Antec Twelve Hundred Case Review
By Gabriel Torres on August 11, 2008


Introduction

Hardware Secrets Golden Award

Antec Twelve Hundred is a full-tower case targeted to gamers, with an impressive number of cooling options (six fans with speed control for all of them and also a switch to turn the top fan LED on or off), twelve 5.25” bays with nine of them available for hard disk drives and several other minor features, like washable dust filters. Let’s take an in-depth look at this latest release by Antec.

Looking at the case for the first time we were impressed by its impeccable paint job.

Antec Twelve Hundred case
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Figure 1: Antec Twelve Hundred case.

Antec Twelve Hundred case
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Figure 2: Antec Twelve Hundred case.

In Figure 3, you can see the front panel from this case and, as you can see, this case doesn’t have a front door. This case has twelve external 5.25” bays and nine of them are used by three hard disk drive cages. As you can see, all covers are meshed for a better airflow and each cage has a washable dust filter. Each cage is also cooled by a 120 mm fan and on the front part of each cage you can find a potentiometer to control the fan speed. Of course we will talk more about the disk drive bays and possible configurations later.

Antec Twelve Hundred case
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Figure 3: Front panel.

Antec Twelve Hundred case
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Figure 4: Potentiometer to control the speed of one of the frontal fans.

Introduction (Cont’d)

Antec Twelve Hundred has a big 190 mm fan on its top (Antec claims that this case uses a top 200-mm fan, but if you measure it is actually a 190 mm fan), protected by a fancy mesh, as shown in Figure 5. This and all other fans available on this case glow blue when they are turned on, but you can switch off the top fan LED’s through a switch available on the rear panel. Unfortunately you can switch off the LED’s only from the top fan.

Antec Twelve Hundred case
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Figure 5: Top panel.

On the top part of the case you can also find a panel containing two USB ports, an eSATA port and mic in and headphone jacks, plus the power and reset switches. The two USB ports have a relatively good distance between them, allowing you to install two “fat” USB devices at the same time, like USB drives. We think that this case could have a FireWire port here and two more USB ports on a high-end case wouldn’t be bad.

Antec Twelve Hundred case
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Figure 6: Connectors found on the top panel.

Finally we have the rear panel in Figure 7. On this case the power supply is installed on the lower section of the case. This case has two 120 mm fans on its rear panel and you can control the speed of the top and rear fans through a small panel available on the top section of the rear panel (see Figure 8). Three speeds are available: low (400 rpm for the top fan and 1,200 rpm for the rear fans), medium (700 rpm for the top fan and 1,600 rpm for the rear fans) and high (1,000 rpm for the top fan and 2,000 rpm for the rear fans). As mentioned, you can also turn off the LED’s from the top fan through this panel. This case also has two holes for hoses from water cooling devices. These holes use a rubber cover, so you won’t need to break anything on your case to have them available. The side panels are attached to the case through thumbscrews, which is great.

Antec Twelve Hundred case
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Figure 7: Rear panel.

Antec Twelve Hundred case
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Figure 8: Rear and top fans controller.

Now let’s see how Twelve Hundred looks like inside.

Inside Twelve Hundred

In Figure 9 you have an overall look from the interior of this case. What immediately caught our attention was the fact that all interior parts also got an excellent black paint job, giving a terrific looks to the interior of the case, making it to look like an aluminum case, while it is a steel model.

Antec Twelve Hundred case
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Figure 9: Inside Twelve Hundred.

On the left side panel there is a place for you to install an additional 120 mm fan that doesn’t come with the case. The case comes with a washable air filter for this spot, which is really nice.

Antec Twelve Hundred case
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Figure 10: Washable air filter for the optional 120 mm side fan.

Even though you can remove the right side panel, the motherboard tray is permanently attached to the chassis.

This case comes with regular screws for fastening daughterboards to the case. We think a case from this quality should have come with thumbscrews instead. In Figure 11, you can see the two rear 120 mm fans and the expansion slots.

Antec Twelve Hundred case
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Figure 11: Rear 120 mm fans and expansion slots.

Antec Twelve Hundred case
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Figure 12: Closer look of the 200-mm (190 mm) top fan.

All fans use a standard 4-pin peripheral power connector and thus you can’t monitor their speed.

The Disk Drive Bays

 As mentioned, this case has twelve external 5.25” bays. On the default configuration the case uses three hard disk drive cages, each one taking three 5.25” bays, so in fact we have three 5.25” bays and nine 3.5” bays for hard disk drives available. This case comes with a 5.25”-to-3.5” adapter, so if you won’t use a floppy disk drive you can have up to 10 hard disk drives installed, which is more than enough even for the most hardcore user.

Antec Twelve Hundred case
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Figure 13: Disk drive bays, inside view.

If you need more 5.25” bays you can remove the hard disk drive cages. In fact you can remove all of them to make the twelve 5.25” bays available. In this extreme configuration you can use one of them to install your hard disk drive through the 5.25”-to-3.5” adapter, leaving eleven 5.25” bays to be used.

The cages are fastened to the 5.25” bays through the use of thumbscrews and even though on the factory configuration the cages come installed on the lowest nine bays nothing prevents you from moving them around. For example, you can move one of the cages to the top three 5.25” bays if you’d like to have this configuration for some reason.

Unfortunately this case doesn’t come with any screwless mechanism for installing optical or hard disk drives and it also doesn’t come with thumbscrews, so you have to use regular screws to install disk drives. Hard disk drives must use longer screws that come with the case.

Each hard disk drive cage comes with a 120 mm fan attached (each one with an individual speed control knob, as shown in Figure 4) but if you think you need even more ventilation on certain hard disk drives or simply more airflow inside the case one of the cages come with a plastic stand for you to install an extra 120 mm fan, which doesn’t come with the case.

Antec Twelve Hundred case
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Figure 14: Hard disk drive cage.

Antec Twelve Hundred case
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Figure 15: Hard disk drive cage.

Each cage also comes with a washable dust filter, which is great.

Antec Twelve Hundred case
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Figure 16: Washable dust filter.

Main Specifications

Twelve Hundred case main specs include:

* Researched at Shopping.com on the day we published this review.

Conclusions

Antec Twelve Hundred is a full tower case targeted to high-end gamers that want a good quality case full of features but don’t want to pay for an aluminum product. Here is a summary of what we found about this case.

Strong Points

  • Outstanding quality and impeccable paint job, which is also applied to the internal parts of the case. No sharp edges that you could cut yourself while building your PC.
  • Excellent price for a high-end full-tower case.
  • The number of hard disk drive bays is more than enough even for the most hardcore user.
  • The number of available fans (one 200-mm on the top, two 120 mm on the rear and three 120 mm fans on the front) is simply insane.
  • Speed control for all fans, with three speeds for the top and rear fans and a potentiometer for the three front fans.
  • On/off switch for the LED’s on the top fan.
  • Washable dust filters.

Weak Points

  • Could have a FireWire port.
  • Use of regular screws instead of thumbscrews for fastening daughterboards to the case.
  • Use of regular screws instead of thumbscrews or even a screwless mechanism for installing optical and hard disk drives to the case.
  • All fans use a standard 4-pin peripheral power connector and thus you can’t monitor their speed.
  • No anti-vibration mechanism for the hard disk drives.

In summary, this is a terrific case for users that want a high-end gaming case but don’t want to give an arm to buy a very high-end all-aluminum model.

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Antec-Twelve-Hundred-Case-Review/601


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