Antec Eleven Hundred: The P280's Gloves Come Offby Dustin Sklavos on April 9, 2012 12:00 AM EST
In and Around the Antec Eleven Hundred
It doesn't make too much sense to keep belaboring the comparison between Antec's P280 and the Eleven Hundred because as I discovered in the process of working on this review, there are some major differences between the two. The front bezel of the Eleven Hundred is almost completely ventilated, and that includes the shields for the 5.25" drive bays. It's actually a bit surprising that Antec didn't include any front-mounted intake fans, but given the basically wide-open-but-not-really design of the fascia coupled with the massive 200mm exhaust fan in the top of the enclosure, the Eleven Hundred may simply not need them in its default configuration.
One of the elements I especially like about the Eleven Hundred is the I/O port and button placement: the ports along the top front of the face and the power button and reset button on the front of the top of the enclosure show that Antec understands and expects the case to be placed on the floor, but doesn't force you to pick a side for you to set it. When you do get to the top, you'll see that 200mm exhaust fan. It glows bright blue, but thankfully the LEDs can be toggled off depending on your taste.
The side panels are fairly interesting. On the left side, Antec includes a window, pegs, and silicone grommets for mounting a pair of 120mm fans laterally. These intakes are lined up pretty specifically with where you can expect multiple graphics cards to be, and there's no side intake for the CPU cooling. Instead, there's a spacious panel behind the motherboard tray that's slightly bowed out to make it easier to route cables, but also a 120mm fan mount designed to intake cool air against the back of the CPU socket.
Both side panels are mounted using thumbscrews, and they're hinged rather than needing to be lined up and slid onto the chassis, making it much easier for the end user to close up shop. Removing them reveals the interior of the Eleven Hundred, which features the usual rubber-lined cable routing holes around the motherboard tray along with a sizable cutout for heatsink mounting brackets. The drive cage features six mounts for 3.5" drives (using rails included with the enclosure that snap into the drive's sides securely) and two toolless mounts for 2.5" drives. There are also four internal 120mm fan mounts; two are in the front of the enclosure (the front fascia is easy to snap on and off) while two are actually inside the case, behind the drive cage.
All told, I personally find the aesthetic of the Eleven Hundred to be a lot tamer than many of the other gaming cases Antec sells. I liked how the P280 looked, and even though the Eleven Hundred is much tarted up, it's still not the plastic-and-LED "gamer-oriented" design the Six Hundred and Nine Hundred series have. Internally, it looks relatively easy to assemble, too, and certainly spacious enough without outright wasting real estate.