I pretty much always construct my own computers. When I do, I try to put the best, and cheapest, parts I can inside of them. Until recently I tended to ignore one major component, the computer's case. I'm happy to say that Antec's Two Hundred V2 Gaming Case has shown me that putting a little extra money into my computer's case can have some nice benefits.
Let us first take a look at the Antec Two Hundred V2 specs.
|Case Type||Gaming Mid Tower|
450mm(H) x 200mm(W) x 470mm(D)
1 x Rear 120mm TwoCoolTM fan
1 x Top special 140mm TwoCoolTM fan
2 x Front 120mm fan mounts(optional)
1 x Side 120mm fan mounts(optional)
10 Drive Bays:
|Motherboard Size||Mini-ITX, microATX, Standard ATX|
|Front I/O Panel||2 x USB 2.0|
This is a decently sized case with a lot of room for expansion. Thankfully, it is more than wide enough to support my Scythe Yasya heatsink. There are more than enough internal 3.5" drive bays and the 3 external 5.25" drive bays is more than I have ever needed. As if there were not enough room internally, Antec also has an external 2.5" drive hot swap slot. This slot allows you to plug in your 2.5" SATA drives like they were floppy disks, which is useful and just a little bit awesome. The internal 2.5" drive bay is not exactly a bay at all, but rather connects to the base of the case with some rubber mounts to dampen vibrations. The case comes with two massive fans that can be toggled between 2 different speeds, with room for three more 120mm fans. To prevent dust build up in the face of all of that air flow, a washable filter is included with the case. The Two Hundred also has several cable organizing features, including two cable ties, a cable compartment next to the 3.5" drive bay, and a cable twist built into the case. Finally, and most controversially, the case sports a bottom mounted power supply.
Bottom mounted power supplies seem to be a source of debate. I have done a bit of research into the area and have read all sorts of arguments for and against it. I have not had this case for very long, but so far, I cannot find anything wrong with it. The two massive exhaust fans at the top of the Two Hundred, more than make up for the airflow that the PSU would have provided. Another complaint made of bottom mounted power supplies is that the cables might not reach your motherboard or drives. Perhaps I was lucky, but I had no problem with my OCZ Modxstream-Pro, though the cable connecting to the 4 pin at the top of my motherboard was only just long enough. Even if the my cables were not long enough, I feel that cable extenders are plentiful/cheap enough that short power cables would not have been too big of an issue.
The cable organization in the Two Hundred was very easy. Due to the placement of the power supply and the cable ties that came with the case, I was able to bind together most of my cables. This in addition to the cable twist at the top of the case, left my case surprisingly clean. This is what my case looks like now, which if you can believe it is much much more organized than it used to be.
Even with my relative mess of wires, the airflow through this case is simply amazing. I ran a few benchmarks and during execution in my old case, my CPU got up to 45°C. With the Two Hundred case and all fans on low, my CPU never got above 36°C. Not only is that a fairly cool running temperature, but with all of my fans on low, it was also delightfully quiet. When the fans were set to high, the top and back fan can be set separately, the computer was cooler, but much louder too. I think that for most users having both fans on low should be more than enough for day to day usage.
I haven't found much use for the 2.5" hot swap slot yet, as I have more than enough internal space. The slot is easy enough to use though and swapping drives is quick and painless. It gives you the flexibility of an external drive without the slowdown that sometimes comes along with USB external drives. I think I would have found a 3.5" hot swap a little more useful. This might be do to some bias though since just recently my external 3.5" died and the information on it was inaccessible until I moved it inside.
Overall I found this case is a good buy. For ~$60.00, you get a sturdy, good looking case that has great airflow. I would certainly recommend this to gamers looking to cool down their case without spending a lot of money.
The system that this was tested in:
Antec Two Hundred V2 Case with one 120mm and one 140mm fan
AsRock A785GXH/128M Motherboard
AMD Phenom II 720 BE X3 with the 4th core unlocked and over-clocked to 3.00GHz
Scythe Yasya heat sink
XFX ATI Radeon HD 4770
600w OCZ ModxStream-Pro Power Supply