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 Post subject: Antec P183: The P182 Gets More Air
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 10:26 pm 
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Antec P183: The P182 Gets More Air

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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 11:09 pm 
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Liking the new design, however the issue with the top fan seems so completely avoidable on Antec's part; I wonder if they could scramble some silicon stickers (like the ones in the PSU chamber) into the next batch of cases to try and dampen the noise. It's a pity Antec didn't ask you to help them out again, eh Mike/Lawrence?

Also liking the new PSU formfactor - if it weren't for the case sitting to my left (a P182) I'd be seriously considering upgrading when they hit the country (NZ). The airflow advantage looks huge, vs a normal ATX PSU where exhaust air has to travel a full 90° just to exit.

Is Antec planning a tradeup scheme :lol:?

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Last edited by oDii on Mon May 18, 2009 12:10 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 11:41 pm 
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My first question is, does the new front covers fit the P182?

My second question is, can I buy some? As that's the only reason to upgrade in my eyes for the less restricted ventilation :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 12:06 am 
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xafier wrote:
My first question is, does the new front covers fit the P182?
I don't think so. The hinges are different. It's been established for sure that a door for P180/P182 won't work for P183.

xafier wrote:
My second question is, can I buy some? As that's the only reason to upgrade in my eyes for the less restricted ventilation :)
My solution would be to cut away every other or two of three "pins" at the sides of the doors for P182.
_____________________________________________

Regarding the review:
- The metal "leftovers" at the top grill might be there for structural reasons. If/when it's removed the top will be weaker.
- In the high load noise/cooling test it would be nice to see the effect of increased case fan speed. If for example the intake fan is cranked up to medium, or even high, the cooling of all components in the upper part should improve, allowing the graphics fans to run slower. The net result could be lower temps and/or reduced noise.

Cheers
Olle


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 12:07 am 
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It's so ugly :(


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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 12:22 am 
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Matija wrote:
It's so ugly :(

:shock: :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 1:04 am 
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The holes on the doors are an affront to the senses that needs to die in a fire!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 2:30 am 
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De gustibus non est disputandum, but I really dislike the direction they took the design of P18x series. All the ventilation holes simply made the case uglier, at least for me. When the door is opened, it's an eye-sore :(

I can't get rid of the feeling that the review is slightly biased. Some obvious flaws were overlooked. Consider this:
1. The power button is still behind the door. Why not place it in place of the lock? (does anyone lock the case, if it needs to be opened everytime you start the computer?)
2. The tri-cool switch for the bottom chamber fan is still inside the case (in case you install one).
3. Still no thumbscrews for the left panel. I know it's really nitpicking but this case aspires to be the top.
4. Stock fans hardmounted.
5. The case is still bulky. I know it is aimed at power user/enthusiast, who demand roomy case and make it the focal point of their surroundings, but it could really be made shorter (I pay attention to that because I've got 50cm clearance in my desk ;) no P18x for me then...)
6. I can't really judge from the photos, but the USB ports on front seem tightly spaced. Connecting two oddly shaped pendrives at the same time could be problematic.
7. The top vent should be completely sealed (at least as an option) - it is a straight way for noise, isn't it? You haven't used it in the review anyway.
8. The case weighs 14kg with no hardware installed and has substantial dimensions. There should really be an option to install wheels.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 3:28 am 
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KadazanPL wrote:
1. The power button is still behind the door. Why not place it in place of the lock? (... it needs to be opened everytime you start the computer?)
Not quite true. The power button is accessible through the "venting hole" just above the lock. In fact it's not a hole, but covered by a thin membrane.
Thus you can lock the case and still access the power button.

KadazanPL wrote:
5. The case is still bulky. ... it could really be made shorter...
Not without compromising cooling, noise and/or the ability to take long graphics cards.
(And it's way smaller than my current home built case that can take much less hardware.)

KadazanPL wrote:
6. I can't really judge from the photos, but the USB ports on front seem tightly spaced.
A problem shared with most cases. :(

KadazanPL wrote:
7. The top vent should be completely sealed (at least as an option)
I agree with that!

KadazanPL wrote:
8. The case weighs 14kg with no hardware installed and has substantial dimensions. There should really be an option to install wheels.
Seems like a simple mod to me, but having it as a factory option (wheels sold separately) would be nice.

Cheers
Olle


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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 4:29 am 
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The case weighs 14kg with no hardware installed and has substantial dimensions. There should really be an option to install wheels."

