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1,436 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I bought an Antec 900 to drown my sorrows.
Can't afford a new rig, I needed something to pick me up.

Most of you are are familiar with the Antec 900.
I'm not a gamer but I heard this case talking to me in my sleep.
"Buy Me, Buy Me"

Lots of fans
It's supplied with 3 x120mm and one 200mm (top exhaust), all are 3 speed (L-M-H) Blue LED
tons of airflow, (from the owner's manual so may be fudged a bit)

200mm Fan Specs
High (800 RPM) - 134cfm @ 30dBA
Med (600 RPM) - 108cfm @ 27dBA
Low (400 RPM) - 83cfm @ 24dBA
120mm Fan Specs
High (2000 RPM) - 79cfm @ 30dBA
Med (1600 RPM) - 56cfm @ 28dBA
Low (1200 RPM) - 39cfm @ 25dBA

Unconventional looks (cause it's got that bigaz 200mm fan in the top)

I liked dual 120mm intakes and had worked it into my last three cases with great results.
Just thought it was kewl

The Antec 900 can be found on line from $79.99 to $149.95
Figure $100 plus maybe a few will be what it sets you back.
So is it a Great Case, Good Case, OK Case, or Crap Case?
It may be a little of each.

The 900 has been praised for it's great cooling capabilities and value.
You either love or hate the exterior looks.
Course the other side says it's a piece of crap that is loud, a dust trap, overpriced and quite possibly, the greatest known threat to mankind.

Time to see what we got here.

EDIT: 06-14-2012


Antec 900.jpeg

Yes, you can take the Top section off

To remove the top panel:
2 screws on the underside of top need to be removed to realease the 200mm fan.
Push the rear and side clips to the outside to release.
The front clips are 1.25" to 1.5" from the front panel.
You need to push forward from the rear.
(You can't actually see them)
Take a long flat blade screwdriver and press the tabs gently towards the front.
(This is where I broke one of the clips)

Superglue to repair the tabs or double sided tape to secure it if necessary.

The case is bare metal on the inside and it really seemed to give it a "unfinished paint job" look.
Just not very impressive.
I decided to paint everything flat black.

On to the Priming.

Me, I like screw holes

The screwless designs never seem to keep everything "tight".
The Drive tower is just two strips of steel.
(nothing to see here, move along)
Prime that biatch

The Antec 3-1 removable HDD enclosures didn't really impress me.
They do the job but I was lookin' for sumthin a little slicker

Been wanting to try these Scythe HDD Stabilizer 2 deals for awhile.
They were on sale for $7.99 set at Frozen CPU
Just seemed like a good solution.

The Fan/Drive cage assemblies did the job, but seemed bulky.

Close up of rubber bumper mounted on HDD.


1,436 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Checking Scythe Stabilizer/HDD for fit.
I'm liking it already.

Intend to use the Matrix Orbital MX630 for information/control.
Displays all my MBM info, media files, and pretty much anything else you want.

My initial plan is to lay it out something like this.
Figured I would keep the DVD at the chassis bottom since it will sit on a desk.

Looking for something like this in looks.
I wanted to make sure I raised the top fan up for better flow to the rear exhaust.
I'll just be mounting the fans and grills, not the actual cages.
Lot of touch up painting to do as the 5.25' panel side aren't painted (bare metal)

The "blackness" of the Matrix Orbital and Antec 900 case front bezel match perfectly.
I am getting wood.

So hopefully it will look something like this.
Lot of folks complain about the poor cable management aspects of the case.
There is nothing that you can "tuck" wires into.


1,436 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thoughts and stuff
I Have some AiT Cool Silver TIM I am going to try.

I'm gonna need to cut some holes in the right side to pass cables (including molex)
One where the 3.5" floppy is and one two bays below it (including SATA PWR molex)
Access to fan speed control? Best location?

Wondering if I should use the 2nd Matrix Orbital in front as well.
One dedicated to multimedia, RSS, and e-mail feeds and the primary for sys information.

Need some Silver highlights in some black area.
Drive cage panel is hidden with side window on.

I hate the window side panel already.
back half is mesh with a 120mm fan cutout, front half is plexi.
Just don't like the design.
modding them into a single window will require a 16" x 13" panel

1,436 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Pics of the Parts
All of the drive bay "ears" have different amounts of paint on them.
And of course the back of the drive bay also needs painting.
Jebus, couldn't they have hit it with paint on that side as well.
Bugs the hell out of me. I know the silver will be visible. I gotta paint them.

