Antec P183 vs Fractal Define R2

Enclosures and acoustic damping to help quiet them.

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Avro
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Location: Vancouver, BC

Antec P183 vs Fractal Define R2

Post by Avro » Thu Apr 22, 2010 3:24 pm

A local store has both these cases on sale right now (Define R2:$100, Antec P183:$130) and I'm thinking of upgrading from my Antec Solo to one of these. If the Solo was 2 inches deeper, I would not be looking at another case right now, but I think I'm at a point where I've outgrown the Solo. Here's the hardware I have in the Solo right now:

AthlonII X4 620 w/Xigmatek HDT-S1283
Gigabyte mATX board
Radeon 4870 1GB (stock 2-slot cooler design)
3x 3.5" SATA HDD
1x 5.25" SATA DVD-RW
1x 5.25" PATA DVD-RW
Zalman MFC-1 fan controller
Corsair HX520

After I bought the 4870 I had to take my HDDs out of the elastic suspension and hard mount them back onto the HD sleds because the while the 4870 fit, the 6-pin PCI-E power cable jammed right up against the SATA cables of the middle HDD. Right now I have to leave one of the HD bays open to give the PCI-E power cable room. I will also be adding another 3.5" HDD and 1 or 2 2.5" SSDs in the near future so I need all the bays I can get. The other annoyances are the required removal of the side panel to remove the front bezel to clean the front fans, convoluted wiring of the HDD LED through the HDD bay area, and necessity of removing the m/b to change the power supply. Other than that, I still really like it. =)

I really like the HD bay layout and the shorter size of the R2. The thin metal chassis construction I do not like. I will also be using both 5.25" bays and am worried about fitament (someone else here mentioned that he could not fit 2x 5.25" drives in). I will probably get rid of the PATA drive since I need the fan controller more. Speaking of which, any know if the door will still close with a MFC-1 installed? I really like my front mounted fan controls. The case will sit on the floor under my desk, so the rear mounted pci bracket controller is not acceptable. The other thing I don't like is that the door does not flip out 270 degrees like the P180/2/3 doors do.

What I don't like about the P183 is the potentially noisy top fan cutout mentioned in the SPCR review, larger physical size (it'll be a tight fit under my desk), noisy tri-cool fans (I replaced the Tricool in the Solo w/something quieter) and higher price.

Any opinions and/or suggestions? I'm kind of leaning towards the P183 for the more solid build, but that fan cutout up top will need to be completely cut for sure if I mount a top fan.
FX-8350 @4.4GHz / Asus Sabertooth 990FX / Scythe Mugen 4 w/2xGlideStream 1900rpm PWM / 4x4GB Corsair Vengeance LP DDR3-1866 / 2x XFX DD HD6870 in CF / Antec CP-1000 / Antec P183 v2

ddr
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Post by ddr » Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:20 pm

almost same dilemma as you. but I've decided to wait for the P180 mini instead. the worksmanship seems better from what I've read. and the R2 seems like an overkiill for a matx mobo that we both have

themaster1
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Post by themaster1 » Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:10 pm

I don't like the fractal

KayDat
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Post by KayDat » Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:07 am

The Fractal looks like a cheaper version of the original P180 (which isn't a bad thing, seeing as many, myself included, don't like the new P183 look)...but without the dual thermal chambers, and STACKS of 3.5 drive rails (EIGHT). I was tossing up beteen the two as well, but I have my reservations about bitumen, so I went with the P183.
Also, I don't think the R2 door goes 270°.

armdt
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Antec P183 vs Fractal Design R2

Post by armdt » Sun Jul 25, 2010 10:03 am

Hi all, I'm still undecided about the choice of those 2 cases, Fractal Design R2 vs Antec P183.
I'm looking for a silent cabinet, no leds or other lights and I need to place in it a Q9450 (cooled by Zalman 9700NT), only 1 hard drive (Seagate 7200.12) and ATi HD 4870 512mb, and only one DVD writer ( Pioneer DBK215).
So which is better for my situation?
I don't need a big tower cabinet, I only have those components that I mention before, and I need silence and a normal temperature inside of all components.
(Sorry for my bad english) and I hope that someone will help in my decision.
Greetings

sub
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Post by sub » Sun Jul 25, 2010 11:18 am

Hi,

If it was for me, i'll go for the p180, the fractal design looks build with cheaper material, and we all know the good quality of antec cases.

m0002a
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Post by m0002a » Sun Jul 25, 2010 2:08 pm

