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• #### Stahn Aileron - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

Would it be too much to ask that you actually place the ambient tempurature during testing somewhere on the graphs themselves so we have a readily accessible reference point right there on the graphs? It would also work as a reminder to readers what the conditions are. Reply
• #### Dustin Sklavos - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

The ambient temperature is going to vary from test system to test system, that's why I switched to listing the delta. Reply
• #### Rick83 - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

You did check, that the delta is a constant over ambient temperature though, did you? It may not be for every case. Also, of course, fan speeds will be impacted by ambient/internal temperature.

If you can, you should probably run two series of tests, one in the morning and one in the evening, and then either average that or use one measurement, but at least comment the other. At least for noise, we need ambient temperature, as otherwise that value is completely without base for comparisons.
• #### kandrtech - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

Those familiar with thermodynamics, and the equations utilized, would agree that the delta approach is the best. Variances of a few (or 10) degrees on ambient will not appreciably change the delta results. By appreciably, I mean you'll see differences out to one or more decimal places . . . . Reply
• #### niva - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

Are you talking 10 deg C or F?

Ideally your ambient temperature should be somewhere in the +/- 5 deg of 70 deg F. These are the normal temperatures most households are kept at. There may be a significant difference between the noise produced by components at 65 deg F, and someone's house which may be normally kept at 85 deg during the summer daytime because of lack of AC?

And I'm talking about idle situation here...

The point was valid, just include the temperature in your test data.
• #### bobbozzo - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

The article describing their new methodology for case testing seems to indicate that ambient temps are maintained between 71-74F.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5709/introducing-our...
• #### ShieTar - Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - link

But those familiar with modern PC design are aware that fan-control systems generally try to achieve a constant CPU/GPU-temperature. Thus when you raise the ambient temperature to somewhat higher levels, CPU/GPU fans tend to speed up, giving you lower Delta-T values at increased noise.

Thus it is important to still run these tests at comparable ambient temperatures, and if this is indeed checked at each test, it should be no problem to change the title of the temperature graph to read "Delta over ambient at 20+/-2°C". Or whichever is the range that is controlled and accepted by the tester.
• #### O8h7w - Saturday, April 14, 2012 - link

I feel perfectly good about showing the temperature as delta above ambient instead of absolute temperature. But it seems many readers would like to see the ambient temperature at the time of testing reported as well, and I have to agree.

The way of doing this that would make perfect sense in the graphs is to modify the labels to look like this:
Antec 1100
@ 23°C ambient
• #### Lucian2244 - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

Good review, i was wondering how it would look with a mATX in there.
Is it just me or their cases get uglier and uglier ?
• #### Iketh - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

It's not you... this case is ugly... AND stupid...

Enough with filterless side vents already! Why even have side vents? That's a damn 80's design, speaking figuratively...
• #### Sabresiberian - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

Uh, if you don't get why the side vents are there, YOU are the one that's stupid, not Antec. Reply
• #### Iketh - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

no no no... if you are still using side vents, YOU are stupid Reply
• #### JarredWalton - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

Yay for intelligent arguments!

The reason some people like side vents is that if you have two GPUs, especially on a motherboard where they're only two slots apart (e.g. a "GPU sandwich"), putting a couple fans right above the GPUs can be very helpful for temperatures. From a noise and dust standpoint, though, it's not a good thing and aesthetically some will dislike panels as well.
• #### Sabresiberian - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

It''s you, the case isn't ugly at all to me.

Some people think their concept of beauty in a case should rule over every case a company makes, but, hey, there's a reason that Antec makes so many different types of cases (as well as other manufacturers).

;)
• #### dtolios - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

What's the point of getting a large or mid-expensive range case to combo with mATX again? I don't understand why "enthusiast" oriented cases should be tested using an mATX mobo the first place....ofc it can do mATX and one GPU...big deal...can it do 2x large GPUs and full ATX good enough is always a WAY more valid question - both for an organizational and thermal performance standpoint.

Guess it is just me...
• #### ClockHound - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

Would it be too much to ask for proof reading before publishing?
"If you'll let me beat this dead horse one last time, I'm keen to point out what the Antec Eleven Hundred is that the Antec P280 isn't: a cheaper P280."

I'm keen to understand what you meant. Does this mean that the P280 isn't a cheap P280 or did you mean that the Eleven Hundred isn't a cheap P280? And how did the Three Hundred get into the review text? It's in the text of the overclock page.

I do agree the delta is the better number to display....but it does beg the question with this new test system, why you can't test in a temperature-controlled environment? Why not test with different ambient temps, like room temperature and a 'hot' room temperature?

Thanks for the review.
• #### JarredWalton - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

Reviews do get proofed most of the time (by me for Dustin's reviews), but I try to take a hands off approach and I thought initially he was trying to say something else. I've fixed that. Anyway, while you're happily flogging us for minor typos, you might want to research what it means to "beg the question". ;-)

As for the temperature controlled testing environment, it would be awesome to have such equipment, but we don't. Environmentally regulated test environments don't come cheap, and they also pose a different problem: 70F ambient without a lot of airflow from the AC isn't the same as 70F with an AC moving quite a bit of air. The difference may not be that large, but I'd bet it would be measurable.
• #### Sabresiberian - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

I get trying to keep the quality of Anandtech high, and I think that pointing out errors in communication is appropriate, but you would make a better point by making a post that is free of spelling, grammar and usage errors itself.

