Idea for next update to P18X line - red LEDs

Enclosures and acoustic damping to help quiet them.

Moderators: NeilBlanchard, Ralf Hutter, sthayashi, Devonavar

conan_the_librarian
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2010 5:05 pm
Location: Australia

Idea for next update to P18X line - red LEDs

Post by conan_the_librarian » Sat Sep 11, 2010 6:51 pm

Hi all, I've lurked on this site for a long time, (tried modding back in 2005 or so, and realized that it's far easier to build a quiet PC from the ground up than silence an inherently noisy machine) and been building silent PCs since 2007 or so thanks to this site. Thanks also to Mike Chin to helping design the P180, P182 etc. I have built two PCs so far, one a P182 and another a P183, with many components selected using input from this site. My PCs are exquisitely silent and the components run cool forever thanks to info and discussion provided by you guys.

I've got a suggestion that I think could be useful for you and Antec, and I think this is the sort of discerning market where it could prove to be something that triggers people to update their cases (well, that and USB 3 ports on the front, hint hint).

There are a lot of people in the world with insomnia, it seems to be a growing phenomenon. Often, it is people who are up late at night on their computer. There is some evidence that suggests that this is due to the amount of blue light that we are exposed to. Historically speaking, blue light is something that comes and goes with the daylight. When the blue light stops being received in sensors in our eyes, we start producing melatonin. A few hours after we start producing melatonin, we fall asleep easily. If the concept of laying in bed at night, tossing and turning with ideas floating around in our heads sounds familiar, maybe this is because the melatonin takes a while to kick in and your body is still in "evening mode".

Our bodies worked fine in the evening for thousands of years with campfires and candles, but it is only recently with incandescents, fluorescents, blue LEDs and the like that we have been able to have daylight into the night.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melatonin

In order to feel more rested, people have been starting to eliminate the blue light from their night lives. With yellow bug lights obtainable from a supermarket, you can give your night the same yellowish light as has been available throughout history. With redshift for linux or f.lux for windows/mac, you can eliminate much of the blue light from your monitors.

http://www.stereopsis.com/flux/
http://jonls.dk/redshift/

However, there still remains the glaring blue light from the P182 or P183 if you have one of those. Really, indicator lights are helpful, just not one so bright, and preferably not blue. I can maybe figure out how to mod it, but it would be nice to buy everything so that it just worked. And it could prove a useful marketing ploy, since those who care about this issue would probably want to upgrade. Silent PC enthusiasts are those who often buy computers for home use, in their bedrooms. They want their computer to just sit there inertly, and not interrupt their lives. Noise pollution reduction is a part of this, and light pollution is a logical extension. They still want to be able to use their computer in the evenings though.

Maybe a button to turn the lights off would work just as well as red lights, perhaps even better if the computer lives in your room. Anyway, some food for thought.
"What is best in life? To shush the noisy. To see them driving home. And to hear the silence of the library."

edh
Posts: 1618
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 1:49 pm
Location: UK

Post by edh » Sun Sep 12, 2010 1:35 am

This sounds like enough of a niche thing that I can't see it being taken up commercially. Blue LEDs sell things better than red LEDs.

If it is enough of a problem, swapping an LED isn't hard. The same could be said for USB3 ports which I'm sure someone will start supplying on an OEM basis. I seriously can't see the need for a new USB port as a worthwhile reason to buy a new case.
Raijintek Metis: i5-6400, Scythe Ninja 4, Asus Z170i Pro Gaming, 8Gb RAM, GTX 950, Crucial 250Gb M.2, Seasonic X-400

Parappaman
Posts: 419
Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 12:30 am
Location: Italy

Post by Parappaman » Sun Sep 12, 2010 2:37 am

I agree with edh, but hey, thanks for the info! Very interesting nonetheless. :D
[url=http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=57275]Corsair HX750W - My personal experience[/url]
[quote="xan_user"]Nothing thermaltake makes is ever quiet. If they could figure out how to make a flash drive noisy, they would.[/quote]

maalitehdas
Posts: 166
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 12:04 am
Location: Finland

Post by maalitehdas » Sun Sep 12, 2010 3:02 am

A vote to your idea! Antec engineers, please notify and thank the writer too.

