Antec P101 Silent The Silent Guardian Chassis Review

The Antec P101 Silent Silent Guardian is very affordable but does have some downsides, check out our full consensus on the mid-tower chassis here.

Published Sun, Mar 31 2019 9:01 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 6:57 PM CST
Rating: 87%Manufacturer: Antec

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

The last chassis we saw from Antec was an open-air design with tons of angles, tempered glass, and is another of the cases out there that tend to be a showcase design, where you almost need to be perfect in the build process. Many out there enjoy what an open-air design offers, like easy access, much improved cooling potential, and the fact that you have something awesome housing your components to show off to all of your friends. However, there is a flip side to consider. Pets, children, noise, and to most, it is dust that keeps many away from an open-air chassis. Luckily, Antec has products across many segments of the consumer market, and is what brings us to the new chassis we have now.

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With the chassis in hand, the script has been flipped, and rather than having a chassis that can breathe from anywhere, and no considerations were made for noise levels, we now have a case that deals with both. Not only are sound dampening materials found inside of the chassis, but Antec has chosen a monolithic design with no hints at RGB illumination, no view inside of the chassis, and while it may seem like a design we have looked at many times before, once you get up close and personal with this chassis, you will find a couple of things to make the chassis even more user friendly, and one of the changes we noticed here is also one of the smartest we have seen industry-wide.

From the Performance Series of Antec cases, they have sent the Silent Guardian mid-tower chassis, also known as the P101 Silent. In the chassis you will find a good mix of old-school concepts implemented with an eye for customization, intermixed with things like a fan controller, plenty of chassis fans to get the average user into action, all with the thought of having a feature rich offering that will not drain your account to get one. If you prefer the PC at your side to be seen and not heard, you don't have any need to see through the side panel, and you desire a chassis with subtle styling and nothing flashy, this may be a solid contender for your next build.

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The P101 is a mid-tower chassis which measures 527mm from front to back, it is 232mm wide, and it stands 506mm tall, The chassis is made mostly of steel which is 0.8mm thick and painted black, but there are also bits like the feet, the front panel, and the front I/O panel which are made of plastic. While Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, and ATX motherboards will all fit inside, EATX motherboards will as well. On the front I/O panel, you will find two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, a pair of HD Audio jacks, power and reset buttons, along with a two-speed fan controller than will also stop the fans if desired.

The P101 Silent offers eight expansion slots instead of the typical seven we normally see. On top of that small addition, the P101 has a usable 5.25" bay for those still rocking optical drives or have a need for other bay devices. As far as storage is concerned, there is room for eight 3.5" drives or eight 2.5" drives within the eight bays in a modular assembly of four cages. Behind the motherboard tray, there is another tray which will hold another pair of 2.5" drives for those that may want to remove the HDD cages altogether.

Cooling for this chassis is handled with either three 120mm or two 140mm fans in the front, both options are available in the back for a single fan, but that is it. However, Antec has filled all of the mounting locations with a trio of 120mm fans in the front, and a single 140mm fan in the back, all of which are connected to the fan controller. As to the water cooling support, the front is shown to be able to house less than or equal to 360mm radiators, and the back can house less than or equal to 140mm radiators.

Clearances are also listed, where we see there is 25mm behind the motherboard tray. Video cardsa can be 270mm long if you leave the HDD cages in play, but without them, the video cardsa can be 470mm long. CPU coolers can be 180mm tall and the door will still close, and when it comes to power supplies, the recommended maximum is 290mm. The last section of the chart offers up the mention of the two-year warranty, points out that there are dust filters in the front and at the bottom, and shows the P101 weighs in at nearly twelve kilograms.

