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 Post subject: Antec Sonata Elite ATX Mid-Tower Case
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:00 am 
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Antec Sonata Elite ATX Mid-Tower Case

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:00 am 
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Would it make sense to use the slot blower as an intake to blow cool air directly on a passive graphics card?
I've always thought, that placing exhaust fans at the top of the case made more sene, it aiding natural convection and all.

As always, nice review!


Last edited by Mescalero on Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:02 am 
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Great review, kudos to everyone involved! I have a question regarding this case, what do you personally think about having the power and reset button behind the door? Usually it's just the reset button and I can't imagine opening the front door of the case every time I want to power up my PC.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:13 am 
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sonic6k wrote:
Usually it's just the reset button and I can't imagine opening the front door of the case every time I want to power up my PC.


Well, in this day and age it's quite possible to turn your PC on and off from the keyboard alone, if you have things configured correctly. Personally I use my power/reset buttons once every 3-4 months when Windows gets itself in a twist, but I shut my PC down every night.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:37 am 
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I wonder why the Sonata line still needs to even exist? It is clearly not in the same class as the Solo, which itself was consolidated to the Sonata family in a move of marketing confusion. If considering a midtower case for silence, the Solo is still the best choice. It can currently be bought for cheaper than the Sonata Elite as well.

Instead of dressing up this old case, the investment should go towards an updated version of the Solo (it is after all, four-five years old--originating from P150). Or developing a case that bridges the gap between the Solo and P183: for those who want a bit more room and options than the Solo offers but don't want or need the size/weight/options of the full tower P18x line.

It seems to me like money and effort could be better spent elsewhere. I know that a lot of small businesses and offices bought the Sonata in the past, but you could argue that there are better value options for those purposes now, like NSK2480 and 3480 which also include a power supply. For cost saving measures, I don't see it wise for offices to go with the Elite, if those other cases I mentioned can do the same job for cheaper.

Just my quiet reflections.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:00 pm 
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Good review. I liked the Sonata when it first came out, a mainstream case focused on style and quiet. The P180/2 made it to be not the quietest Antec case. Since the changes with the new P183, and the updates to the Sonata, I've been wondering about this case.

I dislike the vent next to the HDs; the HDs are the loudest components in my computer, which is why I like having a case door in front of them. It can't fit enough 7200rpm HDs to need much cooling, and HDs can't be overclocked. I haven't seen >10,000RPM drives on the desktop since old SCSI cheetahs on the Macintosh, when now there's probably a RAID controller on your motherboard and SSD is more applicable to the desktop. This isn't a server case. I don't understand the motivation.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:37 pm 
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Good review...pretty underwhelming case. I did one build in a Sonata and it's running good years later still. About the only things I would've tweaked then would be the numerous holes for dust to get in around drive bays and the name in holes on the side, and the nuclear powered blue LED in the front.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:08 pm 
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As always a very good review. Too bad that the case is such disappointment :?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:28 pm 
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Hi,

The air flow comes in through the hard drive cage and then has to take a hard right turn through the slot between the left side cover and the HD cage -- strange indeed. No wonder the SB temp shot up when the larger video card was installed. This may be the time they (hoped) the slot fan would be helpful?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:18 pm 
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It's such a gorgeous case from the outside, but such a disaster from the inside... That's truly a shame.

What Antec needs is a Solo with the looks of the Sonata, and it would sell like a lady of the night.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:27 am 
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There's a small typo on page 3 : "The motherboard has (to) be mounted after the power supply" ;-)

I still don't understand what the target audience of this case is. Newbie silencers that don't know there are much better offers in Antec's catalog ? For the same price, you get an Antec Solo, that offers better airflow and disk suspension. Granted, you can install more disks, but which noise-conscious builder would want many HDDs in a supposedly silent case ?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 5:35 am 
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Thanks for the review!

Quote:
Granted, you can install more disks, but which noise-conscious builder would want many HDDs in a supposedly silent case ?


True. What is more, this case can hold max. 4 HDDs, while I can see the space for at least two more (maybe even eight in total, like in P18x). So it is not the best server case as well...

