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The sides and the front door are triple-layer composites of steel on the outside, plastic in the middle, and aluminum on the inside. It's the same idea as in the P180 and P182, except that in those cases, aluminum layers are used on both inner and outer layers. The advantages of this composite material are:
- Greatly reduced tonal resonance.
- Less prone to vibrate in sympathy with moving parts inside the case.
- Better ability to block noise than ordinary steel or aluminum panels.
There was the issue of the warping front door in the original P180, which many users complained about. The original P180 front door was a 2-ply panel, aluminum on the outside and plastic on the inside. Big temperature changes sometimes caused the door to warp due to different expansion/contraction rates in the two materials. When the temperaure stabilized, the door could sometimes be bent back straight and straighten by itself. It was never a problem encountered with SPCR's samples. At some point in 2006 or late 2005, Antec replaced the door with a 3-ply aluminum-plastic-aluminum version with differently placed magnets. That pretty much stopped the warping complaints. The P182SE has a 3-ply door; warping should not be an issue.
The P180 side panels also had plastic tabs that some people broken accidentally, then complained bitterly about, but this was not as widespread a problem. The P182 side panels have the same plastic tabs. It does seem possible to break them by trying to force the panels closed incorrectly or through very rough handling, but requires seriously ham-handed effort.
As in the P180, the front door of the P182 is double-hinged for a 270 degree arc of rotation, which allows it to be flush against the left side of the case rather than open at some odd position where it can get in the way. Two magnets on the door hold it closed. Behind the front door, nothing has really changed from the P180. Two large grills direct air into the upper and lower chambers of the case. Each door opens easily with a press on the top right for easy cleaning of the dust filter fitted behind it.
No change from P180 behind the door... except magnet positions on door?
When the door is closed, a large vent at the bottom and the generous grill openings along the bezel sides allow airflow. The feet on the bottom of the case are made of a soft silicone rubber designed to absorb vibration and reduce noise.
Photo above shows the bottom front vent, side slots around front bezel,
and soft silicone rubber feet.
The top panel sports a 120mm fan near the back, as in the P180. This is complemented by another 120mm fan near the top of the back panel. As before, a very open mesh grill cover is used to keep airflow impedance to a minimum.
The back panel.
The fans themselves no longer have a dangling lead with a 3-position speed switch. Instead, the switches for these fans are integrated at the top of the back panel, visible in the photo above.
Also visible in the photo above are the two rubber grommet holes for use with water pipes and the vented PCI slot covers. At the bottom, a 120mm fan power supply was installed with the fan facing downward; the PSU can also be mounted with the fan facing upward.
Note: The case is supplied without a power supply.
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