Top Fan assembly (lil tricky to remove) and Front Bezel (Pulls right off)

Scythe Hard Drive Stabilizer II
(mit out der HDD)
I am liking these more and more.
Certainly more open surface area for the fans to blow over.

Drive Bays and DVD sportin' hi-tech purple painters tape.
Pretty lousy background but you can see how the "ears" of the drive bays have been painted,
(or "not" painted or "a lil' bit" painted or "kinda sorta" painted).

so I was determined that everything would be black (and lo', the word of soundx was righteous)

And Yes, I did spray paint them in the parking lot of the La Quinta in Pleasant
Prairie WI

And yes, well away from any other vehicles and wind.

I stay at La Quinta's a lot. I like the chain.
*Decent Rate (Senior Rate $62-$67 Single B4 taxes in IL and WI)
*Nice Clean Rooms (Desk, Easy Chair, WiFi, 2 queen or King, and usual stuff)
*Usually good bars and restaurants within walking distance. Bar - woo-hoo!

It had already been primed and painted black at home so it was easy.

Shook can for three minutes instead of two.
can up, 10" to 14" from surface.
side to side,b4 edge on one side and past the other side.
two light coats

Yes, they came out and asked what I was doing

I explained and they gave me that smile meaning they needed to get away.

(I get that a lot!)

It looks very good. woo-hoo!

1,436 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
AC Ryan Acrylpanel Mirror 2
The AIT Thermal Interface arrived as well
Both have been getting rave reviews

You've probably figured out by now that I live in a 2 bedroom apt with no place to work.
(The beige carpeting is already tough enough to keep clean)

The Black ASUS cable appears to be 1" too short to hide. Dang.
Just chipped the black paint on the DVD chassis.
The one piece that I didn't use primer on. Stupid me. 100 lashes.

Can't find the jigsaw to cut the window either.
I know I used it on the Hitchhikers I dismembered so it has to be here somewhere

1,436 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Paint is done drying and the "Ultra-Flat Black" looks tets.
Painted the DVD Chassis, so much blackness in the interior. Ultra Uber.
Found some MNPC "Brushed Chrome" film in the soundx98 stashbox. woo-hoo!
I'm thinking a 2" vertical strip all the way up the bay cage (viewing side).
You can't see it with the window panel (left) on.
But a nice lil touch when you remove the panel I think.

The shipment from Frozen CPU arrived with the AC Ryan Acrylpanel Mirror 2.
400x300 or 16x12. Holy crap is it thin! 3mm.
Looked foggy but then I realized I had the protective coatings still on.
The window is either gonna be too narrow or perfect.

Plan is to cut some steel (thinkin' jigsaw) so it's a single window.
Some "C" rubber around my cut and then use 3M 4010 or 4012 "super tape" to secure the Mirror 2.

Plan on "folding" a black IDE cable to run down to the NEC DVD at the case bottom.
Think I have a good idea for the SATA signal cables as well.
But I need a tad more time to work out SATA power hookup.
Probably need some type of sleeving or black electrical tape on them.
I really don't know if I want to "reverse" the hard drives due to their visibility through the front fans.
Already thinking of adding a 4th HDD. Put me over a TeraByte

Definitely considering forgetting the floppy and adding a second Matrix Orbital display.
Top one dedicated to System Information and the lower one to Multimedia Info. (Got about 200G of AVI files, no pRon, all movies)
New WINAMP looks pretty good so far.

the blackness

Brushed chrome

Little dremel action on the right side to run some wires through.

1,436 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So I got these fan silencers a while back.
Little chassis isolation in action.

They seem to work well and certainly can't hurt

Found that if I wound the fan wires real tight in the Makita I could hide them in the channel.
Also saw another "loop" that I could use with a zip tie.

So the lil channel hides the rear fan wire real good

Motherboard installed shot
Yes, the Von Karajan audio module butts right up against the rear 120mm fan.
(In Fact, it always seems to butt up against a fan)

I/O out panel and rear fan

The SkyHawk 620 Modular PSU mount


1,436 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
All 3 HDDs are now mounted.
2x 250Gb Hitachi RAID 0 and the 400Gb WD for storage.

close up of the HDDs and NEC DVD

I couldn't route the flat black IDE cable under the board, but with a couple of folds it lays done neatly next to it.
Virtually hidden isn't it?

Decided to use both of the Matrix orbital Displays.
The top one is an MX6 (PLED), a much better display off axis but unfortunately no longer made.
Has sort or a yellow/green color to it. This will be for system info.

