Antec Nine Hundred Advanced Gaming Case

Article Index

Motherboard Installation and Conclusion

System Installation Notes
Putting the pieces together

Installation started with flipping the Antec Tri650 upside down and tightening the screws to the backplate.  With the PSU installed in this manner, there's less concern with the cables flopping downward and getting in the way of heatsinks and other components, but we were a bit concerned whether or not the 12V Power cable would reach, as the connector was high up on the motherboards we installed.  The cable on the Trio650 was long enough, but others could have problems here. The only tricky part was running the 12V power cable back over the PSU, and then under the video card and up to the connector.  While we didn't spend a lot of time binding up the other cables, the end result of our installation was still quite neat in appearance, and the blue LEDs call more attention to the front of the case anyway.

The next order of business was to put in the I/O shield and motherboard, and quite frankly, there were no issues at all.  With the PSU at the bottom, we had plenty of room to match up the board to the mounts and attach the screws.  One thing to watch out for were the tied down cables and fan switches so that they don't wind up getting caught underneath.  After removing the drive cages, the hard drives slide easily enough inside, although not on rails as we might have preferred.  We had to manually line up the mounting holes on the drives with the holes in the cage, and then somehow get the screws in place.  This requires a good deal of patience and/or a magnetic screwdriver.

The hard drives were mounted in the lowest drive cage in order to free up room behind the video card, and it also placed the drives directly next to the SATA ports on the motherboard, further reducing the amount of distance their cables needed to travel.  Optical drives were much easier; simply slide them into place and attach the screws to the chassis.  Surprisingly, installing the floppy drive proved to be the most difficult part of all, as the drive needs to be held in the tray while aligned with the separate mesh coverplate, yet the two do not connect to each other.  The manual is also scant on both details and pictures here, showing little else than the drive sliding into place. It takes a while to get everything squared away properly, but once everything is installed correctly the front of the Nine Hundred really looks great, as you can see.

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THE FINAL PRODUCT

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We are big "fans" of the Antec Nine Hundred.  Even with four large fans, including the 200mm "Big Boy" at the top, the case's noise level is held in check by the included fan speed controlers.  Originally set to high, we were concerned with the noise output of the front fans, but after setting them to low we were very pleased with the results.  Each fan actually cools a specific zone, other than just offering the obvious benefit of increased airflow.  The two in the front, at least in our configuration, brought in cooler air with the middle fan directly blowing on the video card and the lower fan cooling the hard drives.  The uppermost fans are placed directly around the CPU.  Without the PSU blocking this area, there is nothing but open space here. Additional fans can also be mounted, as we did with another 120mm Antec TriCool on the side door,  As such, we were reaching internal temperatures of about 26°C and CPU temps around 37°C.

Numerous fans, along with the mostly open architecture of the Nine Hundred, create better cooling but they also have a undesirable side effect: accumulation of dust.  There's really no way around this fact other than to create filters for the fans, and to keep some canned-air handy.  We also had some concerns regarding the openings for the 200mm fan up top.  It seems too easy that a small object, even a screw, could find its way through the grating and land directly on the video card below.  Mounting the Power Supply Unit at the bottom of the case seems like a no-brainer, and Antec was a step ahead in allowing multiple orientation options, but only as long as the power cables actually reach their destinations.  We didn't encounter any problems using the Antec Trio650, but can't say for sure that others won't be left short.

  • Stylish design
  • Increased airflow
  • Lower PSU mount
  • Quiet Fans everywhere!
  • Dust collects at all of the openings
  • Grating for 200mm fan could allow objects through
  • Relatively Difficult drive installations

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