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Antec P183 Mid-Tower Case Review

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lemonlime

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Antec P183 Mid-Tower Case Review


Manufacturer Product Page: Antec - P183
Model Number: P183 (UPC #: 0761345-81830-8)
TechWiki Info: Antec P183 - TechWiki
Availability: Now
Warranty: 3 years
Price: Click here to compare prices



Antec is perhaps one of the most popular makers of consumer cases and power supplies. Founded way back in 1986, they have become very well known for their high quality products and reasonable prices. Not only are Antec’s products very popular among enthusiasts, but also system builders and the mainstream markets as well. Their reach extends just about everywhere and their products are available for sale at just about any online or walk-in retailer in Canada and abroad.

Today we’re not going to be looking at a brand new revolutionary sort of enclosure - like the recently reviewed Antec Skeleton – but rather a refinement of a classic; the Antec “Performance One” P180. Back in 2005, the P180 was truly a new and unique design that brought some exciting new features to the table. As one of the first mainstream “bottom mounted” PSU enclosures that separated components into thermally isolated chambers, the P180 really broke out of the old beige box mould of the day. Today, just about every enthusiast grade case has a PSU mounted at the bottom, and quite a few employ thermal chambers (like the Thermaltake Spedo) for example. So now that most of the P180’s unique features have become somewhat commonplace, what did Antec do? Very little actually. Instead of going back to the drawing board to find some new revolutionary sort of case design, Antec simply made a good case even better through the use of some subtle refinements.

Most potential buyers would see very few differences between the P183 and its predecessors. In fact, the fairly new P182 changed very little from the original P180, with primarily aesthetic improvements. Antec implemented a high quality gun-metal finish on the P182 and also offered it in a limited edition “mirror finish”. Although the P182 provided mainly aesthetic improvements, the P183 goes a step further with some performance improvements as well. First and foremost, Antec has redesigned the front door of the P183 to allow better intake airflow through the front of the case. Larger vent openings can now be found along the side of the door, as well as four large angled openings on the front of the door. Secondly, Antec has included dust filters along all of the vented drive bay covers to keep the P183 cleaner than its predecessors. And last but not least, Antec has relocated the optional lower chamber fan so that larger PSUs can be installed and included a mounting plate so that their new “CPX” form factor power supplies can be installed as well. Although these are some arguably needed improvements to “modernize” the P180 series, Antec has maintained much of the classic P180’s award winning design characteristics.

The P183 is a mid-tower case that is a bit on the larger side, measuring almost 20 inches tall by 20 inches deep. Weighing in at about 31 pounds makes it a relatively heavy case as well. Although this may not be an ideal case to lug around to LAN gaming events, Antec has tried to make the P180 series of cases a universal design that would suit just about any individual’s tastes. It’s relatively simple and classy appearance means that it would look at home on just about anyone’s desk and Its tried and tested internal design and cooling layout means that it is often considered by enthusiasts and mainstream buyers alike.

Without further ado, let’s see how this classic design stacks up in the Hardware Canucks’ labs.

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lemonlime

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Packaging and Accessories

Packaging and Accessories

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The P183 ships in a large cardboard box with high quality, full-colour graphics. A nice angled image of the case is found on the front, as well as a list of the case’s key specifications at the rear. The print and finish of Antec’s boxes has always been top-notch, and seems to hold up better to the abuses of shipping. The first time we picked up the box, we were surprised at its weight. Considering the case weighs thirty one pounds without any packaging, there likely won’t be too many “free shipping” deals on the P183.

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From the sides, you get a head on view of the case, as well as an open side view with some additional features listed.

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Once we cracked open the box, we were greeted with a healthy amount of spacing between the case and the sides of the box and a good amount of foam. The case itself is protected by an extra internal layer of cardboard and all of the nice gunmetal panels are protected by a removable plastic film. This film is nice to see as it helps to ensure that the case arrives fingerprint and scuff-free.

As we have mentioned in previous case reviews, it is important to remember that online vendors almost never place an enclosure box within another box filled with protective packaging like they would with smaller items. What comes from the case manufacturer is what gets tossed around by the courier company.

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The P183 comes with a pretty standard set of accessories, including some cable ties, case screws and motherboard standoffs. Some proprietary elongated screws and extra rubber noise dampers are also included for hard drive installation. Antec also includes some fan clips that we’ll detail later as well as some 5.25 inch bay rails for optical drive installation.

