View Full Version : Antec Sonata Plus 550

08-30-2009, 10:37 AM
The previous case for my main system was an old aluminum Chieftec case. I got tired of having the door on it and it was loud. I realize that most of the noise came from the power supply unit and the CPU fan, but I decided that I wanted a different case for the main system without the door. I also have to work with a Denichi shoebox PC at work and it has a huge 120mm fan in the front going through a filter and it makes horrendous noise. When I go home I want to be in a quiet environment.

I bought the Antec Sonata Plus 550 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129037) because it was marketed as a quiet case with sound deadening in the side panels and silicone grommets for the drives. It also came with a NeoPower 550 watt power supply. I probably should have waited for it to go on sale because Newegg.com will sometimes have this one at a really nice discount. But it is still a good case even though I paid more than I could have. The case/PSU combo is now a deactivated item on Newegg, but the Solo (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129018) case, which is just like this one without the PSU, is still available. You can probably still find the Sonata Plus somewhere besides Newegg.com.

The Case Itself
The case is substantially quieter than my previous case. That probably has more to do with the power supply and the larger CPU fan than the case. However, when you do put the side panel back on, the CPU fan noise goes down substantially. That did not happen with my old Chieftec. The paint is smooth like you would see on a black car instead of a typical inexpensive PC case. The front panel is plastic, but it is thicker and feels better than the old Chieftec. The only thing I donít like about the front panel is the fact that there is orange trim around it. I may get some vinyl dye to take care of that sometime in the future. The Antec Solo case has black trim instead of this funny orange color.

The case comes with a three speed 120mm fan. I have it set at the very lowest speed and it is quieter than the CPU fan at that speed. The front panel USB connectors are a little bit too close to each other to put two Kingston flash drives into them. I really wish that case manufacturers would build cases with more front USB ports. My motherboard has three connectors for up to six USB ports. They probably do this for people who get internal flash card readers.

The Drive Mounts
The Chieftec box had plastic rails that you used to mount the 5.25Ē drives. Then you just slide and snap the drive in with the plastic rails. The Sonata also has rails just like this. With the side panel open, there is a clip on the inside to open the front panel. You have to snap the drives in with the front panel open because the panel covers up the drive rails. Many cases are designed with this type of drive rail setup.

The case also features the ability to use an elastic suspension method of mounting the hard drives. If you suspension mount the drives, they recommend that you do not move the case around. I can not hear the drive move at all with the silicone grommet mount. I can see the hard drive light flash without hearing a sound. So I am not sure what benefits there are of the suspension mount feature.

There are also other nice details about this case. It comes with more than enough screws and standoffs to mount everything with some left over. It also wonít cut your fingers when you put computer components in. The side panel has thumb screws that are fastened to it so they will not get lost. Overall, it is the best case I have ever owned