And I will lobby for my usual want, a handle on top. There has to be a way to integrate an acceptably attractive and useful handle.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 5:05 am 
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At the bottom of the first page of the review, you've included a comparison of the specs for the P183 and P182 (with the differences highlighted). Under "Case Dimensions," you've included Antec's official sizes and highlighted how they're different for the P183. But, from Olle P's and Stefx's responses in the "P183 or P182" thread, the actual measurements are the same. Antec has the English (imperial) height measurement wrong for the P182 (like the P183, it's actually 20.25 inches tall (according to Stefx)) and the difference in the metric measurement seems to be one of significant digits (2 digits in cm for the P182 vs 3 digits in mm for the P183 (as pointed out by Olle P)). If you do the mathematical conversions for the P183, you'll see that the numbers match. For the P182, they don't. My guess is that Antec took the measurements in metric values and converted them mathematically to English units. For the P182, when they rounded off, they messed up the ones column while rounding the tenths column.

Anyway, you might want to footnote that on that page since the table implies a non-existent difference (i.e., that the P183 is shorter).

Oh, and I wish Antec would lose that top vent entirely.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 6:06 am 
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So has Antec joined the ranks of other case manufacturers with dust filters rendered useless by all the additional intake openings?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 7:00 am 
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Regarding appearances. When I saw the first pics of the P183 I was prepared to state that Antec has morphed series into ugliness. This impression was surprisingly changed the very first time I saw it, when our sample was unpacked. It's really not ugly, not to my eyes, the vents on the front do not seem out of place, and the top vent design is much nicer. The color is also quite appealing, although our photos don't show the colors accurately because they had to be photoshop'd to show details. (It's darker in reality, like a gunmetal dark gray.)

Regarding KadazanPL's 8-point critique... Yes we are probably biased, we always are biased against bad design and for good design. The P183 is a good design with the exception of the glaring error in the top vent. All of your 8 points are personal quibbles of the type most people have about most products, they are not about serious flaws, imo. My other main criticism is that the fans are nowhere near good enough, but any serious silent PC builder makes a personal study of fans and swaps them in cases for breakfast.

Regarding the lack of dust filters for the optical bay drive area -- Antec obviously chose greater air inflow over dust filtration; there wasn't much they could do with this area. I think it's the right decision given the increasing heat of today's enthusiast systems; the intake vents now more than match the exhaust vents, which was not the case before. Remember that gamers far outnumber silencers in the DIY marketplace, and they have been using the P18x series from the get go. For the serious silencer with a more modest system, it's not much of a hardship to block off all the vents they don't want with aluminum tape or whatever. Standard practice for those who want to direct all airflow through dust filters anyway.

Back to the top vent -- I considered cutting the offending pieces out after documenting its sound effects, but it would have meant pulling the system out and being very careful with a handheld sharp edged rotary power tool. This is assuming we want to retain the top external fan mesh cover. If not, then it's a much simpler matter of cutting through both parts, even a jigsaw with metal cutting blade would do, and the edge hidden with a plastic u-shaped channel. Then I'd go all the way and cut the clips, replacing them with proper holes to soft mount the top fan using elastopolymer plugs. It's what Antec should have done. A simple black wire fan grill would give it a reasonable look. All this is assuming you want the top vent -- which I would for a hot system.

BTW, if you already have a P182, there's really not much point swapping to the P183. Almost everything Antec did has already been done by enthusiasts here, perhaps not all in one chassis.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 9:53 am 
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MikeC wrote:
The P183 is a good design with the exception of the glaring error in the top vent.


I don't think you can write off the power button issue that easily. For me it's a major annoyance with my P182, especially as I use S3 sleep mode a lot. I have to disable USB wake-up or the PC will wake when the mouse is nudged (I have a cat...) so the only option is to use the power button. I've been thinking of swapping it for the useless lock for a while now.

There is one other issue I have with the P182 which does not seem to have been addressed - the brittle and easily breakable plastic fan holders.

Having said all that, I still think the P182/3 is the best silent case available. All of the improvements in the P183 make a lot of sense and mirror what people have been doing themselves anyway. Personally I like the clean looks too.

It's a real shame about the top vent because every other mod you might want to make can be done without voiding the warranty or altering the case permanently in any way.