In the bag of screws you’ll also find something straight out of the early nineties—a set of keys. That’s right, stay out of my case! Although they are not used for “keyboard lock” purposes like some of the old-school beige AT boxes, they do allow the locking of the front door, which we’ll take a closer look at shortly.

Antec throws in a very basic product overview sheet. We definitely can’t call it a manual because it isn’t. It simply provides the buyer with general information and key features in about eight different languages. Those looking for installation assistance will have to refer to Antec’s thorough PDF manual available at the P183 product page. The online manual is well written with diagrams and how-to images that should guide along any novice PC builder.
 
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lemonlime

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Exterior Impressions

Exterior Impressions

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Once we had all of the protective film removed from the brushed metal panels, we were greeted by an incredibly attractive looking case. We truly believe that marketing images of the P183 around the web do not to the case justice. Its gunmetal finish is top notch, and not overly reflective like the mirror finish edition P182, which was a real magnet for finger prints and other blemishes. Both sides of the case as well as the front door panel are endowed with this metallic awesomeness. Although it does bear a cosmetic resemblance with a high-end stainless steel refrigerator, we can only hope that our testing proves it to be just as “cool”.

From an audience perspective, it appears that Antec intends the P183 to cater to a wide variety of buyers. Its appearance is very simple and it maintains a higher-end, classy look from just about any angle. There are no bright lights and aggressive styling to scare away the more pedestrian buyers, yet its subtle vent openings and metallic finish give it that small hint of “performance” oriented aesthetics. With that said, the P183 truly is universal in its appearance and would look at home on a gamers’ desk as much as it would in an office environment.

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It’s unfortunate that Antec didn’t provide a windowed side panel with the P183 or provide one as an optional accessory so buyers interested in seeing their hardware will have to modify the P183 themselves. Thankfully, Antec did keep the stainless steel theme going and both side panels are finished in the same gunmetal appearance. Lack of a window aside, we’ll take a closer look at the P183’s side panels shortly as they are far from ordinary.

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Once we turn the P183 around, that wonderful gunmetal finish quickly comes to an abrupt halt. We’re greeted with that good old flat gray steel finish across the entire back of the enclosure.

Like most enthusiast cases these days, the P183 employs a “bottom mounted” PSU and a fairly standard layout with a single 120mm exhaust fan. The fan grille is a simple “honeycomb” stamped variety with mounting holes for 120mm fans only. Since it is mounted with simple self-taping fan screws, it can be replaced with just about any 120mm fan if so desired.

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Farther down, we see that Antec includes vented expansion slot brackets. Keeping the rear of the case breathing, especially the expansion slot area is very important as toasty video cards do not always exhaust air directly out of the case very well. We’ll see how the P183 is able to keep a pair of HD3850 cards cool in the “Cooling Performance” section.

Antec also pre-mounted a pair of water cooling tube grommets just to the right of the expansion slots so that buyers can mount an external radiator without having to modify the case. The location of these grommets could be a pro or a con depending on your cooling loop setup, but we’re pleased to see that they are included regardless. They are constructed of a somewhat soft rubber compound that should be able to accommodate 3/8” and 1/2“ ID tubing.

The vented expansion brackets are also removable, which is ideal. There is nothing worse than having to deal with “punch-out” brackets that cannot be reused when swapping around expansion cards. The openings in the brackets are fairly large, so they should allow some hot air to escape around the video cards.

Although we’re not quite sure why they bothered, Antec includes an old-school ATX I/O plate that most certainly won’t fit the majority of modern motherboards out there today. We suppose that if a buyer had a really old Pentium 3 system or something of the sort, it might be able to be used, but 99% of individuals out there will simply remove it and install the one that came with their motherboard.

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A very handy feature included in the P183 is the built-in fan controller. It allows a “Low”, “Medium” and “High” fan speed to be selected for both the top and rear exhaust fans independently. This is a great addition as it allows the buyer to tune the case for maximum performance or quiet operation. The only unfortunate aspect of these switches is their small size and inconvenient location at the back of the case. Those minor gripes aside, we’re pleased they offered this feature. We’ll be testing the P183 in all three of these fan speed settings to see how they impact CPU and GPU temperatures.

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Bottom mounted PSUs are becoming ever more popular these days. There are some thermal advantages to having the PSU at the bottom of the case, but some cable management challenges usually go along with them. Thankfully, case manufacturers are starting to implement some innovative ways to manage cabling in this sort of orientation, and PSU makers are providing longer power leads to ensure they’ll reach the extra distance required. The P183 is a fairly tall case, but just about any modern PSU will have long enough leads to reach thanks to some handy cable management features that we’ll explore shortly.

