The styling on the front is a bit heavy-handed, but we can see the appeal there, and while not a fan of amber tinted windows, once the room is dark and the fans are glowing, you hardly notice the color of the acrylic. The hub and chassis control of the RGB lighting is excellent to have, as you may want a new case, but have an older motherboard, or even a newer one without RGB LED headers on it.
This chassis also breathes better than most with a nearly solid front bezel, but it is profoundly affected by the dust filtration, but we were in no danger thermally with any of the components inside. The interior offers ample room to get a system inside of it, air or liquid cooled, and with the removable HDD rack, you have plenty of room for big power supplies as well, as space to hide wires and "things" under the PSU cover. Overall, the chassis isn't terrible, but it is thin, slightly cheap feeling, and we can see where corners were cut to fall into the low price segment it is being sold in.
That then leads us to the things we found needed some work. Tie points was a big issue that we came to realize once wire management had begun. We could have dealt with a couple for the 8-pin, a couple more for the RGB fan hub wires, and better locations near the 2.5" locations, to help keep things from looking like a mess behind the scenes. There are no grommets, the PSU cover has only a thin hole near the motherboard tray for chassis wires, but nothing to help get GPU power cables cleanly to the card, and knock-out expansion slot covers; we just do not care for them.
We also feel that Antec should have raised the roof a mere 5mm more, and then could offer radiator support in the top of the chassis. We did make it happen, but mainly due to not wanting to remove the RGB fans from their prominent position. The last thing we want to address is the dust filtration. The holes in the plastic filters are way too small. Yes, they will block most of the dust from entering, but they also drastically reduce airflow when used, and that is a serious concession you have to make in a chassis with limited intake and no pre-installed exhaust fan.
While we did beat up on the DF500 RGB in the paragraph above, we do have to consider that this is not a $100 mid-tower chassis either. While this may not be a chassis we immediately opt for when looking to build a system in a mid-tower chassis, the feature set is rich for the money you aren't spending to obtain it. For less than $70, with shipping included, we feel that Antec does deliver enough to keep us interested, but had they improved on our findings above, they would have swept the market with this chassis. Antec gets darn close to perfection, but we do feel you must consider many things when opting for this chassis, but for those budget-minded users out there, capable of assembling all the right components to fit, the Antec DF500 RGB Mid-tower Chassis could be a contender for your hard earned dollars.
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)
|Overall TweakTown Rating||89%|
The Bottom Line: The Dark Fleet DF500 RGB is a decent option for those on a budget. Three preinstalled fans, RGB LED fans at that, a PSU cover, room for all of the components, what more can you ask for at $70!
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