2003 Winter Case Review Part 2: The ATX Avalanche

Antec: Performance One Series P160, Continued

Due to the chassis design, in particular the pivoting of the hard drive cage design, the amount of room to conceal unsightly cables is definitely at a premium on the P160.

The innovative front-mounted top port and temperature display on the P160.

Beyond the blue colored grill lighting of the P160 the pivoting port connection area that is included at the top of the P160 is perhaps one of the most interesting features of this case. While this port connection panel can pivot, it should be noted that in most cases the user will want to adjust the angle to take advantage pf the temperature LED that is mounted in this panel. During our testing, we found the temperature LED to be fairly accurate within a degree or two of our testing procedure. We also would like to compliment Antec for including a 1394/Firewire cable connection that allows for direct connection to the motherboard. This feature still is not found in very many cases.

Included with the P160 is a 16-page assembly manual that provides installation instructions and photos in five different languages. Antec continues to set the gold standard in case manuals. It seems as though no other case manufacturer is able to capture Antec’s quality users’ manuals. While the installation of our components into the P160 did not necessitate use of this manual, we were still impressed by the thorough procedure review, as this can greatly assist first-time builders as well as novices in correctly installing their components into the P160.

From the two included optical drive bay covers and the included floppy drive bay covers Antec seems to have thought of nearly everything to make the use of their P160 case both functional and elegant looking. The P160 is a great initial aluminum case offering from Antec. The only negative comment we can offer about the P160 is that Antec failed to include a front 120mm fan, and we question the long-term reliability and sturdiness of the front-mounted port connectors. Although we did not encounter any problems with these port connectors during our testing, the plastic design that pivots in this design manner could pose a potential recipe for future problems.

We are somewhat leery of the design that Antec has used with the P160, but this may be due to the fact that we have not seen a design of this type before. Still, overall the P160 is an excellent effort and is very much worthy of consideration for purchase. Some might find the mirrorized accents on the front bezel a bit gaudy for their taste ; we found this feature to add a unique effect not seen previously. Overall, it is an excellent first effort from Antec and certainly is most likely destined to become very popular with case purchasers everywhere.