Antec Builds P380 Case From Community Feedback

Antec P380

At CES 2015, Antec had a handful of new products on display, two of which particularly stood out to us. The Performance Series P380, which we saw in prototype form at Computex 2014, was one of those, but the company also showcased a smaller Performance Series case called the P50.

This polished P380 looks a lot like the version of the chassis that we saw at Computex, but it has a couple of small changes. It now uses 4 mm-thick aluminum, rather than 8 mm, for one thing. Further, instead of the front and top of the case built as one solid bent piece of metal, Antec opted to make them two separate pieces, as it's easier to manufacture that way.

The drive cages have been revamped a bit, too. The decision to go with thinner aluminum was made to save costs, which we're fine with because 4 mm is still quite thick. Inside the case you'll be able to house up to eight 3.5" drives, long-full-size graphics cards, and up to E-ATX motherboards. It also has a total of nine expansion slots, so you will be able to house 4-way SLI or CrossFire configurations in the system.

What Antec wants to show us with this case is that it is making a return. It is gauging a lot of feedback from the community and using that to improve and change parts of the case to better accommodate users' wishes. One example is that it doesn't have a 5.25" optical drive bay; instead, there's just a bay for a slim optical drive behind the front aluminum panel. This provides the user with the possibility to mount an optical drive if they really need one, and a clean front appearance regardless of the configuration.

Antec P50

Antec put power and rest buttons on both sides of the case so that users have the option to place either side against a wall. Front I/O can also be swapped from the left to the right side; the only thing you'll lose by placing the case on the left of your desk is the side window.

Antec told us that the P380 would carry an MSRP of $229, although the company expects street pricing around the $199 mark.

The Performance One P50 is a smaller Micro-ATX case, and it features a dual-zone design. Rather than having two zones above one another, though, the zones are placed beside each other, much like Corsair's Carbide Air Series. The motherboard, CPU and graphics cards sit in one side, with the storage and power supply residing in the other. Inside you'll be able to fit an ATX power supply, full-size graphics cards, two 2.5" hard drives, two 3.5" hard drives, one 240 mm radiator and four 120 mm fans. It looked to us like squeezing in a 240 mm would be tricky because of the barbs protruding potentially too far. Antec hasn't tried to do that yet.

The case is still in its prototype phase, so Antec couldn't comment on availability.

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Niels Broekhuijsen

Niels Broekhuijsen is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He reviews cases, water cooling and pc builds.

  • RedJaron
    I don't get this craze of removing all external bays yet keeping the same external dimensions. I get that a few consumers don't use or want external bays. So if you're not going to use any external bays, why not trim down the size of the case? Hard drive cages don't need to be as big as 5.25" bays. Radiators aren't nearly as deep. So long as you have enough clearance for GPUs and radiators, why not make the things smaller, and hopefully, cheaper in the process?
  • ab-704
    I still need six 5 1/2 bays - two for the cooling reservoir, one for the optical drive and three for the 4-into-3 hot-swap bay.
  • mortsmi7
    I don't really get the argument for removing the 5.25 bays. Having to use an external disc drive for a desktop just seems <removed>. My desk is already cluttered enough by peripherals, I don't need auxiliary elements of my PC adding to it. I use 4 of 4 of my bays. If you want thinner dimensions, there is also the all but extinct practice of vertical drive bays. I just bought a new disc drive and it still comes with the ridges for that orientation.

    Watch the language. - G
  • boletus
    I'll be keeping my internal optical drive too. I don't know who all wants to lose the ability to house one, but for me optical storage is still the best option for backing up files, and I do still rip music disks, and I also play DVDs once in a while. I'll admit I use the optical drive much less than I used to, but it is still an essential piece of hardware for me. And with optical drives and disks as inexpensive as they are now, I will not see the lack of a bay for that as a plus.
  • boletus
    And who really needs 8 3.5 inch drives, now that SSDa have taken over? You can stack 3 of them in a single 3.5 inch bay. I'd gladly trade a couple of 3.5 inch bays for one 5.25 inch optical bay.
  • spectrewind
    Looks a lot like Fractal Design's R5.
  • Camikazi
    @boletus When I can get 8 4TB SSDs for the same price as 8 4TB HDDs I will be fine with getting rid of the 3.5" bays. Although I'd rather have more 5.25" bays so I can put in 3.5" HDD hotswap bays.
  • falchard
    *sigh* another case not as beautiful as my InWin 904.
  • jasonw223
    Lot of haters in the comments... but honestly I quite like the look of this case.
  • jeffunit
    I own a P182. I own a P280. I won't be buying this case. I need something reasonably priced with at least 2 or 3 external drive bays. And a side window on a case that is supposed to be quiet? What ever happened the the 3 layer sides of the P180 series?