Antec P280 Mid Tower
This is a further extension/refinement of the P series we are told
Coming from a P180B I hoped that improved cable management would be a welcome treat.
The '280 is pretty well laid out.
Good finish and fit, plenty of room, many assorted sized grommets to route cables thru.
When installing the P8P motherboard I had to add 3 standoffs(supplied in P280 accessory bag) across the bottom of the MB tray mount area.
Mounting the 3 year old Seasonic PS was fine.
One negative the 8 pin mb wire harness is to short to go thru a provided grommet and reach up to the top left but I had a work around
I had to place the 8 pin MB power connector wiring harness thru the PS bracket opening.
No way it was going thru the closeset provided grommet and reaching up to the top.
Being a trade worker I thought I would push it a bit
I found that I had to be very rough to get the lowest large grommet to come from the case
Grommet can be placed easily over the sheet metal edges staying for another round.
The case comes with 3-"two cool" Antec fans.
Low and high speed switch.
120 x 120 size.
One fan at the rear and two on the top.
Provision for 2 additional front fans is provided behind the door
2 additional interior snap in mount 120 x120 fan bays are provided in front of interior hd bay(s).
Snap in/out air filter on front & one slide out under the power supply mount does the whole system.
Lots of room for the '460 video card
And I would imagine more of them but I don't game so no need.
The hard drives now mount on a tough plastic slide out trays with the tradtional Antec whitish silicone grommets
Pinch each handhold inward simultaneously and the drive holder releases.
screws are provided to mount the drive thru the silicone grommets.
The DVD/CD drive bay have a slide snap lock mount system.
Remember to twist back and forth the interior knockout first to break plate free/remove for optical drive install.
The other case cabling attaches pretty much as you figure or need here, I had no surprises.
Long enough to reach.
Running the assembled unit when done with Prime 95 64 bit and HW monitor open
I ran it on low speed fans stock my temps for this time of year crept up a bit to higher 69's thou in a while.
70 max showed.
I then dialed in high speed and it did drop a few degrees.
The Antec P280 is Quiet!
Not satisfied with this fan arrangement, I know it gets warmer here in summer and overclocks and all that.
I then decided to add two Antec tricool fans(from my OEM stock I keep on hand) on the front of the case for intake just behind the air filter.
Mounting provision with long machine screws are provided to do this.
2 screws for each fan, fastened diagonally.
The two top two cools set to high and the added tricools to low.
I then restarted the unit running it for quite awhile.
The temps stayed in 66ish range and Very quiet case.
Bumping the two cools down to low the temps varied little a degree here or there
Keep in mind that Prime has been running for an hour by now
Next lets see what happens when we make some more noise..of course this is in no way scientific.
I then removed the upper two cools from the top of the case, unplugged their wiring from the 3 pin fan junction block.
Next placed in 2 Antec tricool fans wired to a spare molex up there from ps wiring !
The fan wiring junction block requires a molex for powering.
you could remove it easily for rad mount clearance, 4 small phillips screws hold it in place.
I still have the two cool rear fan in place, it needs power from that
Mounted the 2 tricools up top now but 1st added a strip of automotive black foam tape for anti vibration diagonally at each fan corner. the thin stuff about 1/8" from ctc.
This insulates/absorbs between the fan and case when mount screws are tightened.
Heck the switches for the tricools even fit in the switch bay holder(s) for external speed change.
I set the upper and lower(front) tricool fans to low
NOTE: tricools: low-1000-, medium-1500, high-2000 averages / two cools: low-900rpm, high-1500rpm
Better results now with a several degrees drop further.
Thru all this the noise factor is still reduced compared to my P180b!
That was the most surprizing part.
Door open or closed is moot either way.
The P280 cabinet is way less weight yet the plastic material bonded to the side panels with the foam on the inside of the front door does a really good job insulating the noise.
You could run in the warm weather the supplied two cools with some added fan(s) on the front and have quite satisfactory results even with a OC.
Noise overall thou you ask?
The noise isn't as much as the P180B and it is quiet!
I ran the fans now on High just for a hoot and behold the noise factor while increased certainly was again a surprize very quiet considering.
My temps of course down even further
Was it necessary for me to add my tricools?
Not if I just added the front fans behind the filter no.
But I would believe that if you are OCing to an good extent and or gaming you will likely need the extra two front fans.
If you are not oc'ing and or a minimal amount then '280 can run stock fans supplied and settings
My tests were in no way scientific as I don't have all day.
However it would lead one to believe that front fans behind the front doors air filter are preferred.
This then would be really first rate air cooling with oc and/or gaming setups.
No matter how I played with the P280's fans and my modifications it was quiet a real surprize.
The P280 is a good unit and very quiet.
In summary I run on all fans on low, all are tricools but the one rear two cool and you can barely determine the unit is running.
You can Prime all day at my sig.
Temps run at maximum now in the middle 60's average max
December 23 2011:
Now a tricool has supplanted the two cool on low speed as well.
New Addition to try: On Dec 28/11
I decided to add two more tricools to the interior "snap in fan mounts"(120x120) on the HD cage as well.
Just to observe the results
Fans being tricools were set to low speed.
These are acting with the front door fans behind the air filter in a push/pull arrangement.
ALL fans on low speed.
Prime was run for 1/2 hour initially and temps monitored.
They didn't change the situation much
Most I could detect was 1 degree lower in my set up+-
Noise other than the 2 Hyper 212 cpu fans ramping up to Prime loads was nil
After prime 95 test was done even with the 2 fan additions on the snap in hd panel the noise was essentially same as without them..
Mine unit runs pretty cool anyhow so I don't feel the need for these extra two fans in the snap in bays so I simply removed them.
I may place them another day.
But if one had 'raptors or such or an array of drives,more vid cards or whatever I bet this would help.
One would have to try it.
1st pic: unit with everything in it.Note at PS the yellow striped wire heading up and over goes out ps bracket opening to 8 pin upper left mb.
2nd pic: front filter removed, tricools added, note the switch and leads on right for easy access.
Edit April 20 2012
I have done some more playing and removed the rear fan, taped/closed up the hole.
Keep in mind my cpu cooler now changed to new model Coolermaster 212 EVO blows vertically from bottom to top.
Setting the 2 tricools on case top(exhaust) on low speed with the 2 tricools in case front(intake) behind air filter on low speed.
Even in today's mild weather running 50 minutes temps in mid 60's with Prime 95.
I would consider 2 fans a necessity behind the air filter for intake air now having used for a number of months.
Is there a way to block the top exhausts from leaking noise like the R3?
dec 28/11 additional test with fans on snap in mount inside
warm air has been rising for years
It is much lighter in density.
But you can run yours however you want it makes no matter to me.
I don't want to cover up the top fan vent holes, so I don't care about those options
I move the cpu warm air out the top not out the back and mine isn't noisy
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