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Written by Austin Downing   
Sunday, 25 March 2012
Table of Contents: Page Index
Antec P280 ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Closer Look: Exterior
Closer Look: Interior
Detailed Interior Features
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Antec P280 ATX Mid Tower Computer Case Review

Manufacturer: Antec, Inc.
Product Name: ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Model Number: P280
Price As Tested: $139.99

Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by Antec.

For many enthusiasts want a quiet system, with room to spare, and a beautiful exterior the Antec P280 is exactly what they are looking for. The Antec P280 is a "Super Mid Tower" designed as an addition to venerable Performance One series. This refresh comes with a redesigned interior, exterior, and an updated port selection. These updates came without Antec disrupting the Performance One series goal of "Quiet Computing", using materials with different acoustic qualities to help minimize the amount of sound leakage. Benchmark Reviews will evaluate if the noise characteristics and build quality of the Antec P280 are worthy of the Performance One moniker that it has been given.

Depending on a user's needs cases usually fall into a couple of categories. We have the enthusiast who wants a quiet system, a air-cooled system, or a liquid cooled system. Each of these areas has its own sub-culture based on further wants and needs of a user. Using a triple layer front panel, and dual layer side panels the Antec P280 was designed for the enthusiast who wants a quiet system that can take the highest end components available. This combined with USB3.0 front panel connectors, ample space behind the motherboard tray, and beautiful design work together to make a case that has lots of potential without being overly expensive. So without further ado let us start into the process of evaluating the Antec P280.


When reviewing a case you have four major things you need to look at. First, you need to look at build quality because no one wants to spend hours putting hardware in a case only to find defects or to have parts that will fail months later. Secondly, you need to look at cooling because as the heat output of components goes up, so do cooling needs. Third, you need to look at the acoustics of your new case because as anyone who has worked on or near servers knows adequate cooling can come at an acoustic cost unless a company put expenses into preventing this. Lastly, you need to look at the ease of build, which depending on your system may or may not play a big role in your choice of case. If you like, I spend lots of time inside of your case modifying parts then you want a system that you can easily move around in while making modifications. On the other hand if you want to setup your system and leave it then this becomes less of an importance and therefore can be moved lower on the requirements for your case.

Antec P280 Features

  • 9 expansion slots and up to XL-ATX motherboards
  • 2 front panel USB 3.0 ports
  • Advanced cooling system: includes 3 fans and 4 additional fan mounts
  • Dual-layer design: 0.8 mm steel / polycarbonate side panels deaden noise
  • 6 quiet 3.5” / 2.5” drive bays utilize trays with preinstalled silicone grommets
  • 120 mm internal intake fans (optional)
  • Triple-layer (aluminum, plastic, foam) front bezel with double-hinged door: opens up to 270°
  • Grommet-lined cable routing holes with 30 mm of space behind the motherboard tray
  • 3 tool-less 5.25” drive bays
  • Fan power hub: 4 x 3-pin fan connector on a single Molex
  • PSU intake & front air filters

Antec P280 Specifications

Model P280
Case Type Super Mid Tower
Color(s) Black with gunmetal anodized aluminum front dor
Cooling Sysem
  • 2 x 120mm top TwoCool exhaust fans
  • 1 x 120mm rear TwoCool exhast fans
  • 2 x 120mm internal intake fans (optional)
  • 2 x 120mm front intake fans (optional)
Drive Bays
  • 3 x 5.25" tool-less drive bays
  • 2 x 2.5" drive bays (dedicated)
  • 6 x 3.5/2.5" drive bays
Front Ports
  • 2 x USB 3.0 with internal motherboard connector
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • Audio In/Out
Expansion Slots/Video Card Size
  • 9 expansion slots
  • Maximum video card size: 13” / 330 mm
Maximum CPU Cooler Height 6.7"/170mm
Motherboard Support XL-ATX, Standard ATX, MicroATX, Mini-ITX
CPU Cutout Enlarged CPU Cutout
Cable Management 30mm of cable routing space behind motherboard tray
Side Panel Features -NA-
Dimensions 22.6" x 11.4" x 24.8"
Weight 22.3LBS



