Antec P100 Case: Performance One on a Budget

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These recordings were made with a high resolution, lab quality, digital recording system inside SPCR's own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber, then converted to LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no audible degradation from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of what we heard during the review.

Each recording starts with ambient noise, then 5~10 second segments of product at various states. For the most realistic results, set the volume so that the starting ambient level is just barely audible, then don't change the volume setting again while comparing all the sound files.


To produce this more affordable version of the P280, Antec has made several changes resulting in a lower cost but also lower quality tower. The P100 is thinner all around, the door is plastic, the buttons cheaper, and the dampening sheets are less dense. Instead of three fans, you get two, and their speed switches are only accessible from inside. However, for a budget chassis, none of these downgrades sound unreasonable.

The build quality actually looks pretty good compared to the anorexic SilverStone KL05, which occupies the same US$70 price-point. The P100 is more attractive as well, as the semi-reflective brush finish mimics aluminum convincingly, giving it a splash of elegance. And while not 100% secure, the hard drive mounting system isolates the drives so well that it effectively eliminates vibration completely. It also offers a few benefits over the P280, as it supports 140 mm fans, and includes plastic panels to cover the top fan positions when not in use.

When I examined the P280 back in 2011, I had mostly positive comments, but by contemporary standards, the P100's layout is subpar. The fixed drive cage restricts the front intake airflow and limits the length of the graphics card. The older P18x series and most modern cases use removable drive cages, resulting in both superior versatility and performance. That being said, the P100 is still a pretty solid option for a budget case, especially for a server that takes advantage of all those non-removable drive bays. However, its core design limits how well it can deal with hot, power hungry configurations.

Our thanks to Antec for the P100 case sample.

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