UK Price (as reviewed):£59.99 (inc VAT) US Price (as reviewed): MSRP $59.95
When we looked at it back in June, the Antec One gained itself a place in our recommendations as the budget chassis of choice for its excellent performance, design and low £40 price tag. Antec clearly still feels it has more to give the cheaper end of the case market, however, as with us today is the £60 Antec GX700. This price tag puts it at the very top end of what we'd consider a budget ATX chassis, and it will need to work pretty hard to trump the excellent Xigmatek Midgard II, which now retails for the same price.
The GX700 has a bit of a military theme going on when it comes to styling with green drive bays, lower front fascia and front panel. Also, there's a Big Red Button on the front used to power on your system, and the red roof mounted fan control slider is covered by a yellow and black flip-up cover, so that increasing fan speeds suddenly becomes a monumental decision akin to launching a nuclear warhead (well it does in our heads, at least). The rest of the case is a fairly standard black steel affair, with the extruded plastic roof section being the only other notable aesthetic feature to speak of.
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The GX700 comes with three fans as standard, which gives it an advantage on paper over the dual fan Midgard II. All three fans are exhaust fans, with two 140mm ones in the roof and a single rear 120mm. It may strike many as odd to have such imbalance between intake and exhaust, but the Antec One employed a similar cooling method with just two fans and did remarkably well in our testing. There's additional room for two 120mm front intakes as well as a single side 120mm mount, and a pair of holes on the rear will let you thread tubing through to external water-cooling solutions.
There's a certain degree of flex to the two steel side panels as well as the chassis itself, but the case feels far from flimsy and holds itself together well too. Sadly, it only uses plastic rather than rubber feet, but while it may not have too much grip it isn't wobbly when upright. The steel roof is riveted in place, and throughout the case all edges are well machined and smooth. Finally, the black plastic on the front of the case does come off a little easily, but build quality overall is good.
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There's no dust filter supplied for the extruded roof section. While this shouldn't be a problem with the computer on and the exhaust fans spinning, it might be an issue when they're off as dust then has an easy route in. A pull out filter is provided to cover the PSU, but it's a little tricky to get in and out without turning the case on its side or at least tilting it. Finally, behind the lower meshed front section is another removable filter, which is remarkably easy to access and clean thanks to four thumbscrews.
A pair of USB 3 ports are accompanied by two USB 2 ones and the usual audio jacks on the roof-mounted front panel. This is actually a little better than that found on the Midgard II, although the GX700 has no hot-swap hard drive bay. The two speed fan control switch is powered by molex and can control up to four fans on its single channel. It may not be variable speed, but it's perfectly adequate for a budget case and even has an off state, which could be handy for when you're not doing anything too demanding and want to keep noise to a minimum.
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Clips along the front of the case hold the four solid metal drive bay covers in place, making them easy to remove and replace, although the top bay is unusable thanks to wiring from the front panel. Sadly, the PCI blanking plates aren't as well designed, and are not reusable. Once you've bent and snapped them out you can't refit them, and though this is a minor niggle it's still something that could've been easily and cheaply avoided, as Antec supplies thumbscrews for every PCI expansion slot anyway.
Dimensions (mm) 200 x 500 x 470 (W x D x H)
Material Steel, plastic
Available colours Black with military green
Front panel Power, reset, 2 x USB 3, 2 x USB 2, stereo, microphone
Drive bays 3 x external 5.25in, 5 x internal 3.5in/2.5in
Form factor(s) ATX, Micro-ATX, mini-ITX
Cooling 1 x 120mm rear fan mount (fan included), 2 x 140mm/120mm roof fan mounts (2 x 140mm fans included), 2 x 120mm front fan mounts, 1 x 120mm side fan mount (fans not included)
CPU cooler clearance 172mm
Maximum graphics card length 293mm
Extras Removable bottom and front dust filters, dual speed fan controller