Antec GX700 £60
2nd Apr 2013 | 08:30
A military-styled mid-tower chassis, without the military grade
The ammo case PC chassis isn't a new thing, and generally it's been something we've seen from case modders, not a style thrown out by the big case manufacturers. That's changing with the likes of Corsair's Vengeance C70 and now Antec's equally warlike GX700.
Whether or not you're a fan of the olive-drab, rugged aesthetics, it's still interesting to see such niche designs finding a place in the market. If you're an Arma obsessive or a Battlefield veteran, then there's some validity in wearing your gaming heart on your PC's sleeve.
However, if you're more interested in My Little Pony: Best Friends Ball or, heaven forbid, enjoy using your PC for things other than gaming your life away, then the clunky design is probably not that appealing.
But there is a niche appeal - and at £60, the GX700 is far from the priciest chassis around. We wouldn't say it's cheaply made either, but there's little about the build that screams quality. The front looks plasticky and the 3.5-inch drive holders are flimsy, with no sound dampening shizzle either.
The panel on the top also represents some odd design choices. The military aesthetic almost demands that somewhere on the chassis there should be a switch or a button covered by a red and yellow striped shield. On the Corsair C70 one of these covers the reset switch, which is actually useful, as you don't want to accidentally nudge it mid-use - something I've done on more than one occasion.
But the GX700 uses the flip access shield as a pure gimmick, only covering a fan speed selector - which in itself is useful, but not something that really needs such protection.
Devil in the details
Sat next to the flip access is a decently-specced top panel - it's got a pair of USB 3.0 ports, as well as two USB 2.0 sockets for all your peripheral needs. There are also the ubiquitous audio out and mic ports, but again it feels like a bit of a rush job. Only the mic port has any indicators as to what it is, leaving the USB ports and headphone jack devoid of any info. It's not a major issue, but shows a lack of consistency.
The GX700 is by no means a bad case, and despite some odd design decisions it's not poorly put together at all. The front may be plasticky, but the rest of the chassis is built from fairly chunky aluminium that gives it a real sense of structural rigidity.
It's also got a huge cutout for the rear of the motherboard's CPU socket, making it easy to switch coolers, and there's a decent amount of space for cable routing. The top fans can be removed if you want to fit a 240mm radiator, so there's lots of scope for building a performance rig inside.
There's actually a lot to like about Antec's latest chassis, but there are a few little niggles here and there that really hold it back from being a classic case. If you like your cases olive-drab then the Corsair C70 is still the way to go, though the second revision of the GX700 could be something special with a little more care.