INTRODUCTION:

Antec has launched yet another fortress for the gamers to station their awesome machinery to spur up their gaming journey with new zeal. This time around they’re introducing even more compact chassis compared to the previous chassis Antec P8 we reviewed earlier. This case is Antec DF-500-RGB, DF means Dark Fleet as its tangible from the dark cool look with glowing 3 RGB fans running in front-panel. It is a compact mid-tower ATX case, of course, with a 4mm tempered glass panel to give you the maximum visibility of the neatly placed interior. And you can enjoy the mesmerizing color cycling of RGB fans and the same feature is employed by some high-end pc components. 

Antec DF-500 RGB

Antec’s take on DF 500 RGB:

Eclipse your opponents with the Dark Fleet series DF500 RGB gaming mid-tower. With seven expansion slots, support for liquid cooling radiators up to 360 mm in front and 120 mm in the rear, room for graphics cards up to 380 mm, and three RGB fans, the DF500 RGB the perfect choice for a stylish, versatile gaming system.

SPECIFICATIONS:

General
Form factorATX, Micro-ATX, ITX
Material(s)SGCC
Access and ControlsUSB 3.0 x 2, MIC/AUDIO(HD), POWER, RGB LRD Control
Dimensions470 x 200 x 480 (DWH)
Compatibility and Clearances: 
Rear MB space< 20mm
PSU type and max lengthATX12V (PS/2) / < 200m
Max GPU length <= 380mm
Max cooler heigh<= 165mm
 Max Radiator(front)<= 360mm 
Max Radiator(rear)120mm 
Max Radiator Top<=240mm  
Fans (front)3 x 120mm / 2 x 140mm 
Fans (top)3 x 120mm / 2 x 140mm 
Fans (rear)1 x 120mm 
Fans (included)3 x 120 RGB fans @front 
   
   
Expansion Slots and Drive bays: 
 
Expansion Slots7 
3.5 / 2.5(Convertible) drive bracket 2 
2.5 drive brackets2 

UNBOXING: 

I think I’ve glorified the appearance of Antec DF-500 RGB enough, let’s move onto the unboxing. As per the norm, it comes in a cardboard box. Front of the box shows a detailed image of the chassis. On one side we can see that it is made by Antec and is manufactured in California inscribed upon a black strip. They’ve put the sign for caution due to the tempered glass so you have to be careful while handling the box. On the bottom left corner, we can see the model number of this chassis “DF-500 RGB”, DF stands for the Dark Fleet.

The rear of the box gives you a minutely detailed image of all the components of the Antec DF-500 RGB. Immersive material for observation.  Furthermore, they are pouring out all the necessary information you need for Antec DF-500 RGB on here. You can see a well written introductory description for the chassis and all the dimensions regarding the space you can utilize for proper placement of your liquid cooling radiators and graphics card. They have elaborated on 4 of the noteworthy aspects of Antec DF-500 RGB on here as well, Appearance, Air cooling, Functionality and, Watercooling.

On sides of the box, they have provided with further ample information regarding the Antec DF-500 RGB in 4 different languages (English, Spanish, French, and Dutch) as follows;

On the top, it just shows branding of Antec DF-500 RGB

Moving on to the removal of the box cover, the beautiful black body wrapped in plastic appears aided with shock insulation on both sides by styrofoam. There is the reminder sticker for caution again to give due consideration to the tempered glass.

They provided us with a box of accessories. It has replacement blanks for you when you’ll remove or replace your graphics card to cover the open slots, Y piece of a cables which enables you to connect the 3 fans directly to the Molex connector if you want them to run on constant power (otherwise you can connect the wires to headers on motherboard for PMW), a pack of screws and an information guide for the Antec DF-500 RGB from where you can see what is the maximum limit of Motherboard benchmark you can house in it.

CLOSER LOOK:

Let’s start off by shedding some light on the beautifully crafted transparent plastic front panel.

It has a dark shade which works really well for the aimed aesthetics when RGB fans are in full action. It is easily removable, there is a grip on the bottom of the front panel near the logo of Antec. You can pull the front panel off by applying little force. You have to be careful to not push force on the front glass as the screw and standoffs holding it together with the front panel will break. Overall it is pretty sleek but it is plastic so the only way for the air to ventilate is from the small inlets from the side, you can see them in the image below.

After removing the plastic sheet from the front panel we observed that it catches dust pretty easily so you wanna keep that in mind and be punctual with wiping it off regularly.

When you remove the panel you’ll observe three RGB fans provided by the company itself.

Interestingly, they included a magnetic dust filter behind these fans inside of Antec DF-500 as you can see in these images. 

