If you’ve been following the PC space for a decade or more, you probably remember Antec for making a few boring, but high-quality silence-focused cases like the P180 series with their triple-layered side panels for extremely quiet acoustics. But the truth is, that Antec doesn’t exist anymore. The company hasn’t made a case like that in a long time, and while I understand that there just isn’t a big market for it anymore, especially with the abundance of quiet components to begin with, part of me is still sentimental for the old Antec.
But Antec is still kicking, and its new P10 Flux shows that the company still has what it takes to keep up, even if it does so somewhat unconventionally by today’s standards. This is a chassis that offers simplicity, a lovely fridge aesthetic and great performance, all at a better value than before. The P10 Flux has an MSRP of $80, but we’ve regularly seen it selling for as low as $65.
So, without further ado, let's find out of the Antec P10 Flux performs well, and whether it’s suitable for a spot on our Best PC Cases list.
|Motherboard Support||Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX|
|Dimensions (HxWxD)||19.1 x 8.6 x 18.8 inches (486 x 220 x 477 mm)|
|Max GPU Length||15.9 inches (405 mm)|
|CPU Cooler Height||6.9 inches (175 mm)|
|Max PSU Length||8.1 inches (205 mm)|
|External Bays||1x 5.25-inch|
|Internal Bays||3x 3.5-inch|
|Front I/O||Front I/O|
|2x USB 3.0|
|3.5 mm Audio/Mic Combo|
|Front Fans||3x 120 mm (Up to 2x 140mm, 3x 120mm)|
|Rear Fans||1x 120mm (Up to 1x 120mm)|
|Bottom Fans||1x 120mm (Up to 2x 120 mm on PSU shroud)|
Indeed, the P10 Flux is a silence-focused case, and as such it comes with five fans and tons of damping material. Opening up the top for a radiator would just create a big hole for noise to leak out – so the top is closed and lined with damping material. And not just the top -- the side panels and the inside of the front door are closed as well.
Touring around the outside of the Antec P10 Flux, you’ll spot that there’s very little going on here. There are no tempered glass side panels, nor is there a radiator exhaust at the top of the case. Of course, this is all for good reason – silence – but the end result is a system that does look a bit like a household appliance.
In fact, the front door doesn’t really serve much of a purpose other than noise damping. There’s plenty of clearance on the sides for air to flow through, and yeah it hides the optical drive bay (whoa). But as we’ll see later in testing, it makes a significant difference to noise levels thanks to its layer of acoustic foam. It doesn’t have a fancy double hinge to flip all the way across to the side of the case, but you can reverse it to the other side if your case placement requires.
Top IO consists of two USB 3.0 ports, dedicated microphone and headphone jacks, along with power and fan control switches. We appreciate that this IO is placed at the top, as this is not a case you’ll keep on your desk – this is a case for a floor PC.
Internally, the P10 Flux offers a basic but modern design – this case isn’t the kind of hard drive colony’s home Antec’s cases used to be. Instead, you’re offered room for an ATX motherboard, plenty of expansion cards, and room for a big radiator up front, up to 360mm. At the top you’ll also spot a 5.25” drive bay – a rarity nowadays, but this is a case that prioritizes function over form.
Flip the case around and you’ll find its cable management and PSU area. Here, there is room for big ATX PSUs, two hard drives under the PSU shroud (one inside the caddy and one on top), three SSDs, and you can mount a third 3.5-inch drive at the top shroud near the top IO.
You’ll also spot a fan controller.
Is a ‘Reverse’ Fan, Useful?
When it comes to cooling and noise, the P10 Flux does a few things differently than many cases we’ve been seeing. For one, it comes with five fans, but it also comes with tons of damping materials spread throughout the case’s door, ceiling and side panels.
With this much damping, noise levels should be much less intrusive than other cases, even if you use somewhat louder components. Don’t expect miracles, but this case should perform better than most mesh intake cases we’ve been seeing lately when it comes to acoustics.
The case comes with a fan controller that connects to all five fans, giving you two speed modes: low and high.
The case also comes with a reverse-flow fan – a spinner that has its blades pointing the ‘other’ way, meant for guiding air from the PSU area to the intake of your GPU for better temperatures. Of course, this exercise in creating a reverse-flow fan for improved looks is pointless in practice, as you might as well use a normal fan flipped over given that there’s no glass panel to see it through. But I still appreciate the detail – I’ve not seen a fan like this in a long, long time.
I’m curious to see how this setup will perform when we get to the testing phase.