Antec P182SE Advanced Super Midtower Case: P180 v.2

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Antec P182SE Advanced Super Midtower Case: P180 v.2

Post by MikeC » Thu May 24, 2007 4:05 pm

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Post by cloneman » Thu May 24, 2007 4:38 pm

cool review. Seems like they just improved a formula that works.

One thing I've always wondered about the P180/2 is the comparative vibration dampening with the solo. I've once read here that grommets are no match for suspension mounting. I have Antec BQE fan and GPU fan both at 12V, which are reasonably quiet, but I've found no need to lower that as they aid in smoothing out the sound of my 2 hard drives. They are mounted with BQE grommets.

So my question is, does the P150 totally dominate the p180/2 when it comes to reducing vibrational HD noise? How much space is their for foam or suspension installation (3.5" drives?)
[size=75]P4 2.8 w/ Ninja - HIS Radeon 9800 Pro - Fortron Zen 300W fanless - BQE Case Fan @ 12V, Sflex @ 5V[/size]

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Post by MikeC » Thu May 24, 2007 4:52 pm

There is a difference in the intensity of vibrations from a HDD vs a typical fan. The HDD makes a lot more vibration. It spins many times faster than most fans, and the moving mass is higher.

This is the main reason why decent soft grommets ( that are really decoupled ) are every bit as good as elastic suspension for a fan. But for a hard drive, the soft decoupling of elastic is usually superior.

So to compare the P150's drive suspension to the P182's soft grommet HDD mounting, I'd have to give the nod to the P150. But the difference is not night and day, and with some drives it may not be audible. It depends on other sources of noise & vibration in the system as well as in the background. The extra mass and very hefty, well damped construction of the P182's drive cage is superior to almost every other HDD mounting I've seen.
Last edited by MikeC on Fri May 25, 2007 3:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Calgarian » Thu May 24, 2007 6:19 pm

Last fall I was researching components for a new system. My main case contenders were the Antec 160, 150 and 180. (went with 150)

The 180 was ruled out mainly based on its size vis a vis my year old computer desk. If the computer shelf were two or three inches lower it may have been a different result.

After reading this review I'm reminded of a question I had during my research.

Do companies like Antec actually talk to the companies that make computer desks? If cases are going to evolve to larger sizes......for larger GPU's, coolers, etc........
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Post by acaurora » Thu May 24, 2007 7:45 pm

I just got a P182... actually the thing is Antec is implementing all the changes in the P182s and shipping them in P180 boxes. That's right - I ordered a black P180 (P180B) and what did I see when I opened the box? A black P182! ;) Just to let you guys know, in case you want the black or silver.

I really did like the little cable cut outs in the motherboard tray, most of my cables fit perfectly and were able to route to make my system look much cleaner. As the review said, it takes some care to put the side panel back on, but if you are careful you can put it back on without smashing cables :)

One thing I do want to mention though is that the little light is only available with the P182SEs, which I have seen @ Fry's. I do think it is a little silly that it has no on/off switch. Should just put like a Mag-Lite JR or something in there.
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Post by nightmorph » Thu May 24, 2007 10:47 pm

Nice review. One spelling correction to make: The two of then on low together should be The two of them on low together.

Regarding the substance of the review itself, I was rather surprised to see that the testbed didn't use the much more common Scythe Ninja + Nexus HSF combo. Not that the older Zerotherm isn't a bad choice, just different.

I was rather disappointed to see that a hot, fairly loud graphics card was used. While it's nice to see a more extreme worst-case example of hot component choices, what about a few more benchmarks to see how the case will handle a passive Ninja, or even with a low-speed fan like the Nexus added?

Just my opinion, but I think that additional test might give a better indication of how it would perform in the systems most likely to be built using that case.

Could you comment more on the attached worklight? I recall hearing somewhere that in the pre-production models of the 182 at least, the light only works when the PSU is switched on, which is not a very safe way to install or remove components!

