Antec P180 review

Price when reviewed

The reason we’ve included two Antec cases in this small Labs is simply that the company makes great PC cases. Both the P180 and Solo are superbly designed and built, without breaking the bank as the SilverStone does. This is because instead of using costly aluminium, Antec uses steel for the main structure of the case. The P180 is then wrapped in plastic with a thin aluminium sheet on the outside (and inside for the side panels) to both muffle noise and look stylish.

Antec P180 review

The front door has a double hinge to allow it to fold back flat against the side of the case. It reveals power and reset buttons, along with one 3.5in and four 5.25in bays. Two grilles swing open to provide access to the two clip-on dust filters – an invaluable feature if you want to prevent the fans blowing large amounts of dust onto your components.

Inside, things are supremely neat with two removable drive cages, one of which holds two hard disks horizontally with quick-release rails, and the other providing space for four disks on their sides with rubber grommets to isolate vibrations.

The two separate chambers are a huge advantage. At the bottom, a 120mm fan pushes air across the hard disks and PSU, and the PSU’s fan then keeps air flowing out the rear. Above is the motherboard chamber, with two more 120mm fans expelling hot air at the top and rear. All three are included in the price and are TriCool models, which means they have three speed settings so you can choose between quietness or maximum airflow.

Adjustable plastic dividers keep the two chambers separate, but allow power cables to be threaded through to the motherboard and drives. And, unlike the poorly thought-out Cooler Master, the P180’s front door can be opened with cables or memory sticks plugged into the ports. The main LEDs aren’t visible with the door shut, and the door is lockable to unauthorised fingers.

Although the P180 is shallower than the SilverStone, there’s still plenty of room for a GeForce 8800, and when you realise that the Antec costs less than half the price the choice is easy. Whether you want to build a high-end PC or a high-quality machine, this is the case to buy.

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