1. Why is choosing the right case important?
Your case houses all of the delicate and expensive components in your computer. The right case protects your system, provides adequate cooling and airflow, and is compatible with your current parts and any future parts you might want to add. Plus, your case defines the look and style of your computer.
2. What features are important in a case?
When choosing a case, you should pay attention to features like: cooling, airflow, noise, build quality, convenience and, of course, style. You might want to take note of the number and size of fans, quiet computing features, chassis material, drive bays and expansion slots, and the internal and external aesthetic of the case. Determine which features are most important to you before choosing your case.
3. What does motherboard type have to do with case size?
Case size corresponds directly to motherboard type. All cases list what motherboard type(s) they are compatible with, and typically the larger the motherboard, the larger the case, and vice versa. There are four types of motherboards:
- Extended ATX (E-ATX): 12” x 13”; 305mm x 330mm
Used for industrial-level computers or servers.
- Standard ATX: 12” x 9.6”; 305mm x 244mm
General home or gaming PC; this is the most commonly used type.
- microATX (m-ATX): 9.6” x 9.6”; 244mm x 244mm
Similar component arrangement to Standard ATX, but more suitable for system integrators.
- Mini-ITX: 6.7” x 6.7”; 170mm x 170mm
New Intel standard, suitable for home theater PC, networking and home PC.
4. What are the different case sizes?
Antec offers five case sizes to accommodate the various motherboard types:
- Full Tower: This is the largest case size and typically supports up to Standard ATX or Extended ATX motherboards. It features the highest expandability and most cooling, making it suitable for server or home PCs. (580mm x 210mm x 510mm.)
- Mid Tower: This is the most popular size and can be considered the “standard” case size. It typically supports Standard ATX, microATX and Mini-ITX motherboards. It features less expandability than the full tower, but a more manageable weight and size alongside adequate cooling, making it suitable for home and gaming PCs. (460mm x 210mm x 470mm.)
- Mini Tower: This smaller size supports microATX and Mini-ITX motherboards. This case is suitable for system integrators and home PCs as well. (355mm x 200mm x 350mm.)
- Desktop: This case size is light, manageable and suitable as an alternative home PC or home theater PC. It supports microATX and Mini-ITX motherboards. (140mm x 445mm x 414mm.)
- Slim Case: The smallest of all cases, the slim case size supports microATX and Mini-ITX motherboards. (93mm x 325mm x 425mm.)
5. What is Quiet Computing™?
The first to introduce this concept, Antec’s Quite Computing™ cases incorporate unique noise-reducing technologies to ensure quiet PC operation.
- A quiet-running power supply
- Low-noise, 3-speed cooling fans
- Vibration-absorbing silicone grommets
- 2- and 3-layer side panels to dampen system noise
While all Antec products strive to deliver quiet operation, Antec’s Sonata and Performance One cases always utilize the most advanced Quiet Computing™ technologies.
6. What is a “gaming” case?
A gaming case usually requires more cooling and airflow due to the high system demands of modern PC games. As gaming culture has developed over the years, gaming cases also call for a certain style and level of customizability. Antec’s best-selling Nine Hundred is the perfect example of a gaming case: generous cooling, flexibility and aggressive styling. Antec offers a full line of gaming cases including the Three Hundred, Twelve Hundred and Nine Hundred Two to meet all gaming needs, tastes and budgets.
7. If I’m not a gamer, can I still buy a gaming case?
Of course. Case selection is all about what is right for you. Gaming cases can just as easily function as home PCs, desktops or HTPCs. In fact, some people prefer the aesthetic style of Antec’s Gaming cases over traditional home PC cases. Similarly, a Sonata case (known for Quiet Computing™) or Performance One case can just as easily function as a gaming case. Again, case selection is all about what is right for you.
8. What factors are taken into consideration when Antec designs a case?
When designing a case, Antec focuses on four factors: Quiet Computing™, cooling, ease-of-use, and appearance.
- Quiet Computing™: Computers are no longer a mere ornament of the office; they exist in every room, corner and space of homes everywhere. Thus, PC noise is a significant concern. Antec places the highest priority on Quiet Computing™ to ensure a comfortable operating environment without distractions.
- Cooling: It’s not just about the number of fans; a well-designed air-flow tunnel allows users to run less fans at lower speeds, providing adequate cooling without sacrificing quiet. In all Antec cases, cooling design goes hand in hand with Quiet Computing™ design.
- Ease-of-Use: No matter how advanced of a builder you are, installing hardware should be as simple as possible. A good case should always be designed with usability in mind to ensure ease-of-use and convenience.
- Appearance: Looks matter. A good case should have a look that matches and enhances the environment it will be used in. For example, Antec’s Performance One line is sleek, simple and graceful to fit any home, while our Gaming cases are aggressive and durable for even the most hardcore LAN parties.
9. What are the benefits of Cable Organizers?
Antec cases utilize the space behind the motherboard tray to arrange excess cables; this offers several benefits:
- The inside of your case will look cleaner and tidier.
- Your case will have improved airflow.
- Installing new hardware is easier.
10. Some Antec cases position the power supply mount at the bottom instead of the top. What are the benefits of this?
The two major benefits of this design are heat isolation and noise reduction. By moving the PSU to the bottom of the case, the PSU will not take in hot air from the CPU and GPU, resulting in a more stable system and less noise resonance. A bottom-mounted PSU also frees up space above for additional fans, and offers a lower center of gravity for a more stable case when transporting.
11. What are the benefits of silicone grommets?
Antec uses silicone grommets in HDD bays to reduce vibration. When a HDD is operating, there is always significant vibration and when this vibration is transferred to the body of the case, it will cause resonance and noisier operation. Silicone is a superior material for absorbing vibration and reducing noise.
12. Some Antec cases feature multi-layer side and front panels. What are the benefits of this?
Antec’s Performance One line features two- and three-layer side and front panels composed of aluminum and plastic. This design dampens system-generated noise and reduces resonance of the chassis. This is one of Antec’s most advanced Quiet Computing™ features.
13. What are the benefits of a dual chamber design?
Antec’s dual chamber design separates the CPU and GPU from the power supply, isolating both heat and noise. This design protects the PSU from crashing as a result of taking in too much hot air, and offers tidier cable management.
14. How can I judge the strength of a case?
Case strength can be judged by material and thickness of material. Most cases on the market are made of SECC (steel, electrogalvanized, cold-rolled, coil) or aluminum.
- Generally speaking, aluminum is lightweight and easier to carry, but softer and more vulnerable to dents and damage. Aluminum is also more expensive.
- Thickness is important for a case, and many standard cases are made of approximately 0.60mm steel. Lower-end cases can use as low as 0.45mm steel; the drawbacks of this are a weaker structure, shorter lifespan and vulnerability to damage.
- Antec uses 0.80mm SECC in almost all cases. This ensures greater strength and durability.
15. Antec’s Skeleton case has an open-air design. Is dust buildup a problem?
This is a common misconception with the Skeleton. No, in fact, the Skeleton experiences less dust buildup than traditional PC cases. Inside traditional cases, components and walls impede airflow and offer many areas where dust can hide and accumulate. The Skeleton’s overhead 250mm fan thoroughly blows all dust right out of the case.
16. Do larger CPU coolers fit inside the Skeleton?
The Skeleton does not need a large CPU cooler. The open-air design and 250mm fan achieve outstanding cooling, eliminating the need for a large CPU cooler.