Antec 200 Case ReviewWed 24 February 2010
I have had an Antec Sonata since it first came out, the same one - see my other review on that. I use their cheaper cases at work all the time, and have a machine with an Antec 900 in the house. Recently I had to make a super cheap PC where price was the main factor - to become my main machine, and by fluke had this Antec 200 that was actually waiting to be returned sitting around. So I kept it and used it. Several things were surprising, some not. Conclusion: Good overall, solidly made but you get what you pay for.
It's impossible for me not to compare this case to the Sonata and Antec 900 I have. That will be my main focus because lucky for the 200, it has many similarities to them. On looks, I like this case, I prefer plain looking cases and care more about sound and how they are to work with, I usually disable or remove LEDs so the 200 may not be enough flash for some.
Antec 200 great features:
- solid build, all metal, it's like a Sonata this way but much much lighter/thinner - if you tap the wall you hear a little echo.
- lots of fan spots, if you were OCing or doing SLI and needed to get it sounding like a vaccuum you could.
- water cooling hose ports
- 3.5" SATA hot-swap tray in place of FDD spot
- fan speed controllers (2) on the back of the case near the top
- Big fans so its quieter
Antec 200 may like or dislike features:
- Plain and black , does not stand out like a 900 full of LED fans or the shiny Sonata
- Has a weird hexagon plastic pattern on the front fan cover , it looks okay, but fancy enough that some co-workers might think your shitbox has dual 5850s and a Xeon.
- Giant top fan
- side is plain just fan hole
Antec 200 negatives:
- Metal is thin , easy to dent
- Fans are not that great
- Front grill lets sound out, not unlike a 900 - but it also lets more air in so..
- Hear the drives alot , not enough dampening but that's a trade off with above.
I wouldn't buy this case again mainly for sound reasons - I would get one with a more closed face and no top hole. I replaced one fan within days because it was bugging me with its whirr. I never OC and have a weak video card so something more closed would be fine for me. But I would highly recommend the Antec 200 if you are making a gaming rig that needs better airflow than average. Or if you want an above-average case where no corner has been completely cut in the name of price savings. Any negatives on this case are minor and the quality exceeds what you would expect at this price. It has less airflow than the 900 but also way less noise and dusting requirements. This case is like a slightly airy, much lighter built Sonata .