The mounting holes exist to allow the PSU to be mounted right-side-up or upside-down. Usually, PSUs with a 120mm or larger fan at the bottom of the casing may benefit from an upside down orientation as they can draw in air with less restriction from the case. The P183 is a bit unique though as its PSU is thermally isolated from the rest of the case and its mounting orientation should matter very little. We’ll take a closer look at this chamber system in the future, but it’s good to be able to choose between the two mounting possibilities.

If you haven’t already noticed, the P183’s PSU opening is actually a cut-out on a larger removable plate. This metal plate can be removed to allow the installation of Antec’s proprietary CPX form factor power supplies. We won’t get too much into the CPX form factor, but we will say that it’s less compact nature allows for improved PSU design and cooling. At present time, there is only one CPX based PSU available from Antec; the CP-850. Whether or not this form factor takes off, fans of Antec PSUs can take advantage of the new CP-850 without any modification to their case.
 
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lemonlime

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Exterior Impressions pg.2

Exterior Impressions pg.2

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From the front, the P183 is an attractive enclosure to say the least. Those who prefer the minimalist appearance will definitely appreciate the stainless finish and the front door that hides all of the unsightly drive bays. Even the power and reset switches are concealed behind the door. It doesn’t get much cleaner than this.

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The front I/O panel protrudes outside of the front door and is always accessible. On it, we find the essential audio connectors, a pair of USB headers and an eSATA port. Most modern motherboards include a rear eSATA connector on the board itself, and if so desired, a break-out expansion panel can also be used. But if you are one of the few that don’t have an eSATA connector on your board, the P183 has got you covered. A Firewire port is not included on the front panel, but considering how few individuals actually need one, this is definitely a forgivable omission.

That circular metal opening at the top of the I/O panel – that looks a bit like a button - is the key locking mechanism. A buyer can lock the front panel closed to prevent people from shutting down the system or stealing CDs from the optical drives. Although this is likely a feature the majority of buyers will never use, it may be beneficial to business users or those who will be using the case in a public setting. The only unfortunate aspect of this lockable front door is that the power button sits partially behind one of the ventilation openings and can be pressed with a pencil, screwdriver or someone with small hands. The most likely scenario where this lock would be used by the average buyer would be to secure the door closed when transporting the case. Since the door is held close with only a small amount of pressure, the lock will ensure it doesn’t swing open accidentally when carrying around the heavy P183.

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One feature that Antec boasts about the P183 over its “Performance One” predecessors is the improved airflow due to the new front door design. We’d have to heartily agree that some significant improvements have been made with some very healthy spacing between the door panel and the front of the case, as well as an ample number of ventilation openings on the front and sides of the door. We can say with confidence that this case will not be suffocating due to the door being closed; a common issue with front door style cases.

The front door on the P183 is nice and heavy and has a fairly sturdy feel to it. Although it appears constructed of metal, only the front and rear of the door have a stainless panel on them. The door frame itself appears to be constructed of thick plastic and does flex slightly. Although the door is not quite as strong as we would have liked to see, it closes nice and securely.

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With the front door opened, we’re greeted by a very industrial appearance. Without it, the case would look right at home in a datacenter as opposed to on a desk. The front fascia behind the door is constructed of thick black plastic and dominated by filtered ventilation openings from top to bottom. A total of four optical drives or other 5.25 inch devices and a single external 3.5 inch device can be installed in the P183. Each of the drive bay covers can be removed very easily by squeezing the plastic clips on either side of the covers. We’ll get more into drive installation in the “Installation” section of this review.

The filter material behind the bay covers is a very fine “screen door” type of mesh that generally allows for better airflow than the thicker “foam” varieties. We’d definitely take this sort of screening over foam inserts any day of the week. Unfortunately though, the screen mesh is glued to the panels, so it cannot be easily removed to further improve airflow.

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Moving along to the top of the P183, we find an opening for a single 120mm exhaust fan. Unlike the original P180s with the protruding “wing” at the top, Antec opted for a simple opening that doesn’t distract from the classy, non-aggressive appearance of the P183. We’re actually a bit surprised that Antec didn’t use larger fans in the P183, as 140mm and fans as large as 230mm are becoming commonplace in enthusiast grade enclosures. Even the compact “Mini P180” employs a 200mm top exhaust fan. Larger fans usually equate to higher levels of airflow with lower levels of noise, however using 120mm fans allows buyers to swap them out for any number of high-performance or quiet replacements.

