Antec P180 Advanced Super Mid-Tower Review

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Antec P180 Advanced Super Mid-Tower Review

Postby Apoptosis » Fri Aug 19, 2005 9:03 am

Today Legit Reviews brings you the final installment in our series on Antec's 2005 product line with a look at the P180 Advanced Super Mid-Tower. With a name like that, you have to expect something pretty special! Read on to find out what LR thinks of the P180 and see if it deserves to be used on your system.

http://www.legitreviews.com/article.php?aid=224

Looks pretty wild!
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Re: Antec P180 Advanced Super Mid-Tower Review

Postby bubba » Fri Aug 19, 2005 9:18 am

Apoptosis wrote:see if it deserves to be used on your system.


I'd use it, like the way the hole case is laid out. looks good on the outside as well.
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Postby infinitevalence » Fri Aug 19, 2005 11:12 am

I have a few problems with this case.

1. you must remove the gfx cooling duct inorder to install the motherboard or any time you want to add or remove a PCI card.

2. placement of the power supply means that some power supply and motherboard combos will not work. Using an Antec Truepower 2.0 450w and a DFI Lanparty Ultra-D I was unable to connect the ATX power headder in and have the power supply mounted properly.

3. to install the power supply you must remove both side pannels. One side has nice thumb screws while the other does not. If your going to require me to remove both pannels to install the power supply (and there is no reason i should have to do this) then at least include thumbcrews.

4. The audio module on the DFI WILL hit the rear 120mm fan, the only way around this is to put that fan in the front.

Some of the issues with this case could be overcome with a removeable motherboard tray and a rear entry psu houseing that placed the PSU at the top of its duct rather than attaching it to the bottom.

That said I do think this is the best case I have ever used. The construction is impecable, it looks great. It is very quiet with the thick pannels and large 120mm fans. The cooling is well thought out and is very effective. If it were not for the few problems listed above I would have no problem giving this case the Editors Choice. I still would pick this case above all others but the problems in my mind keep it just short of an Editors Choice.
Last edited by infinitevalence on Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby jodiuh » Fri Aug 19, 2005 11:38 am

Did the author of the article assemble a machine in this case? If so, I'd like to see pics. I recently tried this case out without much success.

Here's a couple pics. The first is the p180. Absolutely the hardest case I've worked with. I found it overly heavy and no quieter than my slightly modded lian li midtower.

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And here's the lian li. While it cools better, I have had the advantage of a wonderful 2 yr history with her. Perhaps, had I spent more time with the p180, I may have been more satisfied. Thanks for the review and I look forwared to seeing some pics of a full rig install ;)

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Postby LVCapo » Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:37 pm

1. I touched on the ducting, and how I just ended up removing it, and recommend others to simply remove it as well.

2. Antec clearly states that they recommend either their Antec NeoPower 480 or the Phantom 500 due to the issue you mention, which was also brought up in the article.

3. As opposed to the other Antec cases, which have the side panel riveted on, the P180 simply used screws, which are simple to work with (you'll need a screwdriver for the rest of the assembly for PCI cards, PSU, motherboard).....so I don't understand the issue with simply removing two more screws (How often will you need to remve the right side panel? how often is the avg person going to remove the PSU, which is the only thing you would remove that side for?).

4. That audio port is a thorn on just about every case I've seen, not just this case...I've had problems with Cooler Master cases, Thermaltake cases, and every Antec case. You can remove the fan, or you can simply use a dremel or a hack saw and cut a groove in the fan housing like I have done. The issue is with the DFI daughterboard, not the cases or fans

While things were a bit tight, if you take your time, it is not a difficult installation, although I did state a removable motherboard tray would have been very nice.
As to weight, you say its too heavy, but for most weight is not an issue (seriously half of the people who look at it will like the weight and durability, the other half will want something lighter like a Thermaltake Tsunami, then complain because it dents too easy...not everyone is always satisfied). If you want a light go everywhere case, look at the Thermaltake or the Sonata II, if you are more concerned about a durable case to put under your desk, this is it.
Last edited by LVCapo on Fri Aug 19, 2005 1:25 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby LVCapo » Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:56 pm

jodiuh,
I've found this to be one of the cleanest installs I've ever seen....wanna come work on my systems? As to nose, I find it hard to believe that 3 80mm fans will cool better than three 120mm fans, and that the Lian Li is quieter than the P180...I may be wrong as I have never toyed with a Lian Li case
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Postby jodiuh » Fri Aug 19, 2005 7:03 pm

Haha, everyone deserves a nice clean case. I'll be moving from Indy, Indiana to Phoenix, Arizona in a couple weeks. Perhaps I can make pit stops on the way 8) "Wire - Free!! U-S-A!!"