Quote:
Back to the top vent -- I considered cutting the offending pieces out after documenting its sound effects, but it would have meant pulling the system out and being very careful with a handheld sharp edged rotary power tool.


How about just blocking it with some tape or a plastic sheet? A lot of people do that mod and I think it would be worth getting numbers for it. I suppose you can always just leave it open.

It looks like they have ditched the "spoiler" too. I found it quite useful because it prevents dust falling in to the hole when the PC is off (obviously when it is on the fan blows outwards).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 10:25 am 
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MikeC wrote:
...this is the first time we've seen completely round standoffs.


Antec used them before in the SX1040-II (at least they did on my one) although they were of steel and welded in place, rather than brass and preinstalled.

Quote:
Why a complete circle wasn't cut instead is a mystery — there is absolutely no reason to leave a metal tracing of the fan structure.


Probably purely cosmetic - it hides the wire trace and (usually) shiny label.


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 Post subject: Filters
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 11:44 am 
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You mention that the filters are LESS restrictive in the P183. How do they compare to something like a Nexus 80mm filter? Any chance of a side-by-side? From the looks of all the pictures, it's doesn't appear that there were any filters in place when the pictures were taken. Either that or they're REALLY less restrictive! :shock:

Due to the age of the rugs in my house and a long-haired Shepherd, I've taped up every one of my case's holes and moved to Swiffer cutouts for filters in most of them. I've also increased the number and/or speed of the fans to compensate for the lower airflow. With 13 drives in an all-aluminum Lian-Li, it's still the quietest WHS box I know of.


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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 1:12 pm 
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Designing these things is all about tradeoffs. Make the front door solid, and it holds back noise but people call it a fridge. Add holes, and it allows more noise but also more airflow, yet people say the holes are ugly. They can't win with a single case for all people. Still, I hate the direction they're taking. The P180 has been excellent for my purposes, and if it wasn't too tall for my desk compartment I'd have another P180. It's not perfect, it needs a few tweaks, but it's good.

They needed more airflow for high performance systems (eg. high-heat expensive overclocking stuff). For my purposes, a system like that is stupid, since expensive highend high-heat hardware tends to be slower than the midrange cool hardware a year later. In my P180, I have only the PSU fan (a slow 140mm Yate Loon) and the slow Nexus fan; with a 8800GT and Q9450 both cooled passively (Accelero and Orochi) and this fan setup, the videocard is up 10c from stock HSF and the CPU is cooler than with the stock HSF. I intended to make the machine very quiet, and it doesn't need more airflow. The Performance One cases are high quality and expensive, but they still don't generate heat, so I bought what I felt was the best. This is my perspective, and it won't work for anyone.

I do not see the point of the door other than esthetically now. With holes in the door and holes in the 5.25 bezels and holes in the steel behind the bezels and holes in the PCI covers and the exhaust hole in the back of the case, there's now the potential to see all the way through the case. Enough air will flow fine through a single bend, but sound loses energy in reflection and some sound is reflected back. As sound can logically travel straight through this case, the door now only restricts any large volumes of air (like a wall with a hole in it). If airflow is key to all high quality systems, Antec should design a highend Performance One case around the Antec 300 bezel. The P180 is like a tank with ducts for controlled airflow, while the P183 is like a tank with holes in it. "...punching the front panel full of holes hasn't made the case any louder" is not possible, and though it won't make a case scream, it is still unnecessary. I can't think of any new cases with a solid door now.

A proprietary PSU design is not what we need. Efficient computers don't use 850W, and efficient PSUs don't need much cooling. We already have 120mm and 140mm fans in PSUs; the dimensions did not need to change. However, ATX does restrict airflow from large PSU fans by cooling the components directly and forcing the air to exhaust at 90 degrees. If Antec found ATX restrictive, they should have contacted Intel (Antec is registered at formfactors.org) and/or their industry partners and competitors, and designed a new open standard. That way everyone would benefit, the industry could move forward, and Antec would still profit by spearheading the new standard if it's something consumers want. Proprietary PSUs that don't fit into other cases shouldn't be what "really excites us". Although I see the appeal of a large fan exhausting straight through a PSU, especially in ones approaching a kilowatt, I had felt SCPR was more about standards and efficiency.

