Articles: Cases/PSU

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Antec Twelve Hundred

We have already tested Antec’s small and medium system cases. Now we are going to take a look at the large Antec Twelve Hundred. The smaller models used to have highly efficient cooling. Let’s see what their bigger cousin can show.


The exterior design is purely utilitarian and even the window in the side panel cannot change this impression. The very presence of the window is questionable, actually. This giant of a system case is unlikely to be placed on a desk. And if it is standing on the floor, looking into the window won’t be much fun, although some users may disagree with us.

The I/O connectors can be found on the top panel, indicating again that this system case is meant to stand on the floor or somewhere down there.

The entire front panel is made up of metallic vent grids placed in the twelve 5-inch bays. You can see the serious approach to cooling right away: three 120mm fans are visible through the bottom nine bays. They are obviously installed on HDD racks.

Yet another peculiar cooling-related feature of this series is a large fan protruding above the rear part of the top panel and covered by the same metallic mesh as the front panel. Like in the Nine Hundred, it is a 200mm fan from the exclusive Tricool series that features a 3-step speed adjustment setting.

The 120mm fans installed in this system case are Tricool, too.

The point of the large fan becomes obvious if you compare the numbers in the two tables. Producing about the same amount of noise, it creates a much stronger airflow. The difference is especially conspicuous at low speed where the 200mm fan is more than two times as effective as its 120mm cousins. Interestingly, it is also more economical at that.

Now let’s get back to the front panel now. We’ve got two classic buttons here, Power and Reset. They differ in size and are placed at the two opposite ends of the slanting surface, so you cannot press a wrong button by mistake.

The system case has two USB ports, two audio connectors and an eSATA port. Owners of camcorders with FireWire interface may be disappointed but users of external HDDs with eSATA will like the change. The connectors are placed wide apart from each other so that the connected cables and devices did not get in each other’s way.

The top part of the case being occupied by the fan, the power supply compartment has moved to the bottom. The mainboard is located higher than usual here.

Most system cases have only one 120mm fan at the back, but here we’ve got two of them. You can also see two rubberized openings for the pipes of a liquid cooling system.

There is a fan control unit in the top left corner of the back panel. You can use it to adjust the speed of the two rear 120mm fans as well as of the top-panel 200mm beauty. Highlighting can be turned on/off for the latter. We guess the only problem with this control unit is its simplicity. The tiny switches are handy enough, but the functionality might have been broader.

Antec must have decided that nobody will try to topple this system case down on its side. Therefore, it is equipped with ordinary soft-rubber feet rather than with flip-down supports as in many other products of this form-factor. The feet prevent the case from sliding and suppress vibrations well enough.

A large part of the side window is covered by the already familiar metallic mesh. A sheet of transparent plastic is behind it. It is from the same plastic that the fastening for a 120mm fan (Antec seems to neglect all other fan sizes) is made. The user is supposed to install an intake fan for cooling the graphics card or expansion cards: the opening is covered by a mesh filter. The latter can be easily taken off and cleaned if necessary.

We’ve finally reached the interior. There is nothing extraordinary here, though. The right part of the case is occupied by a solid rack for hard and optical drives. The mainboard is fastened on hex-head poles with screws. The PSU does not have an individual compartment (as opposed, for example, to the Antec P182). The chassis is high quality as is typical of the company’s produce. Everything is thick steel and rigid. Every edge is neatly finished.

If you take off the other side panel and take a look at the case from the other side, you can see that the Twelve Hundred provides some room for hiding various cables between the mainboard’s mounting plate and the side panel. You just put the cables through the holes into this space and leave the interior of the system case free for better airflows. There are a few preattached ties here and a few protrusions for attaching more. A few such ties are shipped with the case.

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