Let’s us take a look at the top. It has a magnet dust filter to clean off the air from the top, it comes really handy when you have fans installed on the top. You can mount three 120mm fans or two 140mm fans like the front panel. At the front edge, you can see two 3.0 USB slots, a power button, a switch for you to switch between the colors manually, and slots for headphone/mic.

 

The right side covered with a 4mm thick tempered glass to give you a full view of the interior. There is a heatsink backplate cutout near the motherboard. Above that you can see two slots for 2.5 Inch hard drives, you can fit two drives inside the Antec DF-500 RGB as well if you want. Even though it is 200mm wide which is considered below average in chassis width, strangely, it felt spacious while fitting all the components. When you look at the empty Antec DF-500 RGB, it has a power supply shroud which is neat and a small cut out for power supply cables to pass through without grommets probably to save the manufacturing cost. We’ll see similar sorts of gimmicks to save the cost as it is a budget chassis. Furthermore, there is, obviously,  space allocated for radiators to fit. We mounted a 280mm radiator there, you can put two 120mm radiators there as well. You can house water pump reservoir (part of the cooling) behind the front panel easily for custom water solutions. 

 

We managed to install a 2.5 inch hard drive behind the front panel.

 

 

The rear can support one 120mm fan only, you can mount on the upper half where you can see a honeycomb grill allotted for the proper ventilation. Below that there are 7 expansion slots with blanks to cover them up. Remove the blanks to slide in a GPU or PCI-E unit, they’ve provided two spare blanks in case you plan to remove the graphics card or PCI-E. Further below is a cutout for PSU but you can’t slide in the PSU from here, you have to place it in from the right side described below.

Bottom of the Antec DF-500 RGB has removable PSU fan filter & 4 thumb screws to slide or remove 3.5″ drive bays from chassis.

The other side of the body is covered by an extremely thin steel board (probably 0.5mm) which can be taken off by removing two thumb screws on the back of Antec DF-500 RGB.

Removing this cover reveals the inside of the right side. The network of the cables may look messy but it can be easily managed with few anchor points to tie the cables. You’ll see an RGB control board for the fans, it has three headers to allow the insertion of respective RGB devices to be synced with the button on the top of Antec DF-500 RGB. which will allow the rainbow color cycling feature come into action. We’ve attached an extension cable to only one of the headers and connected the three headers to it.

There are two more connectors on it, One is for power which uses Molex pin to get power from PSU and other connection comes from the front IO panel which has the button for you to toggle through different colors and modes. Note that fans included are not PWM fans, which is a very useful feature if you like customization. It is required to control speed for fans and is very important for the longevity and clever performance of your fans.

These fans are 4 pin fans so we had to extend the power pin cables of this fans to the motherboard RGB headers. It is important to connect the RGB cables as they enable the synchronization of RGB fan colors. You can also observe that there are two 2.5inch drive brackets screwed below the motherboard cutout. Bottom of this side has space for you to fit the PSU in, it looks a bit narrow but we managed to fit the PSU in smoothly. Also the drive bay contains the accessory box.

 

 

Here you can see 4 thumb screws beneath the Antec DF-500 RGB.


Antec DF-500 RGB Complete Build:

ChassisAntec DF-500 RGB
MotherboardASUS Crosshair VI
CPUAMD Ryzen 1700
RAMPatriot Viper RGB 3200mhz
CoolerAmd Wrath Cooler | Corsair h115i
GPUGigabyte GTX 1080
Power supplyAntec HCG 750W
Drive 1Samsung 960 evo 500GB
Drive 2Crucial M4 SSD 256GB

I did different setups with both AIO cooler and stock Wrath cooler.  I tried to synchronize RGB lighting of front fans with ASUS aura but it did not work out as intended instead it gave me a very strange rainbow effect. After that, I connected fans with RGB controller that is pasted inside of the back panel, all fans synchronized and gave better look and feel.

CONCLUSION:

As always Antec aimed to hit the market with Antec DF-500 RGB with a digestible price of PKR 8999 && $89.99 on Amazon encompassing all the features to support a proper gaming pc. Antec DF-500 RGB is a great specimen for users tight on the budget and looking to build a flashy gaming PC. Antec DF-500 RGB does not have oval grommets for cable holes. It has a really tight space for your cable management which grows further suffocating if you were to keep the hard drive cage inside the casing. Build quality in Antec DF-500 RGB felt lacking as this chassis is built for pure aesthetics and performance in a tight budget. Despite few downsides, Antec DF-500 RGB embodies all the necessary components and qualities to live up to the name of a gaming pc chassis.