Assembling the Antec Eleven Hundred

Though it may share the DNA of Antec's Performance series, the Eleven Hundred is thankfully far easier to assemble than many of its predecessors were. Antec's engineers took care to make sure the Eleven Hundred was easy to work in, and by and large they were successful.

The motherboard tray comes with standoffs preinstalled, but not so tightly that they were impossible to remove and move around for our Micro-ATX test board. Our I/O shield also snapped easily into place, and the board took just the right amount of pressure to line up and install.

Just about every peripheral and other component was easy to install, too. The optical drive is installed by first popping off the front fascia of the Eleven Hundred (easier done than said), then twisting out the metal place holder. Apply a healthy amount of pressure, and the optical drive will pop into the toolless mechanism and lock into place with very little wobble (the wobble-wary can also use screws to secure the optical drive). 3.5" drives are just as easy; the rails Antec uses snap into the sides of 3.5" drives. These rails are simple to install and remove despite being remarkably secure while in place. Finally, 2.5" drives slide into a dedicated cage just above the 3.5" drive cage. They're secure enough there, but I'd probably think twice about using a mechanical drive; this cage was clearly designed for SSDs with no moving parts, as there's definitely some wiggle room.

Expansion cards are installed by removing thumbscrews and ventilated expansion bay covers; slot the card in, then replace the thumbscrews. Finally, the power supply is bottom-mounted and as long as you use a unit that's 180mm or shorter, there's access to a hole in the tray for routing cables behind the motherboard.

It's mostly very easy to route cables in the Eleven Hundred, but the 2.5" drive cage design continues to be somewhat problematic. Simply put, the back of the drive isn't deep enough and the cage design isn't secure enough to make cabling the 2.5" drives as easy as everything else is. This is probably the only black mark on the cabling design of the Eleven Hundred; the case fans get plugged into a molex-powered hub that has four three-pin headers on it. There are a few gripes I could make about the hub, but it's nonetheless a convenience that I appreciate. I just wish four-pin molex would die already; would it be that much harder to replace this with a SATA power lead?

All told, though, complete assembly of the Eleven Hundred is very easy and probably the equal of any Corsair enclosure in that regard. This might actually make a good beginner enclosure, as it's pretty simple to put together but has some room for a burgeoning enthusiast to experiment with assembly. My only real complaint is that you can't mount a 240mm radiator to the top of the enclosure; theoretically you could put one in the interior front or even on the left side panel, but not in its usual home. I don't see this being a major issue for most users, but it's worth pointing out.

In and Around the Antec Eleven Hundred Testing Methodology
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  • Dustin Sklavos - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

    "Why didn't you place the fans here? Why didn't you do x/y/z?"

    It's a can of worms that oftentimes isn't worth opening. There are so many different fan configurations many of these cases are capable of that invariably SOMEONE is going to ask for/gripe that the configuration they would've used wasn't tested. It's a slippery slope. From there you also have to ask "what kind of fans." Are we going to use SilverStone APs? What about a pair of Scythes? Or just some regular off the shelf 120mm fans? There's too much variance; simply put it's much more practical to test an enclosure in its stock configuration and then speculate on its potential.

    The P280's readings can't be shown in the graphs because they pre-date the current testbed. I can't keep stacks of enclosures on hand just so I can go and retest them later, it's not like when I did the review of the P280 I thought to myself "better keep this around in case I decide to change how we test cases."

    And finally, telling you what the ambient temperature is will just tell you how hot the components and case are in my apartment at the time I tested it, not how hot they will be or how efficiently the case will actually remove heat. I don't make it a point to specify exactly what the ambient temperature was because it ultimately isn't relevant to the comparative results; the ambient actually varies even between test runs as the room heats or cools depending on air conditioning, weather, how much heat the testbed spews out, etc. Right now my apartment's been pretty consistently between 22.5C and 24C, but when summer comes that's going to go up.

