My first impression of the Titan 550 was that it is a monster, weighing in at 30lbs. This may not seem a big deal to some, but after working with thin, aluminum mid tower cases over the last year, the 1.0 mm steel construction feels incredibly sturdy. My only issue with the overall construction is a pretty small one. I just kind of scratch my head when I see such a well built case with a plastic front. I understand this is a server case, and most server cases are not going to end up modded or at LAN Parties, but Instead of using plastic for the front bezel of the case, why not use steel or aluminum? Had Antec done this, it definitely would have put this case over the top.
From a purely aesthetic point, the matte black Titan 550 is a very subtle, but great looking case. The drive bays are hidden behind a very unique hinged door system. Multiply hinges allow for the door to be opened a full 270 degrees, this allows the user to simply fold the door back along side the case without fear of breaking it off.
Moving on to the lower front of the case, Antec aligned the front I/O port along the right side of the case for easy access. Nothing unusual here, two USB 2.0 ports, a single1394 port, as well as jacks for headphones and a microphone. Although some people like these placed on the top of the case, i actually prefer them placed exactly where Antec has them as I always place my cases under my desk, making top mounted ports a hassle.
Removing the front cover from the case you’ll notice a door secured by a pair of large thumb screws taking up the lower half of the chassis.
The Titan 550 allows for a pair of 92mm fans to be attached to the back of the door to increase internal air flow, keeping your HDDs cool. Too many times I have installed HDDs and had to remove them because I forgot to include the optional fans. I also appreciate Antec using a pair larger/ quieter fans where most companies would simply put a single 80mm fan.
With the move to smaller and lighter cases, most companies have sacrifices strength and stability for weight. The Titan 550 impressed all around for great construction. A good case in point is the rear PCI slots. Lately I’ve been working with a lot of cases where the rear panel actually flexes and bends if you put too much pressure on it. I want my cases to be able to withstand a lot of tweaking as I am constantly installing and reinstalling components.