edit: I've just installed F.lux into my friend's computer without him knowing that. I told his wife to follow if it'll change his sleeping rhythm in few weeks... I hope my friend doesn't notify the program during our nice "psychological test". Program is set to reduce colour temperature from 6500K to 3400K slowly (in one hour) between 21:00-22:00, slowly so that he's eyes wouldn't notice the change too easy. Normally his staying in front of his screen from 19pm until 24-02am every night, let's see if that will be changed...
[size=75]E8400 @ 1,8GHz, passive cooling | CPU Queen 7163 points | CPU stress test two hours, temperature 43C | fan rpm's [b]ZERO[/b][/size]

MikeC
Site Admin
Posts: 12283
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Contact:

Post by MikeC » Sun Sep 12, 2010 6:48 am

A simple all LEDs off/on switch would be easy to install. Not sure if Antec (or any other case maker) would do it tho.

maalitehdas -- sneaky idea! Tell us what happens. (You mean notice, btw, not notify, right?)
Mike Chin, SPCR Editor/Publisher
Support SPCR by buying your gear through this link: Amazon

m0002a
Posts: 2831
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 2:12 am
Location: USA

Post by m0002a » Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:12 am

Given that the Mini P180 (which is basically a P183 mATX) seems to be going away, I am not sure that this series is going to be updated, or even continued much longer.

maalitehdas
Posts: 166
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 12:04 am
Location: Finland

Post by maalitehdas » Sun Sep 12, 2010 1:58 pm

MikeC wrote:maalitehdas -- sneaky idea! Tell us what happens. (You mean notice, btw, not notify, right?)
Yep...
[size=75]E8400 @ 1,8GHz, passive cooling | CPU Queen 7163 points | CPU stress test two hours, temperature 43C | fan rpm's [b]ZERO[/b][/size]

conan_the_librarian
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2010 5:05 pm
Location: Australia

Post by conan_the_librarian » Sun Sep 12, 2010 7:09 pm

m0002a wrote:Given that the Mini P180 (which is basically a P183 mATX) seems to be going away, I am not sure that this series is going to be updated, or even continued much longer.
What?!? I hope not. Perhaps it's just that the P180 is too niche? AFAIAC, the P183 is the best case on earth. The case has potential uses for workstations, gaming rigs, ordinary house PCs that double as file servers, and not a bad NAS either, if space is not at a premium.

Basically, anything that either:
-has HDDs, 6 with just the 3.5" bays, more if you start to use the 5.25".
-has potential to generate a lot of heat at peak moments. Either GPU or CPU.

I can see peak power figures being near where they are now for a long time to come, so long as performance per Watt is good. With power gating, turbo etc. idle power will no doubt drop, but it is still desirable to get what you want done ASAP, which means being able to cope with spikes of heat. For that, the cooling solution that the P183 provides is excellent. Enter PWM and you don't have unnecessary dust being swished through the case either.

If you want all that and have it maximally quiet, you can't beat the P183. As a bonus, it's also a fairly understated design that suits a corporate workstation.
"What is best in life? To shush the noisy. To see them driving home. And to hear the silence of the library."

lm
Friend of SPCR
Posts: 1251
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2003 6:14 am
Location: Finland

Post by lm » Mon Sep 13, 2010 2:42 am

Just unplug those leds.

Power led - the system is powered on if it reacts to mouse or keyboard.

Hdd activity led - if this really seems useful, one should buy more RAM.

My monitor has an awesome power led - it is only turned on for a couple seconds when the input signal or the monitor itself is turned on. So most of the time it is off, but still tells me that I successfully turned my monitor on.

alleycat
Posts: 740
Joined: Sun Oct 20, 2002 10:32 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Post by alleycat » Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:12 am

I really dislike blue LEDs. When they first appeared it was all gee whizz, but it's a fad that hasn't gone away as quickly as I would have liked, and the damn things are everywhere. They're so overused that they make products look kitsch. The cheapo case of my current PC came with blue LEDs (surprise!), so I swapped them out, red for power and amber for HDD.

Thanks for the link to F.lux, I'll give it a try.