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There is nothing much to see at the bottom of the P183. Simple rubber feet allow it to stay planed securely on the floor or a desk’s surface. As we mentioned earlier, the bottom portion of the P183 is thermally isolated from the top, so ventilation openings are not present for a PSU or optional fans below. This is completely intentional and we’ll discuss this in greater detail in the “Interior Impressions” section.

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Antec’s “Performance One” series of cases, including the P183 have very unique side panels. As we mentioned earlier, the panels are not windowed, but are far from ordinary. When we first removed the side panel, we were surprised by the weight and sturdy feel of the panel. Its frame is constructed of plastic, but Antec provides several layers of material in the side panels to provide some acoustic dampening. Antec has this to say about the side panels: “Innovative three-layer, sound-deadening side panels and front door (aluminum, plastic, aluminum) dampen noise and ensure Quiet Computing™”. Sandwiching the plastic door between two layers of aluminum provides a very “different” feeling side panel. When tapping it with something, you hear more of a light “thud” than a “kling” or a “klang” noise. Anyone who has worked with automotive sound dampening materials like Dynamat will be very familiar with this effect.
 
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lemonlime

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Interior Impressions

Interior Impressions

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With the side panel removed, we are greeted by a relatively spacious interior with two divided sections. The top two thirds of the case make up the main chamber, while the lower third makes up the lower chamber. As you’ve probably already guessed, the PSU and up to four hard drives can be installed in the lower chamber, where they are thermally isolated from the toasty components above. There are a couple of benefits to this sort of layout. First off, since the PSU is always exhausting air out of the case, it is not fed hot air by the warm components in the top chamber. It should be exhausting air from the lower chamber alone, which is significantly cooler. The four hard drives toward the front of the case in the lower chamber also benefit from this small amount of PSU exhaust, as the negative pressure draws cool air in from the front panel, through the drives and out the back via the PSU. Secondly, the components in the main chamber and the cooling fans there have to cope with an overall lower heat load thanks to the separation of the PSU and hard disk drives. In theory, this is a great layout and we’ve seen it work well over the years. We’ll be running the P183 through a whole slew of cooling performance tests shortly, so please stay tuned.

Cooling layout aside, Antec decided to use a drab grey color throughout the interior of the case. After seeing the very attractive “Mini P180” with a painted black interior, we hoped Antec would have maintained similar styling in the P183.

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Because true isolation would inevitably be impractical, Antec includes a plastic shield that can be adjusted to allow cables to pass between the chambers. Two thumb screws can be loosened to move the two pieces of plastic back and forth. For optimal performance, they should be closed as tightly as possible without squeezing the PSU leads and SATA leads.

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As mentioned earlier, the PSU is forced to draw cool air in from the lower chamber so ventilation openings at the bottom of the case are not provided. A special bracket ensures that PSUs with bottom mounted fans are spaced appropriately to draw air in from the lower chamber. This same bracket also has some rubber dampening strips placed on it to help reduce noise and installation scuffs and scratches to the PSU.

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A total of six hard drives can be installed in the Antec P183. Four of them can be installed in the isolated lower chamber, while two can be installed in the optional caddies in the main chamber. Although we’d definitely recommend installing drives in the lower chamber for its thermal properties, it’s nice that those who horde their terabytes can also throw a couple of extra drives into the top chamber.

The drive cage in the lower bay is removable by removing one thumb screw and pulling the grenade style pin. It has a thick plastic guide that allows it to fit firmly into metal rails on the case. Thick rubber stand-offs help to reduce vibration to the hard drives as the special mounting screws and the drive will not make any metal on metal contact with the case. The removable cadies in the main chamber also employ these rubber stand-offs, but mount to the drives through the standard lower mounting holes.

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The drive cage in the main chamber can also be removed by releasing one thumb screw and pulling the key chain handle. Behind it, we find the case header leads entering the case as well as an optional 120mm fan mounting location. A 25mm thick intake fan can be mounted to the plastic bracket using simple self-taping fan screws.

We found an interesting undocumented feature at the rear of the drive cage as well; a small plastic storage compartment. Thermaltake did something similar in their recent Spedo case, but we can’t help but feel that loose case screws don’t belong inside of the case. It was nice of Antec to make use of otherwise wasted space, but you wouldn’t catch us keeping anything in this little compartment.

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The 5.25 inch drive bays each have punch-out covers installed out of the box. They can easily be twisted off from the front of the case, without needing to remove the front panel. We suppose that leaving these punch-out panels in place provides a bit of extra rigidity to the chassis, but it’s always a bit of an annoyance to pop them out when installing optical drives.
 
