Olle P wrote:
Now, isn't this a contradiction in terms? Antec CP-850 follows the CPX standard defined by Antec, while the "long, modular PSUs" don't comply with any standard! (The ATX/PS2 standard says PSUs are to be no more than 15cm long.)
Long modular PSUs are a hack. I'm sure they fit a lot of ATX cases, and I'm sure it's difficult to deliver a kilowatt+ in ATX form, so I understand the intent. Hacks work, but not always. To be fair, Enermax's long PSUs appear to be 190cm deep (or long), so that could be called their own "Enermax Long PSU Standard" with the same authority of Antec's "CPX standard". One company's standard isn't a market standard, and CPX is a marketing label. If CPX helps to reduce noise, I truly hope that a company takes ideas of the larger "proprietary CPX standard", creates a similar but open standard that other manufacturers can accept, and then makes a lot of money selling to the wider market. I'm sure Intel would love to back a new open standard that can do larger and quieter PSUs for their highend CPUs & chipsets.
The p183 would be a boring case if it didn't need any modification.
A lot of people do enjoy modifying their cases. I used to, but I didn't have enough time and got tired of sharp edges ;-). Cheap cases need a lot of fun modifications. Unsurprisingly, that's one of the big reasons I started buying the more expensive Antec cases over generic cheap boxes, since expensive cases usually have rounded or dulled edges, while my cheap cases might still have blood smudges in them. For me, some of the money I pay goes toward the convenience of out-of-the-box performance. Helpful modifications like unclipping the plastic grills from the P180 are a dodddle, but I don't like having to drill new fan mount holes and cutting more space for larger fans or cutting out fan grills anymore. I think an expensive case shouldn't have restrictive fan grills. For me, 150$ is a lot of money for the box that holds the computer parts in place; I paid that, but for that I expect the best box. I suppose that instead of modifying cases, I could build one now, but that's even less convenient.
2. The (door) holes are no benefit to a quiet(ish) system
3. The lower drive cage should incorporate two suspension harnessess from P150/Solo.
5. Use solid PCI slot covers to be removed as necessary
#2. That's what I kept thinking. These aren't silencing holes. Still, more airflow for high performance systems, so if a computer needs more airflow then the P183 is the better case for it.
#3. That really would be aimed at decreasing noise, and since HDs aren't really cooled through their screws to the case, it wouldn't affect high performance systems. I don't have SSD yet, so aside from the slow PSU fan and the exhaust fan, the only noisy things are the HDs. A door helps that since HDs are almost always in the front of the case, but suspension would be real progress in the case's design for everyone. I think the P180 had rubber washers, but not suspension.
#5. I appreciate the intent of the PCI slot grills. The bars increase the frequency and decrease the amount of EM interference that can escape the case, while letting air flow the way it would with an empty slot. Still, in both high performance systems and silent ones, it shortcircuits airflow so that the exhaust fan pulls in warmed air from behind the case through the PCI slots. However, it's an easy modification to add solid slot covers if you have a bunch; I used to collect them, but used them all, so it's inconvenient.
If you think SPCR does such a terrible job, start your own site. If you think Antec is creating such crappy cases, don't buy them! The problem is us, wanting to build passive gaming rigs.
I think SPCR does an excellent job. It's why I'm here, and not on any other hardware review site. I haven't seen other sites build awesome anechoic chambers, test PSUs extensively for efficiency, or even do actual noise measurements better than "our SPL Meter can check down to 55dBa, and this case with stuff in it was 73dBa with the TV on low". I bought two great Antec cases on SPCR's recommendation, but you're right that I haven't bought their newer ones and I've been considering their competition. The positive P183 review surprised me since I think it is a regression in terms of silencing for the P18x, but I don't have one, it's just my opinion, and SPCR is taking into account highend systems that need extra cooling. I suppose it is the market's fault; SPCR has been the most important force in educating the market and testing manufacturer claims. I think that the best way to get an answer on the P183 would be a SPCR review (no lesser site would suffice) against the P180/P182, noting the modifications (since SPCR doesn't "have an unmodified one here", oh well), noting noise versus temperatures so the effect of the tradeoffs could be compared. I'm sure this wasn't done before because the P18x modifications corrupt the result. Still, if the P183 is quieter than the P182 with the same equipment, then it deserves to be above the P182 for silence. More air intake could mean less air turbulence and thus less noise, so it could happen.