The top fan bay is now loud. Because of the new fan cutout, and the new grill being a couple millimeters from the fan, it should make a lot more air turbulence. For this expensive case to be quiet with a top fan, it now needs a dremel. I think that being loud in the default setup, along with the PSU and the door changes, exemplify how the Performance One cases are moving away from the SCPR-territory of being "functional, efficient and silent (with) the latest in Quiet Computingâ„¢" (antec.com).

The P180 was a good case that had no real competition, and the P183 adds more airflow, so I'm certain the P183 is a better case for people who overclock or have a few videocards installed. Still, Antec already sells cases (the 300, 900, 902, and 1200) that would be more effective there, including the P190 with the dual-PSU 1200W and 200mm fan; there's more gamers than silencers, but Antec already has a "Gaming Cases" series and has cases >P18x for that. Thank you for doing a review, even though I disagree with it. I don't understand why SCPR would have an article that encourages Antec to change their quiet case into a louder high-performance type case that moves away from industry standards.


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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 1:32 pm 
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@Yukon: Reading your post got me thinking - how difficult would it be for Antec to offer options for the door, or even aftermarket replacement doors? It is after all an easily-removable part. Then they wouldn't have to try and "win with a single case for all people" as you say.

For what it's worth I'd take the P182 over the P180 for one simple reason - cable management.

All these new holes in the 183 might be the result of pandering to people's misconceptions/prejudices about the 180/182. As you say they're hardly slouches in the cooling dept., and all these new holes are pretty much superfluous. I definitely wouldn't buy one - if I wanted a case full of holes I'd buy a three/nine hundred :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 1:37 pm 
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These are my annoyances about the P18* designs that I hope they'll address in future designs:
1. There should be at least 15 mm more space between the bottom of the motherboard and the ceiling of the bottom compartment because some new motherboards have 3 PCI-E X16 slots and there is now just too little space to fit a graphics card in the bottom slot.
2. Having to open the door to get to the power + reset buttons, and to see the hard disk activity LEDs. I have no idea why they thought of hiding these behind a closed door.
3. The USB ports that are too close together.
4. The lack of an optional plastic cover for the top fan hole. I plan on making one from aluminum myself but thats going to take some time to get the angles all right. Using 4 screws for the fan would be better instead of 2 screws and 2 bent metal clips. This would make mounting dampeners, using rubber grommets, or just plain screwing it closed easier.

I think placing the bottom fan right at the front in the P183 is an improvement because my PSU and hard disk cables come awfully close to that fan in my P182. The e-sata front port is also more useful than firewire.


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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 2:17 pm 
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cmanley wrote:
The e-sata front port is also more useful than firewire.
I SO waited for this comment! Right now the P183 is useless without a FireWire in the front. Put in FireWire and I'll pay the original price twice.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 2:23 pm 
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yukon --

It's ironic how you start off with a good big picture statement then launch into a tirade about the P183 and our review.

Even with the original P180, the primary target market was not just silent pc enthusiasts -- that market is a small percentage of the total. It was also aimed at power users and gamers. The P183 still has more effective noise reduction features than the vast majority of cases, and the big difference between it and typical gaming cases (including the Antec 300, 900 and 1200) is the door, the muffling sandwiched panels, and the absence of a side panel vent/fan for video card cooling -- the last lack sometimes addressed by gamers who like the case and cut their own side panel hole. (Note, btw, cmanley's call for more space at the bottom of the mb to fit a 3rd PCIe 16x video card in the bottom slot!) On the other hand, like the P182, the P183 needs tweaks to be ideal for the silencer as well. It's just that those tweaks have changed -- ie, in the P183, I'd say dealing with the top vent (if you want to use a fan there) is issue #1, while in the P182, the main issue was the restrictive front intakes.

Quote:
"...punching the front panel full of holes hasn't made the case any louder" is not possible

Until you hear it yourself, you're in no position to judge. No question the door works -- it blocks the noise from getting out the front much like the older doors did. Holes in the door have changed its noise-blocking ability very little.

Quote:
The Performance One cases are high quality and expensive, but they still don't generate heat

They're not expensive relative to many other high end cases, and no case actually generates heat.

I totally disagree with you on the PSU. The 120mm fan straight flow-through design provides far more effective cooling than the conventional 120mm fan PSU. So it's not ATX -- who really cares? ATX, like desktop computing, is on the way out of mainstream computing. That Antec didn't pursue a "new standard" is hardly cause for condemnation. That's not their business, and they're not selling the CP-850 as a universal product, it's meant to be a proprietary advantage for them -- and for their customers.

