Legit Case Reviews
Antec Dark Fleet DF-85 Full Tower PC Case Review
|Date:||Mon, Jul 26, 2010 - 12:00 AM|
|Written By:||Shane Higgins -|
Antec DF-85 Final Thoughts
Antec's new Dark Fleet series is, to me, an updated Twelve Hundred with some new features and looks. I like the new look and the new Fleet Release doors. The new doors with tool less removable dust filters are very easy to use. I was also happy to see Antec move away from the clunky 5.25 to 3.5 drive bays. Would have like to have seen some vibration reduction for the hard drives, and more ability for 2.5" drive mounting. There is a spot in the bottom of the case for one 2.5" drive, but as SSD drop in price I can see may users making the move to them and needing space for more than one SSD.
The DF-85 comes with five 120mm fans and two 140mm fans, all controlled by their own speed control. This is nice, it allows for a user to set the fans to the speed they like without the additional cost of a fan controller. Also this time around Antec has moved from blue to red for the LED fans, as well as going with the twin 140's over a single 200. Some will not be happy for this change as a single 200 can be more quiet then twin 140's. On the other side of the coin the twin 140's will allow for water cooling up in the top of the case where the single 200 would not.
The DF-85 also only has 7 expansion slots, this could be a "no go" option for some that want the 8th slot for video cards that can hang off the bottom of the motherboard. To make matters worse you lose one of the slots to the USB3.0 cable. You could run it through one of the water cooling pass through holes, but if you have an external radiator you will have these holes occupied already.
Cable management was ok with the DF-85, but it was almost identical to the Twelve Hundred. I was hoping that Antec would add in a few more holes along the bottom and at the top for the front I/O cables. The DF-85 does have plenty of room for running cable behind the motherboard tray and many places to tie cables to for a tidy arrangement.
One thing I can't knock Antec on the case is build quality, the DF-85 built like a tank. Like any Antec case I have every owned or used the DF-85 is built for the long haul. Every part of it screams well built, there may be some items we can pick on in the design but the case is built to take a beating.
Currently the DF-85 can be found for around $170 plus shipping depending on where you shop. This puts it in the same price class as the Cooler Master HAF-X. The decision between the HAF-X and the DF-85 will boil down to what the end goal of the system will be. If you wanted to run water cooling or multiple (3+) video cards I would go with the Cooler Master HAF-X. If you wanted to just a basic dual-GPU video card setup and wanted lots of storage space I would lean to the Antec DF-85. Current Antec Twelve Hundred owners may not feel the urge to upgrade, but If you're looking for a case and the DF-85 fits your needs it will be a good buy.
The Legit Bottom Line: The Antec Dark Fleet series DF-85 very solidly built case with a new look from Antec.
Questions or Comments? View this thread in our forums!
Page 1 - Antec Dark Fleet DF-85 Full Tower
Page 2 - Antec DF-85 Retail Packaging
Page 3 - DF-85 External Impressions
Page 4 - External Impressions Contiuned
Page 5 - Moving inside the DF-85
Page 6 - Installing parts into the DF-85
Page 7 - Antec DF-85 Final Thoughts