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HeadsUp: Antec P180 w/ASUS P5B DLX (The Good & The Bad)

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January 8, 2007 4:31:00 PM

I have read in many locations, people doing this same build out. Nobody has really listed anything about the bad side (NOT TOO MANY AT ALL) just the good. Just wanted to provide a little feedback for those considering a build with the Antec P180 and the ASUS P5B Deluxe.

A build for my Father-in-Law...

The BAD (OK not really :) ):

Both seem to be excellent products but I have found two different issues that are "easily easily" overcome.

Issue 1: The Manual for the case states to remember to screw in the brass standoffs for the motherboard. The manual makes it seem that you HAVE to screw them in. IN fact the standoffs (especially for the P5B) are already in place. If you were to screw in the brass standoffs it would raise the mobo too much to fit the rear of the case. (please be advised that I did not screw in the brass standoffs :)  since the ones provided were correct for the mb I was using. (So review the standoffs by placing the motherboard in the case and verifying the hole locations and verifying that you have a preinstalled standoff in the right location, if not, then screw in a brass standoff for that hole location. (really just common sense)

Issue 2: Placement of the power supply in reference to the 4 PIN ATX connector on the motherboard. It seems that on some power supplies (Antec smart power non-modular for instance) that the 4 pin ATX connector cable is not long enough to reach the motherboard connector located all the way at the top of the of the case when the board is in place. I expect that many PSUs will have issue with the length of the cable and therefore need an extension for this connector. Other motherboards may place this in a differing location and therefore MAY NOT have this issue (look at mb power connectors and just purchase an extension if you think you will need it ~ $3.00). I could also see a potential for problems with the 24 pin ATX power connector as well on other motherboards.

Minor Inconvenience 1: The placement of the CD AUDIO connector on the motherboard has it down and to the far left (away from the drive itself) so another cable to route.

The GOOD (NEARLY EVERYTHING):

This case was a real pleasure to work on. I have what many would say are HUGE hands and I was able to work on this case easily (many thanks to ASUS for the (Q-Connectors provided with the MB).

The case is roomy with very nice rolled edges nearly everywhere (the power supply cage is the only exception so be careful here).

The drive cages are a real treat as well with the noise dampening rubber grommets and the longer screws which are provided. The rail system is classic Antec and are also truly a pleasure to work with (quick release 5 1/4" drives). The pull rings for the internal 3.5" cages were even secured to reduce noise/vibration.

The door which many have complained about is actually quite sturdy and has a very nice closing feeling with the magnetic closure.

The three (Standard) 120mm fans are nicely located and are of the tricool variant. This is nice in that it allows for a lot of control for both noise and airflow.

Cable management is crucial since if missed the power supply cables could interfere with the bottom mounted (power supply tunnel) 120mm fan.

Full length PCI-E cards (ATI 1900XT) are NOT and issue even with the second internal drive cage in place.

The ASUS P5B-Deluxe-AP comes with EVERYTHING... This was a joy to open since there is a wealth of toys in the box :)  .

The board is well laid out and the heat pipe is also well routed. Most of the connectors were edge mounted which was both a blessing and a curse with the above mentioned case and the above mentioned hands. The power connectors are edge mounted allowing one to put a finger (as much as possible) behind the board while inserting these heavier connectors.

The front panel/multiple USB/Firewire connectors run along the lower edge of the board and required me to install them prior to securing the MB since they were difficult to reach otherwise.


SUMMARY:

Overall this combo is great to work with so far (with the exception of having to wait another day to complete the build because of the extension cable). I knew this could happen but was not THAT worried about it (figuring Antec would recognize this and correct their own products ;) ).

I would recommend both items as long as you are not looking for a mobile PC for use in LAN parties :) .

I'll write an update when I have the extension and let ya know how the rest goes.

I hope this helps someone else in their decisions/build with these products.

Pretty standard build:

Antec P180B (very nice looking/functional/HEAVY case)
ASUS P5B-AP WIFI Motherboard
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600
Patriot 2GB-667
ATI 1900XT PCI-E Video Card
Samsung 20X LightScribe DVD RW
WD 250gb SATA Hard Drive
ACER 24" Wide Screen Display 1920x1200 (I really need one of these :) )

If anyone has anything to add to this (issues or good things that I have missed) please let me know.
January 10, 2007 3:03:35 PM

An Update:

Only other Issue that I found was the "initial" problem of the SATA controller only recognizing 137gb of a 250gb drive.

As it turns out this is an easy remedy though. The Bios and the drivers at first do not recognize the full drive due to 48bit LBA not being turned on.

A simple driver update allows Windows to see the full drive.

Again, hope this helps someone.
January 10, 2007 3:55:40 PM

:D  Thanks. Got the same case & thinking about this MB. What cpu cooler are you using? How's the MB & case fit?

I agree on the CD/DVD sound connector position. Why do they mount it at the lower back (for mid-towers anyway) position when the drives are in the front top? Usually a PITA to route around the graphics cars & MB memory.
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January 10, 2007 4:10:54 PM

Value,

These are a great fit for each other.

I am using the stock cooler as it is a build for my father-in-law who would not care or understand that I over clocked!

There is however plenty of room for an after market cooler..

PS..

The CD audio cable is NOT needed with Windows XP. But I am an old dog and prefer to use it.

The graphics card is higher on the board and so many other things are proprietary on the board that really I only have a single video card in the system. SO not much routing just a pain where it is located.

Feel free to ask any questions (case and MB related that is :) ) and I will do what I can to answer.
January 10, 2007 4:11:54 PM

Value,

Have you purchased your PSU yet?

If so make sure that it has longer leads for MB power connectors.
!