Andis Promotor

 

Antec Nine Hundred Two Chassis Review

Feb 23 2011

 

I get excited when I get new parts for my computer. And I really get excited when I start a new build for a new computer. After weeks of research I finally settled on the Antec Nine Hundred Two computer case that will be the new chassis for my computer. In this review I will tell you what's hot and not so hot about it. From my initial impression this case is a keeper.

I previously had a generic Antec case that needed serious dressing up. I don't even recall the model. It was a simple rectangular box and in ubiquitous beige color. The choices were slim. You either had a black case or a beige one. I eventually modded mine a bit by adding an acrylic window on the side with interior lighting and a giant hole at the front for ventilation. It was spectacular for its time or so I thought. Eleven years ago that was pretty much what everyone serious about their computer's esthetics did. You strived to be different from the next guy. There were a lot of amazing work people did back then. I can only imagine the time devoted to such a hobby as my own mods don't even come close to being creative.

Fast forward to the present, finding a great looking case has become easier and harder depending on how you look at it. There are hundreds of cases to choose from with designs far outrageous than what you could imagine eleven years ago. I'm not saying case modding is dead, but if you don't have the time or skill to mod a case you simply buy one with all the bells and whistles already included.

I don't have the luxury of time to modify a case. I need a computer and I need it now. The Antec Nine Hundred Two computer case fits the bill just right. It's a fantastic looking case that will surely impress a lot of fanboys. If you like off-the-wall case designs but not overly done then this is one to seriously consider.

Unboxing the case was full of excitement. I was generally impressed with the packaging and ensured me the case was well protected during transit. The case window was sheathed in plastic to keep it from getting scratched. Once I had everything unwrapped and able to inspect every inch of the 902 I was very happy to have a cool looking case. From the front grills to the lit fans and side window I was very impressed.

Let's take a tour of the of the 902 chassis. The case is constructed of steel and plastic parts and generally feel sturdy. The steel parts are either powder coated or painted in black inside and out. The dimension of the case is 18.75"(H) x 19.5"(L) x 8.38"(W). In my opinion the size of the case is OK with no superfluous space that have no purpose.

There's nothing worth noting about the right side but the left side has two windows if you look carefully. There is the main window that you can clearly see through and then there's the second window with the grill and an empty 120 mm fan area. The grill section actually has a plastic panel underneath it with a hole for the fan. The windows are secured with plastic rivets.

At the back you have the usual I/O panel. The I/O panel on mine looked too big and was bulging as you can see from the image below. It was no big deal as I'll be using the one that came with my new motherboard. The 902 supports a full ATX motherboard with upto eight expansion slots. The expansion slot covers are vented for extra air flow. There are two holes with grommets for a liquid cooling setup. A 120 mm fan is preinstalled and lit up in blue LED. Unfortunately, there is no switch to turn off this light. I find the blue LEDs to be too bright to my liking. They are blindingly bright at certain angles because they don't defuse the light but rather project it in a narrow angle. A small switch panel located just above the fan does allow the ligth to be turned off for the top fan only. This panel also sets the speed of both rear and top fans to Low, Medium or Hi settings. At the lowest speed the the fans are reasonably quiet.

The 902 is one of a few computer cases that actually uses a 200 mm fan on top. I think it's esthetically too big. Despite the size it does not get as loud as the 120 mm fans even on Hi speed. My main concern with a big hole on top of the case is dust falling in when the computer is off.

I really like the angled control panel where the power and reset buttons reside. The buttons are flushed and minimalist in design. Two USB 2, eSATA, mic and headphone jacks and activity LED are also present. The activity LED is the size of a pin hole so you can barely see it in the pictures. Also, having the buttons near the top of the case means you don't have to bend down as much to press them if you place your computer on the floor.

The two front 120 mm fans look fantastic and the blue LEDs are not as glary since they are partially obscured by the fan filters. They truly complete the look of the 902. These two fans suck a lot of air. Each one has a rheostat to control their speed and is easily accesible. Of all the fans in the 902 these two are the most audible even at the lowest speed since they are closer to you and the filters create a bit of a resistance to the air flow.

The washable fan filters are a great idea to keep dust getting sucked in to a minimum. They are not the best to keep dust out as is evident on the images below. The filters are only one layer and pretty open. In the end air flow resistance is kept to a minimum while providing a little filtering.

The fans are actually attached to the modular drive bays and there are two of them. Each module is capable of holding three 3.5" harddrives. Thumbscrews secure the modules to the case and you slide them out to the front. You can then slide out the fan filters or detach the fan cages completely from the drive modules.

Four rubber feet at the bottom of the case. The front fascia also has rubber ends on the bottom. You can also see four holes where you can place an SSD drive on the bottom of the case.

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