Jipa
Posts: 167
Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2007 4:06 am
Location: Tampere, Finland
Contact:

Post by Jipa » Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:54 pm

I had no idea of the color temperature - melatonin - thing, interesting read. Anyway as everyone pretty much said, it's just not gonna happen. I truly HATE bright blue leds that are just slapped all over the place, and have disconnected/taped over most of the leds on my stuff.

The worst two leds I've had were:
1. On my motherboard. Not a biggie, but back then I had a case window! The damn thing was there just telling me the computer was on, it couldn't be switched off and, frankly, I didn't feel like de-soldering a led from a 200 € motherboard.
2. On my amplifier. The subwoofer amp is on when I'm watching a movie, right? Then WHY ON EARTH does it have the brightest blue led in the world shining on the front panel? That thing lit up the whole room.

And I don't really cry too much if the P18-series goes away. The P180B was superb, after that they just messed up the front bezel with the holes. Currently Antec seems to be way too busy making those ghastly Dark Fleets and even worse Lanboy Airs to be bothered with the whole market segment with eyesight and understanding of style. Thank god Fractal Design seems to be making the cases Antec couldn't be arsed with.
www.Metku.net & www.AllTheMods.com

frenchie
Friend of SPCR
Posts: 1346
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:53 am
Location: CT

Post by frenchie » Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:59 am

I changed the blue LEDs on my Solo with a light green one for power (that doesn't light up the whole room when the computer is on) and a red one for disk activity but it is disconnected at the moment (still too bright).
When I have some spare time, I'll add a light dependant resistor to the LEDs power line so that they automatically turn off at night. Then it won't really matter how bright they are during the day since they'll be off at night.
Main/gamming : Antec Solo|X-650|Asus P5Q-E|Intel Q9550@3.4GHz|HR-01 Plus 120mm Nexus @6V|Corsair 2x2Go XMS2 DHX cas 4 @4-4-4-12|Exhaust Nexus 120mm @9V|Intel X25M G2 160Gb|Samsung 1TB in SQD|2xGigabyte GTS450 OC (@900/1900/3800)|GPU fan 120mm Nexus @6V
HTPC/folder/Storage : Silverstone|E5300 with Samurai-Z|2Go RAM|GTX460@800|2x1To WD EARS|Intel X25M G2 80Go

Fold with SPCR

KadazanPL
Posts: 144
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:58 am
Location: Poland

Post by KadazanPL » Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:06 am

A black permanent marker is all you need to dim that blinding blue leds on a Solo :) Takes less than a minute and works okay.

m0002a
Posts: 2831
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 2:12 am
Location: USA

Post by m0002a » Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:52 am

conan_the_librarian wrote:What?!? I hope not. Perhaps it's just that the P180 is too niche? AFAIAC, the P183 is the best case on earth. The case has potential uses for workstations, gaming rigs, ordinary house PCs that double as file servers, and not a bad NAS either, if space is not at a premium.
I hope not also. But I fail to understand how the Mini P180 is niche since almost no one needs more than one adapter slot these days (for video), and many even use on-board video and don't need any slots. That means that a mATX board should be sufficient for the vast majority. The Mini P180 is actually quite large and can hold 4 hard drives easily, plus optical.

Jipa
Posts: 167
Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2007 4:06 am
Location: Tampere, Finland
Contact:

Post by Jipa » Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:30 pm

m0002a wrote: I hope not also. But I fail to understand how the Mini P180 is niche since almost no one needs more than one adapter slot these days (for video), and many even use on-board video and don't need any slots. That means that a mATX board should be sufficient for the vast majority. The Mini P180 is actually quite large and can hold 4 hard drives easily, plus optical.
What you should say there is that the P180 Mini is quite damn enormous for a mATX case. This is the reason why it's always seemed so pointless to me, why not just go for a full-ATX case if you don't mind the large size? For that size the number of expansion slots (the usable, mind) isn't too impressive either.

Don't get me wrong, I've reviewed the P180 Mini and liked it, but it's just wayyy too large. (Here's a comparison with P182 btw)
www.Metku.net & www.AllTheMods.com

m0002a
Posts: 2831
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 2:12 am
Location: USA

Post by m0002a » Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:07 pm

Jipa wrote:What you should say there is that the P180 Mini is quite damn enormous for a mATX case. This is the reason why it's always seemed so pointless to me, why not just go for a full-ATX case if you don't mind the large size? For that size the number of expansion slots (the usable, mind) isn't too impressive either.

