Review: Antec Performance One - P280 review Reviewed by: Wendy Robertson Model: P280
Computer enthusiasts have been building their own PCs for almost as long as personal computers have been around. The attraction of building your own PC is a simple one, in general you can build a more powerful PC when you are prepared to build it yourself than you could when buying a prebuilt PC for the same amount of cash.
The other attraction of building your own system is you can specify your own components for the build, and build the PC to your exact specification.
All PC builds should start with a good quality PC enclosure, and in this review I will be taking a look at the Antec Performance One P280. The P280 is aimed at the professional home/soho user. The Antec P280 is designed for silent running and good cooling performance, rather than out and out cooling performance. The question is, has Antec got the balance right? Let's find out in this review.
Antec company information
Antec should need no introduction, but for those of you who would like to find out more about Antec, you can do so at their website.
The Antec Performance One - P280 enclosure
The Antec P280 is a large case measuring 526mm high, 231mm wide, and 562mm deep, and is also quite heavy at 10.2kg (unpopulated). The P280 can accommodate motherboards sizes of up to XL-ATX (extra large ATX).
Other features included are as follows.
- 2x 120mm top exhaust fans
- 1x 120mm rear exhaust fan
- 2x USB3 ports on the front panel
- 2x USB2 ports on the front panel
- Audio in and out sockets on the front panel
- 9x expansion slots
- 3x 5.25" tool-less drive bays
- 2x 2.5" drive bays
- 6x 3.5" or 2.5" drive trays with silicon acoustic dampers
- 3cm space behind the motherboard tray for cable management
- Advanced cable management
- 4x 120mm fan housings for optional fans.
In the above screenshot we can see the default cooling solution which consists of three 120mm TwoCool 2 speed fans manufactured by Antec themselves. These three fans are connected to a fan controller module, which allows the speed of the fans to be set to two positions which are high speed and low speed. The speeds are set by selecting either low or high speed on the three slide switches on the fan module, with the speed of each fan being selectable individually
With the default cooling solution, the enclosure will be cooled by negative pressure, which means all fans are exhaust fans, and are therefore pulling hot air out of the enclosure. The optional 120mm fan mounts, if used, are positioned at the front and rear of the HDD trays to assist cooling of any fitted HDDs.
The two top fans are positioned in such a way that will allow a standard 240mm radiator to be installed for water cooling. This will allow integrated water coolers such as Corsair H100 to be installed. The 120mm rear exhaust can also be used for water cooling solutions, such as Antec's own KUHLER series. In both cases you will first have to remove the pre-installed 120mm fans.
On the rear of the case we can see the nine expansion slots, and also the I/O panel, fan speed selectors, 120mm rear exhaust fan, rubber grommets to allow external water cooling solutions, and finally at the bottom of the case, the cut-out for the PSU, which is not supplied.
Tool-less 5.25" drive bays
In the above screenshot we can see three 5.25" tool-less drive bays. These can house optical drives, or perhaps a controller surface for other peripherals. Fitting an optical drive is very simple, you just slide the drive in, and it will lock into place. Removing the drive is just as easy. Just press the lever and the drive will unlock and you can easily slide the drive out of the bay.
Front door and front panel USB and audio sockets
The door can be opened a full 270 degrees, allowing access to the 5.25" drive bays, and also easy access to the front intake air filter. The door itself is a dual layer design, with polycarbonate foam to reduce noise. At the top we can also see the 2x USB3 sockets, 2x USB2 sockets, and also the audio in and out sockets. The leads fitted to all these sockets should be long enough to connect to the appropriate header on the motherboard, with the USB3 lead having a proper USB3 front panel plug.
Air intake filters
On the left we can see the PSU air intake filter. The filter removal is simplicity itself. You simply slide the filter out on its tray, clean the filter, and then slide it back into position. This can be done without having to remove the side panel of the enclosure, brilliant.
On the right we can see the front air intake filter. Once again removing and cleaning this filter couldn't be simpler. You just open the front door, pull down the filter, clean it, then push it back into place. I removed and cleaned both filters, and then refitted both in less than 3 minutes.
Dual layer side panels
The side panel is made from 0.8mm steel and the second layer consists of polycarbonate foam to deaden noise and vibration.
The Performance One P280 looks sleek but understated, and just oozes quality both inside and out.
Now let's head to the next page, where we look at installing the motherboard and other components.....