Antec Nineteen Hundred – Test and Review
I received the case in an…extremely big carton box, and when I say “extremely” I do mean it as this box is by far the biggest packaging I’ve ever seen for a case. Same could be said about the weight of the box as it was really heavy, but that did not affect transportation as there were no visible, extensive damage done to the exterior of the packaging. Speaking of packaging, let me describe it to you – it is very simple and straight forward, as there is a small inscription with the name of the case, Antec’s logo, a big yellow stripe on one side, saying “Designed by Antec in California” and a huge picture of the actual case in all its glory. Another side of the box was filled with multiple pictures of Antec Nineteen Hundred, each one focusing on different aspects and features, offered by the case.
The sides of this huge packaging were aimed at another front photo of the case inside, as well as its interior layout.
|The side of the package||Other side of the package|
After spending a couple of minutes examining Nineteen Hundred’s box I proceeded with the process of opening it and checking out how the case was protected as I was worried about its safety, due to the weight.
Well, things looked fine from all sides and there were no dents or broken parts of the case at first sight. What made my day was the fact that this is the first time I see soft styrofoam, not the hard version. The soft styrofoam is more flexible and can absorb energy better, in my opinion. Hard styrofoam is probably better for lighter cases and parts, so this soft protective material was a nice thing to see. Also to protect the case from scratches it was covered in a nylon bag.
I was getting excited with each minute by the sheer dimensions of the case and quickly unwrapped it…and there it was – Antec Nineteen Hundred. Very, very, very big case. Its dimension are - 696mm (H) X 223.6mm (W) X 555mm (D), massive height really. Antec calls it Super Mid tower, but I can’t seem to understand why, as the case is more like Full Tower chassis, even a bit larger.
Antec Nineteen Hundred Exterior
I believe it is time to examine the chassis exterior in detail, before moving on to its interior layout. The 1900 is offered in two versions – red and green, as for review I received the red version, which I find more attractive than the green one – it looks a bit more aggressive in my opinion. Actually, the color is only present at the dual layer mesh at the front panel, also at the HDD brackets rubber pads and on the PCI-e slots, all nine of them, which I could see from the windowed side panel. The panel was covered with self adhesive, transparent nylon for protection. Having removed that I went on with the exterior inspection.
|Antec Nineteen Hundred back side||Antec Nineteen Hundred right side|
|Antec Nineteen Hundred front||Antec Nineteen Hundred top|
Antec Nineteen Hundred features a somewhat matte paint and it looks like the paint is actually thick and high quality, at least on the side panels. All around the color is equal, but the plastic black top and front panels do differ a little bit from the black paint on the steel parts as you can see from the photos. Of course, that is not extremely important and doesn’t diminish the overall looks of the case. Speaking of looks, Nineteen Hundred is a stylish, flat designed case with attractive and luxurious look. Dual layer mesh at the front, painted in the desired red or green color contrasts with the black paint in a way that makes you look the case more and more and don’t get bored of it. Of course, the window on the left side panel gives even more points in terms of design as it is placed at the right place, probably the perfect place for a window. You can’t see any storage drives, only the main hardware, which leaves options for nice LED lighting inside. Looking at the top panel I find it to be not corresponding to the overall build quality and look of this high end case, due to the fact that is screams plastic and definitely could be improved, along with the front panel, which is also plastic. At the very bottom of the front panel sits stamped Antec’s logo. Looking a bit higher I noticed three 5.25″ drive bays, two USB 2.0 ports, four USB 3.0 ports, audio jacks and big power and reset buttons.
On the bottom things are quite simple and straightforward – PSU opening for cold air, more openings for intake fans, some stickers and thick rubber feet, glued to the case. Rubber quality feels solid and reassuring, but they’d have been better if screwed in. At the back of the chassis the buttons for the smaller side panel doors were visible along with the dual slots for PSU, one had a metal plate attached to it, in order to hide the unused slot, if you go with only one PSU. I believe that I’ve finished examining the outside of Antec Nineteen Hundred and the time has come to check out its internals.
Antec Nineteen Hundred Interior
First thing to do in order to access the interior was to remove the left side panel, which is held by two thumbnail screws, covered with plastic/rubber material for easier operation.
