Antec's existing Performance One series, peaking with the P183 and P190, has become a standard for silent, high performance computing. These enclosures have been extremely popular from the word "go," and for a long time the P180 and its descendants have been easy recommendations. But you could argue the designs are starting to feel a little outdated, and while Antec's recent Solo II was an interesting step forward, it felt like a tentative one.

The new P280, on the other hand, is a major evolution. Intended not as a refresh of the P183 but to exist alongside it, the P280 features some radical changes for Antec in terms of design while lowering the cost of entry for the entire line. Is it a smart evolution, or did Antec's engineers split too many decisions in trying to appeal to both silent computing and high performance markets?

Speaking candidly, I think any enthusiast worth his or her salt was more than a little interested when Antec first announced the P280. The Performance One line has practically been an institution for a long time, but Antec's engineers have gone back to the drawing board with the P280 in a very big way, implementing a host of new ideas while adopting some of the modern design cues brought forth by vendors like Corsair and SilverStone. I had a chance to meet with Antec's representatives, including one of the designers of the P280, and it's pretty clear where they were coming from when they made this case: as enthusiasts first who had the opportunity to design the case they wanted to see and use.

Antec P280 Specifications
Motherboard Form Factor XL-ATX, ATX, Micro ATX, Mini ITX
Drive Bays External 3x 5.25"
Internal 6x 3.5"/2.5", 2x 2.5"
Cooling Front 4x 120mm fan mount (two in the front, two internal behind the drive cage)
Rear 1x 120mm Antec TwoCool exhaust fan
Top 2x 120mm Antec TwoCool exhaust fans
Side -
Bottom -
Expansion Slots 9
Front I/O Port Mic and headphone jacks, 2x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0
Top I/O Port Power and reset buttons
Power Supply Size ATX
Clearance 13" (Expansion Cards), 180mm (CPU HSF), 300mm (PSU)
Weight 22.3 lbs. (10.2 kg)
Dimensions 20.7" x 9.1" x 22.1" (526mm x 231mm x 562mm)
Price MSRP $139

I'll concede that I haven't been wholly impressed by Antec's enclosures as of late, but the P280 is a completely different beast. It has the DNA of the Performance One series, but internally you'll find a design that diverges radically from its predecessors, and your first clue should be the nine expansion slots. Antec calls the P280 a "super mid-tower," but at this point the lines between a mid-tower and full tower have been so heavily blurred that each enclosure should be taken on a case by case basis (pun wholly intended.) The fact is, the P280 is big, but it has a lot going for it.

In and Around the Antec P280
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • NGneer - Tuesday, November 15, 2011 - link

    I won an NVidia Quadro 4000 as a doorprize at a SolidWorks 2012 presentation a few weeks ago and now I need to build a workstation around it (for cheap). This would be a nice case to house everything in.
  • jesh462 - Tuesday, November 15, 2011 - link

    I do appreciate the p280s aesthetics. The extra expansion bays are lost on my needs, I'd rather see more acoustic dampening. For the money, I'd still pick an R3 or modded Shinobi.
  • MisterDonut - Tuesday, November 15, 2011 - link

    If only my Antec 900 wasn't alive....
  • hatwell - Tuesday, November 15, 2011 - link

    I really like black cases. When you throw in all the other features - you've got a winner!
  • Jettubby - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    Great reviews as always!
  • yadir - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    I needed a case for a new build and I think the P280 would be a great 'brother' to the P182 I have.
  • lowryd1000 - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    Nice case, sign me up.
  • havoti97 - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    I have the P182 and love it. Might look into this in the future for a build.
  • justben314 - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    Any chance on some of these case reviews to get more detailed information posted on the specs of the stock fans installed? Even if it were just information from the manufacturer, would be a welcome detail for enthusiasts.

    It would probably be a pain to setup testing for, but Anandtech's detailed reviews would be a welcome addition to the world of case fans and other fan systems outside of CPU cooling.
  • justben314 - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    Upon further review, it's nice that you have included the fan type (Antech TwoCool) in this review. Not normally in other reviews, so was unexpected, but as previous post states, very welcome. :)

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now