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 Post subject: Moving on from an Antec P180 Mini but to what?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:41 am 
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I actually bought a Fractal Design Define R4 but I was hearing a noise at times which I had never heard with the Antec so when it developed 2 faults within a week of purchase I returned it for a refund; shame as it had some good features.

Overall it made me realise that the Antec P series are really solidly built and also that I appreciate the internal size of an ATX case and modern features such as the tray cut-out for heat-sink installation, fan controller and USB 3.0.
So the obvious choice seems to be an Antec P183 V3 or P280 or even a P193 but I want to look at other options as well.

The must have features are these:

USB 3, preferably on the top, 2 of them and they must use an internal header.
Silent out of the box with regard to the case design, no after market silencing kits.
Removable drive bays or if not the space to install a single HDD on a piece of acoustic tile. That is my default safe install as it guarantees a silent HDD.
120mm rear fan support.

Optional features in order with most significant first:

Bottom located PSU.
Tray cut out for heatsink installation.
Top located buttons: power & reset
Fan controller

Ideally I would like to avoid these but appreciate that I will likely have to work around them:

Fans installed in the Case Top.
Fans larger than 120mm.
Bling.

Here is what I am investigating:

mATX
Silverstone Temjin Evolotion SST-TJ08B-E

ATX
Cooler Master Silencio RC-550
Cooler Master Silencio 650
NZXT Hush 2 White
Antec P183 V3
Antec P280
Antec P193

The components used are not that demanding:

Z77 mobo with up to an i5-K CPU at stock speed
SSD
2TB WD Green
8GB RAM 1.35V
nVidia 650 Ti – MSI with their custom cooler which is silent at idle and usually at load.
Seasonic X-400 Gold Fanless.

Any input greatly appreciated whilst I continue in Sherlock Holmes mode; cocaine swapped out for San Miguel which is silent until you hit the threshold where it gets really loud. :)


Last edited by smilingcrow on Sun Apr 21, 2013 12:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Moving on from an Antec P180 Mini but to what?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 12:01 pm 
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smilingcrow wrote:
Will post again when SPCR's servers aren't screwed as I'm getting error messages for longer posts.
I'm aslo getting an error, but I think its related to some characters, i have copy/pasted text and i get the error, but upon on correcting the characterless like ' it fixes and im able to post. Try to delete parts, to establish where is the error that creates the overflow.

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 Post subject: Re: Moving on from an Antec P180 Mini but to what?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 12:19 pm 
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Abula wrote:
smilingcrow wrote:
Will post again when SPCR's servers aren't screwed as I'm getting error messages for longer posts.
I'm aslo getting an error, but I think its related to some characters, i have copy/pasted text and i get the error, but upon on correcting the characterless like ' it fixes and im able to post. Try to delete parts, to establish where is the error that creates the overflow.

Thanks. I have noticed in the past that their forum software was sub par but this is taking the piss really. Do not recall having a similar problem with any other forums!


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 Post subject: Re: Moving on from an Antec P180 Mini but to what?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:37 pm 
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smilingcrow wrote:
I actually bought a Fractal Design Define R4 but I was hearing a noise at times which I had never heard with the Antec so when it developed 2 faults within a week of purchase I returned it for a refund; shame as it had some good features.
Too bad your experience with it, this is what i was going to recommend.

smilingcrow wrote:
Ideally I would like to avoid these but appreciate that I will likely have to work around them:
Fans larger than 120mm.

Here is what I am investigating: mATX
Silverstone Temjin Evolotion SST-TJ08B-E
For these two comments im going to suggest you to check the Silverstone Tek Micro-ATX Mini-DTX, Mini-ITX Mini Tower Plastic with Aluminum Accent Computer Cases PS07B (Black) similar to the TJ08-E, but has a few changes that might be better for you, the TJ08-E has an open front grill with alluminium finish, the PS07 has a plastic front with closed door (intakes from the sides of the front), instead of the 180mm fan comes with 2x120mm, the rest basically the same, i just did a build for friend on it, and its a fine case. Btw on the TJ08-E, i have my gaming machine on it, check my sig, and the 180mm fan is very loud, even at 900rpm (low setting on the case fan controller) its very noticeable, i placed an Fanmate2 in between to lower it more, around 600rpm start to become decent (you can still hear it though on quiet room, but for me its tolerable for the amount of air that it moves), it can be taken lower from what i remember, i think someone in OCN got it to 450rpm after that it turns off. One thing worth mentioning about both is that the HR02 is a great cooler for it, but its very tight withe the frist PCIe slot, if i didnt use the hdd cage in both builds (TJ08e/PS07) the gpu will have touched the heatsink because of the gravity pulling the cards down, but with the cage its all good, this is worth it cause might affect what cpu cooler you go into pair with the GTX650.

Out of the cases you are considering, and some others, here some comments,

Antec P183v3,
Solid case and proven for years here, so its sure bet, specially since you liked your P180mini. The v3 already comes with usb3 heather for the mobo, 120mm fan support. There are some very nice builds i seen here, like Boring but silent

Antec P280,
Seems to fit a lot of what you are looking, like USB3 on top, power button n reset on top, etc. Supports 120mm fans (two on top, two on front and one on the back). The case seems big and has a large cpu cutout, good cable management holes... seems solid, i would just remove the top fan and close the top vent, and probably swap all fans for Nexus basic / Scythe Slipstreams and undervolt them.