Don't get me wrong, I've reviewed the P180 Mini and liked it, but it's just wayyy too large. (Here's a comparison with P182 btw)
I must be missing something, because this seems like twisted logic. The Mini P180 is noticeably smaller than the P182 (and P183) but will hold just about everything any home user would want. It is wide enough to handle even very large CPU heatsinks. So how can it be way too large if it is clearly smaller than the P182/3? And yes, I do mind the larger size of the P182/3 or I wouldn't be lamenting the apparent extinction of the Mini P180.

My point is that I don't think anyone needs a full size ATX motherboard anymore. Everything is built-in to mb's these days, with the possible exception of a high-end video card. Even with a high-end video card that takes up two slots with a cooler, a mATX board will still have space for at least one additional expansion card (which I don't anticipate ever needing).

I think part of the problem is that they named it the Mini P180 when it clearly should have been the Mini P183 (or P173 or something like that). They gave it a model number that was confused with the obsolete P180 even though it similar to the P183.

Jipa
Posts: 167
Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2007 4:06 am
Location: Tampere, Finland
Contact:

Post by Jipa » Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:15 pm

I guess we just lost connection or something, anyway one more try:

1. I'm all in for mATX motherboards, most people indeed have just a single graphic card to slap on the expansion slots

2. I like cleverly designed small cases

3. The Mini is a mATX case that's just as large as ATX-cases, and with the said graphic card, despite the huge size, you lose some of the drive bays.

I guess I just personally much rather just get the full sized P183 than this slightly smaller one with the problems. If the two 50 mm (or so) of extra height is a problem then I guess the Mini makes more sense. That said there's also the Fractal Design Define R2 which is somewhere between the P183 and Mini in size.
www.Metku.net & www.AllTheMods.com

edh
Posts: 1618
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 1:49 pm
Location: UK

Post by edh » Wed Sep 15, 2010 1:48 am

m0002a wrote:So how can it be way too large if it is clearly smaller than the P182/3?
The Mini P180 is nothing like as small as small uATX cases though. If you compare it to cases in Antec's own New Solution Series it's much bigger than the uATX NSK3480 and it's actually slightly bigger that the full ATX NSK4000.
http://www.antec.com/Believe_it/product.php?id=MTExNA==
http://www.antec.com/Believe_it/product.php?id=MjA1Mg==
Raijintek Metis: i5-6400, Scythe Ninja 4, Asus Z170i Pro Gaming, 8Gb RAM, GTX 950, Crucial 250Gb M.2, Seasonic X-400

Hayate19XX
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 7:28 am
Location: Denmark

Post by Hayate19XX » Wed Sep 15, 2010 6:02 am

Make it completely black inside (like the mini), with side panel, and add some Turquoise green/blue neon light (that what I'm thinking doing to my own P183)
“Edel Schwarz“, Idles at 28-29c, Case: BitFenix Prodigy, MB: ASUS P8Z77-I DELUXE, CPU: Intel i7 3770K (4.7GHz), Cooler: Noctua NH-D14, OS: Samsung 830 256GB, Storage: x2 Western DIgital 1.5TB WD15EARS, RAM: x2 4GB Samsung 30nm DDR3-1600 DDR3L (2133MHz 1,65V) PSU: SeaSonic X-660, LCD: Samsung PX2370, Fans: x1 Thermalright TY-140, Bitfenix Spectre LED 230.

Thomas
Posts: 664
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:21 pm
Location: Denmark

Post by Thomas » Wed Sep 15, 2010 10:40 am

I also dislikes blue light, I'm almost hating them...

The blue LED's died at some point on my P180... Fortunately... But I missed a power LED, so I swapped it with a green, and an amber for HDD. Later I git a mouse and keyboard with red LED's, so now Im probably swapping the green with a red...

