So what are we going to be installing in the DF-85? Our test system is comprised of an Intel Core i7-965 processor, Gigabyte X58A-UD3R motherboard, ATI Radeon 4870 X2 video card, 6GB of memory, NZXT 1200W power supply, Blu-ray drive and a 1TB SATA hard drive. The first thing you want to do is install your motherboard, which goes in easily. I notice there was a good amount of room between the top of the motherboard and the top of the case. Because of this installing the top screws in the motherboard was very easy.
Next you are going to want to install your optical drives. I first wanted to install my Blu-ray drive in the top 5.25-inch drive, but upon sliding it in it, it did not fit because the top fan of the case was in the way. Many people do not use optical drives that much anymore, but really you are only limited to 2 in the DF-85 because of the top fan. Once you have the optical drive in place just secure it with screws. Next you can install your video card, which easily goes in to place. The 4870 X2 is a longer video card and we had no issues at all fitting it in the case.
Next is your power supply. It slides in and you secure it with screws. There is also a significant amount of space between the power supply and motherboard. This makes connecting all of the USB and front panel connections a lot easier.
Finally we have our hard drive. We are going to use the Fleet Swap system for our 3.5-inch SATA drive. We already have the fittings connected to power and data so all we have to do is open the front door of the DF-85 up and slide the drive in. It goes right into place and connects with the other side of the fitting. You can lock it into place with a thumbscrew.
There are a lot of fans and other things to connect to power and your motherboard. You can hide many of these cables on the back side of your motherboard. This not only makes the other side of the case look nice, but at the same time improves airflow where it matters. Antec has 2 cable ties already pre-installed, but they also include many more to keep everything together behind the motherboard. Now we can put the right side panel on the case.
When you are connecting everything to your motherboard you will notice a USB connection. This is for the USB connection on the front of the case. What you do is route it through your case out the back through the bottom expansion slot cover. There is a fitting on the cable the fits into the slot cover. Then you can just connect the cable to the USB 3.0 connection on the back of your motherboard.
When you have everything installed and power the system on the 2 red LED fans in the back of the case really do not light up the inside of the case that much. If you want some attention for the side of this case you are probably going to want to get some cold cathodes. Now on the other hand the 3 red LED fans on the front of the case just look awesome. I’ve already had 3 people comment on them!
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