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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  • Quanticles - Thursday, September 8, 2005 - link

    $200 for a case really isnt that bad when you're paying $400 for a GPU, $300 or more for a CPU, $200 on memory, etc etc etc. If you're building a budget system, then of course this would be a horrible buy. But if you're building a nice system, then you might want a nice case. I have a black v1000 w/ window and it looks great, and was great to work with. As far as noise, I have 4 120mm fans in here, but the system is nearly silent with the help of a cheap sunbeam rheobus. Reply
  • OvErHeAtInG - Thursday, September 8, 2005 - link

    Exactly. Check out the V1100 , it comes with sound-damping precautions. I'm a 3-year user of the PC60 (old kind before they changed it) and I still love it. Yes, a little loud, but hey. Drooling on the V1100. Reply
  • flatblastard - Thursday, September 8, 2005 - link

    ...to only include one fan with their best-looking case. Then the P-180 comes with 3 fans, more features/functionality and doesn't really cost that much more than the sonata. I guess the Sonata is the better value overall considering the included PSU but damn that P-180 doesn't look too shabby either. Dang ole decisions, decisions...man, i tell ya whut....man, dang ole Antec man. Reply
  • swtethan - Thursday, September 8, 2005 - link

    made the right choice buying one :-) Reply
  • imaheadcase - Thursday, September 8, 2005 - link

    Because half of those cases just screamed "Burn me in the nearest fire!". lol

    I mean seriously, why do case manufactors make these crap cases, I would rather have a plain beige case than something made with freakin lights all on the outside covered with cheap plastic peices. Not to mention looks like they had there 3 year olds draw out the designs on ourside.

    I don't care care if its the best case in the world inside, if its ass on the outside im not buying it. I can get the same thing in beige..hehe

    Some of those look ok though..except.

    1. Aspire: Oh please tell there designers to stop asking there 3 year old kids to do there work for them. This case screams crapplastic. it would prob melt if your coffee was to close..
    2. Dynapower: This one does not look half bad, the drive bays could use a all black cover or a matching grill cover.
    3. Sunbeam: Pretty cool looking case. Remove the lame blue circles though, all the stuff you can do when on the PC, who is going to glance at that anyways when most are on the floor or out of the way.
    4.coolmaster: What would make it cool is without the pillars of salt on the side...hehe Remove those it would look sweet.
    5. Both Antec cases: Looks good to me. Antec seems to make some nice cases in the budget area.
    6. ThermalRock: What in gods name is that red circle for? That ruined the front of case, without that red circle it would look good.
    7. Lian Li: Ohhhh Ahhhh! me likey alot.
    Reply
  • Bonesdad - Thursday, September 8, 2005 - link

    Gotta agree on the Coolermaster case...I got the Centurion 5 last year...glad I didn't wait. The older Centurion 5 is a really nice looking, well made case that looks like it was made for someone with a level of maturity over 16 years old. I can see using this case for many years to come... Reply
  • manno - Thursday, September 8, 2005 - link

    you're not kidding out of all those cases the only ones I would touch with a 10' foot pole were the Antech's, and the Lian Li. For the love of god stop putting side windows on your cases it's drinking beer with a straw tacky. Reply
  • Tamale - Thursday, September 8, 2005 - link

    a LOT of people still look for windows on the side - it's still a fad that's 'catching on' to most people. Reply
  • Quanticles - Thursday, September 8, 2005 - link

    I have a window so I can check my watercooling easier. Besides, they look cool. Reply
  • ElFenix - Thursday, September 8, 2005 - link

    no, they look dorktastic. Reply

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