Antec is a very solid and well known company in terms of high end PC enclosures, PSU’s and cooling accessories. However, their main stream products are dedicated to PC cases and cooling products.
Antec caters to almost all market segments with its computer enclosures (cases or chassis –take your pick). From the wacky Skeleton, to the ubiquitous and extremely customizable LanBoy Air, the company never fails to impress.
We at WCCF Tech, today would be looking at the Six Hundred SE and see how it fares among the million and one gaming computer cases vying for your attention (and money).
Antec, with a black interior paint, has released the Antec Six Hundred SE as another version of their mid tower segment case, the Six Hundred. The Six Hundred comes in a “usual” Antec sleek black box, with yellow highlights. The box has the usual pictures of the case as well as a list of its salient features listed on it. The case comes covered in a plastic bag while large foam pads with cuttings hold and lock the case in from the front and end, preventing damage while travelling or shipping.
Antec Six Hundred SE Facts
Exterior General Impression
The impressions from the front give you a sort of a spider web look that’s covered with a mesh grill to top it off.
The top however gives it a look of something that’s designed for a high-end machine from a company that doesn’t lack on quality but gives the best of the best from it. The most prominent thing about it is the huge Antec Tri Cool 200mm Blue LED fan installed there that pretty much stands out and is covered by a hexagonal mesh wire frame.
The front of the case as you can see has 3 plates that cover the 3.5 Bay expansion areas on the front with something notable just below it. A hotswap or what you can call, an SSD external drive bay.
This is a very useful feature in the near future to come as we progress from mechanical to Solid State Drives (SSD). The external enclosure on the inside has connectors for a SATA Power and Cable port that can be connected to the motherboard easily.
The case comes fitted with 1 stock 120mm Antec fan on the front but there’s support for mounting two 120mm fans at front of the case.
The top of the panel exposes us to 3 USB 2.0 ports, 2 status lights (HDD and Power) and the usual Reset and Power buttons. This looks pretty neat and clean. Besides that, there are two audio jacks for a speaker and microphone respectively. These both work on the AC97 audio codec.
The front fascia can be simply pulled off with a little bit of force applied and exposes the 3.5” inch bays, as well as the mounting place for the tray which hold two 120 mm fans for optimum cooling.
As far as the looks are concerned here, Antec wanted to give it a stealthy look, while keeping a web look theme. (It is a gaming case, so it’s natural)
The front of the top has a slightly opaque acrylic panel that, with a little bit of lighting, exposes the beast that may run inside it. As far as the frames go that hold the fan in place, they’re not real and fake. Neither Antec recommends that you use them as carrying handles for your system.
The back of the case features the usual cut for a bottom mounted power supply and motherboard back plate.
There is also a single 120mm Tri Cool Fan at the back as well. There are two cuts for a watercooling setup on the side for its pipes but hasn’t been cut out but instead given tiny holes through it along with a grove so that one who would want to install such a setup may have to mod the case. The expansion slots are covered with removable plates which have rather large openings to allow for more airflow.
The fan speed controller for the top fan, offers speed & lighting control and for rear fan is located just above the back mounted 120mm fan. Both the fans can have their speed adjusted between the settings of low, medium or high.
The side panel facing the interior of the case has a large plexi-glass window which is exactly like the one on the 900 and 902 cases. There is a cut given on the side panel window to mount a 120mm fan. The side panels are mounted by using a set of thumb screws. They are solidly built and are heavy. They don’t sway at all like many of the side panel of its rivals. They are relatively easy to mount and remove.
The bottom of the case has 4 rubber feet and well that is it. These do provide a good firm on the place where it’s cased, while keeping the case silent and reducing vibration.
INTERIOR –GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS
The interior is all black which makes for a great show from the side panel window. The interior can be divided into two distinct zones –the motherboard tray area and the drive mount area. The interior is arounf 210mm deep and will take even the largest of air coolers fit easily inside it.
Interior MotherBoard Tray
The tray has the usual mounts for the motherboard. Since this is a mid tower, it supports Mini- ITX, Micro ATX and standard ATX boards. A cutout has been given for the cpu socket for easy installation of different high end CPU cooling solutions with ease.
But when it comes to cable management. Houston we have a problem. As you may see, there isn’t any cut given for the PSU wires to be hidden from view to the other side of the casing. This in turn would affect the airflow inside the case.
The power supply is installed at the bottom and as for bottom fan mounted PSU’s, getting airflow would seem a slight problem and might cause overheating.
However, this case supports up to 1 foot or 11” inch long graphic cards (i.e. AMD’s 6990) without any hassle.
Interior Hard Drive Racks
The unit has 9 forward facing drive bays. Almost all contemporary casings have sideward facing hard drive bays for easy installation. It is possible to install upto 6 3.5” inch hard drives in the front bay, with 3 3.5” inch bay drives, and off-course, the hot swap external 2.5” SSD drive.
The drives bays are not tool-less. They are fixed to the case using two pairs of thumb screws. This is not essentially a bad thing as this is intended to be a LAN party gaming case. Any accidental bump will probably be enough to damage a drive fitted on rails.
Antec’s black finish with the interior doest stand out a lot. And makes it a more Gamer’s home type rig. (Suits a lot if one has those Asus Rampage Boards installed! 😀 )
The Antec SIX HUNDRED SE, as you may have noted earlier, comes with 2 120mm fans (one on the front and back) and a huge 200 mm Tri-Cool on the top. As far as cooling was concerned with the case, no cable management greatly affects how the air flows through the case. For the temperatures, we had an ambient of 21c in the room when the temperatures were taken. For the CPU and GPU, load temperatures were recorded after running wPrime95 and Furmark respectively.
Compared to our other case we had, the CM HAF 932, the temperatures were notably at the difference of around 10c. This is a very good thing about a case that is half of it’s price! Although yet again I would say, if there had been better cable management, the airflow in the case would have had been much better.
The Six Hundred SE, for its price does give out a lot, and is a good buy for those who desire looks and cooling at the same time, without a care of what’s the mess inside (No cable management). Other than that, this is a very solid build case, when even though half of it is plastic, it does shine out a lot when both the fans power on with the quite attractive looking top blue 200mm LED fan and the side panel. The two things Antec should have added in this case was options for cable management, as well as a carrying handle for easier transportation to different LAN parties and tournaments.
Regarding the price point, one can get Xigmatek cases in the same price range or they can buy Cooler Master 690 which comes with cable management option.
Although the CM Scout has a carrying handle, but looses out on the ability to take in GPUs longer than 10”. It also doesn’t come with fan controllers. Yet, the Scout is a tool less case, but as I have mentioned, screws would always hold firmer the precious hardware than the tool-less mountings.