The bottom one is an MX3 (LED) with a blue display. For Multimedia info.
Looks like I caught a funny display angle on the shot.
I'll repost when I get everything fired up

The cables for 1394, USB, and audio all seem to be just a little bit short

Hopefully I can get creative and find a way to "dress them" or extend the wires if need be.

I had planned on passing a lot of power leads and SATA through to the "hidden" side of the case.
But I think if I take the time (a lot of time) I can get all the cables connected without it looking like sheet

Window is gonna be tougher than I thought as well.
Not to sure this case likes being "tweaked".

And yes, I did think about reversing the HDDs but I just don't have enough room as the front fans go pretty deep into the case already.

1,436 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, it's cool.

Air Flow is freakin' awesome from front to back.
Nothing between the front and rear fans except the AC 64 Pro Heatsink.
HSF Facing straight up and the 200mm biatch slaps any heat that may show up.
The sink About 1/3 up the way of the fan.

I currently have all fans at MEDIUM
200mm Med (600 RPM) - 108cfm @ 27dBA
120mm Med (1600 RPM) - 56cfm @ 28dBA x 3
Yes, I hear them (but in a very sexy voice)

A LOT larger than the $9.95 Case I had been using

I need some batteries for the camera but I have to tell you.

The Thing is Gorgeous!

LOL, well at least I like it a lot so far.

Plenty of work to do. I need some very short SATA cables at the very least.
The Dual Matrix Orbital Displays was a wise choice (bonar)
I am also running two "virtual displays" on the desktop feeding me the same info.

Gawd I am a sucker for the lights and the bling.

1,436 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Been running the latest Prime 95 v25.5 for 7 hours (Thanks, Praz)
Also looping a WMP file at the same time. Both cores at 100%.
CPU Temp fluctuating between 43 and 45 degrees LOAD!
Nothing to whine about at all.

Lots of work and touching up to do still.
Jebus there are a lot or wires with 3 HDDs and intrnal USB connections for M.O.s and top USBs.
Need to find a place to cut the window panel.
Think I need more light inside the case as well.

OK, so I just got it all together and I need some work on cable management.
But honestly, I am very surprised I can get all the wires in and still have it looking decent.

Those are some OCZ *extenders" for HDD and GPU thst I used on the NEC DVD and HDD.
Basically tucked the wires underneath the HDD while I await shipment of the 6" SATA cables.

Looks a little "clunky" in the upper right hand quadrant but I have a couple of ideas.

So no laughin' as it's still a work in progress.
(It really does look awesome in person)\\

A big chunk of "Ultra Flat Black" came off the DVD.
I'll be re-painting it AND using Primer this time.

1,436 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The cable that connects HDD LED, RESET, and PWR SWITCH to mobo is at least 3 inches short for proper cable management.
USB cable about the same amount.
(In fact, all the cables should be longer.)

There is no easy way to hide cables with this case.

But I can live with this while I try to figure out the window panel.

Spent a lot of time on cable management without using the hidden side (right).
Virtually impossible to do with this PSU, 2 Matrix Orbital displays, 3 HDDs.
(Man I wish I had a Corsair 620 to put in here, someone give me a link to any hot deals on it)

I really like the case but the re-build has been tough.
Started having issues with the NEC ND-3550A (I've used like 6 of them and never had ANY issues).
Just wasn't reading and writing like it should.
It's been flashed to the Liggy and Dee 1Y3 firmware for a year and been just awesome.
Just stopped reading anything yesterday.

Swapped out the black version with the silver version from rig #2 and of course it worked perfectly with the silver one.
I realized immediately that somehow the paint had gotten into the device. (fug)
I would have sworn that I covered every single hole to make sure it didn't happen.
But as I opened the drive I saw some tiny flecks of "Ultra-Flat Black" paint.
Very tiny, but something must have gotten in and clouded the lens (or it just died after two years which I doubt)
Gonna be a long project to try and clean this. Doesn't even seem worth it.

With the rubber "U"/"C" channel molding on it doesn't look like the AC Ryan Mirror2 is going to work.
Just not enough room to use 3M 4010 tape to secure it to the side panel.

Here is the side taped and ready to cut

AC Ryan two-way mirror panel and checking dimensions

Now if I add the rubber molding I just don't see how I can use the 3M 4010 tape to secure it on the sides.

options I see are:
1) forgetting about the rubber molding
2) securing the sides of the AC Ryan panel in a different manner
3) cutting a slightly narrower window in the "solid" panel (Side panels on the Antec 900 are reversible).
(You can order a new "solid" side panel from Antec for $13.95 USD plus shipping)
4) Forget about the AC Ryan mirror 2 and go get a standard piece of plexi
5) Try superglue between rubber molding and AC Ryan mirror2 (probably kill the side panel, Mirror2 and rubber molding in the process)
All of the above seem like valid approaches to the problem, just not sure which way to go.
Using the standard window is NOT an option (I'm stubborn)

Dang, I though I had this all planned perfectly.