Antec Mini P180 seems to be discontinued at many retailers. No one has explained why.

armdt
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Location: Italy

Post by armdt » Mon Jul 26, 2010 2:54 am

I only need a silent cabinet, that make less noise possible. I don't care about aesthetics or lowest temperatures.
I think that my choice is still between Fractal R2 and P183.
I can change P183 fans with 2 more quiet like Noctua or others, or I can buy Fractal R2 and no fans replacement.
by the way I really prefer P183 instead of P180.

speedkar9
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Post by speedkar9 » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:47 am

Then get the P183 for its more solid build, and swap the fans. You'll look back after you build it and note that it was worth the extra investment, especially if your going to keep it for a few years.

Just remember though, its not the case that determines a PC's noise character, its the components inside it.
[url=http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=60019]Antec 302-S Project[/url]
[url=http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=516201#516201]Solo PC with flipped PSU & Mobo[/url]
[url=http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=59157]Basement PC flipped and converted[/url]

[img]http://img237.imageshack.us/img237/9425/img0230copy.jpg[/img]

Avro
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Re: Antec P183 vs Fractal Define R2

Post by Avro » Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:20 am

So I finally bought the P183 8 months later when it was on sale again. :oops: After transplanting all the components from my SOLO to the P183, I find that it's noisier than my SOLO. I thought it was the new exhaust & intake fans I put in the P183 (replaced the tri-cools with Scythe Kaze Jyuni 1200rpm fans, which I will have to replace again later because they were much noisier than I thought they would be), so I unplugged all the intake & exhaust fans which only left the 2x Yate Loon D12SL-12 1350rpm fans on the Coolermaster Hyper 212+ CPU heatsink and the stock fan on the XFX 4870. I turned down the YLs to 5v (same setup I used in the SOLO) and it's definitely noisier than when all the same hardware was in the SOLO. It's in my bedroom so I noticed it right away when I turned down everything before going to sleep. I tried blocking off the top vent with a thick softcover book (with top fan unplugged) and it didn't make a difference. So the noise is either coming out from the holes around the door or the back. Not sure which it is yet. I will need to do more testing. The layout and wiring and cooling is much better in the P183 (2-3*C drop across the board for all temps at idle) but I was definitely surprised that it is noisier.
FX-8350 @4.4GHz / Asus Sabertooth 990FX / Scythe Mugen 4 w/2xGlideStream 1900rpm PWM / 4x4GB Corsair Vengeance LP DDR3-1866 / 2x XFX DD HD6870 in CF / Antec CP-1000 / Antec P183 v2

danimal
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Re: Antec P183 vs Fractal Define R2

Post by danimal » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:06 pm

you should be able to undervolt all of the fans, including the cpu fan, except for the video card.

with the proper undervolting, and the front door closed, it shouldn't be loud.

Jeroenlol
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Re: Antec P183 vs Fractal Define R2

Post by Jeroenlol » Sun Jan 30, 2011 3:14 pm

I have been thinking between the P183 and the Fractal Define R3 (not the R2 theres not that much improvement though) to still havent decided :(

Going to use I5 2500K with NH-d14.

I think im going to go with the P183 its like another poster said, better quality on the P183 imo.. I will have to block the top vent though

Avro
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Re: Antec P183 vs Fractal Define R2

Post by Avro » Mon Jan 31, 2011 10:48 am

so I unplugged all the intake & exhaust fans which only left the 2x Yate Loon D12SL-12 1350rpm fans on the Coolermaster Hyper 212+ CPU heatsink and the stock fan on the XFX 4870. I turned down the YLs to 5v (same setup I used in the SOLO)
danimal wrote:you should be able to undervolt all of the fans, including the cpu fan, except for the video card.

with the proper undervolting, and the front door closed, it shouldn't be loud.
I did undervolt the 2x Yate Loons on the cpu heatsink to 5v already and it was still noisier. After some testing, I have figured out why it's noisier. The video card fan is spinning faster than before. It shifts between 1400-1700rpm because it is running hotter than before. I added another front intake fan (older Noctua 1200rpm fan) in front of the 2 drive bay and ran it at 12v to see if it could cool the video card any better... and it didn't. I'm going to try making some sort of intake duct out of cardboard to feed funnel the front intake air to the video card's intake to see if that will help. I can't mount a 120mm fan to the back of that 2-drive cage because the PCI-E power plugs stick into that bay area. Another option would be to replace the stock video card heatsink/fan with a Arctic Cooling Accelero S1 rev.2, but then I'd lose the auto temp controlled fan for the video card. *sigh*

