Welcome back to our PC Build review feature after a short break we took due to E3. Today we have our review of one of Antec’s premium gaming cases, the Eleven Hundred. This case offers many options for gamers and enthusiasts and certainly will not break the bank.

Antec, as many of you may know, is an extremely reliable, long-running manufacturer of PC products. Their line ranges from cases, to watercoolers and to power supplies. The company has been running over twenty five years, and their expertise is shown in their flexible, high quality products. The Eleven Hundred is one of their premium offerings, with support for many kinds of motherboards, while still fitting in a mid-tower size format.

The case weighs twenty pounds and is 21 inches high, times 9.5 inches wide, times 22 inches long. Produced using a steel construction, the case is extremely durable, solidly built and arrived perfectly without the slightest amount of damage to us. The case stands on plastic feet, which means you will be able to mount your power supply downwards should you choose to do so. The power supply area also houses a fan filter in this position, to allow use as an intake from the bottom and exhaust from the rear.

This case supports XL-ATX, ATX, Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX and contains a whopping nine PCI expansion slots. The case can accommodate graphics cards up to 13″ (33cm) in length and allows seven 120mm fans to be installed, in addition to the 120mm rear exhaust and 200mm top exhaust already present in the package. The three 5.25″ (optical) tool-less expansion bays, two 2.5″ (SSD) dedicated drive bays and six 3.5″ (HDD) tool-less drive rails provide an enormous amount of space for upgrading your rig in the future. The drives mount using very sturdy drive rails, which do not detach when pulled from the middle (even with force) but do detach easily when pulled from the ends (as a design feature). The drive rails are very simply to use and are effective, however, you do have to option of securing the drive using a single screw if you feel it is more secure to do so. I trust the tool-less rails, however, I myself would be one who would screw in the screw just for the added security.

One of the unique features this case offers is around the CPU cut-out area. The cut-out is huge and provides ample space for almost any setup, however, there is an additional opportunity explored by Antec behind the CPU. This area features the ability to mount an additional 120mm case fan behind the CPU cutout, which can be used as an intake – to blow cool air on the back of the motherboard (directly behind the CPU for extra cooling) – or as an exhaust to expel hot air from the case.

On the topic of case fans, the case allows you to add two fans to the front of the case, to the right of the hard drive mounting area (recommended as an intake), in addition to two fans to the left of the hard drive mounting area. One of the interesting ideas I was wondering was the idea of mounting a closed loop watercooler (such as the Seidon 240M) to the left of the hard drives – as the cool air being taken in from the front of the case would cool the cooler. Two case fans can additionally be mounted directly on to the window of the case, which then blow directly on to your GPU for excellent additional cooling options.

Cable management options are also abundant in the Eleven Hundred. The case has grommet-lined holes through which the cables can be fed, in addition to almost an inch and a half of space behind the motherboard for cable routing. It is clear that people who like to keep their rigs tidy and cable mess free are fully supported with the Eleven Hundred.

Now, to speak quickly about the front panel connectors. Antec is offering backwards compatibility for motherboard with the case, offering two USB2.0 ports, however, they are also offering two USB3.0 ports – directly wired using the motherboard header, rather than two pass-through cables, so, the ports can be directly connected to the motherboard rather than the mess affair of bringing them out the back of your case such as some of the cheaper cases have done in the past. The front panel audio is also housed beside the ports, with the power and reset switches being located on the top of the unit.

Overall, the Antec Eleven Hundred is a fantastic gaming case, considering it is available at about £90, €100 and, for US readers, $100 on Newegg. The great window cooling, huge number of drive mounting options, large CPU cutout and additional fan mounting area and the quiet, effective included fans all make the case a great buy, but what do we not like about the case?

The case is a bit restrictive for watercooling setups. While a single 120mm radiator setup will work, a 240mm radiator will require a bit more work to outfit inside the case. Unfortunately, while the left of the drives would be a perfect location, this makes it more difficult to deal with cable management, and the bottom two holes would become more or less blocked off. The top 200mm fan stops a radiator being mounted in the top, and a radiator would be very difficult to fit in the front of the case. While you could get a 240mm radiator and fan setup in there if you spent some time, it would be nice if Antec could have provided an easier solution, however, for the price, you can’t expect a lot more than what they have given.

Thanks for reading our review of the Antec Eleven Hundred – stick with us as we will be bringing you more and more PC build reviews as we go through June and July. We will be preparing our actual build very soon (using this case!) and we’ll have more details to share on that in the coming week. For now, keep watching as we prepare our latest PC and game reviews!