(And I still need to extend all the leads from the top I/O panel)

Any ideas or thoughts let me know.

Yes, I realize you were expecting more of a success story but hopefully it may prevent someone else from making similar mistakes.

1,436 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
No guts no glory I guess

I'm cutting the biatch NOW!

Window cut and side molding applied.
Looks good (But this was the easy part)

Here is the reverse side with the Mirror2 panel.
There is NO overhang at all.

The Mirror 2 doesn't weight much at all.
I was going to use 3M 4010 between side panel and Mirror2 (clear, up to 2 pounds, and designed for interior use and no-porous surfaces).

Gonna run out and get some 3M 4311 (grey, up to 5 pounds, exterior and porous surfaces) and use it to "sandwich" the Mirror2 to the side panel.
May hold better as I know the rubber molding will be "pushing up".

It should like this except a mirror.


1,436 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Should look like this when I am done.

I can see (just a little) with all the sunshine behind me.
Hopefully It will be "ohsofrigginkewl" at night.
(If not I guess I'll be adding some CCFLs in the future.)

Good News. The temps have dropped at Idle with the side panel on. w00tala


1,436 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Lil teaser here. Grabbed a 15" logisys blue CCFL out of the soundx98 stash box.
I'd want the CCFLs hidden of course so I need to go with dual 12" to clear the rear fan.

I know the pic is crap but it does look very, very good to me in person.
Pretty dang hard to shoot a mirror without getting reflections.

Not looking forward to hassling with more cable management but I think this is gonna be worth all the pain.

1,436 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Sun is down and it's night now.
But I'm not camera savvy enough to get a good shot with this mirror.
LOL, great shot of the blinds off the window.
I can see the entire inside now and it's very sexy (Yeah baby)
Really kewl effect.

I think I can hide the 2nd CCFL near the HDDs but I'll be taking some stuff apart again to get it to fit.

Since the SkyHawk 620 PSU is moular (6 pin molex like a vid card), I'm thinking it will be easier to make custom cables then sleeve existing ones.

And one of the oldfaht his badself

The 3M 4011 tape worked great. The Mirror2 is going nowhere.
I absolutely love the "big" window.

Outside is done and I'll tackle more on the inside next.

Watchin' some football with some buds.
They are lovin the new case.
Does look pretty good doesn't it?
Matrix Orbitals reading the memory.

Ordered the A.C. Ryan 12" "Overburst" Dual CCFLs from Frozen CPU

Premium Member
5,699 Posts
Wow. Looks really nice. I'm considering putting just a regular clear or uv side panel on my 900. My current window is kind scratched up and doesn't look that nice anymore.

1,436 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
thought I'd show you where I am with cable management.

here is a big mofo pic of it

The 24-pin cable on the SkyHawk 620 is too short to route through to the other side of the case.
Hale, it barely even reaches at this point.
But the SkyHawk PSUs have an "always on" molex for the DVD Writer/CD-Rom.
I like the fact that I can "eject" the tray with the PC off.

The Molex connectors in the upper right hand corner (next to the 24-pin) bug me as well.
(I may just remove the molex connectors and hard wire the cable)

I relocated the mobo cables for PWR/Reset/HDD LED.
Sorta sandwiched them in between the SATA connectors.
(gave me a chance to neaten those up a bit in the process)
Just not up to disassembling everything, taking the top off and then lengthening the wires.
If I need to do all that I may as well make an "especiale" six conductor cable and run it under the motherboard.

The fan cable for the Zalman VF900 is plugged into fan 2 on the mobo and you can see it on the left side of the pic.
Not sure if it is worth the effort of replacing (the FanMate2 controller is nowhere to be found)

The AC Ryan 30mm Dual Overburst CCFLs came in the mail.
Unfortunately they are two and a half inches too tall. (fug)
But I already snuck one in near the HDDs and it lights up the area nicely.

If I can remove the other one of the CCFLs from the plastic tube (without breaking it) and then mount it "nekid" (without breaking it) it MAY fit and clear the rear fan (window side).
(Course I will probably break it the first time I move my case)

Got a couple of other ideas in "da haid", so stay tuned if you are a glutton for poor photography
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