Articles: Cases/PSU

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At the very top of the panel there is a block of two three-position switches.

These switches control the speed of the system fans. The P182 employs exclusive TriCool fans capable of working in three operation modes. The preinstalled 120mm fans support the following modes:

This solution is going to be handy for most users as it allows to quickly adjust the cooling of the system case depending on the conditions. You can increase the speed when there is hot weather and reduce it under low loads to have a quieter PC. People who use hardware fan management tools designed for a 5-inch bay or utilize the mainboard’s tools may be disappointed because the fans are powered from a standard 4-pin Molex connector.

So this system case has two switches. One controls the nearby back-panel fan.

And the other controls the fan on the top panel! This stands to reason. If the PSU has moved down, why can’t we use the free space for yet another exhaust 120mm fan? There is enough of room for it and enough of hot air from the CPU to exhaust.

The fan seat has a grid but there is also another fine-mesh grid from above to prevent small objects (such as paper-clips) from getting into the fan blades. It also prevents you from blocking the airflow by putting papers, books or something like that on the top of your system case.

Now let’s have a look at the interior design.

My first impression about the chassis is that it’s up to the exterior design and price of the system case. It is good thick steel without rough edges. Every edge is rolled in neatly.

Antec’s engineers not only moved the PSU down but also divided the interior space into two practically independent (in terms of airflows) compartments. The bottom compartment contains one HDD cage and the PSU, with a 120mm TriCool fan in between. The fan is blowing the air from the cage to the PSU for exhaust. The rest of the components belong to the top compartment. With the interior space separated like that, the air takes simpler routes and loses less speed in the unavoidable turbulences. The components are cooled better as the result.

Of course, there must be some communication between the two compartments just because it is necessary to route the power and interface cables of the HDDs from bottom to top. A good solution was found: there are two holes in the metallic partition that can be partially or fully closed by means of two sliding plates. Nearly every variant of holes is possible and this design solution might be called perfect if it were not for a couple of flaws. The plates are rather too stiff while the locking of them with two thumbscrews from one side is not very handy. It is also not clear why the first hole is wider than the plate that is supposed to cover it.

Running a little ahead, I should note that you can indeed virtually isolate the two compartments from each other. There are but tiny gaps left as you can see in the photo above.

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