Brief Intro:Antec Sonata 2 ATX Case Review
On average, product cycle of today’s PC hardware such as CPU and graphic card is about 6 months to a year. If you are Intel fan, the change will likely cost you more. It is because Intel enjoys the package deal change inclusive of Chipset, Memory, and Graphic card in conjunction with its processor.
The only piece of hardware that will last for years is likely the CASE. Provided you look for something outside the “fashion” or "theme" but in functionality. Like they say in Real-estate business, “don’t build a Japanese garden” in your backyard and hope for appreciation from your investment. And, if you are golfers you sure understand the meaning of “drive for show - putt for dough”.
A good PC case in my mind consists of unrestricted filtered air intake from the front and exhaust at the back of the case. A top blow hole is okay; side panel “holes” are not; window panel is acceptable but not necessary; LED and CCFL are welcome during mating season only; Theme Cases are alcoholic drinks getting you high for a few minutes and headaches in next morning, etc, etc.
Enough said, time to examine my new case from Antec
that has the right ingredients and not the fantasies. But; will it deliver?
The Sonata II makes use of a fan duct to improve cooling, for comparison purposes I’ve added another fan duct (KoolSolutions’ Chill Vent
) to the test results to compare performance. Features
• Advanced Chassis Air Duct to cool the latest CPU and graphics cards on the market
• Improved overall air intake for better and quieter cooling
• Specially designed low-noise SmartPower 2.0 450W ATX12V v2.01 power supply
• Front mounted USB, IEEE 1394 (FireWire®,i.Link®) & Audio ports
• 9 Drive Bays:
- 3 x 5.25" external drive bays
- 2 x 3.5" external drive bays
- 4 x 3.5" internal drive bays in individual trays with rubber grommets to absorb hard drive vibrations
• Cooling System:
- 1 rear 120mm Tricool fan (standard) with 3-speed control to balance quiet with cooling
- 1 front 120mm case fan (optional) 25mm thick
- 1 92mm fan (optional) in the air duct to cool the CPU
- 1 80mm fan (optional) for graphics cards
• Double hinge door design: allows the door to open up to 270º
• Made with 0.8mm SECC Steel
• Built-in washable air filter keeps harmful dust out of your case
Antec reiterates what sound level in dBA means -Rustling leaves – 20 dBA
Excellent listening conditions – less than 30 dBA
Quiet whisper (1 meter) – 30 dBA
Quiet home – 40 dBA
Normal conversation – 60 dBA
Food blender (1 meter) – 90 dBA
Before I start, I learn the first hand experience the meaning of "Trouble Ticket". My case came with a broken door hinge. I found the little broken piece but super glue won't help this time. Contacted Antec via their on-line "communicator" - don't know what else to call it. Less than minutes later I received an email with the "trouble ticket" associated with a few assigned numbers. I phone called from Antec two hours later, and I was told a new front panel would be shipped to me in less than 5 minutes total call time. Okay, this put aside the excellent customer service and help desk performance from Antec. A not so good (broken part), yet a good start because Antec offers 3-year warranty on the case and power supply.
A closer look of the features and hardware’s ->