If you are simply placing collectively a brand new gaming PC, chances are high that you may’t keep away from {hardware} that is festooned with RGB LEDs. With little to distinguish between merchandise, it appears motherboards, graphics playing cards, RAM, and now even SSDs are being blinged out today. Some folks may after all bury these parts inside opaque bins beneath their desks and overlook about them, however others will certainly need to present them off. Antec is focusing on the latter demographic with its new Dark Fleet collection of cupboards. They aren’t too costly, which implies that even price range patrons can get in on the enjoyable.

At first look, the DF-500 and DF-500 RGB with their large glass facet panels appear to be they may very well be the right methods to place some vibrant {hardware} on show. The distinction between them is that the marginally dearer DF-500 RGB comes with three 120mm RGB LED followers already screwed into its entrance panel. Frankly, given the emphasis on exhibiting off, we do not know why a non-RGB model of this case even exists. We have the DF-500 RGB in for overview right this moment, and we will inform you whether or not it is ok to be a showpiece in your desk.

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Antec Dark Fleet DF-500 RGB design

This is a surprisingly compact cupboard, fairly in keeping with present low-end choices. Even although the entrance moulding is all plastic, it has a slick, futuristic visor-like design that is certain to enchantment to a variety of patrons. It’s neither too minimal nor too gaudy. The solely problem we had was the large Antec brand on the underside, which is printed in vibrant white and cheapens the look.

The majority of the entrance face is translucent with a darkish tint, which makes the blades of all three entrance followers stand out. As good because it seems to be, there are solely tiny gaps on the perimeters for air consumption, so we will pay shut consideration to the noise this ends in. A mesh entrance panel would have been much better for airflow. Hopefully, plenty of mud will not construct up over time, as a result of it could be practically not possible to achieve in and clear it. 

The detachable left panel is a single sheet of tempered glass, additionally with a smoky black tint. It’s held in place by 4 thumbscrews and you will have to watch out when lifting it off, as a result of it is heavier than you may count on. The corners are sharp and uncovered. The proper panel is normal steel, with two thumbscrews on the again to maintain it in place.

Antec has chosen to place the USB and audio ports on the highest. This retains the entrance face clean, at the price of usability. It would have made sense on a bigger cupboard that sits beneath your desk, however this one is supposed to be on show, so you may need to stretch a bit. The ports are additionally uncovered to mud. There are two normal USB 3.zero ports however no Type-C, which is a pity.

Speaking of mud, there are very neat magnetic mesh panels on the highest and on the within of the entrance that may be eliminated simply for cleansing. The one on high is very helpful for those who aren’t planning to have followers or a radiator there pushing air outwards. There’s additionally a detachable mesh panel for the facility provide’s consumption fan. However, there is not any safety for the massive grille on the rear.

By ditching 5.25-inch drive bays altogether and transferring the three.5-inch drive cage to beneath the motherboard, Antec has managed to cut back the depth of this case. It measures 480mm tall, 470mm deep and 200mm broad. The 6.7kg weight (with out parts) is a bit a lot, however is unavoidable due to the glass.

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Antec Dark Fleet DF-500 RGB inside and efficiency

Looking via the tempered glass, you may see that the underside quarter of the cupboard is successfully blanked out. We’ve seen energy provide shrouds earlier than, however on this case it is a utterly separate chamber that may solely be accessed from the alternative facet. The remainder of the cavity is totally empty.

The energy provide chamber posed an enormous downside for us when putting in parts. It’s extraordinarily slim and you’ll solely slide your PSU in a technique. Antec claims that there is as much as 200mm of clearance for a PSU, however our trusty Corsair RM650 measures solely 160mm (170mm with modular cable plugs protruding of the again) and easily couldn’t match inside. The motive for that is the relocated 3.5-inch drive cage, which blocks off the one open facet of this sealed chamber and leaves no room in any way for thick PSU cables. The cage will be slid forwards and backwards a bit of, however there’s merely nowhere for cables to go.