Actually, there's 5, hehe. 2 intake, 2 exhaust, 1 blowhole. And yah, it's "capable" of being quieter becuase of:

1. fan controller - off to full and front mounted for easy access :snakeman:

2. the grills - I've had the time to eliminate those from my lili. Whereas the antec had filter + grill to contend with.

3. With the blowhole off and only the 4x80 antecs on low-medium, the lili's sound signature stays constant. It's only when I'm doing severe gaming/benchmarking/cooking popcorn on my p4, that they need be running "hoover" style.

With some added love and conditioning, the p180 has potential. Not to mention one of the sexy side panels I've ever felt my...
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Postby LVCapo » Fri Aug 19, 2005 7:09 pm

Have fun in Pheonix, its the only place I'd really consider moving to if I left vegas. It a bit warmer than it is here, but you won't notice it much as there is NO humidity.
As to the case, of course you can always mod it to make it quieter and more efficient, but for coming straight out of the box, the P180 is a very nice case, with a great design (except for the stupid duct system).
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Postby jodiuh » Fri Aug 19, 2005 8:32 pm

LMAO! I tried the duct and you know what? It hit my video card right? So I decided I'd shove it down inside the duct...

*hours go by*

So I go to hit the switch, and "VRAAMAMAMAMAMAM!!!" I seriously thought my cpu was about to explode, haha! That was def good times.
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Postby Knight Who Says Ni! » Fri Aug 19, 2005 11:51 pm

Quick question, could you guys tell how easily it was disassembled? I had planned on picking on of these out and painting it flat black inside/out for a stealth theme. :snakeman:
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Postby LVCapo » Sat Aug 20, 2005 12:38 am

honestly....the duct system Antec uses is crap. The one on the P180 simply makes no sense whats so ever.....and as soon as I was finished with working the review, it joined the ducts from the other antec cases in a box in the closet, never to see the light of day unless I think of a neat project to use them for.
As to disassembly, quite simple really, thumb screws hold on one side, phillips hold on the other, and the front is held on by the standard plastic tabs.. i think this case would be sweet with an anodized look (either blue or red), between that and the brushed aluminum, it would be awesome. I'd also like to see some wheels on it, would have made sense to make that an option considering the weight.
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Postby kojak71 » Mon Aug 22, 2005 4:35 am

jodiuh wrote:...the p180. Absolutely the hardest case I've worked with. I found it overly heavy and no quieter than my slightly modded lian li midtower.


Lian-Li is aluminium, so of course the Antec will be overly heavy. From a silencing perspective, aluminium panels tend to ring, whereas steel does not. The panels on the P180 are steel sandwiched with plastic (as first seen on the Antec Aria) which helps further reduce noise induced by case vibration. But what people must realise that if you stick noisy components into a quietened case, it won't magically eliminate the noise. This case is all about airflow. Because it can breathe so easily, intake and outake fans can be run at 5V (which still provides a healthy CFM on 120mm fans). This in turn means that there is less bearing whine, and wind turbulence around the fans, and therefore less noise.

HOWEVER, all of this is for nought if you don't look at the other PC components. There is no point buying this case, if your PSU is loud at no matter what power/temperature it's at. There is no point buying this case, if you have the stock cooler on a powerful graphics card. There is no point buying this case, if you have hard drives which have screeching bearings. There is no point buying this case, if you have a stock CPU cooler or an aftermarket solution whose fan is running at 3000rpm and above. There is no point buying this case, if you have an actively cooled north-bridge chipset. The sounds that these components make, will still be heard (albeit muted) in such a case.

With the right selection of components, and aftermarket cooling solutions you can take advantage of the case's airflow, and have, for example, a P4 Prescott being passively cooled (i.e. no fan on the heatsink itself). Have a passively cooled VGA card or buy either the Zalman or Artic Cooling VGA coolers and run the fans at low RPMs, without worrying about overall case temps. Put a passive heatsink on the northbridge. And you can do this, safe in the knowledge that although the case temperature will increase, the heat won't escape into the PSU, which would normally case the PSU fan(s) to ramp in speed. In fact this case is crying out for a passively cooled PSU.

If you want a more in depth review, I suggest you read the reviews over at silentpcreview.com. They have 2 reviews, one covering a low powered system (http://www.silentpcreview.com/article254-page1.html) the other a high powered gaming system (http://www.silentpcreview.com/article255-page1.html).
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