Once again, it’s time to review a case from Antec. This time it’s the Antec Sonata Designer 500, which is a new version in the Sonata series. With the Sonata Designer 500, Antec is trying to stand out from the crowd, with features like changeable front panels. As another special feature, Antec has equipped the Sonata Designer 500 with thin panels on the sides and top to limit the noise.
These are the case specifications:
Sound-deadening side and top panels reduce noise
Ultra-quiet, high-efficiency 500 Watt EarthWatts™ power supply saves money on power bills and enhances Quiet Computing™
- 80 PLUS® certified
- Universal input and Active PFC
Integrated cable organizers help keep your system neat
4 x 5.25” external bays (w/ 5.25” to 3.5” adapter)
4 removable HDD bays; or use optional HDD suspension system (included) for up to 3 hard drives
Front-mounted ports for easy multimedia connections
- 2 x USB 2.0
- 1 x IEEE 1394 (FireWire®, i.Link®)
- Audio In and Out (High Definition and AC’97 compatible)
Removable side panel with easy-access thumb screws
Removable front bezel for easy access to drive bays
Built-in washable air filter keeps harmful dust out of your computer
120mm TriCool™ selectable-speed fan (installed) allows you to optimize cooling and quietness
Blue LEDs on front for Power On and HD indicators
Motherboard: Fits micro and standard ATX
- 17"(H) x 8.1"(W) x 18.5"(D)
- 43.0cm (H) x 20.5cm (W) x 46.8cm (D)
- 12.05 kg
Judging from the specifications, there’s nothing special. With a bundled 500W PSU, Antec has chosen PSU that, on paper, should feed the big Quad cores and new DX10 graphics cards.
The box is big as usual, because we’re dealing with a case. The design is the same style as we usually see from Antec. Unlike cheaper cases, you can see that there’s been put a lot of work in showing a product that shouldn’t be considered “ordinary”. Beautiful product pictures with specifications embellish the blank box surface. Inside we find a securely packed silver-white case with blue accents protected by plastic.
The amount of accessories bundled is limited. Beside the case you get a small manual, power cable, 500W PSU, mounting rails, a front panel for one of the case drive bays, and a lot of screws for installing drives, motherboard, fans etc.
The included accessories are ok, even though it could be better. In other words, you get what you need for installing your hardware, without any superfluous accessories.
The front is built in such a way that the bay fronts are white while the rest of the front panel is silver. The edges are blue. In the front panel we see 2x USB, firewire, harddrive activity led and audio outputs, which in its self is great because it makes access to those functions easier. Beside the previously mentioned outputs, there’s a reset and power switch too. The power switch is encircled by a blue illuminated edge. Other than that there are 2 air intakes at the sides of the front.
We will now have a look at how the Antec Sonata Designer 500 case is built. The case is presented in a nice white colour with a silver front panel with blue edges.
To start of, we look at the front panel design, which is the most interesting and new about the case.