Up And Down With Antec's P180 Case

Houston, We Have A Problem

So, everything is in the new system, I hook everything up internally, connect my monitor and keyboard, power it up and then : Nothing.

The fans spin but that’s it. After an hour of experimenting, I was forced to drag it to PC Club, since it was their motherboard and the most likely point of failure. This meant carrying a case weighing nearly 40 lbs. down the stairs (living on the second floor has its drawbacks) and dealing with L.A. traffic at dinner time, but this computer had to be up and running for the next day.

Fortunately, the PC Club tech knows me and knows I am capable enough to operate on my own. So he gave me free reign over his power screwdrivers and I set to work while he took care of other customers. This would never happen at CompUSA or Fry’s, which is why PC Club gets my business.

Eventually - and this is a big gap in time here where I completely took everything off the computer except for the PSU, one stick of RAM and the CPU - we figured it out : the power supply, an Enermax FMA 535, didn’t have a 12v plug. It had the 20+4 plug for the Athlon motherboard, which I thought was enough. It even says on the Enermax box that it’s designed for an A64 board, but it doesn’t have that extra four-prong plug that’s needed to start things up. Once it was determined that the Enermax was the culprit, we replaced it with a chrome-plated Soly Tech 460 watt power supply, and things worked fine. The Enermax went back to Fry’s, where it’s undoubtedly sitting on the shelf for the next sucker to purchase.

The motherboard installed, with the two 120 mm fans for venting.

Rebuilding the computer was another bit of major surgery and the PC Club tech uttered a gem : "Man, you’ve convinced me that I never want to own this case." But once it was reassembled and everything connected, he could see how the airflow worked and understood what Antec was aiming at. The case had proven a bit of a fascination among the staff, as the sales reps came over to see it. One of them tried to convince the store manager to carry the case, but his boss refused. It’s not too often the staff of a computer store comes over to check out a case.

So, with a shiny chrome 460-watt replacement, I had the computer running. Back home, back up the stairs, and I’ve gotten my exercise for the day. Windows XP was installed, along with Service Pack 1 and almost 30 hot fixes. I have stayed away from SP2 because it used to lock up EverQuest whenever it rained in the game, and we can’t have that, now, can we ?

Tom's Hardware News Team

Tom's Hardware's dedicated news crew consists of both freelancers and staff with decades of experience reporting on the latest developments in CPUs, GPUs, super computing, Raspberry Pis and more.