Antec Two Hundred Mid Tower Case Review

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Introduction

The Antec Two Hundred is part of the latest generation of low cost gaming cases that aim to reduce the cost of gaming, whilst still maintaining many of the features gamers have to come to expect from their chassis’. With Antec’s great reputation for building high quality cases, the Two Hundred has a lot to live up to.

The Two Hundred has an array of features from the hot swappable hard disk drive bay to an extensive cooling system with great expandability. So now we’ve got a basic grasp of the concept of the Antec Two Hundred and where it fits into the already extensive array of Antec gaming cases. Let’s see if it can deliver in terms of performance and present itself as an impressive, yet low budget, gaming enclosure.

Antec On the Two Hundred

“A head-on collision of value and kickassness, the Two Hundred by Antec is our most affordable gaming case yet. Get the awesome features you expect from Antec, plus brand new features like a built-in hot swap SATA hard drive caddy! The Two Hundred also introduces a CPU cut-out for installation of CPU coolers, a perforated front bezel for maximum air intake, plus a whopping ten drive bays! And with menacing style that’ll strike fear in the hearts of men, the Two Hundred’s got it all. So don’t spend an arm and a leg. Sever an arm and a leg (off your opponent!) with the Two Hundred.”

Features

  • Front-loaded hot swap 3.5″ SATA hard drive caddy
  • CPU cut-out allows for easy installation of CPU coolers
  • Bottom-mounted power supply isolates heat and noise
  • Perforated front bezel delivers maximum air intake
  • CPU cut-out allows for easy installation of CPU coolers
  • Cable management compartment organizes cables discreetly
  • Front-loaded HDD cage for up to 6 hard disk drives
  • Cable management ties help keep your case tidier
  • 10 drive bays:- 6 x internal 3.5″ HDDs- 3 x external 5.25″ HDDs- 1 x external front-loaded hot swap 3.5″ SATA hard drive caddy
  • 7 expansion slots for plenty of flexibility
  • Cooling system:- 1 x top special 140mm TwoCool™ fan- 1 x rear 120mm TwoCool™ fan- 2 x front 120mm fans for HDDs (optional)- 1 x side 120mm fan for graphics cards (optional)
  • Front ports:- 2 x USB 2.0- Audio (AC’97 and HDA compatible) In and Out
  • Washable air filters for quick, easy cleaning
  • Motherboards: Mini-ITX, microATX, Standard ATX
  • Power supply not included
  • Unit dimensions:- 17.7″ (H) x 7.9″ (W) x 18.5″ (D)- 450mm (H) x 200mm (W) x 470mm (D)
  • Box dimensions:- 21.3″ (H) x 20.6″ (W) x 11.2″ (D)- 541mm (H) x 523mm (W) x 284mm (D)
  • Net weight:- 13.9 lbs / 6.3 kg
  • Gross weight:- 16.8 lbs / 7.6 kg

Contents & Packaging

As we’ve come to expect from Antec, the packaging has clearly been carefully thought out. The front of the case features what can only be described a cartoon version of the front bezel. This looks good without costing a fortune in printing – an effective method of keeping the price down.

 

The back of the case features three diagrams of the case; front, side and back. The case’s specifications are listed in English, French and German.

The side of the case simply features a sketch of the Antec Two Hundred along with “Big Guns. Small Funds.” – another, less subtle, hint towards the lower pricing of this chassis.

The accessories include a user manual, two large cable ties, an I/O plate and a bag filled with various screws.

Antec Two Hundred – Externals

The front bezel certainly has a unique style – yet neither too flashy nor garish. The bezel serves to make the case look different from a generic ATX case without adding any great extra costs.

It also offers additional cooling in the form of a perforated grille, behind which there are mounting spots for two 120mm fans. Although Antec don’t supply fans for the front of the case, it offers easy expandability, in terms of cooling, without laying on the additional costs of fans which some users will not even require.

 

Also located on the front are the usual buttons and ports, from left to right there is a reset button, Power and HDD activity lights, two USB ports, headphone and microphone jacks. The power buttons sits to the right but unfortunately none of the buttons are marked and, whilst normally this isn’t be a problem, it’s very easy to mix up the headphone and mic jacks as they are the same colour.

The top of the case features a 140mm fan mounted towards the rear of the case, covered by a slightly raised hexagonal mesh. The only mounting holes present are for a 140mm fan, so if you were planning on using a different fan size you’re out of luck. By default the fan is set to act as an exhaust, however this can be changed if you are trying to set up a particular air flow system; yet another example of Antec’s knowledge when it comes to case building.

 

In a similar fashion to the top of the case, the left side panel’s only feature is a fan mount, this time for a 120mm fan. Again only one size of fan can be used (120mm: unless you’re into modding) and the mount is covered by the same raised hexagonal mesh mounted on the top. The position of the mount has been chosen to maximise the cooling for the graphics card and as the mount hasn’t been stiffened and damped, it is recommended that you use anti-vibration mounts for any fan placed here – in order to minimize noise.

Both side panels are easily removable from the Two Hundred and are held in place by the standard locking tab-in-slot arrangement. The side panels are also secured by two thumb screws on either panel and there is small handhold that can be used to pull the side panels off.

