Antec P180 Review, Part 1: A Silent System

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SYSTEM BUILD (continued)

Decoupled Nexus 120 for Case Cooling

Airflow for the upper chamber was supplied by a single 120mm Nexus Real Silent fan mounted on the rear case wall as an exhaust fan. I declined to use the default method of screwing the fan directly onto the case wall and instead soft-mounted the fan using a sliced-up set of EAR HDD grommets and cable ties. This is a quick and cheap method of successfully decoupling the fan from the case and works well with non-standard hole patterns and fan configurations. This fan was run at around 5 to 5.5V for all testing.

Nexus cae fan mounted with EAR grommets and cable ties

Front panel I/O on the P180 consists of a set of USB 2.0 ports and a single Firewire port, as well as a set of audio jacks. The usual Power, Reset and power and HDD activity connectors are also included, with the LEDs themselves being the seemingly de rigueur blue color. All front panel connectors plugged right into the motherboard headers and worked perfectly. Apparently the days of mismatched motherboard and case connectors are going the way of the VHS movie, at least for the new cases I've been working with over the past 6 months.

Overall, the build went fine. I had no trouble with any aspect of assembly and everything worked great the first time I fired up the system. The only thing that even barely threw me off stride was rethinking the wiring layout of this unique, non-ATX case.


Is there anything that particularly bugged me, or that I'd like to see changed?

1) Well, the loose plastic 5.25" bay covers come to mind.

2) And maybe a blank filler plate for those who won't be using the top blowhole.

3) The front door "latching" against the magnets could probably use a bit of fine tuning too. The door on my sample didn't seem to want to stick to the magnets as tightly as I would have liked, but it didn't rattle during use so maybe that's a non-issue.

Finished. PSU only has to cool itself, top case fan easily
handles the low thermal load of the Pentium M and other hardware.

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