Antec Nine Hundred Two Ultimate Gaming Case ReviewMon, Feb 08, 2010 - 12:00 AM
Antec Nine Hundred Two – External Impressions
One of the first things you notice about this case is that it’s a pretty heavy case. Weighing in at just over 25-pounds, the Nine Hundred Two is heavier than its little brother, the Nine Hundred. The case is made up of .8mm SECC steel that is very sturdy and doesn’t seem to have any flex. The front of the case has a pretty industrial look with its vented grill. This gives you a hint that like the Nine Hundred, the case was developed for gamers and enthusiasts to get the best ventilation and air flow possible.
When the case is powered down, you can barely see the two Antec 120mm TriCool fans that come with the case. The overall stance of the case is aggressive and it will look good no matter where you place the case – in your dorm room, office, or at home.
The case doesn’t have a digital display that many system modders like, but there is plenty of room for housing your favorite devices. The case actually has room for 9 external 5.25” drive bays with Antec’s “Flexi-Drive Bay System”. The “Flexi-Drive Bay System” is made up of two HDD cages pre-installed which contain three 5.25” drive bays and is surprising pretty easy to use. You can even pop off the grill on each one of the bays to allow mixing and matching of internal and external drives. By default, the two 120mm fans are installed on the bottom two bays allowing for three external drives and 6 internal drives.
Above the front grill, the I/O Panel is in plain view and easy to view. The panel makes it easy to access two USB ports, an e-SATA port, speaker/microphone jacks, a reset button, and a power button. Moving the I/O Panel towards the front of the case is a good example of the improvements the Antec engineers made over the original Nine Hundred model. The new panel makes it much easier to view and use the port that you want – especially if the case is under a desk or in a computer nook. It may sound trivial, but I appreciate the new location.
On the side, the Antec Nine Hundred Two has a very large window and ventilation system almost identical to the Nine Hundred. You can mount an additional (and optional) 120mm fan to the side to blow air into or out of the case to help cool your graphics card. Antec makes it extremely easy to upgrade since the fan simply snaps into place without any extra screws or fiddling.
On the back, you will find yet another Antec 120mm TriCool fan, but right above it you will find the fan’s control panel. Here, you can set the fan speeds between Quiet, Performance, or Maximum Cooling. Out of the box, the default speed setting is “low” (Quiet). The control panel actually has room to control another fan – we assume for the side panel or hard drives.
The Nine Hundred Two also comes with 5.25” metal plate pre-installed in the 3rd drive bay. The plate is not pre-drilled, but it is designed to allow for easy mounting of water-cooling parts such as kits, pumps, or reservoirs. The plate can be mounted in any one of the nine drive bays. Another carryover from the original Antec Nine Hundred is the coolant hose access on the back. I am still living in the dark-ages of air-cooled CPUs, but if I ever decided to step up to water cooling that utilizes an external kit, I would be good to go with this new case.