Other than that, good job with this review. Ever since I saw the trade show report that previewed this case, saying it wasn't planned to be produced yet, I've been hoping Antec would make it anyway. I even joined in with some other SPCR readers and sent in an email. That's the one case that could make me overlook the "80s refrigerator" formfactor. Hellooooo, mirror! :D

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Post by MikeC » Fri May 25, 2007 2:05 am

nightmorph wrote:Regarding the substance of the review itself, I was rather surprised to see that the testbed didn't use the much more common Scythe Ninja + Nexus HSF combo. Not that the older Zerotherm isn't a bad choice, just different.

I was rather disappointed to see that a hot, fairly loud graphics card was used. While it's nice to see a more extreme worst-case example of hot component choices, what about a few more benchmarks to see how the case will handle a passive Ninja, or even with a low-speed fan like the Nexus added?

Just my opinion, but I think that additional test might give a better indication of how it would perform in the systems most likely to be built using that case.
the review wrote:A truly exhaustive set of thermal and acoustic testing with several different systems and multiple configurations was done in Antec P180 Review, Part 2: The Whole Nine Yards, so there really is no need to repeat all of that work.
Could you comment more on the attached worklight? I recall hearing somewhere that in the pre-production models of the 182 at least, the light only works when the PSU is switched on, which is not a very safe way to install or remove components!
It can be powered from a 4-pin Molex or from a USB header on the motherboard. If the former is chosen, the light comes on only when the system is powered on. If the USB header is used, then the light is on as long as the PSU is plugged into AC and its main power switch is On (ie in standby). Obviously, the latter mode is preferable.
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Post by Tzupy » Fri May 25, 2007 2:59 am

The review is missing a comparison (same parts in the other case, measured temperature differences) with another top case, like the P150 / Solo. Such comparisons have been present in past SPCR case reviews. Since several people reported in the forums that they were dissapointed after switching from Solo to P180, I suppose it wouldn't have been in the favor of this 'new' P182 either.

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Post by mr. poopyhead » Fri May 25, 2007 4:56 am

page 6, your reference to the aerocool condor should be aeroCASE condor, :lol:

nice review though... personally, the price is way too steep just for a shiny mirror that will probably end up horribly scratched.... besides, there's really nothing under my desk worth reflecting.... my hairy legs? toes? yech...
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Post by kittle » Fri May 25, 2007 1:19 pm

Good review!

the case looks very functional, and the pics were actually useful in seeing whats inside this thing.
I just wish it would support a WATX motherboard.

my $0.02 on the flexable snake Light -- its an accident waiting to happen, as the only way to get it to power up is to plug your power supply into the wall. If im inside my case working on something, the power plug comes out... the last thing i want is an accidental startup, or power short if im swapping cards or fidling with screws.

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Post by LuckyNV » Sat May 26, 2007 4:49 am

Just a quick question, I see you have the P190 on hand, any ETA on the review for it? Also, do you know if Antec have any plans to release a significantly cheaper non-PSU version of it?

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Post by MikeC » Sat May 26, 2007 5:33 am

LuckyNV wrote:Just a quick question, I see you have the P190 on hand, any ETA on the review for it? Also, do you know if Antec have any plans to release a significantly cheaper non-PSU version of it?
Unfortunately it will be at least a month before the P190 can be tackled. Case reviews are among the most complex at SPCR, and this one is more complex than most. Suffice it to say that Felger Carbon's enthusiasm for large fans seems justified by the ones in the P190, and Antec's dual-PSU offering for those who must have >1kw is a more elegant solution than those mega-buck single PSUs. It looks like a very good case for extreme systems, no doubt meant to complete directly with high end solutions from Lian Li, Coolermaster, Silverstone, etc. They probably will offer a no-psu version, but I have no more info about when than you.
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Post by cpemma » Sun May 27, 2007 5:41 am

On cable management, I found my Seasonic S12-430 cables too short for 'behind the tray' routing to motherboard power and optical drives, but it's a handy place to hide the unused cables (though I had to bring the end connectors back in behind the upper drive cage to get that door panel to close.) The used cables were all routed through the semi-circular cut-out at the door side instead of through the sliding cable doors, giving less central congestion and easier air flow between two drives down there and the PSU fans. The cable-door gaps are sealed, as are the back-panel holes round the PSU.

A single low-power case fan (Yate Loon @ 7.3V) is installed, on the back panel. On the top vent, smoke testing showed it was sucking air into the case, short-circuiting flow from the front; however, blocking the top vent put CPU temps up 3-4C so I've left it open (the supplied Antec fan is still mounted but unused, with its wires hidden away behind the tray) .

