Antec P180 Advanced Super Mid-Tower Review

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Exterior Impression

Those of you who don’t care for Antec’s flat black cases will be happy to see the P180 is a break from typical Antec cases. Looking something like a kitchen appliance, the P180 is in my opinion an extremely attractive case. < ?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

Front side view 

The P180 is also heavy enough to actually be a kitchen appliance,, weighing in at just over 31 pounds! Definitely not your typical LAN party case! Aesthetically, the P180 should be happy in any environment, the brushed aluminum is subtle enough to not annoy people who don’t care for flair, yet attractive enough to actually be part of your decor.

The exterior is constructed using a three layer system, A heavy duty, vibration and sound dampening plastic is sandwiched between two pieces of aluminum. Besides suppressing your systems sound, the three layered approach also adds a great deal of durability to this case.

Front View

Antec decided to use a metal door for the P180, complete with a magnetic door clasp. While the thick metal door is very nice, the P180 is hampered by something that has bothered a lot of people about their 2005 line of cases, namely a plastic hinge assembly that is not very sturdy. Regardless, this system ismuch nicer and more durable than typical cases. The double hinged assembly allows the door to be completely opened and folded back alongside the case. 

Front View 

A very subtle design feature is the intake grill running the entire heigth of the case along both sides of the case. This allows fresh cool air to be drawn over the twin 120mm fan grills placed at the middle and bottom of the case.. while the overall design is different from past antec cases, Antec uses the same plastic drive bay covers as their other cases.

Front I/O ports

Antec indented the door slightly toward the middle, leaving the front I/O ports exposed, a nice touch that allows you to use the 1394, USB, headphone, and microphone jacks without having to open the door. Where other Antec cases caused some headaches with their front door latch, the P180 uses a very nice magnetic door clask which keeps the door secured nicely without you having to fight to open it. i found the locking mechanism to work work very well without binding or being too difficult.

Rear side view

the rest of the case is of typical Antec construction, extremely sturdy. Both side panels are removeable, the left side by a pair of thumb screws, the right by a pair of phillips head screws. I was really impressed in handling this case, it would take a bit of effort to dent or bend either side panel, and as much as I don’t care for the plastic hinge system , it works well and should be fine as the ability to fully open the door should reduce the chance of breaking it.

The rear of the case gives a hint as to the internal layout, with the power supply being seated at the bottom, Other than that, the rear of the case is pretty standard, with a 120mm exhaust fan and Antec’s ducting system. 

Rear view

Removing the front cover shows the four 5.25 drive bays and single 3.25 drive bay seperated by a 120mm fan grill. some may complain about a single 3.25 drive bay, but we’ll touch on that a bit more when we get to the internal look.

Front View removed

Antec uses a pair of 120mm fan grills mounted directly over your internal HDD cages  While the fans are not included, and might not be necessary, the placement of these grills, coupled with the side grills on the cover, should draw plenty of cool air into your case while doing a good job of reducing your HDD temperatures.

Front filters

The grills themselves are covered by a pair of washable filters that are easily removed and cleaned. Though not small enoufgh to catch every dust particle, these filters are great for catching pet hair and most dust found in every day life

Front Filters removed     

On the top of the case, Antec placed yet another 120mm fan ( Thats up to four internal 120mm fans). this one is for exhausting warm air that builds up in the top of most cases. Coupled with the PSU moved to the bottom of the case, Antec definitely wants to limit the warm air build up in the top section of the P180. The grill covering the top 120mm fan is removeable, so if the P180 is a tight fit under your desk, you can save a couple inches by simply removing it.

Top exhaust fan 

Instead of folding feet or wheels (which I really would have liked to see with this case, if for no other reason than its shear weight) Antec uses silicon feet, which should do a good job of reducing overall case vibration.

bottom

Overall, the exterior is as close to flawless as any I’ve seen. Besides being a very good looking case, the four 120mm fans should provide great airflow without excessive noise. Couple the fans with a three layered external shell, and quiet cooling is obviously the goal of the P180. 

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