Skip to main content

Quiet Gaming Cases, Part 1: Antec, Azza, And Cooler Master

Inside Antec's P280

All nine of the P280’s expansion slot covers are vented, letting noise escape in a direction not noticeable to most users. The panel holding the liquid cooling pass-through grommets is similarly perforated.

The empty space behind a motherboard tray is convenient for hiding cables, so Antec gives the P280 just enough room to hold a 24-pin ATX power lead. Large rectangular grommets on four of the internal pass-through holes help make the cables disappear in an aesthetically-pleasing way.

Though the P280’s three-pin fans could be connected to a motherboard, Antec adds a power hub near the top of the chassis for convenience. Using it means you don't get thermal control from your motherboard's headers. However, if you prefer manual fan control anyway, you'll be pleased to find each fan’s two-speed switch conveniently clipped to a rear-panel plate.

The P280’s face panel is not designed for easy removal, though doing so eases access to the EMI shields that cover the 5.25” bays.

With 13.8” of supported card length, the P280 could easily hold an Extended ATX motherboard. Unfortunately, that large a board would also block its cable access holes. You could instead use some of that clearance to help improve add-in card cooling, since the inside face of the hard drive cage has another pair of 120 mm fan mounts.

A dual-drive 2.5” cage tops the six-tray 3.5” drive cage, both of which are side-mounted for easy access and better cable management.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.