Antec P280: Performance One Refresh

Viewing page 5 of 8 pages. Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Next


System Configuration:

Measurement and Analysis Tools

System temperatures and noise levels were recorded with SpeedFan and GPU-Z at idle and on load using CPUBurn (K7 setting) and FurMark, an OpenGL benchmarking and stability testing utility.

Baseline Noise

Antec TwoCool fan.

The P280 shipped with three of 120 mm models of Antec's cleverly named TwoCool fans which are rated for 1500 RPM on high speed and 900 RPM on low. This new model appears to have a more contemporary design than the TriCool with larger, longer, more sharply angled blades and a substantially smaller hub. In free air, the stock fan had a much improved noise character compared to the TriCool. It emitted a slight hum evident at close range, but was otherwise impressively smooth both on low and high speed.

A close look at the side panel catches.

The result of a quick noise test revealed an unusual quirk — the case was actually quieter with the side panel off. It turns out the side panels on our case sample were too loose, amplifying the vibrations of the fans. Some of catches on each panel, which grip onto the frame of the front of the chassis, were not straight but rather angled noticeably outward resulting in a sloppy fit. We ended up using a mallet to straighten them out — not a particularly classy mod, but it did lower the measured noise level audibly.

Stock Fan Noise Level
SPL @1m (dBA)
Top #1 (rear)
Top #2 (center)
(Top #1, Rear, Front)
Measuring mic positioned 1m at diagonal angle left/front of case.

The top-mounted fans were easily the loudest, with the one closer to the center being worse than the one located at the back corner. We attribute this to the lack of structural support on the top panel. It's the only portion of the chassis that felt a bit weak, and pushing down or placing weight on the center placement improved the noise level slightly. For testing we decided to move the more troublesome center fan to the front to improve the overall acoustics.

The top center fan mounted in the front, secured with two bolts (there are two plastic nubs providing support for the other two screw holes).

Our baseline noise level for the P280's was 19~20 [email protected] with all fans on low speed.

Though our side panel mod helped considerably, the fan interaction with the case still created a hum at ~ 250 Hz about 5 dB higher than most other cases.

Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Next

Cases|Damping - Article Index
Help support this site, buy from one of our affiliate retailers!