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Video Perspective: Antec SOLO II Chassis Review

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Manufacturer: Antec

Antec SOLO II Chassis Review

Antec is one of the most storied brands when it comes to enthusiast class components like cases and power supplies.  Unfortunately, the whims of the gamer change on a breeze as most will swap between company allegiances whenever the performance or features dictate.  Antec has fallen into this trap over the last few years as many in the community moved on from the likes of the ever-present P180 to newer and more innovative designs from other companies.  Having realized this internally and making moves to take care of that slide, Antec is going to start producing some modern cases with improved specifications.

First up on the list is the SOLO II, part of the Antec Sonata line of "Quiet Computing" products.  The original SOLO was released in early 2006 and since then much has changed in the world of chassis for gamers and those more interested in noise reduction.  Antec is hoping that the SOLO II will actually address a large portion of BOTH crowds with its small footprint, many noise-deleting features and several enthusiast-class nods included.

Check out our video review of the SOLO II and keep reading for some images of the newest Antec chassis!

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(Image provided by Antec) The mid-tower SOLO II has a black finish to it even though this image makes it look much more silver.  The side and top are metal painted piano-black while the front is plastic with a matte finish.

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(Image provided by Antec) Inside the case you can see a lot of features for high end builders including a large CPU back panel cutout and room for VERY long GPUs - as much as 15-in claims Antec!

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(Image provided by Antec) The SOLO II does use a top mounted power supply which might turn some people off though it was done to allow for the full allotment of space at the bottom of the case for GPUs.

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(Image provided by Antec) The hard drive bay includes room for three 3.5-in drives in trays or a pair of 3.5-in drives in the Antec suspension mount system.

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The side panels and top of the SOLO II are covered in a thin polycarbonate layer that sound dampens very well.

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The single 120mm fan in the SOLO II is on the back of the case and uses Antec's rubber grommet and fastening system.

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The front panel includes a pair of USB 3.0 ports, two more USB 2.0 ports and audio headphones and mic ports.

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Opening the front the case reveals two air intake areas that will need you to supply the fans for though both come with filters which is nice.  Behind one is the HDD bay area.

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Here you can see the three tray-based drive or two suspension-based drive system with one HDD installed in the "bands" used to hold up the drives. 

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Here is the SOLO II filled up with a Llano motherboard, heatsink and more.  Check out our video above for shot of the enormous ASUS MARS II installed!

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One of my favorite touches is the placement for a permanently mounted 2.5-in drive to the right of the motherboard and under the other drive bays.  This way it doesn't get in the way of anything and a user can still use an SSD for a boot drive and have three drives for storage.

September 5, 2011 | 10:55 PM - Posted by Tim Verry

Good job Ryan, I like seeing these Video Perspectives!

EDIT: Oh, and that extra 2.5" mount would come in handy for me, currently my SSD is just laying inside the area where 5.25" drives go :P

September 6, 2011 | 05:43 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Would it be feasible to mount more 3.5" drives in the optical drive bays?

September 6, 2011 | 08:44 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Sure, you could absolutely do that if you had the 5.25 -> 3.5 inch converter kits.

September 6, 2011 | 02:49 PM - Posted by mark (not verified)

1. I think AnandTech review on this case was off bigtime.

2. This case is near perfect.

3. The feature list is huge, the look is minimalistic

4. The 4 usb and just audio/mic choice is godly

5. This case just replaced my 600T go-to

September 6, 2011 | 02:55 PM - Posted by mark (not verified)

6. A fanless PSU is perfect for this case.

September 7, 2011 | 07:27 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

If you watch the podcast, your addendum is rather amusing

September 10, 2011 | 06:09 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Top mount for PSU in this case is better than usualy, because the case has vents on top, to not feed PSU with warm air from CPU. Also it works better than standard bottom mount, fan facing down, for semi passive/passive PSUs.

September 28, 2011 | 03:24 PM - Posted by Homerrocks (not verified)

The original SOLO was great EXCEPT for the flimsy and highly-breakable power and reset buttons; design disasters in an otherwise great case. Mine broke within a year. Since pictures don't tell no lies the review clearly shows Antec has decided to ignore this BIG problem. Since these buttons are not spring loaded (especially the power button that is used everyday) I will not be purchasing the SOLO 2 this time around, or probably anything Antec. A pity Antec choose not to listen to the vast number of complaints about their worthless power and reset button.

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