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Up And Down With Antec's P180 Case

Wrestling With The Antec

Antec designed the P180 for the hobbyist and system builder. However, their documentation seems to assume people need no help at all putting this beast together. Documentation is almost non-existent, and for a case this different in design, that’s simply not acceptable. There were some written instructions, but no illustrations, which this beast demands.

It took a little longer to install the PSU and snake the cables through an opening separating the power supply area from the rest of the case. The power supply sits at the bottom with a large 120 mm fan pointed right at it. The case is two feet tall, so you have to make sure your power supply has power cords long enough to reach the CD or DVD-ROM drives that are in the 5.25" bays.

However, this design has its purpose. It keeps the power supply’s heat away from the motherboard. Between an insulating wall of aluminum and the fan blowing directly on the power supply, none of its heat will get to the motherboard area at all.

Then the board, with mounted CPU and memory, went in quickly. With no power supply getting in the way, mounting was much easier than any other system I’ve built. Removable drives and the sound card were also added.

Drive installation was rather simple. Like many newer case designs, you attach mounting brackets to all of the drives and slide them into place. The P180 can hold six internal 3.5" drives in two bays capable of holding three drives each. Both drive bays slide in and out of place and are held securely with large screws. There is also a mounting bracket by both drive bays for 120 mm fans to keep them cool, if you want to add more fans.

The motherboard space is open and easy to access.

There are three stock 120 mm fans and room for at least two more, as described above. In its out-of-box form, there is no fan on the side, with no direct internal fans sucking in air. However, that doesn’t appear to be an impediment.

Another nit-pick on my part : the power connectors on the 120 mm fans require connecting them to the four-prong power plugs from the power supply. It would have been very nice to use the motherboard connections, so they can be controlled and monitored via motherboard fan controls.