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This article is ~14,000 words and 12 pages long. Is it too long?
No, if this is the length it needs to be to cover everything, so be it. 83%  83%  [ 199 ]
It's OK for this one but keep future ones down to a 5~10 minute read, please! 13%  13%  [ 31 ]
Yes, it is way over the top, way too excessive! 4%  4%  [ 10 ]
Total votes : 240
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2005 1:45 pm 
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MikeC wrote:
No review of any case can possibly cover every combination of components. This review tested the patience, energy and sanity of everyone involved, and the end result is probably the most comprehensive case review you will find not only at SPCR but any site out there, bar none. Still you complain!!!! :roll:


But MikeC, this is SPCR! Are any of us ever totally happy with every product or review? :D I was curious about the lack of info on a passive PSU, given the number of people who own or are planning on owning one, but I'm getting one regardless.

By the way, the poll mostly asks if the article was too long. Shouldn't you be happy that some people are not only okay with the length, but want more? :D :D :D

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2005 2:24 pm 
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Wow. Devon, Ralf, Mike: you've outdone even yourselves with this series of P180 reviews.

After my P180 arrives in the mail, I will constantly refer back to this article for ideas on how to best configure my system. Thank you, Devon, for testing so many different configurations. You worked with the VGA duct and hard drive mounts for days, so I don't have to. :lol:

Not content with merely posting a thorough review of the case, SPCR wrote a handbook for P180 owners. I'm sure SPCR forum members will contribute more helpful information on tweaking or modding this case. I'd like to hear peoples' experiences with the VGA duct when used on a video card with a large aftermarket heatsink, like the Zalman ZM-80. Also, it would be good to hear some comments on the case's ability to dampen CD/DVD drive noise.

One thing that only SPCR's staff can answer right now: how visible are fingerprints and dust on the black special-edition P180? The Sonata's shiny black finish was tough to keep clean, so I wonder if the P180's black finish is more forgiving. I've already ordered the silver edition, but I want to know if I should already be suffering buyer's remorse. :P

P.S. I voted for the second choice in the poll, but only because I don't want you guys dropping dead from exhaustion. ;)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2005 2:42 pm 
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*praise praise*

As soon as I saw this case I told myself I was going to buy it. Then I thought I should probably read up on it just incase, cuz well, impulse purchases don't always end up as good as you thought.

At any rate, I've been looking for a case for the past year that met my requirements. I could find cases I liked the looks of, or cases that had the cooling, or cases that were silent, but never all three, or atleast, never all three for a resonable price. While the P180 is still a little more than I wanted to spend on a case (like $170 Canadian at Canadacomputers.com (yes I live in the GTA/Toronto)), from what I've read it's well worth it. I only have one fear... and that's the BTX standard. Which really is no fault of the case at all, just later upgradability/expandability (are those words?).

Assuming I can get some free time this weekend, I will be purchasing this case (in silver).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2005 3:27 pm 
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I do recall seeing evidence of fingerprints along the edges of the panels, but only after several days of handling. They seem to be very light sensitive; the marks are only visible from certain angles. I can't really comment on dust. I didn't leave it in one place long enough for dust to gather.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2005 5:41 pm 
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Hi Devonavar, Ralf and MikeC. This is definitely *the* reference article about the P180. Big compliment from me.

Regarding the difficulties of reading the temperature of the GPU. You might want to try Speedfan. I am not shure wether it supports the Geforce 6 diode, but it has logging abilities.

About passive power supplies and the P180: There must be some airflow in the lower chamber since the harddrives are decoupled. So, a passive PSU does not make a fan obsolete. Of couse, you might tweak it less noisy with a Phantom and a Nexus@5V, but I believe it's not worth the money.

Last topic about the continious additions by the community. This might be a perfect example for the suggested wiki project. With perhaps 100+ threads about the P180 it would be difficult to get an overview in the forum.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2005 5:56 pm 
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I'm afraid Speedfan didn't work with our 6800GT, although I do monitor my GF3 through Speedfan. Thanks for the suggestion though.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2005 6:18 pm 
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Not sure which one to get, the silver one would match my ultra x keyboard but the basic black with the spcr logo is sharp.
It looks like there are screws holding on the right side of the box, do both sides come off like the TJ06? :lol: I might have missed that in this Steven King version of a review. Thanks for the time in comparing the temps and db's of the setup variations.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2005 6:21 pm 
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johnjv wrote:
It looks like there are screws holding on the right side of the box, do both sides come off like the TJ06?

Both sides come off, though there's only thumbscrews on one side. The other side is held in by regular screws. In the "installing the PSU" section it mentions that the other side panel needs to be removed to install the PSU.

If you're curious what the other side looks like with panel removed, I have a photo here.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2005 6:23 pm 
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Fast... so very fast
Monarch has the silver ones for $153 shipped. Thanks Lenny.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2005 9:08 pm 
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johnjv wrote:
Fast... so very fast
Monarch has the silver ones for $153 shipped. Thanks Lenny.

