A solid, good-looking and affordable ATX case, although it’s a little lacking in features.
The last Antec case we reviewed, the DF700 Flux, was one of our favorite sub-£100 cases, thanks to its very reasonable price tag, good cooling, and inventory of useful features. The Antec NX700 – a model not available in the US but available in the UK – we’re reviewing here retails for a similar price and clearly looks the part, so we’re hoping for more of the same from one of the oldest case manufacturers around.
At a price of £70, the competition would include the Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact and NZXT H510 Flow, although these cases retail for about £20 more. The NX700 clearly focuses on RGB lighting and aesthetics, with an aggressive front end that sports a mixture of mesh and diagonal vanes – an approach that puts it in good company this month, as the Fractal Design Torrent also leads on its front end.
That front mesh also acts as a dust filter, so there’s no separate removable filter, while the roof section benefits from a magnetic filter to prevent dust and detritus falling into the case. Comparably, the PSU filter is a tad flimsy and just slots into place from underneath, but you won’t be fiddling with this section regularly anyway.
Like the more expensive Torrent, the NX700 also has large 185mm RGB fans at the front, a big mesh front section, and plenty of positive air pressure, with just a single 120mm RGB rear exhaust fan. The front section can also house a trio of 120mm or 140mm fans, and you can also mount a pair of each in the roof and another pair of 120mm fans in the PSU shroud to boost GPU cooling.
All three of the case’s fans are hooked up out of the box and are also powered using a single cable. However, this cable is 3-pin rather than 4-pin PWM, so you’ll need to ensure your motherboard’s BIOS is able to fine-tune the fan speed according to temperature, switching it to voltage mode if necessary. That rear fan also acts as an RGB control hub for the front fans, controlled by a button on the front panel, allowing you to change lighting mode and color without hooking up the case to your motherboard.
The lighting color and mode options are basic, but there are also 3-pin digital and VDG connectors for Gigabyte motherboards that allow you to use your motherboard’s own software to deal with the lighting instead. The RGB lighting is surprisingly vivid and accurate for such an affordable case, although the effect speed of the mode options is too slow for our liking, resulting in a slight stuttering effect.
The front panel’s control button for the lighting sits next to two USB 3 ports and the audio outputs. Sadly, the front panel lacks a USB Type-C port, but that’s rare on sub-£80 cases even in 2022.
For a mid-size case, the NX700 has good water-cooling potential too, with space up front for 280mm and 360mm radiators. Meanwhile, the roof can house up to 240mm or 280mm radiators, thanks to a large offset fan mount that can offer clearance for 45mm and 60mm-thick radiators, depending on the height of your motherboard’s heatsinks.
Sadly, you won’t be able to fit 180mm radiators in the front, as with the Fractal Design Torrent, as the fan mountings here aren’t standard and there’s not enough space. However, the NX700 makes a better home for AIO liquid coolers than the Torrent, with the roof being the logical choice for a 240mm or 280mm radiator. There’s also plenty of CPU cooler clearance at 170mm, and you can install a graphics card up to 340mm long.
Storage bays are reasonable as well, with two 2.5in/3.5in bays in a removable enclosure under the PSU cover, plus four more 2.5in mounts on the motherboard tray. As with Antec’s other recent budget-focused cases, though, our main criticism of the NX700 is a lack of refined cable routing options.
Unlike the NZXT H510 Flow and Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact, you only get the basics here, with just cable ties and open cable routing holes. The case also lacks a vertical GPU mount, but does offer some smaller details, such as rails for the rear fan to shift up and down so it can sit in line with your CPU cooler to boost cooling. You also get captive thumb crews for both the steel and the glass side panels, and it’s easier to deal with these than the usual quartet of screws that secure glass panels from the side.
Antec NX700 performance
In terms of noise, the Antec NX700 proved to be far quieter than the Fractal Design Torrent, simply because its fans spun much slower – it doesn’t even make much noise with the fans running at full whack.
The modest fan speed still resulted in respectable cooling results, though, with the NX700 bettering the Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact by 2°C on the CPU delta T, matching the Corsair 5000D Airflow and coming just 1°C behind the NZXT H510 Flow and Antec DF700 Flux. It sat a couple of degrees above the Meshify 2 Compact with the GPU delta T, though, as it has less airflow directed at the GPU.
Antec NX700 pros and cons
- Good airflow
- Snazzy RGB lighting
- Great value
- Basic cable routing
- Fan cable only has 3-pin support
- No USB Type-C
Antec NX700 specs
|220 x 440 x 492 (W x D x H)
|Steel, plastic, glass
|CPU cooler clearance
|Max graphics card length
|Power, 2 x USB 3, stereo, microphone
|2 x 2.5/3.5in, 4 x 2.5in
|3 x 120/140mm, 2 x 185mm front fan mounts (2 x 185mm fans included), 1 x 120mm rear fan mount (fan included), 3 x 120/140mm roof fan mounts (fans not included)
Antec NX700 price
The Antec NX700 is very competitively priced, though has some compromises that you might expect for such a cheap case.
Price: Expect to pay £70
Antec NX700 review conlusion
For a £70 case to include digital RGB lighting, three daisy-chained fans, and decent cooling, the Antec NX700 represents a solid home even for a high-end PC. It looks great too, with the aesthetics bolstered by the high 185mm RGB fans and snazzy front mesh.
Of course, there will always be compromises at this price, though, and with basic cable routing and tidying options, a lack of USB Type-C support, and limited other features, the NX700’s feature set stands in stark contrast to cases such as the Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact, which costs just £20 more. However, we can appreciate this price difference could net you a half-decent air cooler if you’re on a tight budget. If you’re looking to keep costs to a minimum, but you still want to jump onto the RGB bandwagon, the Antec NX700 is a solid choice if not an unequivocal one.
The Antec NX700 isn’t quite worth of a place on our best PC case guide so check that list out if you want to find out our top choices.