A Detailed Look – At the Outside
The DF-30’s exterior design is a sight to behold with two lower access doors that house two 120mm blue LED fans. I love the honeycomb fan covers and small fan controllers. I think moving the fan controllers to a central location at the top of the case might have worked better, but Antec was on the right track when they at least made them accessible from the front panel.
The top of the front panel includes two USB 2.0 ports and microphone/audio jacks. Each of the three 5.25″ optical bays include a removable door cover that adds a distinctive design element to the DF-30. There is also one 2.5″ drive bay where users can install a small fan controller, temperature monitor, or additional USB ports.
The left side panel includes a uniquely-designed window that can be outfitted with an additional 120mm fan. I’m not sure if I like the acrylic grill Antec added in front of the fan mount, but overall I like how the window was designed.
The top panel includes a large 140mm exhaust fan and one of the coolest aspects of the DF-30 — a 2.5″ hot-swap SATA (SSD-compatible) drive bay. This drive bay is a great addition to the DF-30 and the clear window really flows well with the all the design elements Antec used with this PC enclosure. I’m a huge fan of honeycomb fan grills as well so I don’t have any issues with how the top panel was designed and layed out.
Here’s a close-up shot of the 2.5″ hot-swappable SATA drive bay at the top of the case. On each side the drive bay houses the power and reset buttons for the PC. They are a bit difficult to spot and do not have any LEDs to help users figure out what these buttons are for. I’m also a bit confused about how this piece was designed because it almost looks like it could have been a case handle. I would have recommended designing the top panel to include case handles with the swappable 2.5″ bay.
The back panel of the DF-30 is painted black like the rest of the chassis and includes a 120mm blue LED fan toward the top of the case. The power supply resides at the bottom of this particular case and everything else is pretty standard. Antec should have cut out the embossed access holes to accommodate exterior watercooling solutions because they already stamped these features into the chassis.
The best feature about the back panel is the fan controller that manages the top and back panel fans. These fans can be configured to run at low and high speeds. The only other feature Antec could have added was the ability to control the blue LEDs on the back panel fan.
The right side panel of the DF-30 is very plain and doesn’t include any ventilation options for the hard drives or other components.