Jeroenlol, I went with the P183 instead of the Define R3 or XL because of the more solid build quality of the P183 and because you can't close the front door of the R3 with a Zalman MFC-1 controller installed. Now if I can only figure out the cooling problem of my video card...
FX-8350 @4.4GHz / Asus Sabertooth 990FX / Scythe Mugen 4 w/2xGlideStream 1900rpm PWM / 4x4GB Corsair Vengeance LP DDR3-1866 / 2x XFX DD HD6870 in CF / Antec CP-1000 / Antec P183 v2

flemeister
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Re: Antec P183 vs Fractal Define R2

Post by flemeister » Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:18 am

Avro wrote:I can't mount a 120mm fan to the back of that 2-drive cage because the PCI-E power plugs stick into that bay area.
The solution, using 2 strips of foam/cardboard or whatever you've got lying around:

Image

danimal
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Re: Antec P183 vs Fractal Define R2

Post by danimal » Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:41 pm

Avro wrote: After some testing, I have figured out why it's noisier. The video card fan is spinning faster than before. It shifts between 1400-1700rpm because it is running hotter than before
did you actually measure the speed when it was in the solo case?

easy enough to prove that case airflow is a factor, one way or the other, by taking the side off of the case, and pointing a big table or floor fan at the video card.

then measure the rpm.
Last edited by danimal on Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

danimal
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Re: Antec P183 vs Fractal Define R2

Post by danimal » Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:42 pm

flemeister wrote:
Avro wrote:I can't mount a 120mm fan to the back of that 2-drive cage because the PCI-E power plugs stick into that bay area.
The solution, using 2 strips of foam/cardboard or whatever you've got lying around:

Image
that is a smart idea!

Jipa
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Re: Antec P183 vs Fractal Define R2

Post by Jipa » Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:06 pm

I would go for the R3 over the Antec. I much prefer the layout of the Define, as IMO the dual chamber malarkey isn't really helping anything. Also it means the case has to be higher without any better access to the components inside. I've had the original P180B, P180 Mini, Define XL and have had a good look at the R3 and out of that lot it's the R3 I'd choose. With a splitting HDD-cage it would be even better.
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Avro
Posts: 22
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Location: Vancouver, BC

Re: Antec P183 vs Fractal Define R2

Post by Avro » Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:28 am

flemeister wrote:
Avro wrote:I can't mount a 120mm fan to the back of that 2-drive cage because the PCI-E power plugs stick into that bay area.
The solution, using 2 strips of foam/cardboard or whatever you've got lying around:

Image
Thanks for the picture! I tried it and it didn't work out quite as well as I'd thought. It only dropped the video card temp by about 0.5*C, which in turn dropped the fan rpm down to about 1300-1400rpm, which is still noisier than before. But the 120mm fan is now a lot quieter even at 12v because it doesn't have to deal with the obstruction of the case front grill and the dust filter. Even mounting it with soft silicone mounts, the turbulence caused a lot of noise when it was up against the front of the case.
danimal wrote:
Avro wrote: After some testing, I have figured out why it's noisier. The video card fan is spinning faster than before. It shifts between 1400-1700rpm because it is running hotter than before
did you actually measure the speed when it was in the solo case?

easy enough to prove that case airflow is a factor, one way or the other, by taking the side off of the case, and pointing a big table or floor fan at the video card. then measure the rpm.
No, I didn't measure the fan speed before moving all the parts out of my SOLO case because I assumed that the P183 would have better airflow which should equal lower temperatures and less noise. My assumption was wrong. In the past, I was able to turn down all my fans to 5v/off in the SOLO and sleep because it was so quiet. Now I cannot sleep if I leave the PC on because of the video card fan noise. I have ordered an Arctic Cooling Accelero S1 rev.2 to replace to stock cooler on my XFX 4870. It should work quite well with the newly relocated 120mm fan. I will lose the temp-controlled fan on the video card so I'll have to keep the fan speed in mind when I'm gaming on the PC, but at least I'll be able to sleep at night while downloading stuff.
FX-8350 @4.4GHz / Asus Sabertooth 990FX / Scythe Mugen 4 w/2xGlideStream 1900rpm PWM / 4x4GB Corsair Vengeance LP DDR3-1866 / 2x XFX DD HD6870 in CF / Antec CP-1000 / Antec P183 v2

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