Date: September 16th, 2010
Article by: Joe Anderson (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited By: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Antec
<--CLICK FOR PRICES ON AN ANTEC DF-85 DARK FLEET CASE IN THE UNITED STATES
<--CLICK FOR PRICES ON AN ANTEC CASE IN CANADA
PRODUCT PICTORIAL AND WALKTHROUGH
The front panel is really quite unique and makes a bold statement, while the right side panel is quite plain with only an “Antec Design” stamping in the lower rear to keep it from being totally featureless. The Antec logo is displayed with more prominence on the lower front panel, and there's a lot going on here, as we'll see very soon.
At the top of the case is a 2.5-inch hot-swappable SATA bay suitable for laptop mechanical as well as solid state drives protected by a clear acrylic cover to keep dust and debris out when not in use. The front I/O panel lives just below the hot swap bay and features headphone and microphone jacks, three USB 2.0 ports and a single USB 3.0 port, flanked by the rectangular power and reset buttons. The USB ports are nicely spaced to accommodate larger devices and plugs, but eSATA support is conspicuously absent owing, I suspect, to the included hot-swap features. What's left of the top panel is perforated to provide ventilation for the twin 140mm “TwoCool” exhaust fans.
The three big bays at the top have a swing-out “guardrail” feature that is a bit of a mystery to me, but the remainder of the front panel is clearly related to airflow and cooling. Each of the three 120mm intake fans lives in its own swing-out pod (Antec calls them “FleetRelease” doors,) that will make drive installations a breeze and each pod features an easily removable dust filter element as well as…
…small red knobs that allow the user to adjust the fan speed of each individual fan. The pod doors open and close with ease and Antec also provides a locking bar, which must be manipulated from inside the case, to prevent unauthorized access to this area of the case. The fans have red rotor blades and also feature red LEDs for added visual interest.
Out back, the DF-85 features a pair of “TwoCool” red LED fans, and a pair of grommetted tubing holes for liquid cooling applications. The rear design with its seven expansion bays with replaceable, vented covers, and a bottom mounted PSU placement and thumbscrews for the side panels is somewhat conventional, but there are still some surprises here.