Summary: The entire Darkfleet series from Antec looks very interesting. You will either love or hate the extraordinary design and that is probably the only question you have to ask yourself because the feature set is excellent. Seven included fans, yes seven - all individually adjustable, plenty of hot swap bays and easy assembly are just some of the cool things.
Pros: Very good price for the feature set, Interesting industrial look, 4x 3.5 hot-swap bays, 1x external 2.5 inch bay, Seven fans included, All fans can be controlled manually and seperately, Loads of space inside the chassis, Screw-less hard drive installation, Single, rubber mounted 2.5 inch bay inside, Can fit long PSUs, Loads of space for the biggest and longest graphic cards, Lots of room for large CPU coolers, Front hard drive doors can be locked shut, USB 3.0 includ...
Cons: Cable management possible, but no good way to hide them, No additional hot swap brackets to buy as accessories, Not the quietest case out there with fans on full throttle, No CPU power expansion cable, Weird implementation to route the USB cable out the back, Plastic feels ok, but could be better
Excerpt: We dinged September’s Antec Sonata Proto for being feature-poor. Can’t say the same of the flagship of Antec’s Dark Fleet line, the DF-85. This full-tower chassis looks great, is packed with fans, and includes luxury extras that wouldn’t be out of place in a case twice the price. The DF-85 stands 23.5 inches high by 20 inches deep by 8.4 inches wide, and is constructed of matte-black painted steel.
Pros: Packed with two- and three-speed fans; front SATA and USB 3.0; roomy; cable management.
Cons: No EATX support; no room for a triple radiator; narrow; top paint looks cheap.
Summary: The Antec Dark Fleet DF-85 Case is a bold new styling for Antec, but it has the same excellent build quality and lots of excellent features. One feature that's unique is the top hot-swappable 2.5" drive bay. This case comes with 14 drive bays, 7 large fans and all have speed controllers, hole of the motherboard tray for the coolers retention plate, cable manage holes and more. If you're in the market for an excellent full tower case, keep this one in mind.
Conclusion: The highest-end case in Antec's new Dark Forces series, the DF-85 is loaded with features that will appeal to the hardest-core gamers and most enthusiastic enthusiasts. The case is a bit on the pricey side, but with so much room to work, support for hot swapping five drives, and USB 3.0 compatibility, you get what you pay for.
Pros: Lots of space, both horizontally (for extra-long video cards and optical drives) and vertical (for working at the extreme edges of motherboards). Provides options for hot-swapping up to five drives. Doors protecting drive bays are lockable. Intake fan filters are much easier to remove than before. Front panel includes USB 3.0 port.
Cons: Expensive. USB 3.0 port requires running an inconvenient cable through the system and out the back.
Excerpt: So, is Antec's Dark Fleet DF-85 chassis a worthy addition to their impressive line of gaming cases? If cooling and configuration options are the benchmarks we're looking at, it just may be. With seven case fans included (five 120's and a couple of 140mm top fans) and a distinctive look incorporating a chevron side window, uniform black finish inside and out and the front “Fleet Release” doors, the DF-85 brings a lot to the table in both performance and aesthetics.
Antec DF-85 Dark Fleet Series Full Tower ATX Enclosure Review
17 August 2010
Summary: What separates a case from the rest of the pack is by doing more than just including a few bezel lights, mesh grills, or changing the placement of the front panel ports. It helps to start with some shock and awe and in a sense Antec has done that because the DF-85 is so unlike any other case they've created. What we get is some of Antec’s impressive quality and sprinkled with innovative functionality along with some futuristic creativity.
Pros: Daring design for Antec designers, Fleet Swap (hot swappable) hard drive bays, Fleet Release drive bay doors w/ removable filters, Controllable fans, Excellent cable management, CPU cooler cut out, and
Cons: No tooless drive bays, Top 5.25" drive bay doors a tad flimsy
Conclusion: The Antec Dark Fleet DF-85 is available to purchase from eBuyer for £139.98. At HEXUS, we invite the companies whose products we test to comment on our articles. If any company representatives for the products reviewed choose to respond, we'll publish their commentary here verbatim.
Conclusion: In this section I am going to write a brief five point summary on the following categories; Performance, Appearance, Construction, Functionality and Value. These views are my own and help me to give the, Antec DF-85, a rating out of 10, a high score does not necessarily mean that it is better than a PC case reviewed by another writer here at Benchmark Reviews, that may have got a lower score, it is however a good indicator of whether the product is good or not.
Pros: +, Seven fans pre-installed, Two 2.5" HDD/SSD options, Nice appearance, Fairly priced, Support for nine 3.5" HDD's, One external and four internal Hot-Swap interfaces, Intake fans have individual filters, All fans have speed control as standard, well constructed, Full height side window +, Fleet-Release is good innovation, Good performance, Fully painted interior and exterior, USB 3.0 support on front panel
Cons: No support for quad GPU setup, No XL, ULTRA or E-ATX support, Space inside is wasted, Front fans are too loud at full speed, PSU mount is undesirable (unless you use CP series PSU)
Summary: The Antec Dark Fleet DF-85 is a nice full-tower case for the user that is looking for a case that supports lots of hard disk drives and comes with lots of fans with speed control. The construction quality is top-notch, but we didn’t like the tabs covering the 5.25” bays. Users looking for other specific features – eight expansion slots, for instance – will have to pick a different product, though.