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lemonlime

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Interior Impressions pg.2

Interior Impressions pg.2

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Moving along to the rear of the case, we get an inside view of the vented expansion brackets and water cooling grommets. Each of the brackets is held on by simple case screws. Although this is not a tool-less design, this tried and tested card mounting system is nice and sturdy and gets our stamp of approval. As mentioned earlier, water cooling tubing will enter the case right above the expansion slots. This may or may not be a con depending on your water cooling setup. At least you won’t have to modify the case to install an external radiator.

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We’d also like to make special mention of the rubber dampening strips along the chamber divider and the drive cages. This allows the side panel to fit tightly against the case while preventing any annoying vibrations and rattles.

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There is a bit of a nest of cabling protruding from the front of the case, but since there are only two USB ports and no Firewire ports, things are not bad from a cable management perspective. We were also pleased to see many of the headers with black insulating plastic as there is nothing worse than seeing a complete rainbow of coloured cables wreaking havoc with your carefully contrived colour scheme.

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Although there are a total of five fan mounting locations in the P183, there are only two fans included; one as a rear exhaust and one as a top exhaust. This is a pretty standard setup in cases with bottom mounted PSUs, but usually at least one intake fan is included to force a bit of cool air into the case. We’ll see how this configuration fairs in the “Cooling Performance” section.

Both of the included fans are 120x25mm models with standard 4-pin molex power plugs and a single lead into the fan controller switch. Both fans are identical, and are identified as “Antec TriCool” fans. Unlike many case manufacturers, Antec’s product manual provides some detailed specifications about the TriCool fans.

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As you can see, they can provide a very healthy 79CFM at a full 2000RPM, and as low as 39CFM at an ear-friendlier 1200RPM. This wide range of operating speeds makes the TriCool fans very versatile. We’ll explore what sort of impact dropping the fan speed has on CPU and GPU temperatures in the “Cooling Performance” section. Unfortunately, any replacement fans won’t be able to be used by the proprietary Antec fan controller.

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On the flip side of the case, we see some nifty cable management features. Antec provides little cable tie notches across the rear of the motherboard tray, as well as cut-outs for the ATX and CPU power connectors. Rather than having to fish these cables above all of the internal components, they can be routed discretely behind the motherboard tray. We’ll be putting these various openings to the test in the “Installation Section”
 
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lemonlime

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Installation

Installation

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To start our installation, we began by installing our PSU into the P183. Our Antec Signature 650W PSU fit without a hitch, and the rubber strips on the mounting bracket held it nice and comfortably once we had it screwed in place.

We should mention that the original P180 case had a mid-mounted fan in the lower chamber that was known to cause issues with long PSUs. This optional fan mounting location has been relocated to the front of the hard drive cages where it won’t interfere with anything.

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We then moved on to hard drive installation. As you can see, there are two different locations for hard drive mounting and two different mounting methods. Installing the drive into the removable caddy was actually a bit easier than installing it into the lower cage as gravity made lining up the mounting holes a bit easier. In both scenarios, the drive was secured very well. We just had to be careful not to knock out the rubber stand-offs as they come out fairly easily before being tightened down.

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Next, we installed our Asus M3A78-T motherboard. This was nice and easy thanks to the spacious interior of the P183. We simply laid the case down on its side, lined up the mounting stand-offs and tightened it down. We were pleased to see that the 24-pin ATX connector lined up perfectly with the cut-out opening on the motherboard tray.

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The cable management features at the rear of the P183 made routing the ATX power connector and CPU power connector a breeze. The included reusable cable ties can be used for this purpose, but we’d recommend the disposable type for a tighter hold. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of space between the rear of the motherboard tray and the side panel, so buyers will have to select the cables they wish to hide carefully. Big bundles of cables and power connectors will not fit behind the P183 motherboard tray.

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So long as you won’t be using all four hard drives in the lower cage, it makes an excellent place to hide away PSU leads. Simply tuck in any spare leads and away you go.
 
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lemonlime

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Installation pg.2

Installation pg.2

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Installing an optical drive into the P183 was fairly easy. The included plastic rail brackets screw onto the drive and it slides into the empty bay. Despite our best efforts, it took several tries to get the brackets on in the right position. Antec does not indicate what mounting holes on the optical drive to screw the bracket into, so a little bit of trial and error may be required to get it just right. Although this rail system works fairly well, it would have been nice to see Antec adopt a ‘tool-free’ optical drive mounting system as many other case manufacturers have done.

