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Conclusion

The three system cases from Antec that I have tested today are all very quiet (at the minimum speed of the preinstalled fans, of course) but also very different. The only thing they have in common is the handy and easily accessible block of I/O ports. The quality of manufacture is high with every product, too.

Designed in the classic style, the Sonata IV is a medium-sized system case with good ventilation. With its single cooling fan it turns out to be superior to many system cases with much more advanced cooling solutions. It is roomy and can easily accommodate any modern single-chip graphics card. It must be noted, however, that the Sonata IV can hardly be suitable for advanced configurations with fast and noisy HDDs. It does not suppress HDDs’ noise at all and the noise of the rest of components is going to be perfectly audible through the large side vent. The bundled PSU is only quiet at low loads. Thus, the Sonata IV seems to be the optimal choice for a midrange computer which is not heavily overclocked, has quiet HDDs and low-noise CPU and GPU coolers, and with a single (perhaps top-end) graphics card whose cooler exhausts the hot air out of the chassis.

The huge Antec P193 V3 is at the other extreme of the range as it can accommodate and cool any PC configuration you want. Its owner won’t have to compromise in terms of components. This system case is not limited by the bundled PSU specs or expansion opportunities (well, you may find yourself unable to install three top-end graphics card into it due to the presence of only seven expansion slots) or specific noise insulation features. If you sacrifice some silence by switching to the medium-speed mode of the fan controller, its cooling efficiency becomes excellent at an acceptable level of noise. Anyway, I would recommend you to purchase and install front fans into this system case.

The third product, Antec P183 V3, doesn't have such well-defined positioning as the other two. It's hard to understand what users it's going to be perfect for. Its advantages over the Sonata IV boil down to the opportunity to install a couple of extra HDDs (or only one HDD if you’ve got an SSD in your configuration). It is somewhat better in cooling the CPU and graphics card (but offers less space for expansion cards) and it has better noise insulation of the HDD rack, allowing you to comfortably use fast and noisy HDDs. Are these advantages worth the extra $100 asked for the P183 V3 (considering that you have to buy a power supply similar to the Sonata IV’s bundled one)? There's no clear answer, especially as you can add just a little more money and buy the roomier, quieter and cooler P193 V3.

 
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