Being a mid tower case, the Antec Sonata Proto offers a modest amount of space inside to fit the guts of your rig but you know going in that space for extra large graphics cards or CPU coolers is going to be tight at best.
Optical drives mount very easily with the supplied drive rails and the drives snap in very snugly an securely. The drive rails must be screwed onto the drive however which is not quite as nice as those that just fit on with nubs that align in the screw holes.
With the right side panel not being removable, it really diminishes any hope of routing cables between the motherboard tray and the side panel so alternatives must be found. I prefer modular PSU’s and for a case where cable routing is limited as it makes building out a system much cleaner.
The room between the rear of the case and the side of the HDD cage only measures 11″ so be wary of what size video card you plan to install – especially if the power connectors come out the end of the card.
With the HDD’s mounted with the connectors pointing towards the left panel, you’ll be best off with right angle SATA connectors to ensure clearance from the side panel.
The fan on the back is very quiet on low speed and noticeable but not annoying when on high. It pulls a decent amount of air through the case with an assist from the PSU fan. That said, this probably isn’t going to be a good case for keeping ambient temperatures low inside the case if you plan on doing heavy overclocking.
Overall, this is a relatively easy case for building a system as long as you don’t have overly large components and a ton of PSU wires.