Antec Solo II: The Legacy Lives On

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Antec Solo II: The Legacy Lives On

September 8, 2011 by Lawrence Lee

Product
Antec Solo II
ATX Tower Case
Manufacturer
MSRP
US$129

Six years ago, Antec released the P150/Solo, a simple but effective case for noise reduction. Antec had played with features like beveled fan grills and soft rubber grommets for mounting hard drives before, but the Solo brought together almost everything they knew about computer silencing including panel dampening mats and hard drive suspension, packaged in a stylish and easy-to-use package.

While still a excellent case for quiet computing, the competition has become much more sophisticated in recent years. In contrast, the Solo remained unchanged for more than half a decade, and its minor flaws became increasingly more significant. Many SPCR enthusiasts hoped for a worthy successor but feared the Solo would be abandoned altogether. Now, Antec has finally introduced a new and improved Solo, the ironically named Solo II.


The box.


The case.

The Solo II has a simpler look than the original, all-black rather than the silver/black blend of old. It has the same dimensions as the original, standing just a shade over 17" tall, noticeably short for a modern brand name ATX tower. The 5.25" external drive bays have been reduced from four down to two with no 3.5" option, and they are flush with the front bezel rather than inset. The front FireWire connector has been decommissioned in favor of a pair of USB 3.0 ports (connected with a proper 20-pin internal cable). There is also a pair of USB 2.0 ports in the front. The only other change on the outside is a vent at the top of the case above the power supply position.

While the position of the PSU follows standard ATX case format, it is increasingly unusual among high performance discrete cases. Antec's own P180 case, which preceded the Solo by several months, was one of the early leaders of the PSU-at-the bottom configuration. Today, the bottom-back PSU position is virtually mandatory among higher-end ATX tower cases. The main advantages of this configuration:

  • Spreads the heat in the case more evenly
  • Prevents competition for airflow among CPU, case exhaust and PSU intake fans in a small space
  • Frees up the top panel for additional venting for better airflow
  • Reduced heat exposure for the PSU, which should lead to better longevity

The decision to retain the original PSU position in the Solo II was likely predicated by convenience and cost. We'll see what impact this has on cooling or noise performance compared to other recent quiet-oriented case designs.


Accessories.

Like its predecessor, the Solo II comes with few accessories. Aside from the 5.25" drive rails secured to the case floor for convenience, our sample shipped with just some zip-ties, screws and standoffs. Note that the accessory pack was not finalized, so our sample was missing a few things like fan screws and grommets for 2.5" drives which will undoubtedly ship with the retail version.

Specifications: Antec Solo II
Case Type Mid Tower
Motherboard Standard ATX, microATX, Mini-ITX
Drive Bays External:
- 2 x 5.25"
Internal:
- 3 x 3.5" / 2.5" using tray mounts
- 2 x 3.5" with suspension mounting system
- 1 x 2.5" (dedicated)
Cooling 1 rear 120 mm TrueQuiet exhaust fan with 2-speed switch (standard)
2 front 120 mm intake fans (optional)
Maximum Graphics Card Size 15.0" (381 mm)
Expansion Slots 7
Front Panel 2 x USB 3.0
2 x USB 2.0
Audio in/Out
Product Weight 20.2 lbs (9.1 kg)
Product Dimensions 17.3" (H) x 8.1" (W) x 18.5" (D)
(440 mm (H) x 205 mm (W) x 470 mm (D))


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