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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  • Hrel - Friday, January 18, 2013 - link

    It looks like a Tonka Trunk. Not even a good one, a cheap one. that's literally my only complaint with this case. If they release one that's just black, no other colors anywhere. Then that's a case I can recommend to people. Honstly just change the colors to all black and it's "good enough".

    For my personal use I wouldn't buy it because the lines are wrong AND the colors are ugly. I like the sleek industrial look. I'm also willing to go up to 100 on cases.

    Bottom line, I'm impressed they built a case that performs THAT well and is tooless AND has a fan controller that's actually effective. Those are some damn good acoustic levels. Simplify the lines, get rid of the unnecesary ditches around the 5.25 drives, cover the top one with a temp readout maybe, make it all black, add some dampening foam and charge 100 bucks. I'd buy it.
  • alyf - Friday, January 18, 2013 - link

    The "botherboard" tray? :)
  • jabber - Saturday, January 19, 2013 - link

    When can we get a grown up case that reeks of style and sophistication?
  • HardwareDufus - Saturday, January 19, 2013 - link

    hideous at any price
  • mapesdhs - Saturday, January 19, 2013 - link

    Reading this kind of review convinces me all the more of the wisom of my obtaining used
    Antec 300 cases whenever I can. Half the price, better IMO. And when I say used, I just
    mean eBay; some of the ones I've bought have been sold as new/unused, so even better.

  • nwarawa - Saturday, January 19, 2013 - link

    I've been waiting for a case to de-throne the HAF 912 for some time now in the $50-$60 range... looks like I will keep on waiting. If CoolerMaster could release a HAF 913 with USB3.0 support... maybe also add a few for 2.5" doo-dads for the growing prevalence of ssds... that would be awesome. But even as is, I have yet to see another case come close. The modular HDD bay is just awesome, cooling options are top notch, and the lack of flimsy steel just seals the deal.
  • dj christian - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    "The drive trays slide in from the rear of the botherboard tray instead of above like most cases"

    What do you mean? How can you slide them in from above?
  • Hrel - Thursday, January 24, 2013 - link

    if you have the case laid on it's side, like you would if you were installing things.
  • chrome_slinky - Thursday, January 24, 2013 - link

    I really do wish that people [especially reviewers] would quit assuming that they know what it is the public wants -

    To wit - " We don't need four 5.25" bays anymore anyhow (we really only need two at most these days)."

    This is not true for many, and especially the "high performance" crowd to which this is supposedly addressed.

    I love the build quality of the older Antec cases, and what has kept me from buying again, but instead buying Cooler Master, is exactly that there are not more open bays in the case.

    I still use a floppy on occasion, have 250MB internal Zip drives, and do my copying of optical stuff directly from one drive to another - that accounts for four, and does not make much room for a fan controller or a display of some sort.

    I fully realize I am not the norm, but, after taking a quick survey of about 20 friends, I am not in a SMALL minority either. Most people I speak to [and come in contact with daily, as part of my job - selling, repairing, and maintaining computers] think that 6, my favorite, is excessive, also think that 3 is too few.
  • D1RTYD1Z619 - Sunday, January 27, 2013 - link

    And I bet you could find an 1100 at about this price on sale, after rebate or both. Now if only they made a decent mitx case that takes a standard psu and a gtx 680 sized card.

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