Antec set out to update the the Gaming series with changes that the users were calling for. From that goal the Eleven Hundred was born. The Eleven Hundred’s style stays true to the heritage of the cases before it, but is updated with better wire management, updated layout, and room for the largest of video cards and CPU coolers out today. All built with the sturdiness and build quality that Antec cases are known to have.
As much as I like the Eleven Hundred there are a couple of things that I really liked and a couple of things I didn’t care for. I’ll start with the likes. I like the fact that the top LED fan has a switch to turn the lights on and off. That is always a major plus for me as my desk is in the same room where I sleep, and there are times I need the system crunching on something while I sleep but I really don’t want the extra light in the room. I really like the extra space from the new motherboard backspacing. It provides plenty of space for wire routing and hard drive connections.
The added fan for the back of the CPU socket is nice as well. I would most likely set it up for exhaust rather than intake as there is no filter on the vent. I also like the new side accessible power supply vent filter. This will make accessing and cleaning the filter easy. The same for the front bezel filter. Some may not like it because the whole front panel needs to be pulled off to clean it, but that means I can take it outside and blow the dust off with compressed air.
Since the P280 and the Eleven Hundred share the same base chassis design, it stands to reason they share the same cabling downsides. The front panel wires are just a hair short. All but the front panel audio cable could stand to be a couple of inches longer. This would make reaching motherboard connections that are low and to the rear easier and have a clean wire routing.
Only other complaint I have is with the drive mounts. With SSD becoming more popular, there will be users that will want more space for them. Going with the 3.5” only tool-less drive rail over the 2.5/3.5” drive tray that was used on the P280 seems like a loss of a nice feature.
Antec says the new Eleven Hundred will carry an MSRP of $129.95. In the midtower size there are hundreds of cases that fall into the $100-200 range. There is only a handful with 8 expansion slots, and the Eleven Hundred has 9 and can even hold XL-ATX boards. So, the Eleven Hundred stands out. Cases close in feature and price are Antec’s own Nine Hundred V3, Corsair Carbide 500R, Corsair Graphite 600T, and Cooler Master Storm Sniper. It will be interesting to see how the gaming community takes to the new Eleven Hundred.
Legit Bottom Line: I really like the direction Antec is heading; they took customer feedback, went back to the drawing board and come back to the table with a nice case that will hold the largest of parts in a clean look true to the series heritage. If you’re in the market for new home for your LAN rig, give the Eleven Hundred a look. It may surprise you.