At the very top of the rear panel are two switches that control the speed of the two exhaust fans utilised in the Two Hundred. Although they don’t offer much in the way of the choice, they keep cost down while still offering functionality. The fan controller can switch the rear 120mm fan to 900RPM or 1500RPM, the top mounted 140mm can be switched between 800RPM and 1200RPM. There are also two large round ‘knockouts’ that can be used to run water-cooling pipes out and into the case – note that no grommets are included.

 

The bottom of the case is a fairly standard affair, featuring four thin rubber feet but no ventilation. The downside of the thin rubber feet is that they don’t offer a great deal in the way of vibration dampening, but this is to be expected from a case of this price.

Antec Two Hundred – Internals

Unlike many modern gaming cases, the Antec Two Hundred doesn’t feature tool-less installation and this is where cost cutting measures are easy to spot. The layout of the internals is similar to most modern day cases, with the PSU at the bottom, six 3.5” drive slots. It has to be said that the interior is spacious and provides plentiful room for installing components

All of the drive bays in the case are front loading, meaning you have to remove the front panel to install them, which can be a nuisance but this is outweighed by the advantage of superior airflow. Thoughtfully Antec’s supplied manual explains how to remove the front panel, preventing damage from incorrectly trying to remove it.

A nice surprise that Antec have included is the front-loaded, hot swappable 3.5” SATA HD bay. Whilst this feature doesn’t add much to the price, it adds a lot in the way of functionality.

Unlike many of Antec’s high-end chassis’, there are no holes cut in the motherboard tray to route cables and keep the inside of the case tidy. That said, there is a lot of space in the HDD bays which can be used to hide any excess power cables.

Installation

The Test Setup:

Processor Intel Core i7 C0 920 @ 2.67GHz
Motherboard Asus P6T
Graphics Card XFX 1GB Radeon 4870
Memory OCZ Gold Triple Channel PC3-10666 @ 1333MHz, 9-9-9-24 @ 1.65v
Hard Drive Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 500GB
Power Supply NOX Apex 700W
Enclosure Cooler Master ATCS-840
OS Windows Vista 64-bit

Installation is a fairly straight forward affair with the hard drives and optical drives simply sliding in from the front and requiring four screws each to attach them. It’s not a very innovative method but it keeps the drives very secure.

The spacious interior makes the installation of the motherboard quick and easy. Some motherboard stand-offs are already installed but you may need to add more depending on your motherboard.

There are seven expansion card positions available each with a cover. These covers are easy to remove but unfortunately cannot be replaced upon the removal of a PCI device. A single screw then secures the expansion card.

Testing

Methodology

Cases are interesting pieces of hardware to test in that there are no set benchmarks to test an enclosure’s “performance”. Therefore, to test cases here at Verdis Reviews we test a wide range of factors to ensure they are fully put to the test. These include: strength, cooling, cable management, ease of installation, noise and cost.

Please note that some areas of testing, the aesthetics for one, are very subjective and so are down to the reviewer’s personal preferences.

Results

StrengthThe Antec’s steel and plastic construction makes the case very sturdy and there are no obvious weak points on the case. As everything is secured well inside the case and the build quality is good, transportation shouldn’t cause any problems.

CoolingThe cooling system is made up of a 120mm fan at the rear and a 140mm fan on the top of the case. Despite there not being a huge number of included fans, expandability has been A-listed with plenty of mounts for extra fans to be positioned in order to beef up the cooling potential.

There are two mounting spots on the front of the case for 120mm fans and one of the side of the case which is also designed for a 120mm fan and can blow cool air over the graphics card.

NoiseThe fans supplied with the case are extremely quiet and even at full throttle are barely noticeable.

Cable ManagementCable management would have been a lot easy if cut outs had been provided, however you can make a decent job with cable management due to the large area in the HDD bay. The supplied cable ties are also useful and can be adjusted and reused.

CostThe Antec Two Hundred is currently available for around £35 and for the large number of features and sturdy build quality, this is very reasonable.

Conclusion

The styling of the front bezel may not be everyone’s cup of tea but it does make the case stand out and look unique.

Antec has managed to reduce cost in all the right areas without seeming to “cut corners” and thus it’s not evident that any parts of the build have been in any way sacrificed to make way for others. Whilst it would be nice for an intake fan to be supplied, by not doing so Antec keeps the price down and offers the user the option to customise their case and implement the cooling system each individual user requires.

There is plenty of room and only the largest of graphics cards would struggle to be accommodated. Installation is also made easy by this large amount of space.

The hot swappable 3.5” SATA hard drive bay was a good move by Antec as it offers increased functionality allowing the quick installation and removal of 3.5” hard drives; this is something that not many cases offer, even high end constructions.

With all this is mind and considering the very impressive £35 price tag, the Antec Two Hundred is one of the best, if not the best, low-end gaming chassis that we have ever come across.

Pros

  • Good build quality
  • Unique styling
  • Quiet fans
  • Hot swappable SATA HDD bay
  • Low price
  • Expandability

Cons

  • Limited cable tidying options

100

Thanks go to Antec for providing the case for review.

[RH_ELEMENTOR id=”3090″]

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