Antec Sonata Elite ATX Mid-Tower Case

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The side panels are secured with thumbscrews and simply swivel off the rest of the chassis. Both panels as well as the case's ceiling are lined with a polycarbonate material to dampen noise.

Inside, the biggest difference between the Sonata III and Sonata Elite is the redesigned hard drive cage with huge ventilation holes. There is also no fan placement in front of the cage nor are there any built-in 3.5" external bays. The slimmer hard drive compartment gives the case a little extra room making it a little easier to work inside. Also, few holes have been added to aid cable management — something that is non-existant on previous Sonatas.

The interior side of the hard drive compartment is almost completely solid, forcing the air coming in from the side vent to take a hard right turn past the hard drives to reach the rest of the components. In doing so, the intake air cools the drives. The gap between the drive cage and side panel form a 4.6 x 28 cm channel, which roughly matches the side intake vents. Drives are placed vertically with their sides attached to rails with rubber grommets rather than horizontally on trays. The rails are secured with thumbscrews so there's no satisfying "click" when the drives are properly mounted. Optical drive installation is facilitated with the usual snap-in drive rails which are hidden from view behind the bay covers.

Editor's Note:
If all this seems oddly familiar to some readers, it's because the design has been used before, in the Antec Fusion/NSK2400. Flip the Sonata Elite on its side, and you can see that this aspect of its design is a larger implementation of the directed intake air through HDD bay scheme used in the Fusion/NSK2400.

The power supply support beam is a major annoyance carried over from the Sonata III and Solo design. Installing a power supply requires it to physically pass over the motherboard tray. The motherboard has be mounted after the power supply, and must be removed to take the power supply out. Antec could have easily gotten around this by allowing mounting from the rear.

A few shallow hooks have been added behind the motherboard tray for tying up cables. Antec provides about a dozen cable-ties with the Elite.

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