Antec’s Latest Sonata
Released early last winter, Antec’s Sonata IV adds a single USB 3.0 port to the classic design of its predecessors. A keyed lock hinders unwanted access to power and reset buttons.
Sonata IV Front Bays
Besides the power and reset buttons, the Sonata IV’s front door covers drive three 5.25” drive bays. Anyone who needs a 3.5” external bay will find the appropriate adapter in the case’s installation kit.
Sonata IV Ventilation
A top-mounted power supply supplements the 120 mm exhaust fan in the Sonata IV’s pull-only ventilation design. Air is drawn through a removable mesh side panel, placed specifically to stop direct noise from CPU and graphics coolers.
Sonata IV Drive Dampening
Nothing would be more annoying than a case that muffles fans, yet buzzes from drives. Antec handles that problem by including silicon grommets on four sets of 3.5” drive rails. Factory-installed shoulder screws prevent over-tightening.
A single set of 2.5” drive stands on the side of the cage lack this feature, since the intended SSDs have no moving parts anyway.
Sonata IV Motherboard And Card Space
The Sonata IV supports motherboards up to full ATX and even some slightly-oversized versions, with 11.2” of card space. Egress holes ease cable management.
Bitfenix Colossus: A Quiet Giant?
Though Bitfenix did not specifically target the quiet-PC crowd with its Colossus, double-layer panels are employed extensively. When paired with adjustable-speed oversized fans, the company feels it might just win a cooling-to-noise comparison.
Colossal Liquid Cooling Support
Four large grommets support the hoses for two separate external liquid coolers. The Colossus is not equipped with a rear fan, though 120 mm and 140 mm models are supported.
Colossus Front Cable Management
What at first appear to be strangely-designed side vents are actually part of the Colossus front-panel cable management system, which also features cable groves down the face panel’s full length.
A double-panel door reduces direct noise from the case’ intake fan. The unusual right-swing implies that the case will sit to the right of its user, reducing the amount of exposed cable length from a right-hand user’s mouse. Lefties will love to know that the door is also reversible.
Behind Door Number 2
Hiding cables behind the front door was the easy part, as even more space would be required to hide cable ends. What appears to be a top-panel storage box opens to reveal USB 3.0, USB 2.0, microphone, headphone, and (opposite side) eSATA ports.
Also revealed are reset, system power, LED lighting mode, and LED power buttons, plus an analog fan controller.
Internal Cable Management
While many cases include space behind the motherboard to stuff cables, the Colossus expands that space to around an inch. Clean cabling could be even more important to owners of the cheaper, windowed version of this case.
The Bitfenix Colossus features 230 mm fans in both its front (intake) and top (exhaust) locations, cheapening its appearance only through the use of break-away EMI shields. A mesh dust filter resides on the back of the front panel, while foam inserts block dust in bay covers.