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As mentioned earlier, the filter mesh is glued to each of the drive bay covers. With a little bit of patience, it can be removed for increased airflow, but reattaching will be a bit of a chore.

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We then moved onto the video cards, which were a piece of cake. There is plenty of front to back clearance and just about any 10.5 inch card should fit without issue. Those with extra long cards would probably be best leaving the hard drives mounted in the lower chamber so that SATA cables and power leads don’t clutter up this area of the case.

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Once we had everything installed, the final product was very clean. Antec did an excellent job with respect to cable management on the P183. Keeping that ATX cable out of the main chamber made a big difference in keeping the case looking clean.

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Another optional feature that those interested in maximum video card cooling will be interested in is the “Mid Fan”. Small metal clips are included to mount a 25mm thick 120mm fan just in front of the expansion slots. The clips simply snap into place over the mid-section of the fan and hold it securely in place.

Installing a 120mm fan in the intake location in front of that drive bay is another alternative mounting location that may benefit GPU temperatures. We’ll be testing both of these configurations in the “Cooling Performance” section.

Initial Acoustic and Running Impressions

When we first fired up the P183, we were immediately aware of the noise produced by the TriCool fans at full speed. Although they don’t produce an annoying sound, they do produce a fairly low pitched “roar” as they move 80CFM of air a piece. The noise appears to be primarily due to large volumes of air moving through the fan grilles, and not due to the fan motor, or any other “more annoying” source of noise. Some lower quality fans produce a constant “hum” that we’re pleased to report is not the case with the TriCool models.

With the fans turned down to “Medium”, the noise was reduced very significantly. Airflow still appeared to be somewhat strong, but not like it was at full speed. At “Low” the noise level was further reduced, but the difference was not as apparent as it was going from “High” to “Medium”.

It’s unfortunate that the case isn’t terribly quiet at its full performance potential, but we are pleased that buyers can reduce the noise levels with the flick of a switch.
 
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lemonlime

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Testing Methodology

Testing Methodology

System Used:
Processor: AMD Phenom X3 8750 @ Default Frequency of 2.4Ghz (Vcore increased to 1.4V to increase thermal output)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix 2x 1GB PC2-8500 (Single sided models @ 2.0V and 5-5-5-15-2T timings)
Motherboard: ASUS M3A78-T (790GX/SB750 Chipset)
Video Cards: 2x ATI Radeon 3850s in Crossfire (Reference Design @ Default 668/828MHz)
Optical Disk Drive: Pioneer DVD Writer
Hard Drive: Seagate 80GB 7200RPM SATA
Heatsink: Noctua NH-C12P with NF-P12 1300RPM fan
Power Supply: Antec Signature Series 650W​

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  • All testing was conducted with an ambient temperature of 21°C and not permitted to deviate beyond +/- 0.5°C.
  • Full system load was achieved using a combination of Prime95 v25 and Furmark for 100% CPU and GPU load. Temperature readings were taken after about 30 minutes of full-load testing and stabilization of temperatures. Idle temperature readings were taken after about 30 minutes of inactivity at the Windows desktop.
  • AMD Cool’N’Quiet technology was disabled in the BIOS.
  • GPU fan speed was fixed at 75% using RivaTuner on both cards for testing to ensure that fan profiling does not throw off results. CPU fan speed was also fixed at 1300RPM.
  • CPU, Motherboard and HDD temperature readings were taken from Speedfan 4.37 as it provided the most realistic values compared to what is being reported by CoreTemp, AOD and PC Probe II with this particular board/CPU combination.
  • GPU Temperature readings were taken from each individual GPU core using RivaTuner.
  • PSU Exhaust temperature was measured using an external probe attached to the PSU exhaust fan grille.

To provide some comparison, we conducted testing in accordance with the above methodology on the recently reviewed Thermaltake Spedo, Cooler Master Storm Sniper, Storm Scout as well as a case-less configuration on a “High Speed Tech Station”. The fans were left in their default configurations unless otherwise specified, but the 120mm fan was disconnected from the Tech Station to show a truly ambient environment where only the CPU fan, PSU fan and GPU fans are providing cooling to the system.

As you’ll see shortly, we conducted several tests with the P183 to see how it performed with and without the optional intake fans. CPU, GPU, Hard Drive and PSU cooling performance will be measured with these optional fans in place. Noctua NF-P12 fans (1300RPM at 12V) were used for all of the optional fan tests.

Please note that unless otherwise specified, the P183 cooling results are taken with the fans set to “High”.
 
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