When it comes to finding the P101 Silent chassis, all it took was to drop the name into the browser, and all sorts of links popped up. Amazon is currently offering the chassis for $129.96, which isn't all that bad for what you get in this chassis. However, if like us you enjoy saving money, Newegg is the better choice at this time. It is there where we see the Antec P101 Silent for $116.14 through a third party seller, and $124.43 where Newegg is listed as the seller. We do still feel that $100 is the magic price when it comes to a mid-tower chassis, but let's see if the extra money spent is worth it as we get into more detail with the Silent Guardian, the P101 Silent from Antec.

Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications

Buy at Amazon

Antec P101 Silent

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* Prices last scanned on 1/26/2021 at 12:20 pm CST - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.


Antec P101 Silent The Silent Guardian Chassis Review 02 |

Like others do, Antec opts for the plain brown box to ship the chassis in. On the front of the box, we see P101-Performance series at the top, the Antec name in a bar on the right, and the full P101 Silent "The Silent Guardian" chassis name below the large rendering of the chassis in the middle.

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Above the handle is the Antec name, while below it we would see four specification charts if most of them were not blocked with shipping information. At the bottom is the weight along with some legal information and one of the serial number stickers.

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Around back the series is again at the top, just above a short story of what makes the Silent Guardian what it is. Features and specifications are shown above the exploded diagram of the chassis, and again, we find the same black bar at the right, as well as the product name at the bottom.

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If the first four specifications charts on the other side did not pertain to your region, the last side of the box offers four more. The Antec name still flanks the top of the panel, but this time at the bottom, there is a mention of the warranty and contact information or any support you may require.

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The chassis is initially wrapped inside of a clear plastic bag, but Antec has added a sticker as well, which explains how to remove the side panels. To protect the chassis further, thick Styrofoam caps are placed at the top and bottom of the chassis. Even with the rough looking box with what seems like oil and all of the rounded box corners, the chassis inside is as safe as can be and in stellar condition for us to photograph and use.

Antec P101 Silent Mid-Tower Chassis

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The front bezel of the P101 is thick, and made of plastic. In the center is a door that swings open to the right, and breathes through three vents along the left side of it. On three sides of the door is angular plastic with pointy corners which covers the rest of the chassis frame.

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With the door open it is easier to see the three white vents, and we also see the sound absorbing material on the inside of it. Behind the door is a removable 5.25" bay cover with a large, removable dust filter that keeps the airflow from the three white blade fans cleaner inside than without it.

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The front I/O panel offers the power and reset buttons to the left, followed by a white power LED and the three position fan speed controller. We then see a pair of 3.5mm HD Audio jacks, and both the pair of USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports are ringed with white LEDs.

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The top of the chassis is an expanse of steel with no ventilation, which has been painted black to match the rest of the chassis.

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The left side of the P101 is another expanse of black steel. We can see the thick bezel at the front of the chassis, and the feet are chunky at the bottom. Since Silence is the name of the game with this chassis, there is no window, as it would allow more sound than steel backed with sound absorbing material.

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Now at the back of the chassis, we see that the side panels are screwed on, but remember, they use balls and sockets at the back, and they do not slide to open. Between the panels, we find the rear I/O next to a 3-pin powered 140mm fan. There are eight expansions slots, and they alternate color to go along with the vents we saw on the front. Lastly, the PSU uses a mounting plate seen at the bottom, which allows the PSU to slide into the chassis rather than fitting it from the right side.

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The right side of the chassis is also closed off as you see all of that black steel. It is nearly a mirror of the left side, but we can see the door on the front bezel from this side, and we also see that Antec is in the front foot.

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Under the chassis, we find a large dust filter which is removed by sliding out the back of the chassis, and near the front of it, we see some of the screws to remove the HDD cages. As for the feet, they are large, but the rubber pads stuck to them are only half the size of the foot, yet still affords grip to keep the chassis solidly in place.

Inside the P101 Silent

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To remove the bezel, reach under the chassis and feel for the gap, then pull until the eight clips give lose. On the front of the chassis, we find the front I/O panel is still attached to the chassis, and we see the room for those wanting to use 140mm fans up front, and also the pair of holes to the right to wire them cleanly to the back of the motherboard tray.

