For over 30 years Antec have been well established in the cooling, chassis and power supply market, and today we have the GX1200 in for testing, which sits at the top of its GX series range.
The GX1200 the first showcased at last year’s Computex, and promises end users a builder-friendly design, multiple cooling options, and a plethora of RGB lighting options thanks to the “Magic Box”.
Let’s find out just how magical this box really is shall we?
|Case Form Factor||Mid Tower|
|Motherboard Form Factor||ATX|
|Front/ Side/ Top Panel||1 x LED Control|
|2 x USB 3.0|
|Drive Bays||3 x 2.5″ Internal|
|2 x 3.5″ Internal|
|Fan Bays||5 x 120mm|
|Fans Included||2 x 120mm|
|Front Radiator Compatibility||1 x 360mm|
|Top Radiator Compatibility||1 x 240mm|
|Bottom Radiator Compatibility||N/A|
|Rear Radiator Compatibility||1 x 120mm|
|Side Radiator Compatibility||N/A|
|Power Supply Form Factor||ATX|
|Max VGA Card Length||410 mm|
|Dimensions||510 x 510 x 200 (WxHxD mm)|
Closer Look – Exterior
The Antec GX1200 is constructed of a steel body, clad in a plastic casing. The front side panel has a medium sized acrylic side panel, which looks quite small given that many manufacturers are now offering fully transparent panels. The front of the GX1200 is dominated by a large mesh grill, which is then continued along the length of the roof panel. The front IO is also located up on the roof of the GX1200, and consists of a large power button flanked by two USB 3.0 ports to the right, and microphone/headset jacks and lighting control button to the left.
Spinning the case around there is little to tweak our interest, with the rear side panel consisting of solid sheet steel, and a standard rear panel.
Flipping the case over for a quick look underneath, the chassis shows four fairly large case feet and a removable PSU dust filter.
Finally, just before we disassemble the chassis panels, a quick mention that the spare screws & accessories come in a PVC zipper bag. This is a nice change from the usual cardboard box in the drive cage, as this will be much more useful in the future to hold spare screws & bolts.
Closer Look – Interior
Popping off the windowed side panel, and we get our first look at the interior of the main chamber. The first thing I noticed is the lack of rubber grommets on the cable access points. This is a real bugbear of mine, as it can lead to complications when trying to do a good job of cable management, so we’ll see how that goes later in the review when we build a system into it.
On the plus side, it’s nice to see a fully enclosed PSU shroud, along with a couple of SSD mounting points towards the front of the chamber.
Spinning the case around, and popping off the rear side panel gives us access to the back of the motherboard tray. Notable areas of interest here is a further SSD mount just below the motherboard cut-out, and a further two drive cages in the PSU basement section.
The most interesting element on the rear of the motherboard tray, however, is the “Magic Box”. Situated in the upper left area, the box comes pre-installed with the cabling for the front two intake fans, and an LED strip situated at the base of the front panel. Further ports are available however to attach four fans, and another two LED strips. Push button controllers are located on the boxes surface for lighting & fan control.
Speaking of the front fans, we get a closer look at those when we pull off the front panel. Just before we do, however, just a word of warning…as the front LED strip is connected to the Magic Box, the front panel is tethered to the chassis unless you disconnect it. There is a fair amount of slack to allow you to lay the panel down, but this is far from ideal.
Onto the fans…and they are very, errrmmm…chrome! Each blade is finished in a mirrored effect which, to be honest look a little garish. I’m assuming that when in use, however, this will reflect the LED lighting effect, so it will be interesting to see how they perform later.
Lining the entire length of the front panel is a foam dust filter, sat behind a plastic hexagonal grid.
Last to be removed is the roof panel, which took a fairly hefty tug to detach it from the chassis. To my surprise, this panel is also tethered to the frame, as the front IO detaches with the panel itself, rather than being left in place!
With the roof panel displaced (rather than removed) we can see that a bracket for roof mounted fans/radiators, along with the same construction of dust filter as previously witnessed in the front of the GX1200.
Closer Look – The Build
- CPU – Intel Core i7 6700k
- Motherboard – Gigabyte Z170-Gaming K3
- Cooler – ID-Cooling Frostflow 120
- GPU – Gigabyte G1 Gaming GTX 1050ti
- RAM – Adata XPG Z1 2x4GB
- SSD – Drevo X1 Pro 256GB
- HDD – Western Digital WD Blue 1TB
- PSU – Kolink Core Series 500W
Building inside the GX1200 was a pretty nice experience if I’m being honest. There’s a good amount of clearance between the motherboard tray and the rear panel, and the PSU basement is large enough to tuck all your unused PSU cables away without any problems whatsoever.
Whilst tidying up the cable management I was conscious that as there were no rubber grommets in the cable pass-throughs, it would look quite messy from the front side if I wasn’t careful. However, with lots of cable anchor points dotted around the panel, I found that routing the cables around the access points was very easy.
The garish chrome front fans actually looked pretty good when in operation, so I will forgive how they look when static! They give off a good amount of glowing LED goodness, with the front panel allowing you to cycle through 7 different colours, and 4 different modes.
Due to the thickness of the foam dust filter up front, the LED fans don’t shine through as much as they could do, but the overall effect is still pretty nice.
Whilst the GX1200 is the top case in the Antec GX Series, it’s actually very reasonably priced. At the time of the review, it can be bought for just £58.99 at Scan.
Therefore, we must judge it on its merits as a case in the budget to mid-range in the case market.
The internal proportions of the case are excellent, and it’s a really pleasurable experience to build in. Under operation, there was very little sound leaking out of the GX1200, despite it having no dedicated sound dampening.
The design feels a little dated, the tethered panels to the front & the roof isn’t ideal, and the lack of rubber grommets is something that quite frankly bugs me. Having said that, cables were easy to route around the rear of the motherboard tray, thanks to the numerous anchor points scattered around.
The plastics used are fairly cheap, however, and there were a few rough edges on some of the internal metal work.
For a sub £60 case, you get two RGB LED fans and a built-in controller for the lighting and the fan speed. There is no exhaust fan included as standard, but I had already decided to use a 120mm AIO for CPU cooling, so that didn’t bother me. If you are considering this case, however, bear in mind that if you plan to use an air cooler, you will need to purchase a separate exhaust fan, or re-locate one of the fans from the front.
The Antec GX1200 has a few flaws in its design and operation, but the features you get for a case you can pick up for less than £60 at the time of this review, I have no hesitation in giving it the Play3r Bronze award.
Massive thanks to Antec for sending the GX1200 in for review.
- Two RGB LED fans included
- Lighting & fan controller included as standard
- Competitive price
- Design quite dated
- Materials used not the best quality
- Front & roof panels remain tethered to the chassis by cables