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 Post subject: Fractal Design XL vs Antec P180
PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 8:33 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2005 9:30 am
Posts: 43
Location: Finland
So I bought the P180 in 2005(?) when it was released. It is a nice case but with a few shortcomings:
  • no cable management
  • horrible hdd management
  • no room for enough hd's
  • longer gfx cards don't fit unless you remove the upper hdd tray(s)

I've been eyeballing Fractal Design's XL case. The design principle seems to be same with separated areas. Also the case fits longer graphis cards like Radeon HD6970 & HD7970 without problems. Cables can be routed behind the mobo and HD installation is million times easier when the HD's face side of the case, not rear, and especially when you can switch them one by one instead of those goofy hd cages P180 has.

Since there isn't a spcr review about XL I'm curious about a few things:
  • are the 140mm fans good? are there screw holes for 120mm fans (I have Yate Loons in my P180 which work very fine) in case the 140mm's disappoint?
  • is the case quiet like p180? decent weight supports this assumption...
  • How are the HD trays compared to Antec's? Antec has nice silicone grommets which dampen vibration quite nicely

My PSU is Enermax Modu82+ 625W. It's standard sized so it should fit nicely. Cables seem to be reasonably long too so they shouldn't be a problem.

I only open the door when cleaning dust filters, so how much the door opens is not an issue.

Are there any shortcomings compared to P180? I'd like an all-around upgrade but so far haven't found any good replacements for P180.


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design XL vs Antec P180
PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:51 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 685
Location: Gefle, Sweden
The grommets are the only shortcoming that I'd take into consideration. Antec's thick silicon grommets are the best there are. I've read instances where people have taken Antec grommets from cases and put into other drive sleds like Fractal Design's. The gromets used by Fractal Design are good for not too vibration prone drives like the various "Green" series to my experience.

The metal in the Define series might not be as thick but the bitumen sound dampening is significantly better than the P180 laminated side panels in my opinion. On overall the case is at least as good at dampening noise.

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i5-3570K at 4 GHz Turbo, HR-02 Macho w/o fan, MSI R9 290 Gaming, Fractal Design Define R4, 2 front fans, 1 exhaust. 2 SSD's and a quiet Seagate 4TB (ST4000DM000) HDD, Seasonic P-460FL (no squealing).


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design XL vs Antec P180
PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:57 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2011 9:50 pm
Posts: 108
mkk wrote:
The grommets are the only shortcoming that I'd take into consideration. Antec's thick silicon grommets are the best there are. I've read instances where people have taken Antec grommets from cases and put into other drive sleds like Fractal Design's. The gromets used by Fractal Design are good for not too vibration prone drives like the various "Green" series to my experience.

The metal in the Define series might not be as thick but the bitumen sound dampening is significantly better than the P180 laminated side panels in my opinion. On overall the case is at least as good at dampening noise.


I chose an R3 over the P280 because the moduvents can close off the top exhaust vents completely and block extra noise from escaping. Temps seem good enough in this setup. Both the XL and the P280 are great cases but if you get the P280 I'd recommend finding a solution for blocking the top exhaust ports from leaking noise unless of course you plan on using them.

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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design XL vs Antec P180
PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:55 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2005 9:30 am
Posts: 43
Location: Finland
Thanks for the info! Using grommets from my P180 may be a good idea then. Local shop sells bitumen mats etc. which are good for adding mass and blocking unwanted holes in the case :)


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