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 Post subject: Antec P160 Aluminum case Review
PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2003 12:41 pm 
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We got the jump on even the overclocking and gaming web sites on this one: Our review of an early production sample of Antec's new "Performance One" case, with detailed noise analysis as usual in our reviews, appears to be the first posted anywhere on the web. 8)

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2003 1:38 pm 
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Nice one. I just just considering rescinding my order after my suitemate set up his Sonata this week. Looks like I'll just wait things out.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2003 2:30 pm 
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A very good review. :)

I'm looking forward to buying the P160 when it's available in Sweden.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2003 3:49 pm 
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Hmm,
If Antec made a P160 with a proper slide out mobo tray, a recessed reset button and a less frenetic, aluminium, front panel,………

or if lian Li made a PC60 with low impedance 120mm fan grills front and back and a front firewire port,……

well, I’d never so much as look at another case again.

As it is I can’t quite decide which of these two cases’ slight imperfections I find more frustrating. So I guess I’ll stick with my compucase 6A, which isn’t perfect either, but doesn’t cost so much that it needs to be.

Great review by the way.
Oh, and Ralf folds cable so well its almost indecent.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2003 4:18 pm 
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Great review Ralf (and Mike), thanks for covering all the aspects.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2003 6:24 pm 
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Ralf & Mike,

Thanks for the comprehensive review on the P160 Antec enclosure...I must agree, though, that the front bezel is way too stylized to be attractive...Think I'll stick with my pretty-faced 710. :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2003 6:38 pm 
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p.s. we were not the first to put up a review of the p160. I read a (shorter and less useful) review the day before ours came out.

Doesn't matter though, our review is 5 times as long! :)


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2003 8:10 pm 
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Just wanna say thanks for the review you guys. When I first saw the P160, my first impression was "Excellent, this will make a perfect successor to my Cooler Master ATC-201" But now, this review is making me seriously consider getting the SLK3700BQE instead.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 5:16 am 
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I just love this quote:

Quote:
The sheet metal is 1.2 mm anodized aluminum, which is thicker than the more common 1 mm.
:shock: :?

Sorry Ralf, but I just couldn't resist it! :wink:

Great review though, and the case looks like a winner too. 8)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 5:19 am 
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Thanks Ralf and MikeC for a very detailed review.

It looks like the P160 allows a PSU to be mounted upside down. I've mentioned in another thread about the possibility of better cooling performance by mounting a 120mm fanned PSU with the fan above, esp. since there's a 2 inch gap between top of PSU and top of case. Other than that are there any compelling reasons for mounting PSUs one way or another?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 7:25 am 
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Well, may not be the FIRST review, but we are up on 2nd Edition news at HardOCP this morning. Nothing fancy, just a link alongside some other case reviews:

Modding:
Antec Case Review @ SilentPC - Chenbro Case Review @ Gideon - CoolerMaster Wave Review @ SystemCooling


Noticed its already over 1000 reads, not bad for a late Sunday night.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 8:08 am 
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The biggest reason I ever wanted the P160 in the first place was the removable motherboard tray. It isn't important enough for me to abandon the bqe I bought recently, though the weight difference might be nice.

Also, I would have to do something about the low level hum they mentioned coming from the case. My wife is a stickler on computer noise.

Thanks Ralf and Mike. It was a very informative review.

Wendell


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 9:25 am 
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I think they should make a budget P160. Dump the blue LEDs, exchange the aluminum for steel, and paint the exterior black. Leave everything else alone. That I would buy. Immediately.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 11:32 am 
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wgragg wrote:
Also, I would have to do something about the low level hum they mentioned coming from the case. My wife is a stickler on computer noise.


The low level hum really is quite low level. I can only notice it becasue my normal system is so quiet in comparison. If the P160 was my only system I probably wouldn't think anything was out of place.

More of an issue is the noise that escapes through the very open front air intakes....

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 2:58 pm 
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I just spent the last 20 minutes scrutinising the pic of the fully-loaded case to see how Ralf had managed to hide the cabling so well.

Eyes are hurting now from the squinting :wink:

Top review btw.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 3:19 pm 
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An absolutely SPOT ON review Ralf. Extremely well done.

I can confirm that acoustic treatment of the side panels is effective in eliminating the drumming sound you referred to. I had the same issue. Not sure what was causing it, but it was there for sure, and I found it annoying. After applying the AcoustiPack, it's hard to tell if the machine is running if there is any other ambient noise.

The front LED's connect to the case via a standard looking 3-pin fan connector. I'm wondering if the LED's can be dimmed with the addition of a resistor?

David

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 3:38 pm 
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haysdb,
Did you use the deluxe or standard AcoustiPack kit. I also have a "drumming" sound in my pc82 Lain-li case and am thinking about using AcoustiPack.
Nick

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2003 12:02 am 
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Deluxe, but I might consider just the basic kit next time. The Deluxe kit was a bit expensive, but I had anough to do two cases, so it turned out to be only half as expensive as I thought.

David

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2003 4:46 am 
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haysdb wrote:

The front LED's connect to the case via a standard looking 3-pin fan connector. I'm wondering if the LED's can be dimmed with the addition of a resistor?


I found a real simple fix to the LED problem on my P160. I left the damn things unplugged except for when I took the pic for the article. :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2003 5:56 am 
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Ralf Hutter wrote:
haysdb wrote:

The front LED's connect to the case via a standard looking 3-pin fan connector. I'm wondering if the LED's can be dimmed with the addition of a resistor?