    This is something Anand was concerned about when I discussed these revised procedures with him, that the data wouldn't read as well. But I'm sorry, I'd rather be producing accurate, useful data than something that just reads better. If you have to ask why I'm not making the ambient temperatures evident in the charts, you don't understand why we made the switch.
    Reply
  • Iketh - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

    I'm sure he was referring to the uniqueness of the mobo fan and not that you're required to test every possible combination... it would seem a no-brainer to me to test what effect this fan has on the system. Reply
  • Robert in Calgary - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

    Hello Dustin,

    If I restrict myself to just one case, I'm hoping you can bring back the Solo II for testing on the new set-up.

    Thanks.
    Reply
  • haukionkannel - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

    I would very much see p180 compared to p280 in the new test bench. Does easier set up means any functional differences? Reply
  • Belard - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

    "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," - I see this in many reviews, about the lack of front cooling fans.

    I don't think these are really needed in many cases and the top fans are simply over-kill... (not so much for gaming PCs of course)

    If the PSU and a large fan in the back are sucking in AIR from the front, then they will do just fine - as long as there is not over-kill in vents, such as on the sides - as on cheaper non-gaming cases. Adding front fans adds noise, cable mess and cramps the space.

    I have the Antec P150 case (5 years old) which is a bit smaller doorless version of the P180. it has a single large fan in the back, running on LOW (3 speed fan). The air filters still get dirty and my CPU and GPU stay cool enough to run. Yes, I can save 2-3C in temp by going to MED setting for the fan... but seriously, most people cannot hear my Q6600, 2 3.5" drives running. Yeah, I'm looking to stick a i5-35xx in there next month or so.

    I have an old ATI 4670 card, but I specifically bought the HIS with its dual-slot cooler which does NOT dump heat into the case. Its huge fan runs at a slow RPM, so it too is almost silent.

    My previous GeForce 7600GT was a $190 fan-less version (its huge and looks great) because I wanted silence... but I had to run the rear fan on MED because of over-heating of the case... there goes the silence.

    So, for low-noise, get a fanless card (non gamers) or a dual-slot that doesn't dump heat all over the inside of your case, making your CPU, memory and drives warmer.

    Again, because the single rear fan and the PSU, the case is able to draw in enough air to keep the HDs cool and everything else.
    Reply
  • Iketh - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

    You must live in a dust-free environment. Negative case pressure is a magnet for dust in my home. Everything from my optical drive to the case lights to the door hinges gets clogged with dust. Having front fans (with rpms higher than exhaust fans, if any) ensures air enters only through the filters.

    While we're on the subject, I'm so SICK of seeing case designs with filterless side vents. That is a 10 year old design. Why in the world are cases still being made this way? You would think AT authors would gripe about this the same way they do laptop keyboards, etc...
    Reply
  • Arbie - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

    @Iketh - Write to Antec. I did so on that very subject and got a good reception. Reply
  • Belard - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

    I see what you mean, I get a bit of dust around the drives. But that seems to be most cases... From experience, more fans = more noise, more cables, more power, more vibrations. My son's computer gets a bit more dustier than mine on the inside, his case is more generic and has a front fan. its a lose-lose situation.
    I don't use the cheap home air-filters either ($1 each), but go with the 3M $18~24 filters.

    In one of the offices I do work, it has excellent filtered air. Over the period of a year, almost no dust... not even the huge 6 fan Mozart TX.

    I agree with you about the side-vents. They do sell aftermarket fan-size filters. I usually just try to avoid such cases... or simple tape black cardboard or plastic on the inside.
    Reply
  • TrackSmart - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

    For mid-range systems, I'm in strong agreement with Belard. If you seal off extraneous side vents, you can get away with a single, top-rear 120mm fan + the PSU, which has it's own fan.

    Summary: The top-rear fan exhausts hot air. The front intakes pull in cool, fresh air. And you get nice flow from front to back without side-vent interference.

    Yes, you need to dust the inside of your case every 6 months. So what? That's a small price to pay for a quiet, reasonably cool case. Extra front fans made a difference of about 1-2C under load for my case. Not worth the extra noise or cost.
    Reply
  • entity279 - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

    Dustin,

    The 1st page table only specifies the available fan mounts. I couldn't find any explicit mention regarding which of the mounts come with pre-installed fans when you buy the case.
    Reply

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