Quote:
What Antec needs is a Solo with the looks of the Sonata, and it would sell like a lady of the night.


That, or simply a Solo with a black bezel and dimmed leds. And 5cm longer :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:02 pm 
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Maybe a couple of small holes at the base of the vent side of the HDD cage plate would improve the cooling of this case when large GPU cards (or other large cards) are installed. This would get rid of the stagnation zone at the lower end of the motherboard in this situation.

Some grommets could be supplied if the user didn't need airflow in that area.

Or else have a vent plate for the blower to force the airflow into this area.

I like quite a lot about this case (eSata, looks, drive accessability).


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 Post subject: Antec Sonata Elite
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:10 pm 
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Antec Sonata Elite seems like a complete failure to me, what were they thinking! Antec Solo is a much better option and IMO the closest thing to the perfect mid tower case, now if only they would update it (not screw it up tho) and use 120mm all round, offer an all black version with a faceplate like the NSK6580B, a front esata port in addition to whats already there, some holes in the MB tray for routing/cooler backplate and enough length for big cards (perhaps 90 degree turn on hdds like old Sonata) and wallah! THE best mid tower case EVA! :)) the styling of it is already great leave as is (maybe larger openings on the front/side ala p183). Antec used to be the shizzle but know they seem to be making some awful design decisions! have you seen the new antec 200! its a woeful design.

my 2 cents (please read this ANTEC! :))


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:46 pm 
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OMG, I just googled Antec 200...

http://img.hexus.net/v2/internationalev ... 63-big.jpg

I guess we can safely conclude that Antec is dead.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:05 am 
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Matija wrote:
OMG, I just googled Antec 200...

I find it hard to believe that is an Antec... :shock:
With the economic trouble, maybe they got some 5 year olds to work as designers. Then again, a 5 year old could do better than that. Gotta love that front bezel. A star in the making? :lol:

mdrumt wrote:
...an all black version with a faceplate like the NSK6580B...
and
KadazanPL wrote:
That, or simply a Solo with a black bezel...

What is with people's fascination with all gloss black? I'm personally getting tired of it. I think Samsung started popularising this a few years ago with their glossy LCD bezels and others jumped on the bandwagon. It's rather tacky IMO, like trying to convince yourself you own a luxury car or piano when you don't. Gotta love those dust and scratches.

I'm all for bringing back semi-metallic and quality matte finishes like that of older cases. Grey, bronze, even beige. Yes, bring back the b-e-i-g-e! Pastel and crayon colours would be considered childish, but I wouldn't mind some different colours to choose from.

Oh, and I'm ready for the backlash. Maybe there are others who agree with me. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 1:23 am 
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Quote:
What is with people's fascination with all gloss black?


I didn't say anything about gloss black. Perhaps it wasn't clear in my post: a black bezel but brushed aluminium style of the current bezel.

Also: I'm sick tired of gloss white, which is supposed to be so upmarket and stylish. I think Apple started popularising this with their soapy mp3 players and others jumped on the bandwagon. :D

Quote:
I'm all for bringing back semi-metallic and quality matte finishes like that of older cases. Grey, bronze, even beige. Yes, bring back the b-e-i-g-e! Pastel and crayon colours would be considered childish, but I wouldn't mind some different colours to choose from.


I don't miss the beige, but I agree there should be more options to choose from.

Quote:


Man, that's ugly! There's little to differentiate it from the cheap generic cases, at least in terms of looks.
The king is dead folks... in which case I really hope they won't touch the SOLO, this would mean removing the current, nearly perfect case from the market.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:25 am 
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KadazanPL wrote:
Shamgar wrote:
What is with people's fascination with all gloss black?


I didn't say anything about gloss black. Perhaps it wasn't clear in my post: a black bezel but brushed aluminium style of the current bezel.

Sorry if I used your quote wrongly. Perhaps I should have said all black in general, as I'm tired of that also. Many appliances in our house are black already; it begins to look quite depressing after a while, plus it's harder to see, absorbs more heat in summer etc. However it doesn't cause much aesthetic offence in the majority of situations and I suppose that is why it's so common.

