Lately I’ve been thinking about replacing my case with something a little more lightweight and more modern looking. However I was in no rush to do so until the moment I first saw the Antec DF-35 sitting on the top shelf at a local computer shop. I was so intrigued by it’s unique looking design that I asked the shop keeper to get it down for me so I could take a good look at it. Though I didn’t walk out of there with it under my arms that day I couldn’t stop thinking about it and found myself back in there a week later to pick it up.
Though I was initially intrigued by it’s appearance I quickly discovered there was much more than meets the eye with this case. The sheer ingenuity of the case left me giddy with excitement. The first thing I noticed were the front fans, which were hinged allowing you to not only to access the washable air filters but this allows you to slide in each of your hard drives from the front like you would a 5.25″ drive. This may not sound impressive to some but I know anyone who still has an Antec 1030 SOHO case kicking around is well aware of the annoyance of having to remove the video card every time they wanted to pull out the bottom hard drive bay. You’ll still have to open the case to plug in or unplug the power and SATA cables but you won’t have to do any rearranging of parts to get the drive in or out. These fan bays also come equipped with 120mm LED fans and each bay has a knob allowing you to control the fan speed.
Antec DF-35 Features and Specifications
- Two Fleet-Release access doors for easy access to your drives
- Two washable fan filters allow for easy cleaning
- Bottom-mounted Power Supply for fire protection
- CPU Cooler Cutout
- Cable Management Compartment for organizing cables discreetly
- 12 Drive Bays:
- 6 x internal 3.5"
- 3 x external 5.25"
- 2 x internal 3.5" Fleet-SwapTM SATA drive bays
- 1 x top loaded external 2.5" hot swappable (SSD-compatible) SATA drive bay
- 1 x internal bottom-mounted 2.5" SSD bay
- Advanced Cooling System:
- 1 x top 140mm TwoCool fan
- 1 x rear white 120mm TwoCool fans with white LED
- 2 x front variable-speed 120mm LED fans with white LED
- 1 x side 120mm fan for graphics cards (optional)
- 7 Expansion Card Slots
- Acrylic Window
- Front Ports:
- 2 x USB 2.0
- Audio (AC’97 and HDA compatible) In/Out
- Motherboards Supported:
- 48.5cm x 19.8cm x 48.6cm
- 19.1" x 7.8" x 19.1"
- Weight: 6.9 kg / 15.1 lbs
- Power supply NOT included
The Pros and Cons
|Easy to access hard drives
|Cable management compartment is somewhat useless
|Bottom mounted PSU
|PSU not included
|Fan filters are easy to remove & clean
|Window fan is impossibly difficult to install
|Fan speed controls
|The drive doors get annoying
The Antec Dark Fleet DF-35 is a beautiful case (depending on who you ask) and has a lot of extra little features thrown into it. However compared to the competition you do not get what you’d expect for the price. There are several things this case could use but are strangely absent. In the end you’ll have to decide if those are things you need or if they are something you’re willing to part with. If you’ve only had entry level cases that computer stores use to build their PCs this will be a huge leap for you and you will be thoroughly impressed, where as users who have worked with a larger variety of cases may not be satisfied with this case.
A seasoned Senior Solutions Architect with 18 years of experience in technology design and implementation. Renowned for innovative solutions and strategic insights, he excels in driving complex projects to success. Outside work, he is a passionate fisherman and fish keeper, specializing in planted tanks.