Antec P-180

The other case that we'll be looking at from Antec is the P-180. The case was available for as little as $110 - with most shops selling it for much closer to $130 - which is really amazing considering how much case you get for your money. This chassis has really been stirring things up within the community, and not without reason. Let's take a closer look to see what makes this unit so special.

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From the outside, this is quite possibly the sleekest looking case that we've ever reviewed. The entire top is black and so is the trim around the edges, but the side and front panel are all aluminum with a silver colored matte finish.

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The magnetically latched front door opens (and can continue swinging all the way to touch the side of the case, thanks to the double-hinge design) and reveals the four 5¼” drive bays, the single 3½” bay, and the two 120mm-sized air intakes. In order to pull in air with the solid door closed, the sides extending the door part forwards are lined with rectangular holes, which shouldn't hamper the case's ability to take in plenty of cool air. The filters behind the actual case intakes can be accessed easily by pushing on the hinged plastic grill on the right side.

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Also viewable in this shot is the P-180's front panel connectors, which include the standard affair of Firewire, USB, and audio connections. Sitting on top at the back of the unit is a removable grill that is designed to help direct some of the warm exhaust air back. In this picture of the back of the case, this grill, the main rear 120mm fan, and the different placement of the power supply are all present.

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Right away, we worried about power supply/motherboard compatibility with this case, as a bottom mounted power supply will need a long cable to reach the motherboard power connection comfortably. We'll find out if our test bed installed OK in a bit.

The side panels of the P-180 have a three-piece construction comprised of metal, plastic, and then metal again. The aim in this assembly is to help keep the case as quiet as possible, and since these panels resonate much less than a typical metal sheet, it will indeed do just that.

Once removed, we took most of the removable pieces out and were left with a very interesting, two-chamber design. Take a look:

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The top portion houses the motherboard, all external drives, up to two hard drives, and two 120mm exhaust fans. The bottom chamber holds four more hard drives and the power supply, and can house one 120mm fan to keep this portion cool.

ThermalRock Eclipse (cont’d) Antec P-180 (cont’d)


View All Comments

  • Abecedaria - Sunday, September 11, 2005 - link

    What was the criteria for choosing these cases? Most of them look nasty-plasticy and even the Antec P-180, although it looks good, has a veery plasticy feel.

    Where was Silverstone in your review? They have some of the best cases available:">
    and from their new subsidiary:">

    These things rock.

  • unclebud - Monday, September 12, 2005 - link

    please consider reviewing the performance 640 next time?
    it currently includes a smartpower v2 400w, for $129
    thanks in advance
  • Rudee - Saturday, September 10, 2005 - link

    There is an error in the article. The Sonata II does indeed have a removable air filter in the front of the case, thus should not be given a score of "0" for this catagory. Reply
  • Tamale - Saturday, September 10, 2005 - link

    The filter is removable from the bottom of the case only.. while this certainly is 'removable', it is nowhere near as accessible as the other cases which I gave this point to. I struggled with the idea of giving the case .5 for this category, but it wouldn't have made a difference in the end, and I really don't feel that most users would go through the trouble of tipping the case over just to clean the filter, so no points were awarded.

    Thanks for pointing out the detail though.
  • Rudee - Saturday, September 10, 2005 - link

    The Sonata II case is great. I was able to overclock a AMD 64 3700 to 2700mhz using the stock AMD heatsink and fan with one Panaflo 92mm fan in the duct over the CPU. Temps are great and I ended up returning my Zalman 7700 as I didn't need it. Reply
  • dgkulzer - Friday, September 09, 2005 - link

    After 1 month of use I am very happy with my P180. Assembly does take a bit longer than a standard case if you are trying to hide your cables but that isnt much of an issue to me. I put a Phantom 500 PSU in it and because its longer than most other PSU's I had to replace the lower fan with a thinner model (Nexus 120). I have 4 hard drives in the lower chamber and the Nexus at 5 volts keeps them very cool - I havent had the Phantom fan kick on yet either.

    This is one case that looks better in person than it does in pictures, the pictures make it look like a little fridge or something but it looks pretty sweet on your desk :)
  • mschira - Friday, September 09, 2005 - link

    I guess the two compartment design is great for watercooling. You could put the pump reservoir etc in the lower compartment. If something leaks, the electronic is save.
    I think that's great thing...
    P.S. onla trouble is where to put the power suply...
  • Griswold - Friday, September 09, 2005 - link

    Kids, having a flashy computer under your desk doesnt make the chicks like you more. Say no to stupid side windows! Reply
  • Tamale - Friday, September 09, 2005 - link

    you seem to forget that most kids who think it would look cool to have the window in the first place probably don't care about girls anyway ;)

    p.s. - most people (girls included) seem to think my all-acrylic case is pretty cool
  • Griswold - Sunday, September 11, 2005 - link


    p.s. - most people (girls included) seem to think my all-acrylic case is pretty cool

    Besides the total lack of EM shielding (which is enough reason to not do what you did, not only because it's not allowed in many countries (I know, I know, US is different, there, the cops wont stop you if your car has only 3 wheels..)), a full acrylic case is a nice show thingie. I just find side windows embarrassing, especially when the rest of the case looks like Optimus Prime's chest armor.

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