KadazanPL wrote:
Also: I'm sick tired of gloss white, which is supposed to be so upmarket and stylish. I think Apple started popularising this with their soapy mp3 players and others jumped on the bandwagon. :D

Funny how white paint, which in the past was usually associated with blandness and cost cutting, suddenly became upmarket and expensive.

KadazanPL wrote:
I don't miss the beige, but I agree there should be more options to choose from.

I don't miss it either to be honest (reminds me of too much of PCs that gave me so much grief). My thought is that after coming full circle through black, silver and grey, they might one day return to "Brilliant Beige". That's a typical marketing ploy too: add an adjective before the colour name to make it sound out of this world.

KadazanPL wrote:
Quote:


Man, that's ugly! There's little to differentiate it from the cheap generic cases, at least in terms of looks.
The king is dead folks... in which case I really hope they won't touch the SOLO, this would mean removing the current, nearly perfect case from the market.

Good thing I wasn't eating my dinner at the time. Imagine if that was the next Solo.......... I hope you still have a beating heart after that.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 10:03 am 
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To me, the Antec 200 is exactly a 300 with a new front bezel. $59? Heck its the same price as the 300 too. Quick... everyone rush out to buy the remaining Solo's and stock them in your basements....! :lol:

As for the colors- black is to computers now as silver is to cars, and concrete & glass is to highrise buildings.... its just so common we now have to get used to it. Its amazing to look back at pictures of parking lots from say 10-15 years ago and see what kinds of colors were around then- hot red and bright yellow were the norm- now those are only found on the elite supercars :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 10:43 am 
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speedkar9 wrote:
To me, the Antec 200 is exactly a 300 with a new front bezel. $59? Heck its the same price as the 300 too. Quick... everyone rush out to buy the remaining Solo's and stock them in your basements....! :lol:

Quick, everybody! Last chance! Get the classics before you can't get them anymore! Before ugliness reigns supreme in new generation! :cry: I can see Solos and P182s getting cleared out all around the world right now :). Maybe that's their ploy. Make some uglified products to create urgency in consumers for older products in order to prop up lagging sales in tough economic times?

speedkar9 wrote:
As for the colors- black is to computers now as silver is to cars, and concrete & glass is to highrise buildings.... its just so common we now have to get used to it. Its amazing to look back at pictures of parking lots from say 10-15 years ago and see what kinds of colors were around then- hot red and bright yellow were the norm- now those are only found on the elite supercars :)

Black, grey and silver colourschemes for computers and home equipment I can accept and live with peaceably. Getting boring and depressing, but it does the ubiquitous job they are required to. But dark colourschemes in cars I find troubling, primarily for the aspect of safety. Put a dark grey or silver coloured vehicle in an industrial zone (or any stretch of road for that matter) on a dark cloudy day and it "camouflages" with its environment. Very unsafe in my opinion and also that of many motoring advisory bodies, at least in Australia. One of the major motoring bodies here even suggest compulsory daylight beams be fitted and used during the day by motorists to avoid visibility problems that might lead to unnecessary crashes. Some research I read some time ago found that black and grey cars caused the most number of accidents (in their study). Boring white was the safest, as would be expected. So there definitely is a correlation between colour and safety. Also, for people with poorer eyesight, it is harder to spot your car amongst all the other silver and grey cars in the carpark. For these reasons, I avoid buying a black, grey and silver coloured car. As you said, it is so common now that car designers and sellers don't care; it's all about what sells, and in the last decade or so, it's monotone grey and silver :(.

One of the reasons why monotone sells well and receives few complaints is that many motorists would feel embarassed by driving a brightly coloured vehicle. They might receive some snickers and snide remarks, even road rage from other motorists at the traffic lights by driving a fruity or crayon colourschemed car. Driving a monotone car allows people to hide themselves amongst one another and not draw too much attention to themselves by doing so.

