Antec’s P380 was designed to have a minimalistic appearance and allow some customization inside. While Antec got rid of the 5.25-inch slots on this case, they didn’t forget that some people still like utilizing optical media for various purposes. The sleek aluminum clad exterior is a very nice touch, and the sound dampened interior provides a great user experience.
I for one use my optical drive maybe once per month, if that, so I truly understand why the 5.25-inch bay is going away. But what about other components that use these bays, such as water cooling reservoirs? I for one have a custom loop that has a reservoir that takes over two 5.25-inch bays, so a case like this would not fit my needs unless I were to purchase a different reservoir.
If you’re looking for your own P380, Antec will try to get you for $229.95 on their storefront, however you can currently purchase it for as low as $109.99 plus $14.99 shipping on Newegg, or as of posting this there is a 3rd party seller on Amazon selling it for $132.60 shipped. Regardless of where you buy it, you will have a 3-year warranty on the P380.
Overall, I really wanted to like the P380, but I had a very hard time finding what made this case stand out aside from the nice looking exterior. There were just too many things done incorrectly here that I left frustrated.
Antec states that if you were wanting to “create a monster file server, the P380 should be the choice, without hesitation.” I am actually in the process of migrating my NAS to a new chassis and thought this would absolutely be the perfect choice, but in reality I decided it would be a painful choice and actually did hesitate. There is no stock cooling over the hard drive bays, however you can add cooling. To add cooling is a giant project, requiring you to remove far too many screws just to remove the front. The vast majority of other cases on the market would just have you pull the front off and snap it back on – but not this case.
The wasted space above the drive cages also threw me off big time. If you were to do any decent front-mounted water cooling instead of top-mount, you’re going to lose six drive bays and you’re left with two. Two drives in an enthusiast’s computer is absolutely not enough. Fortunately there is always the [more common] option to mount up to a 240 or 360mm radiator on the top.
The last thing that got me was the front panel filter. I’m not quite sure what Antec was thinking when they A. Made the front panel a giant task to remove, and B. The front panel filter pulls down for removal. You’re going to have to tilt your case backwards a fair amount just to remove and clean this filter, which I find absolutely atrocious.
I think Antec still has it in them to made awesome cases, but the P380 was very poorly designed for those who want to get extended functionality out of it outside of the factory configuration. In a factory setting, this case can function fairly well, but with the price tag that it has, I’m willing to bet many will want to get more out of their purchase.
Legit Bottom Line: If you leave the P380 case in its factory configuration, it’s actually a pretty decent case. However, if you want to do anything with it, you’ll have a frustrating time thanks to far too many screws holding everything in place.