I’ve had the chance to take a look at the new Antec DF500 with RGB intake fans. It’s been a while since I got this case on the doorstep and I’ve been trying to get things going. During the middle of my evaluation, I was in a car wreck which put me on my back for a month. Now I’m feeling better and I was able to complete the build! My reviews always come from using the product rather than just taking a look at it. I’ve been building for quite a long time so I think I’m more than qualified to give a real review of this case.
With that said let’s get an idea of what kind of features you get when you choose the DF500 for your build. Starting in the front you’ll find a clear acrylic panel that gives it an aggressive but not too gamey look. There are intake paths on the sides and bottom of the panel that feed a fair amount of cool air into the chassis. This isn’t a Coolermaster H500P clone although it has the same sort of styling. The front fans actually do get air and it’s enough to feed the internals.
Moving to the side panels you get a nice piece of tinted glass to show off your rig. It’s great to see this is now the standard. Anyone who’s been around long enough to remember the days of cutting a hole in your side panel to mount acrylic knows how painful it was. The rear panel is a solid piece of steel and there is a fair amount of room behind the motherboard tray for cable routing. I would like to see this be as dungeons as the P110 Luce but it’s still enough to get the job done. This isn’t a fault at all as it has a standard amount of room.
Now taking a look at the top of the case you’ll have room for 3 120 or 140 mm fans. The mounting is flexible so you can have a bit of fun up here. I cut about a half inch of my motherboard’s IO cover so I could stuff a 360mm radiator in here. This isn’t officially supported but if you’re tenacious enough it can be done for a push or pull configuration. More on my water loop later.
Inside the case you have ample room for cable management, mounting a front radiator (up to 360mm), and installing those extremely long video cards. The power supply shroud is simple and no-frills and performs its function as intended. I have a pretty large Silverstone ST1200-PT in here and it was a tight fit so make sure to slide large PSUs in cable-side first and then wiggle the unit into position. The 2 3.5” drive bay is removable via four thumbscrews on the bottom of the case. This was a welcoming find as it’s a great place to stash the overflow of cables I have. Note that the vertical GPU is mounted on a Coolermaster Mastercase Vertical GPU mounting kit. This configuration requires cutting the expansion slots out of the case.
There is a TON of cable routing holes just like the P110 I had the pleasure of building in. Everything is right where it should be so getting your fans, SATA, power, and USB is a snap. I was surprised by how many cases have quite poor routing these days – especially in this price bracket.
So that’s the overall look at the case. There are some great features from top to bottom and this case is a fantastic choice for anyone looking to upgrade to a modern chassis or if they need something to build a new rig in.
There are some things I would like to see changed for the next revision….. it’s a sort of wish list rather than hard criticism. Remember that this case is $60 for the base model and $70 for the RGB variant at the time of writing… so this is a wish list.
The power supply filter could use an upgrade to something that is on a rail.
The front panel and the glass don’t line up to make a flush fit.. so like some of the cases out there, you’ll notice that the glass sticks out a bit. Not a deal breaker but it would be nice to see these be a smooth transition.
An official Antec vertical GPU mount!
Now for the water loop, I crammed in here. This is totally separate from the review and should be taken with a grain of salt. Only one part of this was actually supported out of the box – the front radiator. You can fit a custom loop in here if you want to but it’s pretty difficult. The front radiator mounting is really meant for an AIO and it’s that’s fine.
Do I recommend this piece of kit? Well, at first I thought that I probably won’t like building in it. I’m used to building in large chassis with tons of room. I normally buy cases in the $200 range because I build and rebuild them several times. The DF500 surprised me. Everything is extremely smooth to work with. The cable management holes, pre-installed standoffs, massive support for fans and the styling that says, “Party in the front, business in the back.” is tasteful and exciting. I’d recommend this case to anyone who’s just building or wants to upgrade to something modern.
Okay.. so as stated earlier I wanted to have a 360, a 240, a Primochill CRT with the D5, a CPU block and my GTX 1080ti in here. It’s an extremely tight fit. You could say it’s shoehorned. In order to fit the top 360 I needed to fold the front panel USB 3.0 cables flat and cut the top of my Crosshair 6 Hero’s IO cover off. Also because of the tight fit, the radiator is mounted off-center. I’m using the 140mm fan mounting slots and a few of the case grille holes. The radiator on top must be mounted with the barbs at the front of the case. This made fitting tubing quite hard. If you do this you will need at least 3 right angle fittings in order to even think about routing your tubes.
The front radiator was easy to mount, although it’s off center as well. The front fans are actually screwed in from the INSIDE of the case. So it makes it impossible to mount a radiator without ultra long screws to feed on the front fans into the radiator. My radiator is held on in the same manner as the top. I used the 240 slots and some of the grille holes. Otherwise, everything went together with the same way any other loop goes together. Just a lot of tight bends and a bin full of mistakes...