The fact is that the new PSU is a better design, and the P183 can take advantage of it. There's no doubt that 850W capability is far more than most SPCR enthusiasts need, but Antec's argument (expressed to me if not to the public) is that their CP-850 is cheaper to build because of its design, and real power consumption is dictated by the demands of your components, not the PSU. Checking on web pricing, the CP-850 is typically $125 -- about what you'd pay for many high quality 600~650W PSUs. If you use this PSU instead of a similarly priced 600W PSU for a quiet midrange system, what do you lose? probably nada, and it might even be quieter -- wait for the review to see.

Finally you diss SPCR for 1) being positive about an intelligent PSU design even if it's a very high power unit because you think this is contrary to SPCR... morality?? re -- "I had felt SCPR was more about standards and efficiency" and 2) for posting an article that you think "encourages Antec to change their quiet case into a louder high-performance type case that moves away from industry standards."

My response to 1) is that this is... misguided, and my reasons have already been explained above. My response to 2) is that Antec has already made and launched the product, never mind SPCR approval or sanction. We can like the product or not, and we can provide Antec feedback or not. What Antec chooses to do with our responses is entirely up to them... and I've already made it very clear to them that I think the top vent is a serious error that should be corrected.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 2:33 pm 
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blackworx wrote:
how difficult would it be for Antec to offer options for the door, or even aftermarket replacement doors? It is after all an easily-removable part. Then they wouldn't have to try and "win with a single case for all people" as you say. I'd take the P182 over the P180 for one simple reason - cable management.

I forget why I bought the P180 instead of the P182. ISTR the P182 wasn't stocked locally yet, and I had waited a while, and got the P180 on sale when I needed a case. The P182 is probably better (being a tweaked P180), and I like the black. I was going to get one to replace my old SLK-3000 (IIRC the part number), but my P180 didn't fit in my other desk compartment.

The front bezel of PC cases has always been a huge annoyance for me. They're generally flimsy plastic, they have random methods for mounting, they're usually difficult to remove without breaking them yet they clog with dust, most restrict air unnecessarily despite leaking sound, and if any part of it breaks (a switch, a door, etc) you need a new case. I actually did buy an Antec 300, but it came with the bezel off of it, and it was slanted and warped that it couldn't fit on, so I sent it back. On my SLK, the bezel falls off occasionally. A USB slot on my P180 broke and fixing it would need a new case front. The fronts of ATX cases were never standardized. Every company designs their own, and it usually changes from case to case. If there were standards for the method of mounting varying sizes, anyone could fix a case bezel or replace it with another style. Case makers might want to keep it proprietary, but they'd sell a lot of bezels just as cases for phones and iPods and such are fashion accessories. Standards are good.

cmanley, I like your suggestions # 1, 3, and 4. On #2, the door of at least the P180 can be locked. By locking it, you can prevent easy access to the power button. In other words, a mischievous toddler can't turn off your home server (and the door protects against juice too!) :). Still, it's annoying if you don't want that protection. ISTR that someone mentioned that the air intake holes on the P183 let you turn it on and off through the door (boo mischievous people, yay convenience. Tradeoffs.)


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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 2:36 pm 
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Mike & folks I think we all pretty much know how beneficial proprietary designs are to the community. In short they're not.

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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 3:03 pm 
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MikeC wrote:
It's ironic how you start off with a good big picture statement then launch into a tirade about the P183 and our review.

Until you hear (the case door) yourself, you're in no position to judge. No question the door works

...PSU. So it's not ATX -- who really cares?

...contrary to SPCR... morality??

...Antec has already made and launched the product, never mind SPCR approval or sanction. We can like the product or not, and we can provide Antec feedback or not.


Hey Mike. The reason I started with the big picture statement and then the "tirade" is that new case can be better for some people, but not for me. The changes aren't geared to improve my experience. Since the P18x is the only case they make geared toward what I'm looking for (and what I thought approximated SPCR's general attitude), and they're changing it to be like cases they already make, I disagreed with the changes. Since most of the changes reduce the silencing ability of the case, I figured SPCR would agree with me. Maybe not, and that's OK. I didn't intend a tirade, and I did preface my post with understanding of other viewpoints, and then I offered constructive criticism and justifications.