# I Like HeavyChris 2012-04-03 08:27
There is a reason why Antec cases seem to always weigh more than their completion's. It's because they are built to a higher quality. I owned a lot of cases from all kinds of other manufactures and Antec always seemed to have a build better design and with better materials. I've own a mini p180 and a P182SE and a 800D from Corsair. I was NOT impressed with the 800D at all. Antec builds some of the highest quality cases. To be so bold, I would even say that they are better than LianLi's cases.
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# RE: I Like HeavyAustin Downing 2012-04-03 09:25
What it actually comes down to is building materials. I wish more companies would use aircraft grade aluminum. It is strong enough but much, much lighter than the steel designs of other companies. Just look at the Lian Li PC-90 case. It only weighed 14.7Lbs. Weight is a very superficial way of looking at build quality.
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# RE: RE: I Like HeavyChris 2012-04-03 09:41
That is very true, but I current have a LIAN LI PC-A05B and it is one REALLY flimsy case. Sure it does not weight a lot, but it seems quite fragile.
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# antec=good casesresere 2012-04-05 16:47
i do own, compare and recomend 'em. most of P1 series. i'm not a fanboy. others do also good cases.

good review.
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# DimensionsDrop 2012-05-28 16:57
According to the manual, the case dimensions should only be 20.7" x 9.1" x 22.1".
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# RE: Antec P280 ATX Mid Tower Computer CaseWill 2012-07-20 14:29
The only great thing about this case is the 3.5, easy acces hard drive cage.

The Antec P193 is quieter and cools much better than the P280. If Antec had put 140mm fans in the top and the 200mm fan on the side, this would have been a great case. And if they had also put two 140mm fans in the front, it would have been the best case in the world.
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# RE: RE: Antec P280 ATX Mid Tower Computer CaseArron 2012-09-06 11:21
Will: Moving the air in straight lines is thermally efficient and inherently quieter than any other type of airflow. As soon as you add any extra fans to the (front of the) top and especially on the sides, you get turbulence, vortexes and pressure ridges. The cooling performance then plummets. Even side vents or the late, non lamented (at least by me), CPU funnels take away a degree Celsius or two by fouling up the airstream. That is why any decent CPU cooler blows air across the CPU, not directly ?upwards? away from it ? the two benefits are better CPU cooling and (potentially, if not stuffed up by someone) better airstream management within the case. It is also a major factor in a number of (expensive, name brand) so-called high performance steel cases adding these things (side fans, extra fans in the wrong places) to remain fashionable and then they can only get adequate cooling by sounding like a jet engine because the airstream is inherently so poorly managed. I guess they keep your legs warm on that side and keep power station owners happy.
I really wish that BMR readers would stop suggesting this - it is the least effective method I know of for cooling a case.
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# RE: RE: RE: Antec P280 ATX Mid Tower Computer CaseChris 2012-09-06 19:56
so a single fan pulling all the air in straight lines through the case would decrease temperatures? That's what I got from your post. And my video cards disagree. They say that the side panel fan keeps them cooler.
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# RE: Antec P280 ATX Mid Tower Computer CaseArron 2012-09-08 10:52
Chris: I tried to keep it brief in the first post. This is still a short & semi munted version, however it is a truly complex subject. Caveat: The following only applies to tower cases.

Single fan: I did not say a single front fan, although over the years I have installed hundreds of high powered CAD & CAM or video workstations with only one front and one rear fan, and I am currently experimenting with another video editing / rendering system in a Lian Li PC6 case ? one front and one rear fan. Tricky site, they have no computer real estate at their site ? all taken up with monitors, cameras, capture gear etc. etc., while they want it quiet enough to record sound in the room! Often two lower fronts & two rear tops are needed if the machine is being hammered. My extreme machines have three in each position (plus 2 CPU fans plus a PSU fan).

Video cards: A lot also depends on the design & orientation of the components - a lot of video cards have fans which push their own hot air either downwards, which is crazy (heat rises) or through the back of the case. Some video cards actually have frontal shrouds which block the case fans from doing their job. I use oversize heatsink video cards without fans for two reasons ? they are quiet, and they are designed to allow case fans to do their job. Current system(s), 2 * gigabyte GV-R677SL-1GD silent cell graphic cards (dual slot full length & height cards - the fastest cards I could get at the time without fans) which are driving 5 * 1080P monitors ? I am not a shoot'em up gamer, this is for video editing and rendering, ERPS reporting, research and writing. During initial (brutal) system testing, they stayed well below 50C (Celsius) in controlled 30C ambient. During my actual use their rear heatsinks are always warm when running hard, however they haven't ever reached close to that temp again (25C ambient helps). Another under-appreciated issue is the necessity for vented backplanes above and below the video cards, and preferably vents in the rear of the case to the left of the video cards as well.
In short ? futz the orientation of your components or vents up, and your system may well need an ever increasing number of fans running in all directions at ever increasing speeds to keep it cooler (and always relatively noisier).
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# RE: Antec P280 ATX Mid Tower Computer CaseArron 2012-09-08 10:59
Quick explanation, being in Australia and using an Australian English character set, my dashes are turning into question marks on this site. Arron
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