And this is the view I got in front of me – quite the spacious interior, indeed. All of it is painted in matte black and looks amazing – Antec did a great job with paint execution, it really does look flawless. After paint inspection I couldn’t help myself noticing the large CPU cutout for hassle free CPU cooler installation or removal. Around it there were sufficient amount of rubber grommets for cable routing, as well as cable tie mounts – plenty of that too. What I immediately noticed about the rubber used for the grommets was that it is quite thin and the grommets are securely placed on the actual chassis. There is no chance for a grommet to come out of place, unless extreme force is applied. Beside the cable routing holes there were all three available 5.25″ toolless drive bays. Pretty usual installation is required here – push the drive from the front while pulling the bracket and then release – the drive is then secured into place and ready for use. Under the 5.25: drives I saw the first batch of 3.25″ drives bays – six in count. As Antec Nineteen Hundred features a lower door for the other batch of drive bays I went on and pushed the button on the back to release the locking mechanism. And here is what awaited me there.
|Antec Nineteen Hundred bottom storage bay||Antec Nineteen Hundred included accessories|
Another six drive bays waiting to be occupied with 3.5″ HDD’s – total HDD drives is now 12, if we count the two dedicated SSD bays – 14 drives bays for storage. Definitely you could build a storage server in your house with that case, if you choose to do so. While I was there I unpacked the small nylon bag in order to check out what Antec included in the accessory box, or should I say nylon bag. Three 4-pin molex to 2-pin fan connectors, four non-reusable zip ties and a product overview. That product overview is only saying what the case has in terms of features and what everything is suited for – not a complete user manual, but I guess if you plan to buy Nineteen Hundred, surely you know what you’re doing. Of course, all of the necessary bolts and screws were present, but I would rather had them matte black, just like the interior for a complete visual satisfaction.
Okay, in a typical DVTests fashion I shall disassemble this enormous case in order to check out its structure and what comes “under the hood” and check if there are any surprises.
Well, that escalated quickly! I have to say although Nineteen Hundred is a big case I found it to be very easy to disassemble, no more than 10 minutes with a screwdriver and you have the bare chassis in front of you – let the modding begin. Sorry I got carried away a little – Nineteen Hundred screams to be modded just for the fun of it…and size. Okay, enough dreaming, let’s speak technical stuff – after removing all the parts the case got lighter indeed, but it was heavier than all other cases I’ve seen…and more solid. I mean real solid. Most cases, when their side panels are removed they get flimsy and bend easily, but that is not the case with Nineteen Hundred – well done, Antec. They really preserved the sturdiness of the case, so if you (or I) plan to mod this case it won’t fall apart when the cutting begins.
|Antec Nineteen back of the chassis||Antec Nineteen Hundred top of chassis|
Here is the time to say that not only the number of HDD bays is impressive (for some overkill), but also the fact that Antec Nineteen Hundred can be equipped with two PSUs. Yes, two power units are supported by the case and sit one on top of the other – in different compartments, of course. The bottom PSU mount is located at the lower section of Nineteen Hundred’s interior. Having said that, let me proceed with the process of returning each part of the case where it belongs, while describing what I haven’t described yet.
But first, here are the removed parts from Nineteen Hundred, quite a lot, actually.
- Left side panel with acrylic window and sound dampening material
- Right side panel with sound dampening material
- Bottom left side panel with dampening material
- Bottom right side panel with dampening material
- Plastic top panel
- Plastic/mesh front panel with all I/O cables and three 5.25″ drive bay plastic covers
- Top dust filters – x2
- PSU filter – x1
- HDD brackets with rubber padding – x12
- PCB with 4-pin power molex input, acting as fan hub
- Plastic piece with holes for 4 fan controllers (fan controllers are attached directly to each fan)
- Antec 120mm Fluid Dynamic Bearing (FDB) fans – x6
The last thing I mentioned are the included fans – abundant air cooling out of the box for Antec Nineteen Hundred, I think. Let me describe you the cooling system while proceeding with case’s assembly.
Antec Nineteen Hundred Cooling System
Packing six fans from the factory, Nineteen Hundred is a capable case in terms of cooling, although it lacks some watercooling options. All of the six fans included are Fluid Dynamic Bearing Antec fans with integrated Low and High RPM setting, attached to each fan for easier control over performance/noise ratio. Three fans are located at the front of the case, as intakes for nice fresh air, and three fans are acting as exhaust – two at the top, one at the back of the case.
Two additional fans could be installed inside the Nineteen Hundred, right on the HDD cage – that makes a total of eight 120mm fan slots. Some might hope for at least a couple of 140mm fan mounts, some might be okay with the 120mm fans. And while the case shines with air cooling options, water cooling seems to be missing in some way. Apart from the option to mount a 120mm radiator, the only place left for a big water cooling radiator is at the top – 240mm at the most. Regarding the size and capabilities of this case I find the lack of more extensive water cooling options rather disappointing.
With that air cooling available, though, dust might become an issue very quickly, but Antec included dust filters for all three front fans and two for the top two fans. Sadly the filters are screwed directly to the fans and it is difficult to reach every dust filter fast, you need to turn off the system and disassemble the case’s panels in order to get access to the dust filters.
I’ve mounted the front fans with their respective dust filters (each fan is held by two long screws), along with the front panel, which is screwed in with four small screws to the chassis and routed the I/O cables.
|Rear fan||Top panel|
|Top and bottom right side panels||Nineteen Hundred assembled|
Almost the same story goes for the top panel – two screws with rubber layer are used for attachment and four small screws for the rear fan. Two long screws are used for each of the top fan and dust filters. Next step was to install the right side panel doors, the big one, followed by the smaller one, covering the lower compartment.
