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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  • headbox - Thursday, January 17, 2013 - link

    The catch: uglier than Hillary Clinton in a thong.

    It's 2013. So much more can be done with plastic than this. When it comes down to it, "how it looks" is one of the main factors in choosing a case.
  • The Von Matrices - Thursday, January 17, 2013 - link

    I haven't yet seen a case that pulls off a military/camo theme. I wish manufacturers would just stick to solid colors.
  • StevoLincolnite - Friday, January 18, 2013 - link

    I personally think the Corsair C70 gets close to the military theme.
    But they could do a bit more like release a digital camo or multicam version, lots of enthusiasts would eat it up as they don't have to pull out the spray cans.

    Oh and a decent Corsair PSU and fan controller that matches the theme/colours would be perfect, we already Gold Corsair Vengeance memory and the Asus Sabertooth motherboards that match colour wise.
  • ac2 - Friday, January 18, 2013 - link

    Don't worry, you don't need to sleep with it...

    Want to change my el cheapo case, but for ME this one won't work... Kid managed to spill a glass of water over existing case, luckily it doesn't have a top vent so all is well...

    Now which good case can I get that doesn't have a top vent I wonder... Most of the good Antec, Corsair and Bitfenix ones seem to be ruled out...
  • Samus - Friday, January 18, 2013 - link

    I don't want to lock it in the cellar like some retarded offspring, either. You need to live with these things. I look at my case every day, and I'm glad its a silverstone. Not everyone can have a 10, though. But everyone should have at least a 6 or 7, and for $50, you can. It just isn't this.
  • ShieTar - Friday, January 18, 2013 - link

    Bitfenix have the Merc Beta, and Antec has the whole "New Solution" line without any top vents. Prices are similar to the 60$ price point too.
  • Blibbax - Friday, January 18, 2013 - link

    Fractal Core 1000?
  • infoilrator - Saturday, January 19, 2013 - link

    Fractal Core 1000 is good for what it is, a cheap mATX case, but it does have compromises. Not in love with verticle HHD mounts, among others.
    Wonder why Lian Li doesn't get mentioned (price probably).
  • danjw - Friday, January 18, 2013 - link

    Put it on top of the desk. Top vents are very common in cases these days; You will have trouble finding one that doesn't have on. I actually think Antec hit a home run. It is light, so easy to move around. It hits a very low price point. I couldn't care less about front audio headers; I prefer USB headsets for voice and speakers for everything else. I am more concerned with functionality then I am with looks. This case gets the job done, just don't go kicking or hitting it. As light as it is, it shouldn't be a problem to carry in a way that doesn't do it harm.

    I currently have a P180 case, and it is hell to work in. I just swapped a Core2Quad for a new Ivy Bridge Z77 system. I had scrapped up both my hands pretty good just getting the thing put together. I hated working in the case; I wouldn't mind babying a case a bit, if I didn't have to deal with the wiring hell I had with the P180. Sure, it doesn't have the sound dampening of the P180, but I usually am playing music, so it doesn't matter.
  • bigboxes - Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - link

    Yeah, but Antec made improvements in all that you say with the P180b, P182 and P183.

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