As you can see, we've got a pretty great looking setup here that is clean and clutter free. Let's see how this plays out in terms of thermals and noise levels.
We took noise level readings with all the fans turned all the way down and then turned all the way up using a decibel meter. This included the two optional fans that we were given that we mounted in the case. Readings were taken six inches away from each surface and results are expressed in dBA. Here are our findings:
The Antec Twelve Hundred is definitely no quiet computing case with the fans wide open, but with them all turned to low, it's pretty reasonable especially with such a large number of fans. That being said, it was time to see if these two settings did more than just make noise. We took temperature readings at idle with fans at both high and low settings after windows was settled and booted to the desktop for at least 30 minutes. We then loaded the system for half an hour running a looping demo of 3DMark06 and took readings at both high and low fan settings again. Here's what we got:
Although there is a drop in temperature by going with all the fans ablazing, you still get great performance with the fans running in low. Depending on your system setup, you may want to tweak the cooling in different areas of the case based on need. For example, if you have a super hot SLI system, you could turn those fans up there, and leave the other fans at a medium and low setting depending on how thermally challenged the other components are.
Overall, Antec has done a fantastic job with taking their Nine Hundred case and improving on it in the Twelve Hundred. The cooling performance is definitely strong and with the ability to customize fans speeds to suit your needs, you can game on with as little noise as possible. If that's not enough, the case is also pre-plumbed to accept your hard core watercooling system.
The other area where the Antec Twelve Hundred is strong is in the cable management capabilities. Although it was only as simple as providing a ton of room and some holes behind the motherboard tray, this simple design really made clean up easy, further enhancing air flow as no large clutters of cables were in the way of the fans. This simplicity however takes the Twelve Hundred down a notch in ease of use as the sheer number of thumb screws made assembly a very manual affair. There is nothing wrong with thumb screws, but with so many cases sporting excellent tool free construction, the Twelve Hundred seems archaic in this respect.
Finally, we get to the way it looks. It has the lights, the plexi window and the cooling, but the design and execution are clearly built towards getting the job done. The case is burly and the flat black paint means all business. This case will look good now and still look good in five years. I highly recommend this case to anyone that is looking for a solid enclosure to house that hardcore gaming rig...and the next one...and the next one. You simply can't go wrong with the Antec Twelve Hundred.
- Timeless good looks for today and tomorrow
- Excellent cooling that is customizable to suit your needs
- One of the cleanest cases for cable management that I've run across
- Interior provides lots of room to work in
- Quality construction
- Silent Computing users need not apply
- Thumb screws are totally old school. How about some tool free quick release action?
Overall Rating: 8.9 / 10.0
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