System is an undemanding Asus A7N8X-E-dl, Sempron 2600+ with Arctic Silent 2 TC, passive FX5200 graphics card; no problems but the thermal fan on the Arctic is running faster and case and CPU temperatures are a few degrees hotter than with the last case (Antec 3000B) which had similar fans both front and back. I'd like to get more air past the north bridge and graphics heatsinks, so may add another fan to the upper drive cage position. As it is, I've left the back slot cover under the graphics slot un-blocked to encourage air to come in and past its sink.

Compared to the 3000B, it's noticeably quieter, mainly due to less HDD noise; I had an irritating pulsed vibration from the two drives interacting, gone now with the P182 suspension system, its sturdier cage construction and tighter plastic slide mounting.

I'm well pleased with the case - little touches like the filter door catches, the soft clunk of the door as it closes; a touch of class. :D

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Post by peteamer » Sun May 27, 2007 9:06 am

v.2 ?

Pray tell...

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Post by MikeC » Sun May 27, 2007 10:52 am

peteamer wrote:v.2 ?

Pray tell...
I just meant the 182 is basically a 180 v.2.
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Post by zoob » Sun May 27, 2007 5:21 pm

Does the P182 have the HD Audio front panel audio connector, or is it still using the old AC97 connector?
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Post by cpemma » Mon May 28, 2007 6:22 am

zoob wrote:Does the P182 have the HD Audio front panel audio connector, or is it still using the old AC97 connector?
Both "Intel standard 10-pin AC'97 and Intel 10-pin HDA" connectors.

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Post by NeilBlanchard » Mon May 28, 2007 6:27 am

Hi Mike,
MikeC wrote:
peteamer wrote:v.2 ?

Pray tell...
I just meant the 182 is basically a 180 v.2.
I think Pete's question it was why "version point two", rather than just "version two" -- aka v2? :wink:
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Post by jaganath » Mon May 28, 2007 7:00 am

I think Pete's question it was why "version point two", rather than just "version two" -- aka v2?
when you shorten a word you put a full stop/period to indicate this, eg v. v. good (a la bridget jones). o.k.? :wink:

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Post by peteamer » Mon May 28, 2007 7:18 am

HI Neil, actually I completely missed that... I thought it was ver2 of the article and wondered where the changes were. :lol: ... :roll:

Thanks for assuming I wasn't as stupid as I am though... :D


Regards
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Post by jollyeskimo » Mon May 28, 2007 8:12 pm

Great review as always. The only thing that I'd like to add as a note to potential buyers is that the 3-position fan speed switches from the P180 are simply clipped into a plastic holder that lets the user access them from the rear of the case. They can easily be removed from the holder for those who wish to replace or remove them.

Personally, the P182SE black chassis would've looked much better with the black panels, but I guess mirrored panels make for a more "bling" special edition.

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Post by cpemma » Tue May 29, 2007 6:09 am

Has anyone any thoughts/theories/fancies as to why Antec have perforated the backplates? As a ventilation aid it will fail when most needed, ie, all slots populated. Not to mention that air coming in there will miss the filter system. :?

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Post by MikeC » Tue May 29, 2007 6:34 am

cpemma wrote:Has anyone any thoughts/theories/fancies as to why Antec have perforated the backplates? As a ventilation aid it will fail when most needed, ie, all slots populated. Not to mention that air coming in there will miss the filter system. :?
My guess:

When a fan is placed at the front of the upper chamber, with the CPI slot covers closed, it will only go part of the way in the direction of the VGA card before being pulled up by the fan(s) up at the top/back. With the perforations , some of the air from the front fan may actually go all the way across the length of the VGA card, which could presumably help in cooling it. Put a dual VGA SLI or Xfire setup down there, and that directed flow could be very useful.

