The side panels are designed in the same way as those of the P182 model: a sheet of plastic with two aluminum plates attached to it from both sides. The top panel is plastic, like in the previous model.
The last difference from the P182 can be found if you take out the HDD fasteners from the top rack: they are now compatible with 2.5-inch devices.
The top HDD rack hasn’t changed at all. It is removable, like before.
The accessories to this system cases include some fasteners (among them a few spare silicone pads for HDDs and a few single-use cable straps), a set of rails for the open bays, steel brackets to install the internal fan to the back of a HDD rack, a couple of keys and a brief installation guide. You can download a detailed user manual from the manufacturer’s website.
It is quite easy to assemble a computer system in the Antec P183 V3. I had no problems except that I found it difficult to close the farther side panel. The cable compartment behind the mainboard’s mounting plate turned out to be too shallow.
Long modern graphics cards may conflict with HDDs installed into the top rack. The power connectors of my Radeon HD 3870 graphics card, which is 23 centimeters long, were at the same level with the connectors of SATA HDDs. On the other hand, if you limit yourself to four HDDs in the bottom rack and take the top rack out of the chassis altogether, you can fit any graphics card (and any expansion card, too) into the P183 V3 without any problems.
Like the P182, the P183 V3 is cooled by a couple of 120mm fans that have Antec’s exclusive speed regulation system TriCool. Both preinstalled fans (on the back and top panels) exhaust the hot air out of the chassis.
There are fan retention frames but no fans at the front panel. You’ll have to buy and install more fans if you want your HDDs to be cooled properly.
The fan speed regulators are placed in a more accessible location than in the Sonata IV. They are at the top of the back panel of the case. You can reach them with your hand above the top panel even if the system case stands in a niche of your computer desk.
According to my measurements, the 120mm fans were rotating at 1100, 1610 and 2050 RPM in the low, medium and high-speed mode of the controller. The top fan was considerably noisier than the rear one at the medium and high speed although the latter was working at a somewhat higher speed in each mode. The difference in noisiness must be due to the vent grid configuration. The vent grids are punched out in the panels and have hexagonal openings. They have the same thickness but the top grid has fewer vent holes, increasing the resistance to air flow and, consequently, causing more noise.
In fact, the P183 V3 is only quiet in the low-speed mode of the fan controller. If you want to improve the cooling of your components without sacrificing your acoustic comfort, you may try to switch the rear fan to the medium-speed mode, but the top fan should be kept in the low-speed mode as it becomes audible at the medium speed.
With its large dimensions, straight edges and aluminum trimming of the side and front panels, the P183 V3 has an imposing and impressive appearance.
- Very quiet at the low speed of the fans
- Efficient protection against dust
- Easy to assemble
- USB 3.0 support
- Restrained and imposing exterior design
- High level of noise at the maximum fans speed
- No front fans preinstalled