$137 shipped at Techonweb for me (still on its way).

Search for "P180" in the Pricegrabber search box at the bottom of the page. You'll find a good price and you'll be helping SPCR.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2005 10:09 pm 
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For the fan bracet in the setting with amd 3500, this is the part # from zalman

FB165(80mm)

Very nice review. I will probably buy it at the end of summer, just need to know if this combo

ENERMAX NOISETAKER 485W POWER SUPPLY
DFI LANPARTY UT NF4 ULTRA-D MOTHERBOARD
ZALMAN CNPS7000B-ALCU HSF (or ARCTIC COOLING FREEZER 64)

would work without cable extention (but will probably buy extention to be able to do a nice cable managment) in the p180 and would like to know overclockability with AMD athlon 64 3200+ venice (wanna keep it low if i do it, with out touching memdivider and cpu volt


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2005 10:46 pm 
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Thanks Mike for the response.

I must add that this is simply an incredible product. It has raised the bar. Many future PC cases will be influenced by P180. But how many of them will be designed and built with the same passion and expertise as this one?

The critique shown here just proves how demanding customers SPCRians can be. That's essential for development and discoveries, which SPCR has always been about.

Sometimes the critique can be over the top. Maybe it's because of the hype and buzz that evolved during the anticipation of the release of this product.

And the review wasnt too long.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2005 11:01 pm 
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I have a quick question.

Regarding configuration 1 and 4, did you block off the holes on the back of the case that the VGA duct would have been using, or did you leave those open still? I know in the review for config 1 it said you DID seal them up... but did you ever UNSEAL them when moving on to the next configurations?

Thank you

EDIT: Rewording to show I actually did read the article... :roll:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 12:12 am 
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Bomb ass review. I love long reviews of good products. I also love my P180! :D

But honestly I had to skim it right now, I'll read it all later. Right now I need to sleep. I also need to figure out why you called the VGA duct "noisy". I'm using it without any ill effects. But I also expanded it a bit, and put some electrical tape where the inside piece slides on, so it would have a nice, (somewhat) damped, tight fit. I'm using an undervolted Japanflo, and it's great. I only wish I had some temperature diodes so I could monitor the temperature of my GPU and northbridge.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 5:08 am 
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Amazing review, took me a very long time to read it in depth, and I applaud all you guys for your efforts, thanks so much for producing the "P180 Handbook" as somebody put it earlier.

The case looks awesome (I must get my hands on the black SPCR version), but I am only concerned by one thing... and that is the routing of the four-pin ATX12V cable. I also plan on getting myself a Seasonic S12-500, and if the four-pin lead isn't long enough, many of us will be in a little bit of trouble. I definitely want to be able to use my PCI/PCI-E slots, and having the cable just dangling there is an eyesore.

What I found on the [H]ardForums (click here) is somebody with a CoolerMaster RealPower 450W (reviewed on SPCR a while ago) with an MSI K8N Neo2. The ATX12V connection is near the top of the motherboard (like many others), but what this guy did was remove the 120mm x 38mm PSU chamber fan, and routed the cable underneath the motherboard (taped to motherboard tray), and have it come out at the top end of the board. He's got maybe two inches of free slack in the cable. His cable management is superb, compared to you guys... but I'm not poking at anybody, just pointing some things out.

Now, what I'm wondering is -- would it be possible to route the ATX12V cable under the motherboard (with the Seasonic S12), and have it come up on the top side of the motherboard, or is it still too short? If you guys could address that issue, that would be great... would save a lot of people a lot of headaches, both in terms of wire-management freaks and just people wanting things working right the first time.

Thanks in advance!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 6:34 am 
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Quote:
His cable management is superb, compared to you guys...

It all depends how much length you have to start with. As Devon pointed out wiith words and pictures, the S12 cables were stretched close to the limit. Not enough slack to do anything different. I don't think a different motherboard would change this much. The older S.Silencer and the Antec Phantom both have long enough cables that there are more cable management options. See RH's cable arrangement in Part One of the review as well. He routed his AUX12V cable underneath the motherboard and the main ATX cable through other side of the uppper HDD cage area.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 9:30 am 
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KorruptioN wrote:
What I found on the [H]ardForums (click here) is somebody with a CoolerMaster RealPower 450W (reviewed on SPCR a while ago) with an MSI K8N Neo2.

Dynamiks posted in the gallery section here as well and answered some questions regarding how he did his cable management.

I think Devon did an awesome job with all the different configuration testing, even comparison with another case, and with different PSUs, and writing up all the result. To expect him to pretty up the wiring as well, knowing that there's a horde waiting eagerly for his review, is a little unrealistic IMHO.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 9:44 am 
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great job guys and thanks for putting in so much time and effort into this article. It has completely convinced me that the P180 is the perfect case for my next build.

