Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
Looking back at our review history, it seems we missed some of the better Antec cases from years past. We had always heard users raving about the older P280 and much older P180. What we always heard was that the cases looked stunning, they were quiet, and always tended to have a great feature set that was slightly ahead of the curve. These cases were also rock solid, and spawned a lot of mods back in the early days of cutting your wire management, and adding in water cooling before it was the cool thing to do.
That being said, even without personal experience, its reputation has preceded it. This does raise the bar as to what we expect to see in a chassis with a proven heritage, but at the same time, we are excited to see what all this new version has to offer. From what we can tell, only the basic idea of the original cases is kept, as Antec redresses the exterior with some cool new and hidden features. With high expectations, we still plan to be fair and scour this design just like any other, and hopefully, we don't find anything obnoxious that may go against what we have heard all these years.
Today we bring you the Antec P380 from their Performance One series of cases. While the original designs had thin add-on panels of aluminum to dress them up, this time, aluminum is a major component in the design, as it sits center stage. The interior has been completely reworked and has very little resemblance to cases gone by. This full-tower chassis from Antec is not exactly revolutionary, that would not be exactly right to say, but we do know that this chassis design changes everything we knew before, and has features that would keep even the pickiest customer sublimely happy to own one.
First of all, we see that this is a full-tower chassis, in which you could install an SSI-CEB, E-ATX, ATX, Micro-ATX, or even a Mini-ITX motherboard. What is not said is that this chassis is mainly made of a steel frame, painted black inside and out. There are bits like the top panel and the underlying structure of the front bezel that is made of black ABS plastic as well. What sets this chassis off, though, is that a 5mm thick section of aluminum curves from the top of the chassis, continues to run flat down the face, and then gently curves back to meet the bottom of the P380. We are not given an exact weight, but it is heavy. We are, however, offered up the sizes, where we find that the P380 is 21.85" tall, 8.8" wide, and 21.92" deep.
Inside of the chassis there are eight drive bays for either 3.5" or 2.5" drives, but no 5.25" bay access through the bezel at all. To remedy this, there is an optional location inside of the top panel where you can install a slim optical drive via a tray shipped with this chassis. The front I/O panel offers two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, and a set of HD Audio jacks, which resides at the top, on the left side of the case. The power and reset buttons are completely hidden, but still accessible. At the back of this case, we find nine expansion slots, with a maximum video card length of 465mm supported here. We may as well also cover that Antec does make mention of the CPU cooler height, where it is "limited" to 180mm, if that is even a limit.
Options for cooling are as follows. The top of the chassis supports three 120mm fans or two 140mm fans, and for now, Antec supplies it with a single 120mm FDB fan installed there. There is a rear exhaust fan location, which can take only a 120mm fan, and Antec includes an FDB 120mm fan there as well. Behind the front bezel, you also have the same options as the top has, just that this time there are no fans installed. As far as liquid cooling goes, you can put a 360mm or 240mm radiator in the front, the same for the top, and you can hang a single 120mm radiator in the rear.
Locating the Performance One P380 is easy enough at this point. Amazon has it selling for $130.21 with shipping included. With what you are about to see, we feel that it won't take long for you to realize how well priced this chassis is.
Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD4-B3
- CPU: Intel Core i7 2600K (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair H80i GT (buy from Amazon)
- Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws F3-12800CL6D-4GBXH
- Video Card: ZOTAC GeForce GTX 970 AMP. Extreme Edition (buy from Amazon)
- Storage: SuperSpeed 128GB SSD
- Power Supply: SilverStone SST-ST85F-G (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit (buy from Amazon)
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