Assembling the Antec GX700

Putting the Antec GX700 together was remarkably easy. Someone over there has been paying attention, because for the most part we're approaching a Corsair level ease of use. The GX700 may be low on build quality, but it's fairly high on polish and usability, so as long as you're not planning to start beating on it, there's a lot to like here.

The one thing Antec didn't do was extrude the motherboard standoffs or include a mounting post, so it's business as usual, installing standoffs yourself and then popping the motherboard in. Some users are going to want to take note that unlike many other cases, the expansion slots, I/O cluster, and fan exhaust are on the same level instead of the fan exhaust being out further. This may potentially complicate installing a closed loop cooler, at least to the rear 120mm fan mount, as some horizontal clearance is lost.

Getting the drives in is easy enough. The GX700 uses snap-on plastic drive trays that aren't really any worse quality than I've seen in more expensive cases (at least, cases that aren't Fractal Design), and the clamps for the 5.25" drive bays are actually remarkably firm. There are quirks, though. The drive trays slide in from the rear of the botherboard tray instead of above like most cases, and the top 5.25" bay isn't actually usable for anything except maybe a card reader. The shields come out by just opening the clamps and popping them out, but take a look at what's hiding behind the top shield:

The cabling for the fan controller and I/O at the top of the case blocks you from installing an optical drive here. Unfortunately this means that any optical drive you do install is going to wind up breaking up the appearance of the case somewhat. It's not a huge deal, but it's something that could've been avoided. Realistically Antec may have been better blocking off this area entirely. We don't need four 5.25" bays anymore anyhow (we really only need two at most these days).

Installing the remaining components is pretty much a cake walk with one more hiccup along the way. To save money, the GX700 doesn't include expansion slot covers, instead opting to use shields punched out of the case's shell. When you see how easily these come out, you'll realize just how thin the steel used for the GX700 actually is, but I had no trouble lining up the GTX 560 Ti we use for testing, or the power supply for that matter.

Cabling was also very easy, except the HD audio lead seems to be just an inch too short. I actually wasn't able to plug it in to the HD audio header on the motherboard, and on an ATX board it would probably be roughly two inches shy. This seems like kind of a silly oversight, and I do hope someone over at Antec realizes they shortchanged this and fix it, because the header on our board isn't at all unusual in its placement on the bottom edge of the board.

The GX700 does come together reasonably well despite the odd hiccups. There's a lot I'm willing to forgive in a design that's this cut down, although the HD audio cable being too short kind of leaves a bad taste in my mouth. That's a simple, easy thing to do, and it's surprising that Antec would miss a detail like that. Still, the case lends itself to a very clean installation, and that's always a plus.

In and Around the Antec GX700 Testing Methodology
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  • bigboxes - Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - link

    Yeah, but Antec made improvements in all that you say with the P180b, P182 and P183. Reply
  • infoilrator - Saturday, January 19, 2013 - link

    Blocking off top fan holes is easy. Cutting boards, toaster oven bake pans, wood, or that imitation graphite sheet appliqué. With a couple standoffs a fan guard that allows air flow and on top stacking works.
    Trouble is I do not see a reason to choose this over other cases.
    Reply
  • ac2 - Sunday, January 20, 2013 - link

    Thanks for the suggestions folks... Reply
  • dingetje - Friday, January 18, 2013 - link

    yeah but for the right money i'd still give hilary what she wants Reply
  • EzioAs - Thursday, January 17, 2013 - link

    I'm somewhat surprised by the cooling and acoustic performance, it kinda reminds me of the Eleven Hundred. Really didn't figure this case could compete with more expensive cases on the market. I suppose looks are an acquired taste and the short front audio header could be an issue (really hope they fixed this one) but performance is where it counts in my mind and to be honest, for $60, people buying this thing really shouldn't expect much except that they've got excellent cooling and low noise.

    The only true drawback in my opinion is the small GPU clearance that could present as an issue to some longer HD7970 (reference could fit, no problem). There's also no removable hard drive cage. Although people having a $400+ card should really look into more expensive cases as well.

    The four 5.25" bays are still silly though. When are manufacturers going to realize that?
    Reply
  • Robert in Calgary - Thursday, January 17, 2013 - link

    For me, this is another indication that Antec is now an "also ran" when it comes to computer cases.

    They couldn't make the Solo II any bigger, yet this piece of junk is both longer and taller. And the Solo II is still in available is any colour, as long as it's black!

    Is the market for this bigger than the Solo II? Antec pours resources into this, Corsair into the massive 900D.....

    The Fractal R4 is what the Solo II should have been.
    Reply
  • Skidmarks - Friday, January 18, 2013 - link

    I don't know if it's just me but I thought different people have different tastes.
    It's not the type of case I'd buy but I think they didn't to too bad a job for the price.
    Reply
  • dj christian - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    "Solo II is still in available is any colour, as long as it's black!???

    What do you mean? Where you drunk when you typed that? There's only the black version and none else.
    Reply
  • Ening - Friday, January 18, 2013 - link

    looks fine to me... Reply
  • nagi603 - Friday, January 18, 2013 - link

    It might be cheap, but that ugly mil camo means you either hide it in the basement or spend some extra cash on black paint to cover it. It is hideous! Reply

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