When I first entered the review of the DA601, I instantly thought probably a lot of the bad things many would think about a more mainstream case, especially with an aggressive gamer design. I am happy to say that while Antec has not made a halo product or a case worth a $300.00 price point, it pulled off something quite impressive, offering a solid platform to build upon with more capabilities than many in the price range.
In testing the DA601, we found it held its ground rather well. The testing environment included an ambient of 24.4C and a RH of 45%. The DA601 showed a CPU average ΔT over ambient of 46.4C while the GPU saw a Delta of 37.1C. This is well within passing and actually as good as some of the top players in our testing. I will admit I was a bit surprised but the fan positioning allows for efficient air ingress and egress to keep the innards well controlled.
The DA601, while being relatively inexpensive, actually proves itself quite versatile with some impressive cooling fitment and capability. The ability to realistically fit up to dual 360mm radiators for a pretty impressive open loop is fantastic. The space above the motherboard which can fit larger radiators is also a great inclusion. It means you can use a single thicker radiator and run just fans for cool air ingestion. The addition of dual fans with one being ARGB is a nice feature and well beyond what many at this price point offer. The fact that Antec ensures the inlets are filtered to keep a large portion of dust at bay is a nice feature as well. The inclusion of a multitude of cable tie-downs makes for an easy job tidying up a build in the DA601. The addition of an ARGB controller and PWM fan hub sweetens the pot that much more.
Now it's time to air some grievances with the DA601. Firstly, the lack of grommets on cable pockets can be forgiven, but the inclusion would have made this case even more of a fantastic value. The small gap in the PSU shroud will limit front panel radiator thickness, so keep that in mind as a 10mm or so larger opening would allow for much more room to work in. The opening in the PSU cover is really cool as those who have LCDs on their PSU, or unique designs will appreciate it, but those who are on a budget build, the area may be much duller, and that can serve as a constant reminder that your PSU is more basic and doesn't have anything to show off through this window.
At the price of $84.99 form Newegg, I think the DA601 from Antec has some neat tricks up its sleeve for a sub ninety-dollar chassis. The DA601 won't win any significant, influential design awards, and that's ok. Antec has made a mid-tower chassis that has unique styling along with some excellent expansion capabilities while leaving room in the budget for other parts that may enhance your game performance.
Antec did a great job giving budget gamers something that does not look as garish as many' budget offerings' and it shows.
Shannon's Chassis Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC Z390 (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: Intel Core i7 8700K (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair H100i Pro RGB (buy from Amazon)
- Memory: GeIL Super Luce RGB GLS416GB3600C16ADC
- Video Card: MSI GeForce RTX 2060 Gaming Z (buy from Amazon)
- Storage: SanDisk M.2 256GB
- Power Supply: SilverStone Strider Platinum 1000W (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit (buy from Amazon)
Last updated: Nov 15, 2019 at 01:16 pm CST
The Bottom Line
The Dark Avenger DA601 from Antec turned out to be a solid performer at a great value. If you are looking for a good deal on a chassis with some aggressive flair and RGB, the DA601 has you covered!