my internal components, and I can see why. After removing the side panels and front bezel, the amount of air generated by the case is noticeable, cool, and feels as strong as a spring breeze. I would surmise that even cooler temperatures are possible with liquid cooling, or by using higher RPM fans inside the case. However, using the silent bearing fans, I am quite satisfied, and the noise is negligible.

Quality

The Eleven Hundred features solid construction throughout, and it looks like it could stand being knocked around a little. All the fittings, connections and screws fasten tight, and even the feet on the bottom of the case grip the surface of my desk, without leaving much room to slide around.

Antec Eleven Hundred Intertior 2 Antec Eleven Hundred Computer Chassis: Hardware Review

The only worry I do have is the front bezel, which is made of plastic and modders mesh. You have to use a bit of force to remove it, and since it is held on by plastic lips, I wonder how easy it would be to snap one off. So far that has not happened to me, but still, it’s something I am aware of whenever I am working on the front panel.

Value

Price is always a concern, and the Eleven Hundred fits in nicely, coming in at approximately $100 USD, available from online retailers. Certain products with similar features run as high as $130 USD, which places the Eleven Hundred on the lower end of the cost scale.

Moreover however, beyond price you have to consider the benefit having a case like this has on your core components. Adding the additional fans allows the interior to remain cool, even while operating under high demand. If component heat is a worry, then this case definitely is one to consider.

Final Intelligence Report

The Antec Eleven Hundred offers a good balance of quality and value, while surprisingly outshining in the area of performance. Its cable management features, and the additional cooling offered by installing a few more fans make it easy to understand why this case is Antec’s new flagship.

 


Details

Features
Ease of Use
Design
Performance
Quality
Value
Final Score: 4.6 out of 5
Antec Eleven Hundred Top

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