February 15th, 2011

Antec DF 30

Testing

Methodology

Testing cases is another one of those odd "benchmarks", as the main test of any case, is what features it has, and whether its cooling options are quiet. The features are detailed in the look at the case itself, but individual ones will be looked into during the testing to highlight any problems or particularly innovations we liked.

The areas in which we take a detailed look at are: strength, cooling & noise, installation and pricing as we feel these are the most important factors in determining the effectiveness of a system enclosure.

Results

Strength

As primarily a metal enclosure, the DF-30 has a strong structure well capable of securely housing all of the internal components. The front panel however is comprised more of plastic and so is a little more prone to damage but, on the whole, the chassis seems of a very high build quality.

Cooling

The standard cooling system comprises of four fans: two 120mm intake fans and 140mm (top) and 120mm (rear) exhaust fans. An additional fan can be fitted on to the side panel for more specific cooling over the graphics area.

The four fan setup seems fairly well thought out though providing impressive push and pull airflow capabilities to effectively pull cold air in and push hot air out of the chassis.

The ability to adjust the intake fans with the control knobs and even the exhaust fans, although only between low and high operational speeds, is a welcome feature allowing the user to ramp up or reduce the cooling power depending on requirements and temperatures.

Noise

Despite a total of four fans in the design (one or two extra than most mid tower chassis’), the noise levels are not bad and in any case the fan speed control options can be utilised to reduce this. Unfortunately, if you’re looking to replace the Antec fans, the speed controls are in-built into the fans and so are non-useable with replacements.

Cable Management

Without the multitude of holes in the motherboard tray to rout cables through as many other chassis’ offer, cabling can be tidied away behind the 3.5” drives without too much of an issue helping the main chamber to remain uncluttered.

Cost

The Antec DF-30 clocks in at around the £90 mark which for a highly-functional mid tower gaming chassis is not bad although perhaps a little higher than some.

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Cases