But my Samsung monitor still got a BIIIIG blue light, and that one is not easy getting access to :cry:
AMD Phenom II 925/Asus Triton 75 | Gigabyte GA-MA78G-DS3H/IGP | Kingston 6GB | Antec P180/S-Flex | Seasonic S12 380/S-Flex | Crucial C300 64 + Samsung F2 EcoGreen | Optiarc 7240s | Dell 2412M | Sidewinder mouse+keyboard | Win7 x64

Jipa
Posts: 167
Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2007 4:06 am
Location: Tampere, Finland
Contact:

Post by Jipa » Wed Sep 15, 2010 1:43 pm

For the leds I haven't felt like swapping/disabling, there's always the black electric tape. Just carefully cut it into shape and it doesn't look too bad.

And IMO there's just absolutely no purpose for a led on a monitor! I KNOW when the screen is on, there's 24 inches of clue right in front of me :twisted:
www.Metku.net & www.AllTheMods.com

m0002a
Posts: 2831
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 2:12 am
Location: USA

Post by m0002a » Wed Sep 15, 2010 4:16 pm

Jipa wrote:I guess we just lost connection or something, anyway one more try:

1. I'm all in for mATX motherboards, most people indeed have just a single graphic card to slap on the expansion slots

2. I like cleverly designed small cases

3. The Mini is a mATX case that's just as large as ATX-cases, and with the said graphic card, despite the huge size, you lose some of the drive bays.

I guess I just personally much rather just get the full sized P183 than this slightly smaller one with the problems. If the two 50 mm (or so) of extra height is a problem then I guess the Mini makes more sense. That said there's also the Fractal Design Define R2 which is somewhere between the P183 and Mini in size.
The Mini P180 mATX may be as large as many other ATX cases, but it has PSU at the bottom (with clearance above and below PSU), sophisticated steel-plastic sandwich panels, top vent (hot air does rise believe it or not) and many other nice features. These same features are on the P183 but the Mini P180 is much smaller than a P183 (which is the real comparison that should be made).

I am not sure how many hard drives the mini P180 can hold (I think 4) but I will never have more than 2 (I want to build a quiet and energy efficient PC). So the idea that someone will be loosing drive bays is not relevant to me, nor I suspect to the vast majority of people.

I already own one Mini P180 and am very satisfied with it.
Last edited by m0002a on Wed Sep 15, 2010 4:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

m0002a
Posts: 2831
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 2:12 am
Location: USA

Post by m0002a » Wed Sep 15, 2010 4:29 pm

edh wrote:The Mini P180 is nothing like as small as small uATX cases though. If you compare it to cases in Antec's own New Solution Series it's much bigger than the uATX NSK3480 and it's actually slightly bigger that the full ATX NSK4000.
I understand the size of the Mini P180 since I already have one (and would like to get another soon). It may be as large as most other ATX cases, but it is noticeably smaller than the P183, which the Mini P180 closely resembles in terms of design and features (particularly PSU at bottom).

The height difference (2 inches) for the P183 and Mini P180 is particularly important IMO because of the top vent, assuming the PC is placed under a desk and good clearance is desired for the hot to rise out of the case and dissipate.

Getting a P183 seems ridiculous to me since I will have only one adapter card (video), one optical drive, one SSD, and one hard drive.

danimal
Posts: 734
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:41 pm
Location: the ether

Post by danimal » Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:33 pm

m0002a wrote: the Mini P180 is much smaller than a P183 (which is the real comparison that should be made).
m0002a wrote:The height difference (2 inches) for the P183 and Mini P180.
2 inches = "much smaller"

riiight.
m0002a wrote:Getting a P183 seems ridiculous to me since I will have only one adapter card (video), one optical drive, one SSD, and one hard drive.
none of which requires a big p180 case, it's a waste of space.

the main reason to get the p180 is for the fan, in a performance configuration that requires more airflow, which certainly doesn't apply to you.

m0002a
Posts: 2831
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 2:12 am
Location: USA

Post by m0002a » Wed Sep 15, 2010 6:05 pm

danimal wrote:2 inches = "much smaller", riiight.
With the PC under my desk and a top vent design, 2 inches can make a big difference in airflow.
danimal wrote:none of which requires a big p180 case, it's a waste of space.

the main reason to get the p180 is for the fan, in a performance configuration that requires more airflow, which certainly doesn't apply to you.
I run the top 200 mm fan of Mini P180 at low speed (it is a 3-speed fan) and I can just barely hear the fan with the PC is under my desk (and I can't hear it at all if there is any ambient noise from central AC/Heat etc). The top fan/vent design enables me to run my CPU cooler passively with no fan. My CPU idles at 21C.