(Of course, with such a setup, cooling takes precedence over low noise, which is why we've never really been that interested in finding out what happens. But if someone wants to experiment with their dual VGA card setup, I'm sure your findings will be welcome here.)
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Post by cpemma » Tue May 29, 2007 12:37 pm

MikeC wrote:
cpemma wrote:Has anyone any thoughts/theories/fancies as to why Antec have perforated the backplates? As a ventilation aid it will fail when most needed, ie, all slots populated. Not to mention that air coming in there will miss the filter system. :?
My guess:

When a fan is placed at the front of the upper chamber, with the CPI slot covers closed, it will only go part of the way in the direction of the VGA card before being pulled up by the fan(s) up at the top/back. With the perforations , some of the air from the front fan may actually go all the way across the length of the VGA card, which could presumably help in cooling it. Put a dual VGA SLI or Xfire setup down there, and that directed flow could be very useful.
That could well happen, but
  1. the case comes fitted with two exhaust fans and, I suspect, the average users will use the stock configuration; he'll end up with dusty cards,
  2. the educated user with a hot card or two could come up with your train of thought, add his beefy fan and just leave a backplate or two off.
Apart from the perforations the backplates are a good design, the clip at the bottom reduces any risk of them rattling against the slot surround. Just seems an unusual design. Mouse-proof?

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Post by MikeC » Tue May 29, 2007 12:49 pm

cpemma wrote:That could well happen, but
  1. the case comes fitted with two exhaust fans and, I suspect, the average users will use the stock configuration; he'll end up with dusty cards,
  2. the educated user with a hot card or two could come up with your train of thought, add his beefy fan and just leave a backplate or two off.
Apart from the perforations the backplates are a good design, the clip at the bottom reduces any risk of them rattling against the slot surround. Just seems an unusual design. Mouse-proof?
Ooooo... you mentioned dust. Around here, you know this could turn into a raging debate. :lol: :lol:

imo, the dust is not really an issue; computers need the occasional dust off inside anyway. If both upper fans are used, then both the perforated PCI slot covers and the front intake vent will be intakes, in which case the VGA card gets better cooling all around.

Actually if I had 2 hot vidcards, I'd yank ALL the slot covers off, put a fan in front, and remove both filter and vent cover from the front. If the visible bare metal bugged me, I'd give it a quick spray of black paint and/or keep the front door closed whenever possible. Stick some kind of mesh over the open slots if you want to keep out the rodents.

I might also flip the top fan so it becomes an intake for the CPU/VRM area, which would tend to separate that area thermally & airflow-wise from the VGA area. This would definitely be worth trying.
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Post by Jodiuh » Thu May 31, 2007 5:56 am

If they put the bottom HDD fan in FRONT of the drives, we'd see a 10C drop in temps. :(
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Post by MikeC » Thu May 31, 2007 6:22 am

Jodiuh wrote:If they put the bottom HDD fan in FRONT of the drives, we'd see a 10C drop in temps. :(
I doubt that very much. There's only one airflow path through the lower chamber. (assuming the wire covers to above chamber are reasonably closed) It can be tried now anyway. Just use some good double sided tape in the corners of a fan and try putting it there -- and monitor the HDD temps before & after. The advantages would be...

1) more room for cables in the middle between HDDs & PSU
2) no need to table up extra back panet openings around PSU with any kind of PSU when using the lower chamber fan (but still recommended if using no fan of course)

Potential disadvantage -- fan is closer to front. But this is obviously not much of an issue -- there are HDDs up there too.
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Post by ayjay » Thu May 31, 2007 8:45 am

I'm pleased to say thanks to this site and its forum users I finally have a pc that is fast and quiet *sigh*
I received the silver p182 having ordered the p180. Woo! The cable management around the back of the motherboard is worth it alone. Switches on the outside of the case are a nice touch, but it still means crawling around under my desk if I fancy a change (of fan speed, not scenery :lol:)
Seeing how I am using the ultra120 heatsink I'll do a little experiment shutting off the top fan and see how things go.
I have to say with 3 hard drives in the bottom, the bottom fan makes sense, but I reckon I could have left that out and relied on the psu's fan (520Wcorsair). It was such a pain getting the fan back in. I may post up pictures at some point. *proud*

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Post by stubkier » Fri Jun 01, 2007 11:18 pm

a fine test

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Post by pjeremy » Sat Jun 23, 2007 12:47 am

Nice case indeed.
Any idea if the P182 will be available in silver and not just black or chrome?

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