Assembling the Antec Eleven Hundred

Though it may share the DNA of Antec's Performance series, the Eleven Hundred is thankfully far easier to assemble than many of its predecessors were. Antec's engineers took care to make sure the Eleven Hundred was easy to work in, and by and large they were successful.

The motherboard tray comes with standoffs preinstalled, but not so tightly that they were impossible to remove and move around for our Micro-ATX test board. Our I/O shield also snapped easily into place, and the board took just the right amount of pressure to line up and install.

Just about every peripheral and other component was easy to install, too. The optical drive is installed by first popping off the front fascia of the Eleven Hundred (easier done than said), then twisting out the metal place holder. Apply a healthy amount of pressure, and the optical drive will pop into the toolless mechanism and lock into place with very little wobble (the wobble-wary can also use screws to secure the optical drive). 3.5" drives are just as easy; the rails Antec uses snap into the sides of 3.5" drives. These rails are simple to install and remove despite being remarkably secure while in place. Finally, 2.5" drives slide into a dedicated cage just above the 3.5" drive cage. They're secure enough there, but I'd probably think twice about using a mechanical drive; this cage was clearly designed for SSDs with no moving parts, as there's definitely some wiggle room.

Expansion cards are installed by removing thumbscrews and ventilated expansion bay covers; slot the card in, then replace the thumbscrews. Finally, the power supply is bottom-mounted and as long as you use a unit that's 180mm or shorter, there's access to a hole in the tray for routing cables behind the motherboard.

It's mostly very easy to route cables in the Eleven Hundred, but the 2.5" drive cage design continues to be somewhat problematic. Simply put, the back of the drive isn't deep enough and the cage design isn't secure enough to make cabling the 2.5" drives as easy as everything else is. This is probably the only black mark on the cabling design of the Eleven Hundred; the case fans get plugged into a molex-powered hub that has four three-pin headers on it. There are a few gripes I could make about the hub, but it's nonetheless a convenience that I appreciate. I just wish four-pin molex would die already; would it be that much harder to replace this with a SATA power lead?

All told, though, complete assembly of the Eleven Hundred is very easy and probably the equal of any Corsair enclosure in that regard. This might actually make a good beginner enclosure, as it's pretty simple to put together but has some room for a burgeoning enthusiast to experiment with assembly. My only real complaint is that you can't mount a 240mm radiator to the top of the enclosure; theoretically you could put one in the interior front or even on the left side panel, but not in its usual home. I don't see this being a major issue for most users, but it's worth pointing out.

In and Around the Antec Eleven Hundred Testing Methodology
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  • jgutz20 - Monday, April 9, 2012 - link

    Everyone has the best additions/tests for you to run, yet they arent making their own articles, just criticizing others!

    Good job on the review, Ohh and you missed a period after that one sentence, please fix it so i can understand what i'm reading
  • bhima - Monday, April 9, 2012 - link

    Would it help to take one of these cases that have been tested in the newer config to be tested in the older test set up as well so we have a baseline difference between the two testing methods? Would that help us get a reasonable idea of how the older cases would perform with the new testing methodologies?
  • Arbie - Monday, April 9, 2012 - link

    A big top exhaust is great, but it should have been done as 2x120mm as in the Coolermaster CM690. There is far too little choice of 200mm fans, and then you have to rule out all the sleeve bearing models because it's a horizontal mount. Yes, a single big fan is 'better' than two smaller ones in theory, but the market is far from supporting that approach.
  • cyberguyz - Monday, April 9, 2012 - link

    I absolutely hate reviews like this. Anand, fire this guy!

    Why do jokers like this guy review fill size cases with mATX motherboards? If you review an mATX case, then fine, use an mATX motherboard.

    Guys, these are full size cases, designed to hold full sized ATX motherboards. Any jackass can assemble a 'clean' and uncluttered system using any case like this size and an mATX motherboard. Try it using real full ATX motherboards and then tell us how much room you have in there to assemble your rig.

    Don't slap in an mATX board, then say "Oh lookie how roomy this case is!!". To do anything else is to do a half-assed case review that is not worth the few minutes of wasted life it takes to read it.

    At least he didn't attempt to pass off uber this case is by mounting a mini ITX board in it.
  • JarredWalton - Monday, April 9, 2012 - link

    Reading comprehension fail, I suppose? We linked our testing methodology article, but the simple reason for using mATX is that mATX can support just as much performance as most ATX. Now we can compare ATX and mATX cases against each other, rather than having to use two different motherboards. And amazingly enough, you CAN tell how spacious a case is without installing a large motherboard -- though I don't seem to recall "roominess" being mentioned as a selling point here.
  • Twoboxer - Monday, April 9, 2012 - link

    Reviewers need to pay more attention to comparisons between negative- and positive-pressure cases. The major benefit to a positive-pressure case does NOT show up in even the most thorough (short-term) review.

    A negative-pressure case draws air in from every crack and crevice. These openings cannot be filtered and so inevitably your optical drives, card readers, usb ports, fan blade edges, and cooling coils become clogged with dust.

    In a positive-pressure case, each of the intakes can easily be filtered leaving the interior dust free.

    I'm not aware of any compelling thermodynamic advantage to a negative-pressure case, either theoretical or practical. There are at least some anecdotal reasons to believe-positive pressure cases have a theoretical advantage in sound dampening.

    If that's correct, Reviewers should be helping us all get more positive-pressure case designs by factoring this consideration into their reviews of price/performance. OTOH, if negative-pressure cases do have a thermodynamic advantage, it would be interesting to quantify it in some way.

    Because AFAIC, even if a positive-pressure case ran a couple of degrees warmer and cost a few dollars more, that case is by far preferable to a negative-pressure case for almost all users.
  • quanta - Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - link

    Am I the only one who noticed many of the so-called high-end case have been steadily losing external drive bays? There used to be 6 to 7 bays even on medium cases, but lately you'll be lucky to find 4 bays. With the use of optical drive, memory card reader and fan controller, the spare front panels are pretty much gone. The side-loading drive bays are arguably less versatile than front-loading variety, because there are no aftermarket hot swap bay fitting 3.5-inch drive bays. However, front hot swap bay requires no manual disconnection of cables or removing front panel once it is installed, saving time for hardware testing. Besides, the 5.25-in external bays are perfect for cooling bay for hard drives, and handy for converting them into intake fan slots.
  • ShieTar - Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - link

    There is always the Lian Li PC-V343B if you just can not get enough external bays. 18x5.25" should seriously be enough for everybody. But testing it with an mATX board an no watercooling by be somewhat insulting to the case.

    But in general you are correct. If you go on any price-comparison site, you should still find that about 10% of all cases have at least six 5.25" bays, but on closer inspection you will see that most of those are somewhat older designs.

    I assume the main reason for this is the fact that more and more people get sepparate storage systems and use their main systems with one (or two) SSDs as Game/Work Systems only. And Anandtech, as much as I personally enjoy their tests, are really just picking a small sample of all cases available with their 20 or so tests per year, so it is understandable if they concentrate on the one or two cases per manufacturer which can be expected to be of interest for the majority of customers/readers.
  • olafgarten - Saturday, November 30, 2013 - link

    the case actually supports an XL-ATX
  • SeanJ76 - Thursday, January 28, 2016 - link

    Antec Eleven hundred v2 is one of the best cases you can own.....

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