Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
Sitting here, thinking back to when we last saw a chassis from Antec, we feel it has been over two years since we last took a look at what they are offering, but then we remembered one other. The most recent chassis we saw was a partnership between Antec and Razer, called the CUBE, which now also has an EKWB version as well. Over the years, Antec has been all over the place with designs. We can recall our first Antec 900 chassis, which at the time was a terrific option, but by today's standards, it would not be much of a success. In our time here, we have reviewed nearly twenty cases from them, and with so many samples of what we could expect, we feel we have a pretty good handle on what Antec is about to deliver today.
While some may not know of the Antec Dark Fleet Series of cases, in fact, we only ever reviewed one of them, the DF85. This aggressively designed chassis was ahead of its time with its included features, with things like dust filters, a SSD dock, backplanes for hard drives, easy access to the preinstalled fans, and was one of the first cases to offer USB 3.0, although you had to connect the lead to the rear I/O of the motherboard at that time. Hopefully, what we know of the Dark Fleet Series rings true today, as we ponder the latest chassis to hit the office.
In this review, we will be discussing the DF500 RGB, a new mid-tower chassis from Antec. In it, you will find that Antec is incorporating many things on trend at this time. The significant points are things like tempered glass on the left side, a tinted front panel that allows a view of the fans in the front of the chassis, and the inclusion of RGB controls via motherboard or by the built-in LED controller. Without giving away too much on what makes up the DF500 RGB, we feel it is time then to get down to the nitty-gritty and see what it is that Antec has in store for us now.
In the chart we obtained from the DF500 RGB product page, we see that Antec does cover all of the fine points, just that typical groupings are spread all over the place. In the first section, we see that the chassis is 470mm deep, it is 200mm wide, and stands 480mm tall. It will house an ATX, Micro-ATX, or mini-ITX motherboard, and the DF500 RGB is made of steel mostly, with bits made of plastic as well. The front I/O panel offers a pair of USB 3.0 ports, it has a couple of 3.5mm HD Audio jacks, as well as the lower button, and another to control the RGB fans. The section then ends with the mention of the left side panel being made of 4mm thick tempered glass.
The second grouping covers expansion and storage, and we see that the seven expansion slots top the list. There are no 5.25" bays in this chassis, but there are two 3.5" bays, which can also be populated with 2.5" drives, although there are four locations for 2.5" drives already.
The fan section shows what can be fitted into all of the capable areas. The front of the chassis comes with a set of three 120mm RGB fans in the front, but can also be fitted with a pair of 140mm fans if desired. The top of the chassis mimics the front, although no fans are pre-installed. The rear of the chassis can take on a single 120mm fan; again, no fan is installed there either. Liquid cooling is confined to just two locations. The front of the chassis is said to be able to house a 360mm radiator with 55mm thickness including the fan, and a single 120mm radiator can be hung in the back.
Clearances are straightforward. Behind the motherboard tray, there is 20mm of space for wires. The video card can be 380mm in length. The CPU cooler can be only 155mm tall, and the PSU needs to stay at or under 200mm.
The last section covers the fact that the chassis comes with an integrated RGB hub, allowing the modes and color options to be used. The RGB hub can also be run off the motherboard RGB headers, rather than using the button on the front of the case. There is dust filtration at the top, the bottom, and in the front, and all things DF500 RGB are covered with is a two-year warranty. The last bit of information offered is that the chassis, fresh out of the box, weighs in at 6.70 kilograms.
When it comes to obtaining the DF500 RGB, you will need to shop around for the best deal. The Antec store is a wash at this time, as the site shows the cases are not available at this time through that channel. We then moved onto Amazon, where we found the DF500 RGB listed at $89.99. However, when we cross-checked with Newegg, we found the best deal yet. It was there, where we saw the DF500 RGB, for the small sum of $64.37, with an additional $4 required for shipping it. We also found the non-RGB version of the DF500, and it costs $59.34 and still requires the same shipping costs, and to be blunt, for roughly $5 difference in price, why not grab the chassis with three fans installed, even if you don't need the RGB lighting effects.
Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Maximus IX Code Z270 (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: Intel Core i7 7700K (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: NZXT Kraken X62 (buy from Amazon)
- Memory: Team T-Force Night Hawk RGB TF1D48G3000HC16CBK
- Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (buy from Amazon)
- Storage: Samsung XP941 256GB (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: SilverStone SST-ST85F-G (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit (buy from Amazon)
PRICING: You can find the product discussed for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link below to see real-time pricing for the best deal:
United States: The Antec Dark Fleet DF500 RGB Mid-Tower Chassis retails for $XXX at Amazon.
United Kingdom: The Antec Dark Fleet DF500 RGB Mid-Tower Chassis retails for £XXX at Amazon UK.
- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging]
- Page 3 [Antec DF500 RGB Mid-Tower Chassis]
- Page 4 [Inside the DF500 RGB]
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