;)
• #### kevith - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

Why don't you ever bother to experiment a bit with different numbers and placement of fans? In this case, it would have been VERY interesting to know, what impact that fan behind the motherboard has on temps. AND noise, since it's tugged away far from the user. And there's a lot of other empty fan placements, that, filled up with fans might change the performance and accoustics. But I guess I'l have to buy the case to find out. (And what's the purpose of reading reviews then...?)

You'l probably say, that writing a review takes a lot of time, even without digging deeper into fans, their numbers and placement. But why use all that time, and then in the end the review is only half? Who wants to do or read something, that's ALMOST great? The vast majority of people, that would consider buying this case - and other hi-end cases - will definitely want to experiment.

Aand then you spend a lot of time comparing the P280 and the 1100. Except for readings...!? Why don't you show the figures of the P280 in the graphs?

And I don't think you understood Stahn Aileron's question: We all know, why you changed to showing Delta over ambient, but please let us know what the ambient is, so we know how hot the thing is.
• #### PhoenixEnigma - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

If you read the review, it's noted that the ambient temperature was about 23C for these tests. The 550D was apparently tested in a room about a degree cooler.

Of course, it would make more sense for the reader to use their own ambient temperature - that's the advantege to having the delta and not the final number, it's easier to adjust for your conditions.
• #### 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.
• #### 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.
• #### 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.
• #### 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...
• #### 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.
• #### 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.
• #### 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.
• #### jgutz20 - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

Everyone has the best additions/tests for you to run, yet they arent making their own articles, just criticizing others!

Good job on the review, Ohh and you missed a period after that one sentence, please fix it so i can understand what i'm reading
• #### bhima - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

Would it help to take one of these cases that have been tested in the newer config to be tested in the older test set up as well so we have a baseline difference between the two testing methods? Would that help us get a reasonable idea of how the older cases would perform with the new testing methodologies? Reply
• #### Arbie - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

A big top exhaust is great, but it should have been done as 2x120mm as in the Coolermaster CM690. There is far too little choice of 200mm fans, and then you have to rule out all the sleeve bearing models because it's a horizontal mount. Yes, a single big fan is 'better' than two smaller ones in theory, but the market is far from supporting that approach. Reply
• #### cyberguyz - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

I absolutely hate reviews like this. Anand, fire this guy!

Why do jokers like this guy review fill size cases with mATX motherboards? If you review an mATX case, then fine, use an mATX motherboard.

Guys, these are full size cases, designed to hold full sized ATX motherboards. Any jackass can assemble a 'clean' and uncluttered system using any case like this size and an mATX motherboard. Try it using real full ATX motherboards and then tell us how much room you have in there to assemble your rig.

Don't slap in an mATX board, then say "Oh lookie how roomy this case is!!". To do anything else is to do a half-assed case review that is not worth the few minutes of wasted life it takes to read it.

At least he didn't attempt to pass off uber this case is by mounting a mini ITX board in it.
• #### JarredWalton - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

Reading comprehension fail, I suppose? We linked our testing methodology article, but the simple reason for using mATX is that mATX can support just as much performance as most ATX. Now we can compare ATX and mATX cases against each other, rather than having to use two different motherboards. And amazingly enough, you CAN tell how spacious a case is without installing a large motherboard -- though I don't seem to recall "roominess" being mentioned as a selling point here. Reply
• #### Twoboxer - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

Reviewers need to pay more attention to comparisons between negative- and positive-pressure cases. The major benefit to a positive-pressure case does NOT show up in even the most thorough (short-term) review.

A negative-pressure case draws air in from every crack and crevice. These openings cannot be filtered and so inevitably your optical drives, card readers, usb ports, fan blade edges, and cooling coils become clogged with dust.

In a positive-pressure case, each of the intakes can easily be filtered leaving the interior dust free.

I'm not aware of any compelling thermodynamic advantage to a negative-pressure case, either theoretical or practical. There are at least some anecdotal reasons to believe-positive pressure cases have a theoretical advantage in sound dampening.

If that's correct, Reviewers should be helping us all get more positive-pressure case designs by factoring this consideration into their reviews of price/performance. OTOH, if negative-pressure cases do have a thermodynamic advantage, it would be interesting to quantify it in some way.

Because AFAIC, even if a positive-pressure case ran a couple of degrees warmer and cost a few dollars more, that case is by far preferable to a negative-pressure case for almost all users.
• #### quanta - Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - link

Am I the only one who noticed many of the so-called high-end case have been steadily losing external drive bays? There used to be 6 to 7 bays even on medium cases, but lately you'll be lucky to find 4 bays. With the use of optical drive, memory card reader and fan controller, the spare front panels are pretty much gone. The side-loading drive bays are arguably less versatile than front-loading variety, because there are no aftermarket hot swap bay fitting 3.5-inch drive bays. However, front hot swap bay requires no manual disconnection of cables or removing front panel once it is installed, saving time for hardware testing. Besides, the 5.25-in external bays are perfect for cooling bay for hard drives, and handy for converting them into intake fan slots. Reply
• #### ShieTar - Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - link

There is always the Lian Li PC-V343B if you just can not get enough external bays. 18x5.25" should seriously be enough for everybody. But testing it with an mATX board an no watercooling by be somewhat insulting to the case.

But in general you are correct. If you go on any price-comparison site, you should still find that about 10% of all cases have at least six 5.25" bays, but on closer inspection you will see that most of those are somewhat older designs.

I assume the main reason for this is the fact that more and more people get sepparate storage systems and use their main systems with one (or two) SSDs as Game/Work Systems only. And Anandtech, as much as I personally enjoy their tests, are really just picking a small sample of all cases available with their 20 or so tests per year, so it is understandable if they concentrate on the one or two cases per manufacturer which can be expected to be of interest for the majority of customers/readers.