Design and Build Quality
The Antec DF-85 is certainly an imposing case. Although there are larger cases on the market, the DF-85’s height of nearly two feet towers over the typical ATX case. The DF-85 is only 20 inches deep, however, which is smaller than many competitors. The Coolermaster HAF 932 is about three inches longer and the Silverstone Raven RV02 is a whopping five inches longer.
The design of the case seems to inspire either love or hate. The case is entirely black both inside and out. The front is somewhat busy, thanks to three 120mm fans and three plastic brackets that are placed over their optical drive bays. The overall effect is somewhat industrial. The Dark Fleet, it appears, has more in common with the warships of Warhammer 40K than, say, a Covenant Assault Carrier.
When in operation the DF-85’s front and rear fans are lit by red LED lights. Antec has shown incredible restraint with these, however, by placing the LEDs in relatively recessed positions. This dims the lighting substantially, reducing the distraction caused by the lights when you’re using the enclosure in a dark room.
Otherwise, the DF-85 is built like most Antec cases. This means that most of the case is made of steel and feels very sturdy. There are no sharp edges to worry about. The front, however, is plastic. I’d like to see more metal used on the front of high-end cases, but the plastic is thick and sturdy, so this isn’t a major issue.