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Both of the side panels of the chassis are backed with sound absorbing material, all the way to the edges of the panels. The front of the panel uses the lip we see here to grab onto the frame of the chassis, with a ball and socket at the back corners to hold them onto the chassis.

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While most cases try to eliminate things like HDD bays, ODD bays, or anything flashy, Antec opts for all three. We like the white motherboard tray in conjunction with the alternating expansion slot covers and the front door vents, and we always like when manufacturers offer everything, but do it modular, so we can decide what is needed for our builds.

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At the top of the interior, at the front of the chassis, is the single 5.25" bays, and we saw a pair of screws in the front of the frame for those who feel like removing it. It is only supported by the front of the chassis, and with more weight in it, it is likely to droop even further.

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Below the optical bay is a stack of four cages, each with two plastic sleds in them, which are drilled for both 3.5" and 2.5" drives. Easily accessed from this side, and wired from the back, which is also where you find the screws to remove any or all of the cages, including the base at the bottom. The bottom-most sled is where you will locate the hardware for the chassis.

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Usually, when looking at a motherboard tray, we cover the large access hole, the slot style wire tie points, and the motherboard compatibility, which Antec covers as good as any other, however, there is something else. There are dimples in the steel, seven in fact, with four holes in the dimple. These are also wire tie points, but offer options for orientation, and is something we would love to see in every case out there.

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Due to the full stack of storage drive bays, Antec had to shorten the PSU cover, and is why there is a 290mm limit on PSU length, including the wires. The Antec name is present on the vertical surface, it is angles slightly at the corner, and the top offers a pair of holes at the back for wires to pass through.

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Behind the motherboard tray, we see that the fans are all wired so that they are connected to the fan controller, while the rest of the chassis wires are bundled and tied to one of the wire channels. At the left, we see more of the dimple tie points, open spaces to wire the drives, and even an additional tray mounted below the CPU cooler access hole to provide room for an additional pair of 2.5" drives.

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The chassis wires are black, and only the last little bit of the HD Audio and USB 1.0 connectors have a bit of color showing. The power, power LED and reset leads are black to the tips, and the native USB 3.0 cable is standard as well. As to the length, the USB 3.0 along with the LED and button leads are plenty long enough, however, the USB 2.0 and HD Audio are shorter but still manage to get connected to our motherboard without too much hassle.

Hardware & Documentation

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Inside of a white box which we found in the lowest HDD bay, we found the hardware. At the top are five zip-ties, which is about half what you will want, but can get the job done. There are three standoffs that need to go into the chassis and fifteen 6/32 screws. At the bottom, we see the four screws to mount the PSU, but Antec throws in a handful of M3 screws for the motherboard and various drive mounting.

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The guide for the Antec P101 is done on a single sheet of paper, which has been folded into what we see here. There are no specifications offered, there is no parts list, what you do get are things like how to open the chassis, how each part goes in, and it is found on both sides of the sheet. Not the best guide for the beginner, but to us, it made no difference.

Case Build & Finished Product

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With a full cover door panel, even if you put RGB fans in the front or decide to populate the 5.25" bay, nothing changes with the impression the P101 delivers up front. Just hints of white in the vents, and the name at the bottom of the door to break up the mostly flat surfaces.

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While we would normally opt for an AIO, we would have had to remove the HDD cages, and then we could not show that with our FE GTX 980, we still have plenty of room to install it with the cages in place. With all of the tie points, and the lack of grommets, we were still able to come off with a clean looking assemblage of all of the parts inside.

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We found no issues when attempting to install the dust shield in the rear I/O or when getting the GPU mounted into the expansion slots. The same goes for the PSU mounting, as we simple pre-wired the modular PSU with leads we needed, slid it in through the back, and with the provided mounting plate, secured the PSU into place.

