Antec Sonata II (cont'd)

Something that is often an annoyance with cases is poorly-fitting or just plain difficult to use side panels, and thankfully, the Sonata II is an exception. After removing the panels, the case is quite different looking on the inside from most enclosures.

The most notable difference is the large duct that we mentioned earlier, and for a better understanding of this piece, here's a closer shot with it taken out and turned around.


Click to enlarge.

The upper part is where the additional square bracket (pictured on the far left) attaches to cool air directly to the CPU cooler better, and the smaller hole beneath can either be covered by the second square piece to the left or filled in with an 80mm fan for extra air flow directed right at the hottest expansion cards. Since an 80mm fan wasn't included for this purpose, our testing was done with the plastic piece in place. Even without any active parts directly attached to the unit, our Zalman CPU cooler benefited from the direct access to cool air, thanks to this duct.

Another nice aspect of the duct is that it is very adjustable to fit a large variety of motherboards to properly place the CPU outlet. However, if there's still no way to get the unit to fit how one would like, it is totally optional and fairly easy to remove. The rear-mounted 120mm fan will still do a lot to help the case keep the CPU and components cool, and it is adjustable to low, medium, and high speeds. Unfortunately though, it is the only included fan, so when set to low, it probably won't be quite enough to keep up with the other cases in our roundup.

To handle the 3½” drives, the Sonata II implements vibration-deadening sleds that attach to the drives from the bottom.

Since the rubber grommets are completely isolating the screw from the actual metal of the sled, any noise caused by the hard drives should be kept from vibrating the rest of the case. This will go a long way to keep the case very quiet under normal use, and is not something to be overlooked when considering your next purchase.

After screwing in the four screws, the sled is simply put into position until it locks in place. Notice that the Sonata II allows for four hard drives mounted this way, but up to two more could be screwed into place using the external drive sled.


Antec Sonata II Antec Sonata II (cont’d)
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  • Phantronius - Friday, September 9, 2005 - link

    My P180 is the last case I'll ever buy. I love you Antec!!! Reply
  • leviathan19 - Friday, September 9, 2005 - link

    the 1200 is deeper yes but is still mid tower class it fixes the psu problems and more space is always better for work with it Reply
  • Zepper - Friday, September 9, 2005 - link

    Re. cases that come with PSUs. Either rate the PSU too or deduct the portion of the price that the PSU represents from the case price so you are comparing apples to apples price wise.
    . And I don't care for the looks of a lot of the cases on the market either. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder. My case is a Silverstone Berserker which many think is fugly...

    .bh.
    Reply
  • kmmatney - Thursday, September 8, 2005 - link

    I don't see why people make such a big deal out of aluminum cases. In my experience, they are flimsier and louder than steal cases, and more prone to rattle. I don't see why anyone would pay so much money for one... Reply
  • at80eighty - Thursday, September 8, 2005 - link

    DRTFA yet, so forgive me if its been covered

    You guys have any leads on cases with more fans?

    with the new VGA's and CPU's i think a cooler case than a cooler-looking case is a better investment..

    any pointers people?
    Reply
  • johnsonx - Thursday, September 8, 2005 - link

    RTFA, and no forgiveness for you!

    The Antec P180 is a quiet cooling dream I think. I looked at one on display over at Fry's and just about wet myself. Then I looked at the price tag and decided to stick with my old, free, boring, beige case. But if the price is no objection, I can't imagine purchasing anything else.
    Reply
  • at80eighty - Thursday, September 8, 2005 - link

    thanx mate! the p180 looks pretty sweet! the price is OK (just about) for me :)

    plus it doesnt have that HEY LOOK AT ME IM AN ATTENTION WHORE!!! look.

    /hope this case shows up in my part of the world :-(
    Reply
  • Cygni - Thursday, September 8, 2005 - link

    I saw one case that i would even consider putting next to my desk.

    If you are supporting the case mfts making these hideous beasts by buying them, i personally hate you.
    Reply
  • leviathan19 - Thursday, September 8, 2005 - link

    why they used this one the 1200 is a better version and fix the psu problem...

    there is missing the pc75b and the TT shark those are nice cases too
    Reply
  • OvErHeAtInG - Thursday, September 8, 2005 - link

    The 1200 is much deeper, for extended-atx boards I think. Definitely not something I would get except for a big duallie rig. Reply

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