I found a real simple fix to the LED problem on my P160. I left the damn things unplugged except for when I took the pic for the article. :)


I am going to date myself here, but when I started in mainframes many moons ago, it was still when they had all sorts of lights and buttons and toggle switches all over the front. In fact, I still remember bootstrapping from cards. Anyway, it was possible to write a program that would make the lights spell something. Our favorite was to have them spell TILT, especially when govt. people came through.

The reason I mention this is that Ralf may be missing a great marketing opportunity. How about adding more LED's and figuring out a way to make them light up words like SPCR, or QUIET?

Just a thought! :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2003 3:01 am 
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An excellent review of a disappointing case. Thanks, Ralf.

fool wrote:
Hmm,
If Antec made a P160 with a proper slide out mobo tray, a recessed reset button and a less frenetic, aluminium, front panel,………
Agreed. Particularly the motherboard tray. What were they thinking? Lian-li and others have shown how to do it. And make the case black, BTW.

fool wrote:
or if lian Li made a PC60 with low impedance 120mm fan grills front and back and a front firewire port,……
Well, they sort of did the firewire part. The 601 has firewire in front, but if memory serves, it's a pass through that goes through the case, out the back, and plugs into the card from the back.

My second biggest concern on this case, after the tray, is what most people consider a feature - the location of the control panel. It's great if your computer is under the desk, but mine is on top of the desk, so top mounted ports mean wires hang down in front. I've mentioned this in other posts - use a bay-type approach to satisfy everybody. Have 4 small bays - one on top, one on bottom, and one on each side. Remove the bay cover from the location you prefer (right side for me - my computer is to my left, on top of the desk) and plug in the port module and connect it up. Rocket Science!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2003 4:07 am 
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A nice review, but having decided to buy a new case, I am even more undecided.

Sonata= quiet, nice looking.
P160= more features, better airflow, not as quiet, not as nice looking though a clear wiondow will be a nice edition.

I wouldn't mind paying more for the p160 if it seemed worth it, but I think I am steering more to the sonata now - any advcie to the contrary ?

PS does anyone know if any of the standard antec replacement side panels fit the sonata ?

Thanks,
dee


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2003 4:45 am 
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dee wrote:
A nice review, but having decided to buy a new case, I am even more undecided.

Sonata= quiet, nice looking.
P160= more features, better airflow, not as quiet, not as nice looking though a clear wiondow will be a nice edition.

I wouldn't mind paying more for the p160 if it seemed worth it, but I think I am steering more to the sonata now - any advcie to the contrary ?


May I humbly suggest looking at the Antec SLK3700BQE. It's like a steel Sonata but with great ventilation, more room inside and no front Firewire.

dee wrote:
PS does anyone know if any of the standard antec replacement side panels fit the sonata ?

Thanks,
dee


No they do not. The Sonata is a unique size in the Antec line. No other panels will fit it and so far Antec has not offered replacement Sonata panels for sale.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2003 5:43 am 
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Thanks for the response - I had looked at the BQE, though in the uk there is only a small price difference between this and the sonata, so assumed that the sonata was a better bet due to the psu and heavier frame, although I could easily be wrong ! The increased airflow does make it look attractive

and not wanting to go on and on about side panels, but do the windowed side panels fit the bqe ?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2003 6:11 am 
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I bought the BQE, rather than wait for the P160 and I am very happy with it. It has been fairly quiet and I still have things to do to bring the noise down even more. The airflow has been good and though it is not as stylish as some, it serves its function well. Unless you really want the bells and whistles of the 160, I don't think you would go wrong with the BQE.

Wendell


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2003 7:33 am 
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dee wrote:
and not wanting to go on and on about side panels, but do the windowed side panels fit the bqe ?


No they don't. The 3700BQE/AMB is a unique size too.

The windows only fit a certain size case. The SX1030. 1035. 1040, 1060 1080, 830 and 835 (some of these are not current and i may have inadvertantly missed some) Antec cases are all based on the same size chassis with the same type of door mechanism. The same window will fit on any of those cases as well as the series of cases they were derived from, the Chieftec Dragon. Trying to keep up with this is a pain, it's best to look at the compatability list for the particular case you're considering, or just look at the case dimensions. If they're different there's no way the door would fit.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2003 8:23 pm 
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Ralf, so you didn't like the case enough to keep it? What is your biggest reason for selling it? Is it just as simple as you don't need it, or was there something that you really didn't like? Thanks.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2003 5:12 am 
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mwalt2 wrote:
Ralf, so you didn't like the case enough to keep it? What is your biggest reason for selling it? Is it just as simple as you don't need it, or was there something that you really didn't like? Thanks.


I don't need another case right now. The two I use, and that I consider far and away the best cases to use for building a quiet PC, are the 3700AMB and the 3700BQE.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2003 11:08 pm 
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The cases are now available in windowed versions at NewEgg. I dunno about the windows, they look like parts are recessed which might make some fan mods a little difficult.

Really, I think Antec almost nailed this one, save for some of the aesthetics. It's almost perfect in functionality, but they could have done a better job on the front side. It's too... "plastic-y" or something. And they need this in black too. I mean this is begging to be toned down, ease on the cheese and it's perfect.

I wish I could have a simplified front area without the blue lights. I mean, with the "dark red hell" scheme I want, this ain't the look.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2003 8:17 pm 
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fool wrote:
or if lian Li made a PC60 with low impedance 120mm fan grills front and back and a front firewire port,……


Fool, the Lian Li PC6077 does have a firewire port at the front.
Image

I prefer to have the ports at the bottom of the case, so that the wires don't dangle in front of the case (or more specifically the CD-RW drive). Now if only we can get Mike Chin to review Lian Li PC6077...


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