TweakTown’s Rating: 94%
The Bottom Line
Antec nailed it with their Dark League series, even if you go with the Black DP503, which is identically the same chassis, except it’s painted black and has a different front panel. As I stated before, the little 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 you buy it?
Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
VIEW GALLERY – 24 IMAGES
Antec, which makes PC cases, fans, and power supplies, was one of the pioneers of the PC building space that everyone remembers, specifically their call to fame, the Antec Nine Hundred. Dang, that case was epic for its time in the spotlight, having honeycomb mesh for the front air intake and the huge 200mm fan for exhausting hot air from the rear and top sides.
Today, Antec is still around and kicking with their Dark Phantom line, 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 include three aRGB 120mm intake fans and a full meshed-out front panel.
The thing about the Antec Nine Hundred was its phenomenal price to performance. Antec has kept things relatively the same price as they would have been back in 2006, as the Nine Hundred was priced at about $85. The DP505 that we are looking at today is priced at $120.
When the US inflation rate is factored in, which from 2006 to 2022 is about 47.2%, the Nine Hundred would have cost about $125. To me, this is the perfect price point for a mid-range PC gamer case.
Antec Dark League DP505 Mid-Tower Chassis
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* Prices last scanned on 11/3/2022 at 5:04 pm CDT – prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.
The Antec DP505 and the DP503 were shipped in very similar brown cardboard boxes. My DP505 sample did arrive with some bumps and dings on the exterior box, but everything arrived safely.
Once the DP505 was pulled from its brown cardboard casket, protective foam was on the top and bottom. A clear plastic bag also wrapped the DP505 for added protection.
Outside the Antec DP505
The front of the DP505 has a full mesh front panel with some white accents. Also present is the white trimmed 4mm thick tempered glass side panel, held on with capacitive thumbscrews on the backside.
A closer shot of the front mesh panel, the finer mesh should catch dust nicely and be easy to clean.
The DP505 does have an aesthetically different front mesh panel, but the air intake should be about the same between both versions.
The back of the DP505 has no real ventilation besides the rear 120mm fan mount and the PCI slot covers. There is a PSU mounting bracket, which makes the overall build easier.
The top of the DP505 and DP503 looks awfully familiar. Ah yes, the Azza Legionaire has the EXACT same top panel as the DP505 and DP503. Interesting.
The I/O consists of a power button, an RGB LED button, two activity lights, a USB 3.0 Type-A port, 3.5 mic input, headphone output, and another USB 3.0 Type-A port AND a front USB Type-C port.
Support for up to one of two 360mm or 280mm radiators in the roof configuration.
The bottom of the DP505 and DP503 are identical, fitted with a PSU plastic cased filter and decently sized rubber pads on the case feet.
Inside the Antec DP505
So taking off the tempered glass side panel, the inside is identical to the Azza Legionaire with a few exceptions. The DP505 and DP503 feel much more polished, meaning more attention to detail was given.
Remember in my review of the Legionaire, I complained about not having rubber cable grommets? The DP505 and DP503 both have them. The same goes for the non-proprietary 120mm aRGB fans, albeit there are only three instead of four, but I will take that as a win.
Also included with the DP series is a GPU brace mounted to the back motherboard wall, which is well appreciated with all the chunky GPUs that are coming to market lately.
Taking the back panel off reveals another familiar sight but with much better attention to detail. Two Antec branded cable straps run up the left-hand side for good cable management, with about 23mm of space behind the motherboard tray. An aRGB fan controller that can handle up to six 3-pin fans is included.
Hard drive or SSD support with two 2.5″ HDD or SSD mounts on the motherboard tray, with support in the basement for two additional 3.5″ HDDs. Also, PSU clearance is limited to about 205mm with the HDD cage installed and 410mm without the HDD cage installed.
Here is another look at the three included aRGB 120mm fans. Alternatively, three 140mm fans are supported here as well. However, only support for up to a 280mm or 360mnm radiator is supported in the front intake. The fans have a slightly off-white or cream coloring, but this is no longer a concern once lit up.
The PSU shroud is slightly different from the Azza Legionaire. Having no PSU cutout that you can see your PSU, not that I would find that important, and those coveted white rubber grommets.
Even the PCI brackets get better treatment here. Taking out a PCI bracket leaves nothing behind, which is great for vertical GPU bracket installation; however, there is not one included.
The accessories that Antec included are pretty basic, but they get the job done. Warranty information, aRGB fan controller info, instruction manual, cable ties, a bag of various screws and standoffs, and an additional Antec labeled cable strap.
Test System, Installation, and Finished Product
So now that a full system is in the Antec DP505, it’s time to tell you what I think of it. Overall, I am really happy with the way the build turned out. The DP505 was easy to build in, especially with those finishes that Antec did. Most hardware, even huge EATX motherboards and the chunky GeForce RTX 4090 GPUs that NVIDIA released last month will fit in with room to spare, having up to 375mm worth of clearance.
Cable management in the DP505 went pretty well. Every cable run is clearly planned with the supplied cable straps and zip tie-down points.
Temperatures in the Antec DP505 were another thing that was really good. The test system, which has an Intel Core i5 12600K, never got over 70C at 100% load, and the Zotac RTX 3090 Trinity OC reached 77C at its hottest while on 100% load as well.
Airflow in the DP505 was quite good, with three of those aRGB 120mm fans running, which didn’t get that loud. Suppose having the be quiet! 280mm Pure Loop AIO in the roof helped remove a lot of the hot case air, which is good since the DP505 does not ship with a rear 120mm exhaust fan.
So I know I have mentioned the Azza Legionaire more than a few times in this review, and for a good reason. The pricing of these two chassis is only $15 apart from one another. Fifteen bucks separate an okay case from a great case – that’s it.
Things like cable grommets, cable straps, and removable and replaceable PCIe covers make a difference from an okay chassis to a great one.
Antec nailed it with their Dark Phantom series, even if you go with the Black DP503, which is identically the same chassis, except it’s painted black and has a different front panel. As I stated before, the little finishes make it a great case.
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