My mentioning that cases don't make heat, that was a bit of a joke. Cheap integrated video chipsets will barely get warm, but the most expensive videocard can cook eggs and burn them. The most expensive case isn't any hotter than the cheapest, so I bought the most expensive one available at the time (the P180) because it was the best available. If I bought the "best" videocard, it would be loud, and not best for me. Just a bit of a joke.

I haven't heard the new door. I have heard the door with holes on that mini antec P18x case. I think it's pretty clear from an acoustical point of view that adding holes to something that is intended to block noise reduces effectiveness. It's also clear that sound exiting in a straight line will be louder than reflected sound. The change should make the case louder despite potentially improving airflow. It would be a drawback when reviewing PCs for silence, and only could be. In other words, the holes logicaly cannot make it more quiet, or even be at the same volume.

I care if things aren't standard. I wouldn't want a nonstandard PSU. I've had them before. I had two Compaq ones that looked like ATX but if you plugged either into a standard ATX motherboard, it would fry the motherboard because the pinout was different. I had a G4 PSU that reversed two wires on the ATX pinout, so I needed to solder up an adapter. Neither is what Antec is doing of course, but standards are good and nonstandard is annoying. If the standard is bad or insufficient, make a new good standard. Even if Antec gave me a free nonstandard PSU I couldn't install it, and that's a significant drawback.

On the morality thing, I meant standards as in things that are standard, not ethical maxims. I figured SPCR would like standards (eg. the ATX standard, versus manufacturers gluing parts randomly in a box). Sorry about the vagueness, but I thought it was clear I was talking about manufacturing standards, not morality.

From the changes made, I think that the P183 is less effective regarding noise than it's predecessors. Proprietary nonstandard changes are also, I believe, the wrong direction to take. I think Antec is taking the case design in the wrong direction. SPCR's review is good, but it didn't reflect my opinions, and came to a different conclusion than I do, so I simply disagree. The P183 already out, but SPCR can still conclude that it is generally the wrong direction for silent PC users and that other cases are quieter, which can influence which case a user buys and Antec's future direction.


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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 3:17 pm 
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flip it upside down and call it a classic. :lol:

just use the .8 secc from an old cb to rivet to the top opening.

2600amb forever (at this pace) :(

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 Post subject: Comment on Review of P183
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 4:31 pm 
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Mike and Lawrence,

I'm not sure whether my recollection is right, but didn't you at one stage test each case with the spcr reference Nexus fans? I don't have a problem with the review but given the majority of people who buy this case and who look at this site will replace the Tri-Cools as their first step when they get the case, would it be possible to do this?

Related to this point, is the airflow enhanced by the top rear opening that is causing all the problems with vibration? With the reference fans or Tri-Cools, what is the airflow like and has it been improved from the 180 and 182? Would putting dust filters on the front drastically cut airflow and render the modifications moot?

Thanks again for the review...you review has more or less set my mind on this as my next case next time I upgrade.


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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 4:56 pm 
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yukon --

We can agree to disagree. ;)

AFAI am concerned, Antec's changes in the P183 are all either good or neutral compared to the P182 -- except for the top vent. This is based on an intimate knowledge of the P180 and P182, and after a couple of weeks with the P183. The opening up of the front vents is definitely a positive move, and despite all your arguments to the contrary, even with a low noise system of components -- ie, the IGP system in Larry's review -- the door definitely has a very positive, significant reduction of noise. I doubt very much we could measure any significant difference in noise reduction between the old door and the new because it is only one of many sound paths between the noise sources in the PC and the listener -- even with the damped panels, etc.

The arguments against the CP850 are trivial because the case accepts any ATX PSU anyway! By all means, use an ATX PSU instead!

Basically, to get the best out of the P180 or P182, I modded it a bit. This hasn't changed with the P183.

Finally, imo, the P183 was never the real top dog among Antec's silence cases anyway. The Solo or P150 always had the edge of smaller size, easier assembly and those beautifully integrated elastic suspensions for HDDs -- ideal for a mid to low power system.

gilamonyet --

As for exhaustive testing of fan type, speed, noise, configuration and other options in the P183, we deliberately avoided it because it's been done ad nauseum not only in our two previous reviews of the P18x series cases but also by hundreds of people posting their experiences in these forums. Surely, there's no need to go over all that again, because fundamentally, the case has not changed that much.

The role of the top vent is the same as it always was -- either exhaust or intake or blocked as you wish.

Airflow has definitely improved over the earlier models -- even if you consider just the intake vent covers alone.

