Five Gaming Enclosures, Rounded Up

Antec P193

Average Online Price: $160

I've always been a big fan of Antec. Its cases, power supplies, and other accessories are universally top notch. Therefore, it's not surprising that the Antec P193 (an update of the popular P series that started with the P180) is an excellent all-around enclosure.

The most striking feature is a massive fan mount on the side of the case that sticks out from the left (and is visible in the images above). It houses a 200mm intake fan that keeps graphics cards nice and cool.

The cooling system is rounded out by a rear, 120mm exhaust fan, two top, 140mm exhaust fans, and three front 120mm intake fans.

As with most of the P180/190 cases, the front hard drive mounts pull out like drawers. This makes it easy to mount drives, but is an inconvenience at the same time. The drives are held in place by rubber-shielded screws to cut down on vibration. There's room for six internal hard drives, and externally the case supports four 5.25" drives and one 3.5" drive, all behind a front door.

The case isn't tool-free, but I'm not holding that against it. "Tool-less" cases are in vogue, but that feature alone doesn't make a case superior. It wasn't a big deal to turn a screwdriver to build within the P193; the bigger inconvenience was the use of drive rails. There's plenty of room in this case for long, 11" graphics cards and large, kilowatt power supplies.

The actual build in this case took longer than those within the other cases in this roundup. With all of the compartmentalization, there are quite a few complicated cable runs to deal with. The biggest hurdle was the need to route the power cables through openings at the bottom of the case, and this caused the cabling to bunch up and made it difficult to achieve clean airflow in the lower area of the motherboard mounting compartment.

Furthermore, the need to remove storage to get to the hard drives was a hindrance. Rubber screw sheaths meant to dampen vibration from the hard drive are easy to lose, as are the special screws used for mounting drives.

Once the build was complete, the case kept everything nice and cool. In all, the P193 isn't without its inconveniences, but it's a nice case nevertheless.

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    Top Comments
  • Pailin
    "The best-performing case, both under load and idle, was the NZXT Panzerbox."

    err... not according to your own graphs its not.

    The P193 beats the Panzerbox at everything on idle! and the Panzer only beat the P193 on CPU temp by 1 deg.

    The 5870 "might" push me from my P182 to a P193 due to the extra length and me not wanting to loose HDD slots - but will prob just get a 5 and a qtr bay converter and hopefully only have to move one drive.
    10
  • Other Comments
  • doomtomb
    That Lian Li PC-X1000 is my favorite
    0
  • CoryInJapan
    Haha I was thinking the same thing about the Lian Li PC-X1000
    0
  • CoryInJapan
    I dont think I would ever need to change my case for an extremely long tile with that Lian Li PC-X1000 case
    0
  • Proximon
    Thanks, good article. I have a comment and a request:
    You said, "The other complaint came in having to remove the bezel of our optical drive so that the case's own bezel could take over." this was on the Lian Li case.
    I would consider this a feature. Brushed aluminum cases look crappy with flat black optical drives and the only way normally to avoid that is a stealth mod, such as I have done with my TJ09.
    I would like to see a picture of each case with the motherboard in place. This helps provide perspective and gives the less experienced builders a clearer idea of what they are actually getting.
    0
  • mcbowler
    Awesome PanzerBox. Where do the hard drives go?
    0
  • redgarl
    400$ cases... WTH? I will never buy that! Where is the Raven one?
    3
  • CHRISTLUBAS
    Panzerbox.........I prefer a M1A1 ABRAMS BOX!!!!!!!
    2
  • neiroatopelcc
    How flimsy/sturdy is the plastic cover for the connectors, and the power button ? looks like they're using the same parts as on my PC-A70 ; and on mine the power button feels as if it isn't big enough for its socket, and the top lid broke off quite easily.
    0
  • Pailin
    "The best-performing case, both under load and idle, was the NZXT Panzerbox."

    err... not according to your own graphs its not.

    The P193 beats the Panzerbox at everything on idle! and the Panzer only beat the P193 on CPU temp by 1 deg.

    The 5870 "might" push me from my P182 to a P193 due to the extra length and me not wanting to loose HDD slots - but will prob just get a 5 and a qtr bay converter and hopefully only have to move one drive.
    10
  • WheelsOfConfusion
    Pailin"The best-performing case, both under load and idle, was the NZXT Panzerbox."err... not according to your own graphs its not.The P193 beats the Panzerbox at everything on idle! and the Panzer only beat the P193 on CPU temp by 1 deg.

    Yeah, what gives? I could understand if we're taking points off for the effort that goes into assembling it and wire routing versus the Panzer, but "performance" would, I think, be measured by how well it cools and how quiet it was. It cools better when idle, almost identically under load, and apparently was the quietest case in the roundup.
    3
  • Onus
    Pailin and Wheels beat me to it. Unless the numbers on the chart were transposed, the P193 is equal or superior to the Panzerbox on all but one test.
    3
  • JohnnyLucky
    I can understand hardcore gamers into serious overclocking getting excited about case cooling but I don't think a difference of a few degrees would matter for the typical user.
    1
  • icepick314
    is side window going out of phase in these latest cases?

    the cases themselves look great but what if i want to show what components i used to build my gaming rig?
    3
  • Onus
    I'll also agree with Proximon. Additional data I'd like to see includes a pic of the final build (showing cable routing), decibel measurements at typical distances from floor to a desk, and total weight.
    What power connectors are on the fans? I may have no desire to water-cool, but many do; so what about radiator mounting and pump placement? The article was interesting as far as it went, but could have included a lot more.
    1
  • nukemaster
    mcbowlerAwesome PanzerBox. Where do the hard drives go?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSdJZyrsj1g
    0
  • coolronz
    interesting review, but my ugly HAF 932 will take em all!!! and i have room to park my car... lol
    1
  • JackNaylorPE
    "The best-performing case, both under load and idle, was the NZXT Panzerbox. The taller, more elegant cases, the ABS Canyon 595 and the Lian Li PC-X1000, were warmer throughout the tests."

    Er......Not according to ya charts dude. The Antec and ABS looked better at idle. 27-81-28 The total (136) is 8% bigger than 24-78-27 (129)

    30-82-39 (141)under load also looks like a virtual w/ 29-82-40 (141)
    1
  • baddad
    Thermaltake has much better cases for gaming then the one you showed and you don't need to spend 400 to get a nice roomy case with lots of fans.
    0
  • Lavacon
    This is missing the Corsair 800D. I would have liked to have seen that against these cases since it @ $270 it is in the middle of the price range in this round up.

    I wasn't impressed with the selection of cases for this review one bit.
    1
  • cknobman
    Panzerbox looked sweet gonna consider it for my next build. Small, open, airy, and tool free.
    0