If I was really ambitious and if the fan noise bothered me, I might remove the top fan (but leave the vent open) and install a fan on my CPU cooler aiming upward.

I think most of criticism of the P180 top vent design is from people who don't own one.

edh
Posts: 1618
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 1:49 pm
Location: UK

Post by edh » Thu Sep 16, 2010 3:04 am

m0002a wrote:I understand the size of the Mini P180 since I already have one (and would like to get another soon). It may be as large as most other ATX cases, but it is noticeably smaller than the P183, which the Mini P180 closely resembles in terms of design and features (particularly PSU at bottom).
No one is doubting that the Mini is smaller than the P183. :wink:

It's not THAT much smaller. From a marketing perspective it's not enough to differentitate itself as you have also just explained. Price wise it's far too close to the full size cases and size wise it's far too big to attract the uATX buyer who will be far more tempted to go for the much smaller NSK3480 and put some work into it.

I'm not doubting that it's a good case either, I would buy one over a P183 also however that is not what it should be being compared with. Competing with your won products shows that you've got something wrong with your product range and therefore you should be culling or replacing the conflicting products. You have a niche within a niche as you require a P180 that's 50mm shorter however that's not going to be that common enough to be a strong USP. What if I want a P180 that's 100mm shorter?

In terms of having the PSU at the bottom, it's not as worthwhile as it is with the full size P183. In a uATX design you're accepting a much smaller thermal footprint as you're not going to have dual processors, quad graphics cards, 10 hard disks etc. Therefore you accept you're working with a smaller power supply requirement and don't need to build for an excessively long or massively cooled PSU. As MikeC picked up in his Mini review, getting rid of the bottom chamber and instead sealing the PSU down with a filtered bottom intake would have allowed a much smaller design.

The main problem I see for the Mini P180 is the NSK3480. The only trouble I see for the 3480 is the included outdated PSU. Swapping this PSU out for a Seasonic X-400 would be a much better solution than a bottom mounted PSU in a Mini P180 as it both involves a separate cooling chamber and no fan. I'm not convinced that an X-400 could be worked hard in the bottom of a P18x without a fan in that chamber.

If you then do a little work on the internals of the 3480 with some well chosen fan swaps (doesn't everyone with the Mini have to do this anyway?) and some dampening material and you've got something as quiet as a Mini but much smaller.

I hope they replace it with something similarly linked to the P18x range but with a much more differentiation in size so that it has it's own USP. This means getting rid of the bottom PSU chamber and sealing it to the floor with a filtered intake to gain another 50mm.
Raijintek Metis: i5-6400, Scythe Ninja 4, Asus Z170i Pro Gaming, 8Gb RAM, GTX 950, Crucial 250Gb M.2, Seasonic X-400

m0002a
Posts: 2831
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 2:12 am
Location: USA

Post by m0002a » Thu Sep 16, 2010 5:55 pm

edh wrote:
m0002a wrote:I understand the size of the Mini P180 since I already have one (and would like to get another soon). It may be as large as most other ATX cases, but it is noticeably smaller than the P183, which the Mini P180 closely resembles in terms of design and features (particularly PSU at bottom).
No one is doubting that the Mini is smaller than the P183. :wink:

It's not THAT much smaller. From a marketing perspective it's not enough to differentitate itself as you have also just explained. Price wise it's far too close to the full size cases and size wise it's far too big to attract the uATX buyer who will be far more tempted to go for the much smaller NSK3480 and put some work into it.

I'm not doubting that it's a good case either, I would buy one over a P183 also however that is not what it should be being compared with. Competing with your won products shows that you've got something wrong with your product range and therefore you should be culling or replacing the conflicting products. You have a niche within a niche as you require a P180 that's 50mm shorter however that's not going to be that common enough to be a strong USP. What if I want a P180 that's 100mm shorter?