Additional dust filters will impede airflow a bit, but surely not all.

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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 9:20 pm 
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MikeC wrote:
the door definitely has a very positive, significant reduction of noise. I doubt very much we could measure any significant difference in noise reduction between the old door and the new because it is only one of many sound paths between the noise sources in the PC and the listener

The arguments against the CP850 are trivial because the case accepts any ATX PSU anyway! By all means, use an ATX PSU instead!

The Solo or P150...smaller size, easier assembly and those beautifully integrated elastic suspensions for HDDs

I don't know much about the Solo and P150. Elastic suspension sounds excellent, since that's difficult to DIY without grommets. Since I like the PSU on the bottom of the case, and using large fans, I picked the Performance One line. I prefer using large passive coolers, and small cases can have compatibility issues.

The argument against this CP850 is against the PSU itself. It wasn't a PSU review, but it was spoken very highly of and included in the review. Some changes in the case were said to be exciting because they made the case compatible with the PSU. It would be a trivial argument against the case since the case is ATX PSU compatible, but I don't think the arguments against the CP850 are trivial at all. Antec has invented its own proprietary case standard "CPX", which only changes the PSU size, and works with one of their powersupplies in only three cases.

I think the holes in the door can only be a negative when considering noise. There are many sound paths from the PC case, but the standard paths can be controlled, and sound from the back of the case is usually indirect to the user. Holes in the door open up a new, direct, and unnecessary path. I had thought that the P180/182 showed that having a straight path for noise to escape holes in the front of the case was unnecessary for airflow in quiet computers.

I'm trying to understand how any of the changes in the case could be better acoustically than the P182. The top fan is out. The ventilated PCI slot covers can only short circuit airflow with the fans defaulting to exhaust, so that's silly. Ventilated plastic CD bezels make air filters essentially useless. The extra space for really long power supplies probably doesn't apply to quiet computing since long powersupplies are >1 kilowatt usually. The holes on the sides of the bezel are bigger, and that could be positive if the airflow in the P182 was insufficient. My P180 has holes on the sides of the bezel, and there was sufficient airflow even before removing the silly plastic grills. If there isn't sufficient air intake for someone with hot equipment and they still want a Performance One case instead of the cases geared for hot equipment, there's already the P190. None of the new changes are helpful to me, and on the whole they make the case worse for me than the P182. The P183 would require much more modification than the P182 for me. Since I care a lot about my computers being quiet, I'm surprised that my interests are diverging from SPCR opinion here. More airflow is great, but is this case not worse than before where noise is concerned?


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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 10:41 pm 
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MoJo wrote:
I don't think you can write off the power button issue that easily. For me it's a major annoyance with my P182, especially as I use S3 sleep mode a lot. I have to disable USB wake-up or the PC will wake when the mouse is nudged (I have a cat...) so the only option is to use the power button.


Er... You can disable a particular USB device from waking up your computer under device manager. Personally I leave the keyboard enabled so I just pull out the KB tray and tap any key on it in the morning.


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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 11:39 pm 
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Seems to be some emotion on this thread. Probably because a lot of people have some sentimental feelings towards it due to the fact that Mike was involved on the initial product and because it's one of the few good options for silent PC enthusiast. And when you have that kind of attachment to something, you get angry when they make changes to it. Even when those changes may be small. I get the same way about things too. I think it's a human thing.

It seems to me one of the bigger complaints with the original was the lack of airflow. I know people here talked about cutting out some of the plastic on the filter doors to let more air through. And I know gamers definitely want more airflow. So I think Antec made the right decision to go down that road. Maybe they went a little too far from a SPCR perspective. But the fact that someone like Mike made the observation that it still does a good job even with the added airflow, that's a pretty good sign to me. They can't make everyone happy (as evident here) but it seems to me they found a good compromise.

I think the concerns about the CPX form factor are a little overboard too. For one, the reason behind it is to be able to make a PSU that has better airflow which in turns means better cooling, which means less noise. And apparently cheaper too. All good things there. Yes, it's not a standard but they haven't limited the case by requiring you use the PSU like some cases that use non-standard PSUs do. And just because something is a standard doesn't mean that there are going to be many good options. (Thinking TFX/SFX and such) And if it works out well, maybe some other manufacturers will start using it and maybe then they will make it a standard. I personally am interested in the upcoming review of this PSU.


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