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Antec Twelve Hundred--Build And Installation

Four Full Tower Cases From $150 To $600
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Build, Continued

Back of the Antec Twelve HundredBack of the Antec Twelve Hundred

Open up the sides and you’ll find more black steel. Antec claims support for 12 drives, though in order to get that sort of capacity you’d need to remove the plastic air-tunnel channeling circulation from one front intake fan into the body of the chassis. That’s hardly a problem, though ; as the case sits from the factory, you can fit six hard drives and three 5.25” optical drives.

All of the enclosure’s edges are rolled and most of the screws you’ll be dealing with (excepting those holding hard drives into their cages) are of the thumb variety, making it easy to work in and around the Twelve Hundred

Installation

Unlike the Canyon 695, which has a brushed finish that seems like it’d be easily marred and thus begs to be handled very carefully, Antec’s Twelve Hundred is a simpler solution that gets its job done inexpensively, but satisfactorily. Six of nine copper standoffs came pre-installed for a simpler motherboard installation and the PC Power and Cooling supply that wouldn’t fit in ABS’ case slid in without a problem.

Of course, the Twelve Hundred’s design isn’t faultless. Connecting the 8-pin auxiliary power connector to the Asus board required an uncomfortable stretch. Any chassis vendor forcing power supply installations at the bottom of their cases should include an extension, as Cooler Master does with its HAF.

Also, after working with the Canyon 965’s slide-in hard drive mounts and backplanes, Antec’s cage design seemed particularly clunky. Freeing a cage for installation means taking off both side panels, unfastening four thumb screws on each side, securing the drive with four Philips-head screws, and reattaching the eight thumb screws. Surely that process could have been made easier.

Tight fit with long graphics cardsTight fit with long graphics cards

Because the Twelve Hundred cannot accommodate eATX motherboards, you’ll notice that it’s not as deep as the ABS or Cooler Master cases. As a result, when you drop in a long graphics card, like AMD’s Radeon HD 4870, the fit is tight, especially if you have a hard drive installed directly across from the card.

Lastly, having seen ABS and Cooler Master integrate three-pin case fans designed to plug into a motherboard and adapt them to work with a four-pin Molex connection, we would have liked to see Antec go a similar route. Instead, the Twelve Hundred’s fans are Molex-only, so a header-heavy motherboard like our Rampage II Extreme goes underutilized.

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