Antec Dark League DP505 Mid Tower Chassis Review
TweakTown score: 94%
Antec has succeeded with its Dark League series, even if you opt for the Black DP503, which is identical to the same chassis except it’s painted black and has a different front panel. As I said before, the small finishes make it a great case. Solid recommendation.
- + Full mesh front panel
- + 4mm tempered glass side panel
- + The price is on point
- + Supports two 360mm radiators simultaneously
Should I buy it?
Introduction, Specifications and Price
SEE THE GALLERY – 24 IMAGES
Antec, which makes PC cases, fans and power supplies, was one of the pioneers in the PC build space that everyone remembers, especially their call to fame, the Antec Nine Hundred. Dang, this case was epic for its time in the spotlight, with a honeycomb mesh for the front air intake and the massive 200mm fan to exhaust hot air from the rear and top sides.
Today, Antec is still around and launching its Dark Phantom range, which here is the DP503 and DP505 mid-tower ATX cases. While they don’t have the huge 200mm fan that the Nine Hundred had, they do include three 120mm aRGB intake fans and a full mesh front panel.
What made the Antec Nine Hundred stand out was its phenomenal price-to-performance ratio. Antec kept things relatively the same price as they would have been in 2006, as the Nine Hundred was priced around $85. The DP505 we are reviewing today is priced at $120.
Considering the US inflation rate, which from 2006 to 2022 is around 47.2%, the Nine Hundred would have cost around $125. For me, this is the ideal price for a mid-range PC gamer case.
Antec Dark League DP505 Mid-Tower Chassis
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*Prices were last scanned on 11/03/2022 5:04 PM CDT – prices may not be accurate, click links above for latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.
The Antec DP505 and DP503 were shipped in very similar brown cardboard boxes. My DP505 sample arrived with a few dents and dings to the outer box, but everything arrived safely.
Once the DP505 was taken out of its brown cardboard box, a protective foam was on top and bottom. A clear plastic bag also wrapped the DP505 for extra protection.
Apart from the Antec DP505
The front of the DP505 has a full mesh front panel with some white accents. The 4mm thick white tempered glass side panel is also present, held on by capacitive thumbscrews on the back.
A closer shot of the mesh front panel, the finer mesh should catch dust well and be easy to clean.
The DP505 has an aesthetically different mesh front panel, but the air intake should be roughly the same between the two versions.
The rear of the DP505 has no real ventilation other than the rear 120mm fan mount and PCI slot covers. There is a PSU mounting bracket, which helps with the overall build.
The top of the DP505 and DP503 looks awfully familiar. Oh yes, the Azza Legionaire has EXACTLY the same top panel as the DP505 and DP503. Interesting.
I/O consists of a power button, RGB LED button, two activity LEDs, USB 3.0 Type-A port, 3.5 mic input, a headphone output and another USB 3.0 Type-A port AND a USB Type-C port on the front.
Support for up to two 360mm or 280mm radiators in the roof configuration.
The bottom of the DP505 and DP503 are identical, fitted with a PSU plastic case filter and decently sized rubber pads on the case feet.
Inside the Antec DP505
So, removing the tempered glass side panel, the interior is identical to the Azza Legionaire with a few exceptions. The DP505 and DP503 feel much more polished, meaning more attention to detail has been paid.
Remember in my Legionnaire review, I complained about not having rubber grommet? The DP505 and DP503 both have them. The same goes for the non-proprietary 120mm aRGB fans, although there are only three instead of four, but I’ll consider that a win.
The DP series also includes a GPU bracket mounted on the rear wall of the motherboard, which is well appreciated with all the chunky GPUs hitting the market lately.
Removing the back panel reveals another familiar view but with much better attention to detail. Two Antec-branded cable ties run down the left side for good cable management, with about 23mm of space behind the motherboard tray. An aRGB fan controller that can manage up to six 3-pin fans is included.
Hard drive or SSD carrier with two 2.5″ HDD or SSD carriers on the motherboard tray, with basement carrier for two additional 3.5″ hard drives. Additionally, PSU clearance is limited to approximately 205mm with the HDD cage installed and 410mm without the HDD cage installed.
Here’s another look at the three included 120mm aRGB fans. Alternatively, three 140mm fans are also supported here. However, only support for up to a 280mm or 360mm radiator is supported in the front intake. The fans have a slight off-white or cream coloring, but this is no longer a concern once turned on.
The PSU shroud is slightly different from the Azza Legionnaire. Not having a PSU cutout that you can see your PSU, not that I would find that important, and those coveted white rubber grommets.
Even PCI brackets are handled better here. Removing a PCI bracket leaves nothing behind, which is ideal for vertical GPU bracket installation; however, there is not one included.
The accessories included by Antec are pretty basic, but they get the job done. Warranty information, aRGB fan controller information, instruction manual, cable ties, a bag of various screws and spacers, and an additional Antec labeled cable strap.
Test system, installation and finished product
So now that a complete system is in the Antec DP505, it’s time to tell you what I think. Overall, I’m really happy with how the build went. The DP505 was easy to integrate, especially with Antec’s finishes. Most hardware, even the massive EATX motherboards and chunky GeForce RTX 4090 GPUs that NVIDIA launched last month, will fit in with room, with up to 375mm of clearance.
Cable management in the DP505 did pretty well. Each cable run is clearly planned with cable straps and zip tie down points provided.
Another thing that was really good was the temperatures in the Antec DP505. The test system, featuring an Intel Core i5 12600K processor, never exceeded 70°C at 100% load, and the Zotac RTX 3090 Trinity OC hit 77°C at its maximum at 100% load as well. .
Airflow in the DP505 was pretty good, with three of those 120mm aRGB fans running, which wasn’t all that loud. Suppose you are silent! 280mm Pure Loop AIO in the roof helped remove a lot of the hot air from the case, which is good since the DP505 doesn’t come with a 120mm rear exhaust fan.
So I know I’ve mentioned Legionnaire Azza more than a few times in this review, and for good reason. The price of these two chassis is only $15 apart. Fifteen dollars separates a decent deal from a great deal – that’s it.
Things like removable and replaceable PCIe grommets, strain reliefs, and covers make the difference between a decent chassis and a great one.
Antec has nailed it with its Dark Phantom series, even if you opt for the Black DP503, which is identical to the same chassis except it’s painted black and has a different front panel. As I said before, the small finishes make it a great case.