In Pictures: Five More Mainstream Gaming Cases, Previewed

Antec’s Eleven Hundred

Antec’s Eleven Hundred appears to be an attempt to combine the value of the company's sturdy Three Hundred with some of the features of its mid-market Nine Hundred. We find medium-duty steel nearly everywhere except for the plastic face panel and side window, the latter of which allows a complete view of your high-end components.

A rectangular vent on the Eleven Hundred’s side window supports two 120 mm fans, and each fan mount has two grommets to reduce fan noise.

Flexible Positioning

Borrowing some of the style cues from Antec’s older products, the Eleven Hundred’s top-edge front-panel connectors are easy to reach, regardless of whether the case is on or under a desk. Cables usually dangle in front of optical drives, but most users open those infrequently anyway.

Inside The Eleven Hundred

Tall enough to support up to XL-ATX motherboards, the Eleven Hundred’s nine slots give users of standard ATX boards extra space to combine oversized graphics cooling and slot breakout plates in the same system.

Rear vents help equalize pressure inside and outside the enclosure, though the vents lack dust filtration. Builders in dirty environments may instead opt to add fans, assuring that air flows out of, rather than into, these vents.

Behind The Eleven Hundred

Antec adds a 120 mm fan mount behind the Eleven Hundred’s motherboard tray, which builders can use to assist cooling at the back of the CPU socket.

Grommets on rear-panel ingress/egress holes help keep you from scratching up tubing when this chassis is used with external liquid coolers.

Fan Control?

An LED on/off switch for the top-panel fan occupies one of four positions on the Eleven Hundred’s rear fan controller. The other three holes remain unused, making this extra feature more of a tease than anything. Though some of our builders prefer to let motherboard headers control fan speed, others will be unhappy to find this untapped potential.

Eleven Hundred Cable Management

The Eleven Hundred has enough space behind its motherboard tray to route thick ATX cables through four large rectangular access holes. Grommets help make the cables less visually distracting as they pass through, while cable tie loops help builders pin excess length into a tidy location.

An even larger access hole aids CPU cooler support plate installation.

Eleven Hundred Filtration

In addition to a filter inside its snap-off face panel, Antec’s Eleven Hundred includes a slide-out power supply dust filter.

Eleven Hundred Intakes

As delivered, the Eleven Hundred uses exhaust fans to pull air through various vents. But enthusiasts who want even more airflow and better dust control can add up to two 120 mm fans in the front panel, behind a snap-away face with filtered vents.

Top Panel Exhaust

One of the Eleven Hundred’s design strengths may also be considered by some to be a weakness. Its top-panel 200 mm fan quietly pulls air past the CPU cooler. But the large vent lacks the extra holes that would have allowed it to be repurposed as a radiator mount.

In other words, the Eleven Hundred is large enough to hold a dual-fan liquid cooler, but requires minor modifications to do so. Our next page will show a case that has the necessary mounting holes for large liquid cooling (but instead lacks the required mounting space; whoops).

Cooler Master Storm Enforcer

Only 19” tall, but a full 9” wide, Cooler Master adds modern style and cooling space to the classic mid-tower stance in its Storm Enforcer. A window helps show off those over-sized CPU coolers. A half-length door at the top hides 5.25” bays.

Storm Enforcer Front Panel

The Storm Enforcer’s front-panel connectors are located along the top edge and angled upwards to ease access from above, which is perfect for anyone who hides their PC under a desk. Don't worry if you keep your computer up on a desk. The connectors are still accessible, and the drive door actually pushes dangling cables out of the way.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • EzioAs
    Cooling wise, I'm guessing the eleven hundred will come out on top
  • amuffin
    That is correct^^ The Eleven Hundred is one of the cases I have seen that has superb cooling over the competition. I recommend it to anyone who needs a well rounded and cooled system :)
  • jimmysmitty
    EzioAsCooling wise, I'm guessing the eleven hundred will come out on top
    Depends. More holes are not always better. Their Dark Fleets are pretty horrible when it comes to cooling.

    I still prefer my Corsair 500R as these cases are either bland or ugly.
  • monkeymonk
    I lilke the side panel on the eleven hundred and the fan behind the cpu is cool too.
  • refillable
    Antec 1100. Who is with me? :)
  • Onus
    I like the 1100 also, but would probably prefer a version without the big window.

    The Raidmax looked like gimmicky junk.
    CM has too many "oops"es.
    The Fractal Designs and Silverstone cases also didn't quite "get it right," at least not for me; but I could probably make them work. The aesthetics were good on them.
  • old mann
    Didn't care fore any of these. All seemed boxy and without personality. Whatever the price point is for these, it is probably too high. Hopefully, the next segment will show the HAF XM or the NZXT Phantom 410. These are supposed to be gaming cases yet, they lack most of the features of an enthusiast case. Heck, I'd pick the Rosewill CHALLENGER over any of these and it's only fifty bucks.
  • ivyanev
    I would never buy/recommend a case with top mounted fan: just begs to spill something on.
  • element1981
    I've had numerous cases including the Antec 900 and 300. I just upgraded to the Antec 1100 for my main PC and have been extremely pleased with it. I mounted 2 more 120mm fans behind the front panel and the cooling is nothing short of amazing. It's a relatively simple looking case, but it's elegance is in it's simplicity. It does everything exceedingly well. Installation was a breeze and future modifications will be easy with the extra interior space. You'd have to pay double the cost of this case to get something that exceeds it significantly in features. An all around great case, and I'd definitely recommend it over any other case in the $80-120 range.
  • spookyman
    Cases are more a personal preference then design.