Antec P280 vs Fractal Design Define XL
So, I'm building a new rig, and I have narrowed my choices down to these 2 cases. I mainly chose both of them because they are quiet, and that is what I'm looking for. Aside from that, I have done a little bit of research on both cases, but I'd like to hear from people who've owned either case, or know a lot about them.
I own the Fractal Design Define XL case in it Titanium Grey Edition color.
This is the best case I've ever worked with (and I've assembled tens of rigs).
Sure, it is big and heavy. But you feel the quality of it at the second you touch it. Side pannels are heavy and isolating material seems to be from good quality. Cable management is damn good too !!! But you must think to get a 8-pin CPU power cable extension because the case is too high.
The fans are so-so. Good for silent operation, but when you push them, you really hear the fan motor. They don't push a lot of air, but enough to insure an airflow. The 180 mm is a real good thing : high airflow for low rotation speed.
I've managed well to install a Noctua NH-D14 with two NF-P14 FLX fans on it. It's just enough wide to allow hit, but you have to get low profile memory heatsink such like Kingston HyperX Genesis which I own. I've put the other Noctua 120 mm that comes with the fansink in the upper front pannel to provide direct airflow to the cooler. Works really well. I'm planning to get another NF-P14 for the rear pannel, and two Thermalright TY-140 to replace the other front pannel fans and allowing more airflow to enter the case while being even more silent. Sure, these fans are pricey, but you always get what you pay for !
Unfortunately, I haven't worked with the Antec case. But definitively, I would recommend the Fractal Design to anyone who wants a quality full tower case.
Pictures here ! http://imageshack.us/g/198/p1010124gz.jpg/
Don't worry about the VGA. It's an old HD4850 which will soon be replaced by a GTX680