Okay, now that the case is assembled in its original shape and form, I believe it is time to proceed with the system installation and later on with stress testing methods.
The test system:
- Motherboard: AsRock Fatal1ty Killer Z87
- CPU: Intel I5-4670K
- CPU Cooler: Silverstone Tundra TD02
- Thermal paste: Noctua NT-H1
- Video card: MSI AMD R9 280X Gaming 3G
- Hard drive: Western Digital 640 GB Black Series
- Power supply: Corsair RM750 W, Modular
- Memory: A-Data XPG 8 GB Dual channel
As you may think, putting all the hardware inside this spacious case was a pleasure. You have so much room to work with that there’s a moment when you want to install more and more parts just to fill the interior, which is a difficult task. My test system looks extremely small and even with a 240mm water cooling radiator on the top, there’s plenty of room available to play with.
That is how the space behind the motherboard looked like with all preinstalled cable ties used for cable management. I want to point out a minor issue that I encountered during system installation and that is the strange HDD brackets. Built from robust plastic material with rubber pads for noise and vibration absorption they seem absolutely fine until an HDD is screwed in. Either the included screws are longer than they need to be or the rubber pads are shorter than necessary – personally I think that the screws need to be shorter with a couple of millimeters in order for the HDD to be more securely mounted without jiggling around on that bracket. Or I am just making a big mistake including this issue in the article – that is if Antec deliberately left the bigger clearance and movement of the storage drives.
Here is how the HDD installation is supposed to look like.
|HDD ready for mounting||HDD installed|
Check out the front of Antec Nineteen Hundred’s interior – beautiful view, indeed.
|With opened side panel||View trough side panel|
Now that I am done observing and reviewing this case, the time has come for me to start stress testing it and see what results might appear on the temperature sensors.
The tests were conducted in a closed system with:
- All six fans inside Antec Nineteen Hundred rotating at maximum speed.
- Silverstone Tundra TD02 set to Silent Mode from BIOS settings.
- Room temperature of about 24-25 degrees Celsius.
And here I want to describe my testing method.
I will do stress tests using Prime95 AVX software with constant load on the cooler for 14:30 minutes with custom settings of minimum FFT size (in K of 128), max FFT size (in K of 128) and Run FFTs in place at standard frequency of 3.400 MHz (at Auto voltage), at low overclock frequency of 3.900 MHz (at 1.24V) and at medium overclock frequency of 4.300 MHz (at 1.26V).
Here are the results from the testing procedure:
|Nineteen Hundred IDLE – High fans||Nineteen Hundred LOAD – 3.4 GHz High fans|
|Nineteen Hundred LOAD – 3.9 GHz High fans||Nineteen Hundred LOAD – 4.3 GHz High fans|
Final thoughts and conclusion:
1. Antec Nineteen Hundred appearance - It is difficult not to like the Nineteen Hundred case as it features very stylish and clean exterior. The flat front panel with mesh grill around it in different color creates a contrast that makes the case visually pleasing each time you glimpse at it. Overall size and dimensions of 1900 also give points to the aesthetics, as the case might be mistaken for furniture in your room…it is that big. Although having top and front plastic panels they don’t seem to worsen the case external look and there is no noticeable paint difference between steel and plastic elements. Extremely good looking case in my opinion.
2. Antec Nineteen Hundred performance - Well, with six fans out of the box expectations are high, at least in my opinion. The case really does offer extreme airflow level going through the interior and the separation of the bottom HDD cage does help with temperature levels as there is no hot air flowing from the HDD to the GPU for example. Performance could be improved however due to the fact that water cooling is left behind in a way. There is no extensive water radiator support out of the box, which leaves room for modding, although if you plan to pay such money for a case that you have to invest in, it is not the best buy you can make. Nevertheless, air cooling performance is top notch, no doubt about that.
3. Antec Nineteen Hundred noise level - Antec wanted to make the case performance ready, which also brings the noise level issue: performance/increased noise levels. Here the case is really different – I don’t know what kind of sound dampening material they used for the side panels, but it surely gets the job done in an excellent way. Even with six fans rotating at maximum revolutions and the noisy TD02 CPU cooler, Antec Nineteen Hundred remained whisper quiet. Truly, thumbs up to Antec and the effort they made to make this case silent and performance orientated at the same time – we don’t see that too often. Many times you may need to sacrifice performance for increased noise and vice versa. As soon as the side panel is closed the noise goes vastly down to a mere humming that can’t catch your attention.
I think Antec Nineteen Hundred deserves the following reward:
Official price (MSRP): Antec Nineteen Hundred – £230
Warranty: 36 months
Special thanks to Antec for providing us with a test sample.