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Behind the scenes, there are so many locations to tie wires to, you should have no issues keeping things neat and tidy behind the motherboard tray. We do wish the SSD tray was moved a bit to the left though, as the wire trail for the 8-pin CPU lead has it running over the tray, which can complicate things.

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The sad thing about the build process is that when the chassis is all back together and ready for power, you will see none of it. However, we get the factors that play into a chassis built with Silence as the main selling point, and those who like their chassis silent, many don't want them to be seen.

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From this angle, it is not easy to make out the white LED backing the rings around the USB ports, and with the power LED sunk into the front I/O panel, the only ambient glow is upwards from the PC. At this time, with the fan controller switches to HI, the fans are not audible from a foot away from the chassis. In LOW mode on the controller, you have to put your ear on the intake vents or behind the exhaust fan to make out any noise at all.

Final Thoughts

The monolithic black chassis has been done to death, and it takes something extra to set it apart from the masses. While subtle touches of white are a good start to help break up the monotony, it usually comes down to the features and internal setup to win over the customer base.

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On that front, this chassis offers eight expansion slots in a mid-tower, it carries on the black and white theme through the entire chassis, even down to the fans, the modular storage bays and inclusion of a 5.25" bay will make tons of PC builders happy. Not many cases come with a fan controller, so there is that as well, the chassis is closed off and sound absorbing materials are used, the metal is thick and strong, and all lends itself to the Silent Guardian name of the P101 from Antec.

Then, we still have not addressed the new tie points, which to us seems so obvious, we aren't quite sure why all cases don't have this feature. In the end, the chassis covers any mistakes you may have made, looks decent for the type of chassis it is, and will surely protect the investment of all of the components inside of the chassis.

Out of all things we saw in the chassis, what we played around with, and how well everything went from start to finish, there is one major concern that needs to be addressed. The front of the case. With everything closed up as you saw in the last couple of images, there is airflow to be felt behind the fans, but not passed the cages. Beyond that, opening the front door increased airflow a ton, and with the front bezel removed, we finally could feel some air making it past the HDD bays.

Of course, they can be removed, the bays that is, but if you are looking for a chassis with superior airflow, this is not it. In our testing, the temperatures were still below throttle points, but were higher than we normally see. Nothing we would be worried about for daily use, but we aren't using the most aggressive parts, nor are we overclocked on anything. It appears that in the need to ensure the P101 is as silent as possible, and with little means to inject cool air inside, concessions had to be made.

At this point, we are torn. We like many things about the Antec P101. The price is fair for what you get, the styling isn't exactly boring, and the chassis is silent with a bunch of internal features many can take advantage of. However, there are many mid-tower cases out there, and for around $130, if silence is not the top priority, there are many better answers if keeping the components cool is more of a concern. In the realm of silent cases, the only comparable chassis is from Fractal Design, and do cost more, but in our opinion, the price increase is justified.

The Antec P101 may be the more affordable option in a chassis with an optical bay, sound proofing measures taken, that can support an EATX motherboard, but is a lack of airflow worth saving ten dollars. We think not in the grand scheme of things, but we do feel that as long as you are aware of the shortcomings, and plan to change it somehow, the Antec P101 The Silent Guardian will definitely pull you in. Ultimately, it's up to you whether you buy it or not. If it were our money, it is likely we would opt for the R6.

Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications











The Bottom Line

While the Antec P101 is the most affordable in its class. The aveage Joe will be happy, but for those with higher powered components or the desire to overclock, you may want to keep looking. For us, in the end, the features do not overshadow the lack of airflow!


Antec P101 Silent

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
* Prices last scanned on 1/26/2021 at 12:20 pm CST - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

After a year of gaming, Chad caught the OC bug. With overclocking comes the need for better cooling, and Chad has had many air and water setups. With a few years of abusing computer parts, he decided to take his chances and try to get a review job. As an avid overclocker, Chad is always looking for the next leg up in RAM, cooling, as well as peripherals.

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