I'm not asking for crayola coloured cars to become the norm, but a wider range of more visible colours would be better and safer for all road users concerned.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 4:45 pm 
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Shamgar wrote:
What is with people's fascination with all gloss black? I'm personally getting tired of it. I think Samsung started popularising this a few years ago with their glossy LCD bezels and others jumped on the bandwagon. It's rather tacky IMO, like trying to convince yourself you own a luxury car or piano when you don't. Gotta love those dust and scratches.


Not really a fascination with me, it just seems to match everything else! I havent seen m/any biege monitors, speakers, keyboards, dvd drives for ages! I think an all black one would look great (along with current silver too!), esp better than those silly "Sonata" (dont they mean Solo!?!?) Designer faceplate highlights, honestly why did they waste their breath with that one?! lol

I guess biege is considered 80s, whenever i look at a biege computer i think of IBM XT lol

Overall I think Antec needs to take a hard look at itself, coz im not buying into any of their new cases


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 4:52 pm 
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Matija wrote:
OMG, I just googled Antec 200...

I guess we can safely conclude that Antec is dead.


Close to it! haha

The external drive looks like its used to launch out at unexpecting passers by! The front bezel looks like someone rammed their knee into the front of a normal case a coupla times and went "check it! new case!" rofl


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 7:09 pm 
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I think you all are probably panicking a bit too much. Dead? It's one crappy looking case. In addition, it's a budget case-- It's hardly gonna be replacing Solos and 182s.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 12:12 am 
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Quote:
Dead? It's one crappy looking case.


Two of them actually. Here's the other eyesore:

Image

This seems to be the new direction that Antec is taking and I don't like it a bit.

Quote:
It's hardly gonna be replacing Solos and 182s.


Well, P182 are gone in favour of the P183, which were also greeted with mixed feelings. Solo is the next one on the list of cases to spoil.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 12:22 am 
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KadazanPL wrote:
This seems to be the new direction that Antec is taking and I don't like it a bit.

Me neither. It's a sad day, my friend.

KadazanPL wrote:
Quote:
It's hardly gonna be replacing Solos and 182s.


Well, P182 are gone in favour of the P183, which were also greeted with mixed feelings. Solo is the next one on the list of cases to spoil.

Yep. Wouldn't be surprised if they do. Ever since they got rid of the spoiler on top of P18x, they seem to have gone for another type of spoiling.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:15 am 
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I do hope they won't touch Solo / Sonata Designer. Three Hundred is so much better looking than Two Hundred. But basically looks is 2ndary for the case. VSK-2000 (in the picture ) is ugly but also very affordable.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 5:33 am 
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My favorite thing about the way the 300 looks is that I don't even really know it's there (in my center cubby of my desk) if I'm not really looking for it. It's just a plain black fascia, silent in sound, silent in looks.

Why anyone would try to make a quiet system and us a garish case that screams for attention is beyond me. It's like using neon paint and flames on an EV1.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 6:50 am 
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I am agree with jhhoffma. Three Hundred's simplicity in looks is excellent and I love how my three hundred looks. Rugged Spartan look ( bit like Ak-47). A true war machine like look for game rig.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 4:11 pm 
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KadazanPL wrote:
Quote:
Dead? It's one crappy looking case.


Two of them actually. Here's the other eyesore:

Image

This seems to be the new direction that Antec is taking and I don't like it a bit.

Quote:
It's hardly gonna be replacing Solos and 182s.


Well, P182 are gone in favour of the P183, which were also greeted with mixed feelings. Solo is the next one on the list of cases to spoil.


Having inspected the photos of the vsk-2000 and the 200 and the three hundred they look like the same case structurally. The buttons/ports are all in the same spot under the faceplate of the vsk-2000 lokks like a similar grill to the 200 (hiding the ugly with more ugly?) and the 3.5 inch bay has been replaced with the hotswap (drive launcher) on the 200. I think the 300 is already a better design/look! It IS a great antec case, a highly functional good performing case for the dosh.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 7:57 pm 
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KadazanPL wrote:
Quote:
Dead? It's one crappy looking case.
Two of them actually. Here's the other eyesore:
[snip]
Point well taken. That is one horrendous case.


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