Installation, Evaluation & Final Analysis
The Antec Cube comes with a manual, several zip ties, and a pair of fan power extension cables. Not pictured is the standard assortment of screws that accompanies almost every case.
The Cube comes with a somewhat modified cable assortment, dropping most of the front panel power connections and then adding a power connection for the fan controller.
The Cube’s large compact size means that we have plenty of room for all of our test hardware, with even more room to spare. Furthermore, thanks to the available space, numerous cutouts, and tie downs, the installation was quick and free of any issues.
A quick press of the power button and everything fires right up, complete with plenty of Razer green lighting all around.
Here’s how the Antec Cube compares to some of the other compact cases we’ve tested thus far:
Bitfenix Portal Mini ITX
Today’s review uses the same Mini ITX reference platform as past reviews, with no changes to the standard hardware.
Noise is measured .5m from the case's front corner, on the side that opens. The numbers are corrected to the 1m industry standard—used by many loudspeaker and fan manufacturers—by subtracting six decibels.
Additionally, the test duration for today’s review was four hours at full load, and the ambient air temperature for the test was maintained at approximately 26°C (78.8°F).
Drivers and Settings
|Test System Configuration|
|Sound||Integrated HD Audio|
|Network||Integrated Gigabit Networking|
|Graphics||Nvidia GeForce 353.30|
|Chipset||Intel INF 10.0.27|
|Prime95 v27.9||64-bit executable, Small FFTs, 4 threads|
|3DMark 11||Version: 184.108.40.206, Extreme Preset: Graphics Test 1, Looped|
|Real Temp 3.40||Average of maximum core readings at full CPU load|
|Galaxy CM-140 SPL Meter||Tested at 1/2 m, corrected to 1 m (-6 dB), dBA weighting|
Although the Cube outperforms the Bitfenix Portal we just tested, a lack of airflow in the case due to a lack of front intake fans means the Cube is outperformed by the rest of the cases in the lineup. Those who choose air cooling over liquid cooling will undoubtedly benefit from the addition of a couple intake fans.
Though the Cube managed to regain some ground in regards to acoustic performance, it didn’t regain enough to put it anywhere near the lead. The results are even more disappointing when you consider there is only one case fan involved.
As always, mediocre results in the previous benchmarks lead to equally mediocre results when it comes to efficiency, which is going to leave a big mark in the next benchmark.
Mediocre performance coupled with a top shelf price tag means the Cube comes in dead last in our value calculations, meaning you’re really going to have to want this case to justify its purchase.
The Cube is still a well-built case with an attractive feature set. We also have no doubt that there are plenty of buyers out there who will purchase the Cube regardless of price, either because they have the budget for it, or because Razer’s name is on it. Unfortunately for Antec and Razer though, the Cube’s $220 asking price is going to make it a tough sell for everyone else, especially when cases like Fractal Design’s Define Nano S and NZXT’s Manta offer competing feature sets for a fraction of the price.
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