In terms of having the PSU at the bottom, it's not as worthwhile as it is with the full size P183. In a uATX design you're accepting a much smaller thermal footprint as you're not going to have dual processors, quad graphics cards, 10 hard disks etc. Therefore you accept you're working with a smaller power supply requirement and don't need to build for an excessively long or massively cooled PSU. As MikeC picked up in his Mini review, getting rid of the bottom chamber and instead sealing the PSU down with a filtered bottom intake would have allowed a much smaller design.

The main problem I see for the Mini P180 is the NSK3480. The only trouble I see for the 3480 is the included outdated PSU. Swapping this PSU out for a Seasonic X-400 would be a much better solution than a bottom mounted PSU in a Mini P180 as it both involves a separate cooling chamber and no fan. I'm not convinced that an X-400 could be worked hard in the bottom of a P18x without a fan in that chamber.

If you then do a little work on the internals of the 3480 with some well chosen fan swaps (doesn't everyone with the Mini have to do this anyway?) and some dampening material and you've got something as quiet as a Mini but much smaller.

I hope they replace it with something similarly linked to the P18x range but with a much more differentiation in size so that it has it's own USP. This means getting rid of the bottom PSU chamber and sealing it to the floor with a filtered intake to gain another 50mm.
1. The general argument here seems to be that since the Mini P180 mATX is about the same size as most other ATX cases, that one should instead get an even larger P183 ATX case, even if you don't need it. This makes no logical sense to me, and I am quite sure that Aristotle is rolling over in his grave.

2. I think it is perfectly reasonable to compare the Mini P180 with the P183 since they share virtually the same design components and they look almost the same (and I find the gunmetal case attractive overall). The only significant difference is that one is mATX and the other ATX (and has more drive bays). Very few people need an ATX mb these days, and certainly anyone interested in quiet and efficient computing isn't going to have more than two hard drives, which the Mini P180 handles nicely.

3. If you don't believe in the bottom PSU design, then by all means consider something else, but also don't consider the P183.

danimal
Posts: 734
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:41 pm
Location: the ether

Post by danimal » Thu Sep 16, 2010 6:36 pm

m0002a wrote:[1. The general argument here seems to be that since the Mini P180 mATX is about the same size as most other ATX cases, that one should instead get an even larger P183 ATX case, even if you don't need it. This makes no logical sense to me,
gee, that's funny logic, because you bought a p180 with a giant fan, that you have zero use for... you are not a high-performance computer builder, and you didn't have any logical reason to match a gutless cpu/gpu with a giant fan.
With the PC under my desk and a top vent design, 2 inches can make a big difference in airflow.
it's not clear to me how your desk is relevant to people who are reading this thread?

what matters for them is getting parts that match their intended useage, not yours... if there is any value to your post there, i guess that it would be that people should measure the area that they will be putting their case in.

nutball
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 1304
Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2003 7:16 am
Location: en.gb.uk

Post by nutball » Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:13 am

m0002a wrote:1. The general argument here seems to be that since the Mini P180 mATX is about the same size as most other ATX cases, that one should instead get an even larger P183 ATX case, even if you don't need it. This makes no logical sense to me, and I am quite sure that Aristotle is rolling over in his grave.
I think the point is that the Mini is bigger than many cases that take full ATX boards, whilst having the disadvantage of restricting you to using uATX boards. Less choice is rarely a good thing. It's really only in the very recent past that uATX boards have been up-to-scratch spec-wise, even now there are often compromises on specs and/or cost.

The only benefit of a uATX board is that it allows for smaller builds - that benefit is entirely negated if you put it in a case larger than you could achieve with full ATX.

m0002a
Posts: 2831
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 2:12 am
Location: USA

Post by m0002a » Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:45 am

danimal wrote:gee, that's funny logic, because you bought a p180 with a giant fan, that you have zero use for... you are not a high-performance computer builder, and you didn't have any logical reason to match a gutless cpu/gpu with a giant fan.
As I explained previously, with the 200 mm top fan (at low speed and almost inaudible) I can run my CPU cooler passively (that's right, no fan on the CPU cooler). CPU idles at 21C.
danimal wrote:it's not clear to me how your desk is relevant to people who are reading this thread?

what matters for them is getting parts that match their intended useage, not yours... if there is any value to your post there, i guess that it would be that people should measure the area that they will be putting their case in.
Don't you think it is childish to retaliate for our disagreement in the Off-Topic thread?

Post Reply