Thus, our PSU wouldn’t match. We needed to unscrew the drive cage utterly simply to get it into place, then disconnect all our modular cables, re-fit the cage, after which attain contained in the slim hole with two fingers to reconnect the cables one after the other. Things may not have labored out in any respect with a non-modular PSU. We would merely have eliminated the shroud, however even that is not attainable.

On high of all that, it was powerful to route cables via the 2 tiny openings within the chamber, or via the slim (non-rubber-lined) backplate holes. This is a big downside, and PSUs do not get so much smaller. Antec can be exhibiting off promotional photos with massive radiators and liquid cooling pumps, so there is not any excuse for not with the ability to accommodate a standard-sized PSU.

With probably no 3.5-inch drive bays obtainable, patrons might need to make do with the 2 2.5-inch mounts on the again of the motherboard tray and two extra in the principle chamber the place a drive cage ought to be. We assume it is unreasonable for anybody to need to ditch onerous drives utterly primarily based on cupboard design.

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Luckily the remainder of our elements fitted simply fantastic, together with a Gigabyte Aorus X470 Gaming 7 Wifi motherboard, AMD Wraith Prism RGB cooler, and extra-long AMD Radeon RX Vega64 graphics card. There’s roughly 155mm of clearance for a CPU cooler so one thing tall, like our longtime favorite, the Cooler Master Hyper 212X, won’t work. Our graphics card’s energy cables have been additionally pressed unflatteringly in opposition to the glass facet panel.

Cable routing proved to be an enormous problem, with slim backplate cutouts that have been partially lined by our motherboard and never spaced properly sufficient. Antec consists of its personal RGB LED controller which is a tiny circuit board screwed on to the again of the motherboard tray. It ends in a jumble of wires that must be tucked away. A stiff little button on the highest panel enables you to cycle between seven strong colors and two colour-changing results. You may plug all the things into your personal controller or motherboard to sync the followers with the remainder of your parts.

Antec says that the three 120mm followers within the entrance will be changed with two 140mm followers. You can have the identical association on the highest, or mount a radiator there as an alternative. While the non-RGB model of this cupboard comes with a 120mm exhaust fan on the again, it is stunning that there is not one right here to assist direct airflow.

While we aren’t completely happy in any respect with a few of Antec’s design choices, we do need to say that this case is constructed very properly. It would not bend or flex, and the inside is coated in black for optimum visible impact. There aren’t any sharp steel corners anyplace, and it is good to see thumbscrews and tool-free drive trays.

We intentionally selected a CPU cooler and graphics card that may get fairly loud, after which we ran just a few of our heavy benchmarks which can be recognized to emphasize any {hardware}. We did not discover that the DF-500 RGB’s followers added a lot to the noise stage, however we may really feel that the complete case was getting heat. We would undoubtedly add a rear exhaust fan.

Our last concern was whether or not or not the tempered glass and plastic entrance panels would decide up scratches with atypical dealing with. Both appeared to outlive our dealing with over the course of every week, however we might nonetheless watch out with on a regular basis use. We would advise customers to not peel off the protecting plastic movie when first unpacking this cupboard – wait till you’re finished constructing.

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The Antec DF-500 RGB seems to be unbelievable in promo photographs and movies on-line, and it could be very tempting to purchase one primarily based on that alone. It guarantees high-end seems to be and options at an entry-level worth, however the inside design makes life very tough for PC builders and customers. We do not count on this sort of frustration from an organization as skilled as Antec. Ultimately, we won’t suggest this cupboard as whole-heartedly as we might have appreciated. If you assume you may construct as soon as after which by no means tinker with the insides of your PC, you may not thoughts a lot.

Price (MRP): Rs. 4,750


  • Looks nice
  • Three 120mm RGB LED followers included
  • Affordable


  • Cramped energy provide chamber
  • Insufficient cable routing provisions 
  • No rear exhaust fan

Ratings (Out of 5)

  • Design: 4
  • Ease of use: 2.5
  • Value for Money: 3.5
  • Overall: 3.5


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