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Main Rig: X2-4200+ | XP-120 | A8N-SLI Premium | 2GB RAM | XFX 6600GT w/VF700 | 74GB Raptor & 320GB 3200JD | P180 | SmartPower II 500W | 2x Dell 1704FPV (Digital)
Media Center: Athlon XP-M 2500+ @ 2.2GHz | ALX800 w/92mm Panaflo | 1GB RAM | 40GB WD | SLK3000B | Modulated, Fan-Swapped 380S PSU


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 10:14 am 
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thetoad30 wrote:
I have a quick question.

Regarding configuration 1 and 4, did you block off the holes on the back of the case that the VGA duct would have been using, or did you leave those open still? I know in the review for config 1 it said you DID seal them up... but did you ever UNSEAL them when moving on to the next configurations?

Thank you

EDIT: Rewording to show I actually did read the article... :roll:


The measurements for configurations 1 and 4 are both with the vent unblocked. Sealing the VGA duct was something that was tried and rejected for not being effective enough (and for increasing the VGA temps, which were already a bit high).


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 11:12 am 
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Ok. Thank you for the clarification. Just trying to set my rig up like your's to compare temps...

Just a quick question again, did you guys do any kind of northbridge temperature measurment? Mine is getting past 65C in some configurations, and I don't know if that is too hot. My assumption is that it is... but you know what they say about assuming.

Thank you


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 11:32 am 
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Awesome article. I really enjoyed reading every lines of it. This site got me into SlientPCing. Can't wait to get my P180... if only FrontierPc would wake up and ship the thing.

I intend to overclock the machine while keeping the noise level as low as possible. I'll share my results once everything is setup.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 11:36 am 
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thetoad30 wrote:
Just a quick question again, did you guys do any kind of northbridge temperature measurment? Mine is getting past 65C in some configurations, and I don't know if that is too hot. My assumption is that it is... but you know what they say about assuming.


I measured every temperature I could, but I don't think the AOpen board reported northbridge temperature. I did keep track of a "System" temperature which tended to stabilize ~40°C, rising to 47~48°C under load. Obviously, these numbers fluctuated a bit depending on how the airflow was configured, but I don't think the variation was much more than 5°C.

If you find any use for this mysterious "system" temperature, let me know. I left it out of the article because I have absolutely no idea what it's measuring.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 11:43 am 
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That's exactly what I'm finding out as well. My "motherboard" temperature is reported about as high as my CPU Temp at idle now...40-47C, but I CANNOT touch the northbridge HS without a nice burn at load. And the temp probe that I have on the heatsink as far to the center and down in the fins as I can get, shows a hefty 65C at load.

Do I need to get a better HS, or are these temps ok?

Thank you


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 11:51 am 
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:D Thank You for the tip, SometimesWarrior!! They must have dropped the price even more, it was $7 less for me just now. I am almost old enough for my wants not to hurt so I "settled" for the two tone box.
I tell you it was close between this and the TJ06.
No site rivals the info-feed about any product that's reviewed here. Manufacturers should be beating down the doors to get products to Devon, Edward, Ralf, Russ and of course Mike.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 11:54 am 
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But if you can't pay them off to get a good review, and you know you wouldn't stand up to other competing products... ;)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 12:09 pm 
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?? I think this group of guys are serious enough about acoustically invisible pc's that manufacturers know to "expect no quarter".

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 12:11 pm 
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That was exactly my point.


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 Post subject: What about alternatives cases?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 12:25 pm 
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Hello Mike,

Excellent review but I do have a couple of questions.

MikeC wrote:
It was a 10 dBA difference (between peaks), and the P180 was obviously the quieter one. In defense of the SLK3000B, that was a pretty tough comparison, but I think few cases would fare any better.

You see, the P180 is a bit too big and pricey for my taste.

I was previously considering the SLK3000B. However, the comparison between the cases, especially page 10, seems to suggest that, while the P180 is quiet, the SLK3000B is not.

So, my question is, are there cases out there with good thermal and acoustic characteristics or is the P180 the only game in town?

MikeC wrote:
This is why I am such an advocate of decoupled HDD mounting. If that Raptor had been elastic-suspended in the SLK, it would have been much closer to the P180. (But the side panels needed some damping, too, around where they fit against the chassis to reduce some of the vibes.)

What other cases support such decoupled muonting in a reasonable straightforward way (read: even if I got two left hands)?

Please suggest what cases can be considered (and available in Canada).

The configuration that I have in mind is a SeaSonic S12-500, DFI LanParty Ultra-D, ATI X800XL, a couple of hard drives, a couple of optical drives, and various odds and ends.

Thank you,
Alex.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 12:27 pm 
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:oops: My bad, under the influence right now plus excitement about the new rig. Brainwaves off by >10%. Now I just need that dream motherboard to come out finally.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 12:50 pm 
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i think this is the first case i actually want to walk up to and hug


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