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.
The metal chassis holds up well and shouldn’t pose any problems in housing the internals components and keeping them protected. If there is any point of weakness it would probably be the front bezel due to its plastic construction but even so it appears to be pretty strong.
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 fans are all equipped with white LEDs differing from the blue found with the DF-30 and have variable fan speed options. For the intake fans this comes in the form of a fan speed knob with the exhaust fans more restricted in that only ‘high’ and ‘low’ fan speed options are available. Still, it’s useful to have some control over the cooling and ultimately noise outputs.
Even with the extensive four fan system, I wouldn’t say the DF-35 is overly loud. Sure, a little noise is noticeable but this can be adjusted with the variable fan speeds as outlined above. Unfortunately, the speed controls are only usable with the included Antec fans – aftermarket fans will require their own fan controllers.
As with the DF-30, Antec’s Dark Fleet 35 is priced around the £90 mark.