Page 4 - Installation and Conclusion
Now, for the fun part: Building my PC. I began by installing my motherboard into the case. The Antec P10 FLUX supports ATX, mATX, and mITX-sized motherboards, which was perfect for my MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk in the ATX form factor. My motherboard has an AMD Ryzen 5 3600 CPU, G.Skill TridentZ RGB DDR4-3600 2x8GB memory kit, and two SSDs installed on it. These SSDs include the Western Digital Blue SN550 NVMe SSD 1TB and a Samsung 970 EVO 1TB. I used the stock AMD air cooler for my processor, which had no problem fitting the 175mm cooler height limit set by Antec for the P10 FLUX. Liquid cooling is still an option for users who want a boost in performance, but as mentioned earlier, you will probably save a lot of hassle by just finding a good air cooler for your build.
Installing my power supply at the bottom of the case was as simple as it could be. I settled with my reliable Corsair CX650M 650W for this build, which has a length of 140mm. I simply slotted the power supply against the drive cage and used a screwdriver to insert the Phillips head screws. Antec recommends a maximum PSU length of 205mm, which mine was easily able to clear with ease. After installing my PSU, I routed all the necessary cables via the back of the case. I found the cable management to be very nice and spacious. While it was definitely a bit of a rats nest underneath the PSU shroud, it is something I could fix on a future day, but being a final year engineering student, capstone project calls, haha. That said, the area between the single-bay cage and the PSU itself was still quite large enough to stuff cable into without taking up any visible space.
The back itself was quite clean thanks to the space below the PSU shroud that extraneous cables can go into. The rear corners of the back made for a perfect divot to tuck the CPU power cable. Since all the pre-installed case fans are connected to the fan controller, I naturally hooked up the SATA power cable to my power supply. Even though the Antec P10 FLUX can support up to six fans, I decided to stick to the five it came with for this build. Cable management is about what you would expect from an ATX case like this. I appreciate Antec's attempts to make cable management easier with their Velcro straps and additional zip ties. As seen in the photo above, I did make use of the Velcro straps to hold my 24-pin motherboard power cable in place. The front clearance between the panel and the tray came out to around 33mm and the rear clearance measuring around 25mm as mentioned on the previous page, which is a fair amount of space for cables to fit through.
I finished the build by installing my EVGA NVIDIA RTX 2060 graphics card onto the top PCIe slot on my motherboard, connecting my Wi-Fi card onto the bottom PCIe slot, and mounting the reverse fan on the center mount of the PSU shroud. The maximum GPU clearance length is 405mm as outlined by Antec, which was not a problem for my RTX 2060. As mentioned earlier, a liquid cooler is possible, but can only be placed in the front. However, air cooling is quite flexible if it meets the 175mm cooler height limit. I proceeded to plug in all necessary cables from the power switch to I/O headers into their appropriate headers. One thing I need to mention here though is how tight the space between the reverse fan mount and my motherboard was. Measuring only 3cm of in-between space, it was a tight squeeze placing the reverse fan basically right up against the I/O cables.
Speaking of the reverse fan, let us talk about that briefly. As aforementioned and as the name implies, the reverse fan reverses the direction of the airflow compared to a regular fan. This is made possible by the inverted pitch of the fan blades, which perform the function of intaking and exhausting air in the opposite direction of a conventional cooling fan. The main purpose of the reverse fan here is to help increase GPU cooling performance, since the exhausted air will be flowing directly towards your GPU. Furthermore, the extra ingested air will always benefit in cooling down your other components too. Therefore, I think this will make the reverse fan worth keeping. In the end, I was able to complete the installation without too much difficulty.
With the installation complete, I put the side panels back on and brought my PC back to life by hitting the power button. As expected, there was nothing spectacular to look at with none of the side or front panels having tempered glass. It is a sleek, subtle box designed to fly under the radar. The Antec P10 FLUX was made for performance and not flashy RGB LEDs, which is actually a nice relief with all the RGB LED overload nowadays. How does it hold up with noise though? The standard APH Networks sound scale ranges from 0 to 10, where 0 is silence and 10 is loud. The P10 FLUX is indeed very quiet, although mainly in the low-speed fan mode. Even when using my PC for more intensive tasks such as gaming or intensive simulations, the case still managed to suppress a good majority of the noise when the fan controller was set to the low setting. However, when I pressed that fan controller button to bump the fan speed up to the next and only other level, the noise increase by a fair amount. While it still quiet when compared to some systems I have used, I was expecting all the foam to dampen the noise a little more. According to the APH Networks scale, I would rate the Antec P10 FLUX at a 1.5/10 under daily use when the fan speed is set to low and 4.0/10 when set to high. When at a low fan speed, the noise is exactly around what I was expecting from this silence-based case. Even though it was not boomingly loud at high fan speed, I was still expecting it to be a little quieter considering how much effort Antec clearly put into making this case as quiet as possible. The reality is there is only so much you can do with noise insulation material. This goes back to my previous point where I believe that this case would have benefited from a medium fan speed level for that nice in-between.
How well did the P10 FLUX pull off a silent PC case at a reasonable price without all the modern frills? I recognize that this case is not for everyone. The lack of any tempered glass or RGB LEDs will mean people who want flashiness will need to look elsewhere. For people who must work from home and are wishing for a case that has a clean appearance and makes as little noise as possible, the Antec P10 FLUX is a decent choice. I like the reverse fan as it helps add another source of cooling inside the case, specifically for the GPU, a component that is essential in COVID times for those who want to crack at a game after work to relax. The cable management is very good. Wiring all the fans to a central fan controller also makes your life easier. Speaking of the fans, the choice to give us five fans was very generous. And at a low fan speed, I enjoy how quiet the Antec P10 FLUX was whenever I was trying to focus on university work. The number of storage options on the P10 FLUX was also very nice, especially for users who are constantly looking to add more storage to their PC. There are a few things I want to see improved on though. Significant drawbacks include the strange choice to place a dust filter behind the intake fans that end up decreasing the airflow. All-in-one liquid cooler users will also find themselves at a loss with this case, as the installation of a radiator at the front will come at a heavy cost of intake airflow with a dust filter. I also would like to see a medium fan-speed control, as the current high or low setting leaves users to either go for a very quiet case with reduced airflow or having increased airflow at the cost of more noise. An even better design would be a motherboard-based PWM controller. With all these in mind, the Antec P10 FLUX is a solid $80 purchase for those who are looking for a classic performance case that is also quiet.
Antec provided this product to APH Networks for the purpose of evaluation.
APH Networks Review Focus Summary:
7/10 means Great product with many advantages and certain insignificant drawbacks, but should be considered before purchasing.
6/10 means A product with its advantages, but drawbacks should not be ignored before purchasing.
-- Final APH Networks Numeric Rating is 6.6/10
Please note that the APH Networks Numeric Rating system is based off our proprietary guidelines in the Review Focus, and should not be compared to other publications.
The Antec P10 FLUX is airflow-focused performance case that is also optimized for noise at a reasonable price.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Installation and Conclusion