While at Computex 2011 we stopped by the Antec booth to see what the company had on display for new gear going into the second half of 2011. While we of course saw Antec’s line up of existing cases and power supplies, and of course the SoundScience audio options, there were a couple of new items on the floor as well.
First up was a visit with Joerg Theissen, formerly of Enermax, and a showing of the upcoming Antec High Current Gamer Plus series of power supplies. Available in a 550 watt, 650 watt and 750 watt version, the updated "Plus" series innovates by building in very high amperages in each of the various 12V rails; up to 40 amps on each! This allows the power supply to supply power to current and future graphics cards even with the smaller 550 watt PSU capacity.
The Plus series is also going with a modular system that gives the user a very flexible expansion capability. While the red and black outlets for cables fit with what most users will use, you can in fact install up to 10 HDD cables on the power supply should you need it. Antec’s goal with the new High Current Gamer Plus is to make a unit that addresses both the high end performance segment customers are used to as well as lowering the price to a point where it can address a large majority of the DIY market overall.
The second new item was the Solo II chassis, a low cost design that actually includes some impressive features. Built on a combination of steel and aluminum, the Solo II is one of the first designs we have seen with built in support for the Slim ODD form factor, right out of the gate.
Inside the case you will see only a few HDD cages though for a small case it does offer support for even the largest graphics cards in this way. You will also see a cutout on the motherboard tray for rear access to the CPU the brackets as well as some other openings for improved cable management.
The front of the case opens up to reveal a pair of filtered intake fans and behind them the hard drive bays. The Solo II offers both your standard screw-less tray design as well as elastic suspension based HDD mounting options, similar to those seen in the LanBoy Air.
Even though this is going to be a low cost case (estimate $99-129), Antec has included some noise reduction material that is a form of highly compressed plastic that they claim works nearly as well as the foam substance used on the Antec P180. It is installed on both doors as well as the top of the Solo II.
Overall I have to say that the Solo II looks like a great chassis for users that don’t need a gluttony of space and also have to work on a budget.