- Created on 22 January 2009
The Antec "Performance One" family of PC cases is the top end of Antec's range of PC cases and our previous reviews have reflected the quality and performance of the range. Recently Antec released the Mini P180, the baby version of the P180 case and we were intrigued as to how the values of the "Performance One" range could be applied to a mini tower especially with respect to cooling.
On opening the packaging it immediately becomes obvious that the Mini P180 case is a part of the family, with the sleek black panels and prominent air vents along the top of the case. The case has dimensions of only 51 cm (H) x 28.3 cm (W) x 52.5 cm (D) and is made from 0.8mm steel making it a robust case and the design is clearly aimed towards maximum cooling and sound proofing. The side panels are manufactured in a three panel design (aluminium, plastic, aluminium) which really helps to minimise sound and vibration. The front door of the case acts as extra soundproofing covering all drive bays, but can open up by 270 degrees allowing easy access to drives.
The black finish continues into the main body of the case, which is split into two compartments to separate the motherboard and PSU and therefore reduce heat build up and vibrational noise. The case support boards up to microATX dimensions with space for four expansion slots, and the drive bays can accomodate up to three 5.25” drives and five internal 3.5” HDDs. The internal 3.5" bays are mounted into removable trays (much like the P190 case previously reviewed) with the drive vibration insulated from the case by silicon grommets. The case also incorporates a simple cable management system whereby cables can be routed underneath the motherboard tray and reduce cluttering of the system bay. No power supply is included with the Mini P180 case allowing users to install their own (something that is definitely preferable so that the PSU can be matched to the system build).
Active cooling is provided in the form of one rear 120mm x 25mm TriCool Fan and one large top 200mm x 25mm TriCool fan (both of which have exterior speed control switches) which should adequately cool most microATX system boards, although there are two fan mounting points at the front of the case to mount 120mm fans to provide extra cooling to installed HDDs. Even though this is a mini tower case, there is still room to accomodate graphics cards with full length PCBs by removing one of the 3.5" HDD trays, although this will obviously limit the number of HDDs the case is capable of housing. The standard ports are housed on the front of the case including two USB 2.0 ports, one eSATA port, and Audio In and Out ports (AC’ 97 and HDA).
Although this will probably be at the top end of most budgets, the Mini P180 is clearly a quality case and would make an excellent case for gamers requiring a portable PC for LAN parties, or for the discerning home user who wants performance and reliability in their system build.
Amazon: Antec Mini P180 EU PC Case Black