Antec P182 Review (Page 4 of 4)

Page 4 - Installation and Conclusion

Now, time for the fun -- installing the hardware. Included accessories are placed in a box inside the case for shipping, and after removing the box from our Antec P182 -- the fun officially begins. For this review, I have used an old AMD Athlon 64 3000+ based computer I purchased back in 2004 for testing.

I took a Tagan ITZ 700W power supply and installed it into the power supply chamber. It took me a while to figure out which ways we should lead the cables out by default, and from what I can see we should lead it out towards the back of the motherboard tray -- the place where no one ever cares or looks at, haha.

During installation, one thing I discovered that was quite interesting was the lack of screws for the power supply. Yes, all the screws were included for attaching the power supply frame -- but where are the screws for the back of the power supply between the PSU itself and the case? Apparently, none were included and I had to whip out four screws from my own collection to install this power supply.

Several cutouts were implemented quite cleverly in the Antec P182. In our photo above, you can see that one of the side rails has a section to allow even relatively thick cables to pass through without interfering with the chassis door. A small section is also featured to allow cables to get from the power supply half of the bottom chamber to the hard drive section, however that gap is not nearly as wide, so fat cables will not pass through. (See bottom corner of the vertical separating metal piece in between.)

Lots of reusable cable ties are included for use with holding down cables that run behind the motherboard tray. With the Antec P182, most of the cables will go behind the motherboard tray -- so this is very important.

Optical drives are installed to the Antec P182 by a set of rails for left and right -- in general, the Antec P182 is not a tool-free case since installing pretty much anything will require a screwdriver. After attaching the rails, you can slide the optical drive into the case from the front and it will lock into place.

I installed an IDE hard drive into the bottom chamber HDD cage. Special screws are included to accommodate the vibration dampeners between the drive and the cage. Again, this is not tool free -- you'll need to use a screwdriver and four special screws (Included). After the hard drives are screwed into place, simply slide the cage into the P182 and it will lock into place with the help of a thumbscrew.

When running cables down from behind the motherboard tray into the bottom hard drive section, round IDE cables will not work as they are simply too large to fit between the panel and the case rails. No gaps are implemented in this section for cables to pass through, but SATA and flat IDE cables will work just fine.

As far as motherboard installation goes, it's pretty standard and easy -- motherboard risers are pre-installed in standard ATX motherboard mounting locations.

Two openings are located at the top of the motherboard tray for cables running through, as well as one on the right. They are located near the ATX 4-pin (Or 8-pin, if you use that) connector, above the RAM slots on my motherboard, as well as next to the ATX 20/24-pin power connector. These locations are extremely crucial for cables running behind the motherboard tray to properly reach the motherboard in the appropriate locations.

For optical drives, I used a round IDE cable and pulled it through the opening above the RAM slots and from behind the motherboard tray to the IDE connector located near the 20/24-pin ATX connector. Molex cables are also sourced from the opening above the RAM slots.

As for the ATX 4-pin connector, the one on my Tagan ITZ 700W power supply is actually quite long -- but just just a couple inches short of long enough for running behind the motherboard tray on the Antec P182. I used an extension cable I bought a while back for another review. I would highly suggest that users buying the Antec P182 which are unsure if their ATX 4-pin connector is long enough to buy an extension as well.

Case connections went pretty smoothly, except there's no case speakers for those motherboard beeps with the Antec P182 as far as I can see.

The Antec P182 is truly a cabler's dream -- especially for those who are lazy like me and simply use what's available out of the box without cutting things up. I did change a few components after taking the photo above, such as the most obvious CPU heatsink/fan swap and a less noticeable hard drive change (Which made no difference visually anyway). I ran the Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro's power connector behind the opening above the ATX 4-pin connector to a Zalman Fanmate 2 controller and then the cable from the fan controller through the opening above the RAM slots to the motherboard 3-pin connector.

The only exception of an odd cable run is the floppy power connector from the lower chamber up to the ATI All-in-Wonder 9800 Pro -- but otherwise the rest is all good with minimal cables shown in front. I even ran the front USB internal connector from the bottom chamber up through the left opening to the motherboard -- and an advantage to this is that the sound card will cover this up haha.

For the lower chamber HDD section, additional cables can be hidden below the cage itself. The rest... the photo will speak for itself. No photography angle tricks here!

The finished product. I installed the included metal mesh "spoiler" on top of the Antec P182 -- in my opinion, it really does help in terms of looks to make the P182 more stylish. My only complaint is that it scratches quite easily; you can see a ~1cm scratch on my case door located beside the audio jacks.

Personally, I found that the case fans a little more than plain 'silent' -- these fans will still create that whooshing noise during usage, although not very significant. It's certainly not loud -- don't get me wrong. Personally, I would change the fans on the Antec P182 if you are really into quiet computing through.

What can I say... the Antec P182 did not gain its reputation for nothing. This case is as good as everyone says it is and more -- from its excellent retail packaging, to a beautiful and smooth exterior (Minus some easy scratches, of course), plus Antec's excellent and carefully designed interior of the P182, with exception of some minor cabling tweaks between different case sections that can be made -- and hardware installation so it has better than average noise isolation capabilities (Fans can be just a bit quieter, however), the Antec P182 is a case that's fun to build computers in and pleasurable to use. What about the price? Much less than I would expect for such a product! All I can say is that, it simply rocks -- the Antec P182 is surely legendary case. You won't see me praising a product all that often -- here at APH Networks we are hard markers and are not easily amused -- but I can assure you that Antec's P182 is deserving of this. In all seriousness, I would be glad to show off my beautiful cabling job with a case window on the side to sacrifice some noise isolation performance. Would a windowed version be nice despite the small sacrifices? While some users may want it and others won't, an option for such would be best to accommodate both worlds. That's what I want to see on the Antec P182.

Special thanks to Sapana representing Antec for making this review possible.

APH Recommended Award | APH Review Focus Summary:
8/10 means Definitely a very good product with drawbacks that aren't likely going to matter to the end user.
9/10 means Excellent product with very minor drawbacks that does not affect the overall product.
-- Final APH Numeric Rating is 8.1/10
Please note that the APH Numeric Rating system is based off our proprietary guidelines in the Review Focus, and should not be compared to other sites.

The Antec P182 is an awesome combination of excellent design, quality, performance, and price. Minor improvements can be made in various areas. In general, APH Recommended award for Antec P182? Sure thing. High numeric score? You'd bet.

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Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Installation and Conclusion