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Antec P183 is a high-end mid-tower case launched under their Performance One series. It is based on Antec P193 but with the side fan and one of the top fans removed and also with the remaining top fan reduced from 140 mm to 120 mm, making it cheaper than P193. Let’s see what you should expect from P183.
As you can see this case has a front door, but luckily the connectors available are not behind it, so you can access the USB and eSATA ports without needing to open the front door.
[nextpage title=”The Front Panel”]
Opening the door we have access to the four 5.25” and one 3.5” external bays from P183, which use meshed covers with built-in washable dust filters, which is great to improve the case internal airflow and, at the same time, prevent dust from entering the case. On the front panel you can also see the intake from the two optional 120 mm fans, also protected by washable dust filters.
This case has two USB ports and one eSATA port, besides the headphones and microphone jacks. Having an eSATA is mandatory on a high-end case, however the two USB ports are too close to each other, what may prevent you from installing two “fat” USB devices at the same time.
[nextpage title=”The Top and Rear Panels”]
In Figure 7, you can see the top panel, which comes with a 120 mm fan. As mentioned P183’s brother P193 comes with two 140 mm fans here. P183 comes with a fan controller for its two fans, located on the top part from the rear panel.
The other 120 mm fan is located on the rear panel, and on this case the power supply is installed on the bottom part of the case. The slot covers have holes to improve airflow and this case also has two holes protected with rubber covers for you to install external water-cooling solutions.
If you pay close attention to the place where the power supply is installed you will notice that this case comes with a frame to allow standard power supplies to be installed. If you remove this frame you can install bigger power supplies from Antec CP series, like Antec CP-850, which is a power supply that only fits certain cases from Antec, like P183, P193 and Twelve Hundred.
P183 comes with two fan speed controllers, one for each fan. You can set each fan at three different speeds: low, medium and high. Antec doesn’t say how many rpm these speeds actually represent. These controllers use regular peripheral power plugs, so you can’t install them to the motherboard in order to monitor the speed from the fans.
Let’s take a look now inside P183.
[nextpage title=”Inside P183″]
The right side panel is fastened to the case using black thumbscrews, but the left side panel uses three regular screws. Antec should have added thumbscrews on this panel as well, as you may want to route cables behind the motherboard tray.
The side panels from this case are very different. They use three layers. The external layers are made of steel and the internal layer is made of plastic. This was done to improve the acoustic insulation from this case, making your PC quieter.
In Figure 12 we have an overall look from inside P183. The case is divided into two chambers (one for the power supply and lower hard disk drive cage and one for the motherboard, drive bays and upper hard disk drive cage) in order to improve thermal management. The wall that separates the two chambers has holes for you to pass the power supply cables and a sliding plastic mechanism for you to adjust the size of these holes (Figure 13).
[nextpage title=”Inside P183 (Cont’d)”]
You can also route the power supply cables from behind the motherboard tray, uncluttering the motherboard chamber and thus improving the internal airflow.
In Figure 16, you can see the expansion slots, which use regular screws to hold daughterboards. For a case with this quality Antec should have used at least thumbscrews here.
You can see the two 120 mm fans in Figure 17. Notice how they use regular peripheral power plugs.
[nextpage title=”The Disk Drive Bays”]
This case has five external 5.25” bays, one external 3.5” bay and six internal 3.5” bays for hard disk drives, in two cages.
The external bays use an excellent mechanism to hold drives, even though it is not screwless. You need to add one ruler to each side of the drive you want to install using normal screws and then slide the drive in the bay.
Officially you cannot use the external 3.5” bay to install a hard disk drive, because will have a hole on the front panel, as the bay cover can’t be reinstalled while a drive is installed inside a bay. If this aesthetic problem doesn’t bother you, then you can have a seventh drive installed there.
[nextpage title=”The Hard Disk Drive Bays”]
As mentioned, there are two hard disk drive cages on P183, one on the lower chamber and one on the top chamber. The two cages are fastened to the chassis using thumbscrews and can be completely removed.
The two cages are completely different. The top cage holds up to two hard disk drives, and they are installed to the cage using small drawers. You need to use regular screws, but on the good side there are rubber shock absorbers to reduce the noise level produced by the hard drives. If you remove the two drawers completely you can install a 120 mm fan on this cage using metallic clips that comes with P183, however when this fan is installed you cannot install hard drives to the cage. This fan is in addition to the optional fan that you can install in front of the cage, on the front panel. This cage also has a small toolbox, where you can hold screws and other small parts.
On the bottom cage the hard drives are installed perpendicularly, and each one is attached to the cage using regular screws. But like the top cage, the bottom cage uses rubber shock absorbers to prevent the natural vibration from the hard disk drives to be transformed into noise. You can also install an optional 120 mm fan on the front case in front of the bottom cage.[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]
Antec P183 case main specs include:
- Style: Mid-tower
- Application: ATX and smaller form factors derived from this one.
- Material: Zinc-coated steel (SECC).
- Power supply required: Doesn’t come with the product. Support for Antec CP series.
- Available colors: Gun metal.
- Side panel: Solid.
- Dimensions: 20 ¼” x 8 5/64” x 19 61/64” (51.4 cm x 20.5 cm x 50.7 cm) (H x W x D).
- Net weight: 30.9 lbs / 14 kg
- Bays: Four external 5.25” bays, one external 3.5” bay and six internal 3.5” bays (in two cages).
- Expansion slots: Seven.
- Fans: One 120 mm on the top and one 120 mm on the rear. Three-level speed control for both.
- Optional fans: Two 120 mm fans on the front panel, in front of the hard disk drive cages, one 120 mm fan attached to the upper hard disk drive cage (hard drives can’t be installed in this cage if this fan is installed).
- More Information: https://www.antec.com
- Average price in the US*: USD 165.00
* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]
Antec P183 is a mid-tower case targeted to the exigent user that wants a high-quality mid-tower case. Here is a summary of what we found about this product.
- Top-notch quality.
- Amazing number of hard disk drive bays that will please even very high-end users (six).
- Hard disk drive cages are removable.
- Dust filters.
- eSATA port.
- Speed control for the fans.
- Three-layer side panels to reduce the noise produced by the PC.
- Noise-reduction mechanisms (rubber shock absorbers) for the hard disk
- Could have four USB ports.
- Could have one FireWire port.
- Could have come with black thumbscrews for fastening daughterboards.
- Could have come with thumbscrews fastening the left panel.
- No screwless mechanisms for holding disk drives.
In summary, we think this is a terrific product for the user that is looking for an above-the-average mid-tower case. We were really impressed by its quality and options. The only real negative point about this case for the Average Joe is its price. However, if you are looking for a high-end mid-tower case full of options and won’t mind paying more, this case is one of the best options available on the market and won’t let you down. You may even consider P193, which costs only USD 10 more and comes with two 140 mm fans on the top and one 200-mm on the right side.