Antec Sonata Proto Reviewairman -
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Well, sure enough, Antec seems to have struck again with a well constructed and thought out case. Many users don't always appreciate the sound of a jet taking off in their workspace, which is why Antec chose to produce another addition to their silent Sonata family. The sound from this case while the fan is on low is no more than a dim whir, and is very tolerable. I did mention earlier that on the high speed setting, it is definitely audible but not too loud. However, I wouldn't call it silent.
The Sonata Proto did better than I expected on the test bench! I was a little disappointed in the hard drive temperatures, but I didn't expect a whole lot either. The lack of a front intake fan definitely impacted the ability to provide even better airflow to the hard drive. I was surprised by the CPU temperature, but I think having a top mounted PSU paired well with the rear exhaust fan, since the PSU has an "intake" for its exhaust just above the CPU heatsink.
The rubber damping on the hard drive trays is a nice touch. I definitely didn't hear any clicking or spin-up from the drive since the damping completely isolated any vibration coming from it. I can't think of a way to make the hard drive holders completely tool-less because of the noise isolation, but with as tight as the 5.25" drives fit, a simple pair of pegs built in to the drive rails would have definitely been sufficient and would not require a screw nor screwdriver. I will reiterate my experience with the hard drive trays being a little difficult. The hard drive trays are difficult to remove while a hard drive is them due to the inability to squeeze the tabs in far enough. I had to muscle as much into my fingers as I could and add some wiggling action to get them out. I think an extra 1/16th of an inch on the width of the hard drive cage would allow for enough clearance to pull the trays out easily while still retaining a secure fit.
Overall, I am definitely pleased with what Antec has supplied with the Sonata Proto. It is sturdy, clean looking, performs well and is quiet for sure. For a sub $80 case, I wouldn't say it is an absolute bargain, but absolutely worthy of ownership if a user is looking for a case that is sleek and stylish yet quiet case without all the lights and windows.
- Nearly Silent Operation
- Noise isolated hard drive trays
- Good accommodations for wire management
- Locking mechanisms on front drive door and side panel for security
- Only one fan with no spaces for more
- Not compatible with graphics cards longer than 10.5"