Antec SOLO II,
Another worth considering, specially since you are picky about mechanical hdds, it comes with a hdd suspension mechanism for 3.5 hdds, has the same poly as the P280 on the doors and top, has decent airflow supports 120mm fans (2 front and 1back), but its tricky on the cable management as there is no room on the back of the mobo (i used the 5.25 slots and the back of the hdd cage), i did HTPC on it with x400, check my sig for pics and other stuff. The PSU is not mounted on the bottom, but has a top vent on the case for it, but this might also leak noise, in my case all fans are so low on rpms that i dont hear a thing, even under load.

Corsair 550D,
Also a nice option, supports 120mm fans, can place two on front and one on the back, with a lot of expansion if you need more cooling (you can add 4x more 120mm fans if you feel like it taking the covers off), but with close vent in all in case you want a more silent setup. Large CPU cutout, good cable management, the usb n power are on the front/top, as the 280 fits what you looking. A little expensive though, but also comes with a lot of magentic fan filters.

Another thing is if you are happy with your P180mini, and if you dont find anything that its worth it over it, then just add 5.25 usb3 add on, like 5.25" PC Media Dashboard Front Panel USB 3.0 HUB SD MS MMC CF XD TF M2 Card Reader SATA ESATA, given that its not ideal cause of the door... but worth considering if you dont find anything you like as with the R4.

Btw have you bought all the components? just wondering more about the mobo since you are also considering mATX case.

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 Post subject: Re: Moving on from an Antec P180 Mini but to what?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:10 am 
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While the PSU might not be at the bottom, you don't necessarily want this with a fanless PSU anyway so having it at the top of the case and freely ventilated might be an advantage. As you've already got a decent PSU you could get an Antec NSK3480 and swap in your X-400. The standard 380W PSU that comes with the NSK3480 you can then sell on or reuse in something else. This is definitely a good cheap option for the low power components you're looking at and the motherboard tray hole for CPU mounting you could cut out yourself.

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 Post subject: Re: Moving on from an Antec P180 Mini but to what?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:44 pm 
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Thanks for the replies. After a bit more research I am liking the Nanoxia Deep Silence 1. Not sure of build quality which is an issue after the Define R4 let me down. Need to confirm that it accepts a 120mm fan at the rear in case the stock 140mm is too loud. One photo suggests that it has holes for both sizes:


Image


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 Post subject: Re: Moving on from an Antec P180 Mini but to what?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:31 pm 
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I tried to watch videos, but in most they seem to just say a 140mm fan, and none say if it can fit 120mm. You could ask on SPCR discussion thread, overall i don't see it that great though, in the SPCR review, has some comments that place it sub worst than others that you were considering,

Quote:
The Deep Silence 1 most closely matches up to the Corsair Obsidian 550D in size and features, but wasn't up to snuff in performance. The 550D had a sizable advantage in CPU cooling and a slight edge in noise as well. Pitted against the NZXT H2, it was more or less neck-and-neck. The case only fared favorably against the BitFenix Ghost, which we found to be seriously flawed with panels that are too acoustically transparent for a silent chassis.

Quote:
The Deep Silence 1 doesn't perform as well as most of the compared models. It was competitive with the Antec P280 and LanCool PC-K59 for noise but its CPU, Southbridge, and hard drive temperatures were all higher. It's overall performance was most similar to the SilverStone Temjin TJ04-E, but keep in mind that model is only 51 L and has some odd design elements.
Seems similar to the R4 that you didnt liked... idk.

Upon checking for the 120mm, found another interesting article where they also compare it to similar cases, Hardware.info Nanoxia Deep Silence 1 review: promising first chassis, given that i dont trust it as SPCR, they do some interesting things between cases, and in the noise lvl the Solo II kinda beats most, and the 280 seems on cooling performance. the Nanoxia seems to perform very similar to R4.

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GameMi >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4790K | Thermalright Silver Arrow IBE + 3x Noctua NF-A15 PWM @500rpms| Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @450rpm | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


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 Post subject: Re: Moving on from an Antec P180 Mini but to what?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 7:11 am 
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@Abula. The SPCR review summed it up by saying that:

'...not as quiet as the quietest cases, nor as cool as the coolest ones.'

My components have a fairly modest power output so I do not have to look for the absolute best case just one that is good enough performance wise with the features that I am after.
After using the R4 though I was left with a nagging doubt about the baseline noise level of cases and the link you gave from Hardare-info has brought that into focus so thanks for that. The image below is from that link and the text says:

'We always test chassis with the fans turned off to find out how well they dampen sound. For chassis that have extra sound-dampening materials, this chart is interesting.'

Image

So Antec are looking strong. The P280 appears to have fixed drive cages and the P183 has the buttons and connectors on the front and no mobo tray cut-out so either will be a compromise. Hmm.


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 Post subject: Re: Moving on from an Antec P180 Mini but to what?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:46 am 
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I decided to go for the P183 V3 but have discovered that it seemingly has 1 USB 3.0 and 2 USB 2.0 front ports although Antec's documentation is conflicting.
Online it says: 3 x USB 3.0
The PDF manual says: 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.0

Considering that USB 3.0 is (generally) backwardly compatible it seems a strange choice. I usually put removable storage in the front sockets so USB 3 works well there. The stuff I have permanently connected at the rear is USB 2.
3 USB 3.0 also seems an odd choice as not many mobos have dual USB 3.0 internal headers so one of each makes sense.

The current revision of the P183 V3 does have a mobo try cut-out so maybe there is a V3.1 that changes the USB ports as well. I'll need to check with Antec.


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