Antec recently released the P70 chassis, or as it’s called in Europe VSP-5000, at first glance a pretty discrete, sleek looking case. But it also has a few pretty cool features, with focus on silent operation. Read about my experience with it:
It obviously is quite discrete looking, no window and no disco lights. However I think it looks quite nice, proffessional but certainly not boring.
The power buttons I like quite a lot, they look very good, they’re big, and they feel good to press.
It has three 120mm fans, two of them at the top and one in the back. Which ought to be sufficient for most users, but you can always add more.
The side panels of the are made of sound dampening high density Polycarbonate, and a noise dampening fan cover is included. The HDD rails are also rubbery in order to reduce vibrations. The case also rests on some pretty sturdy rubber feet.
While it’s very discrete looking for a gaming case, it’s very clear that it’s designed with gamers in mind. This is from the press release:
The P70 is equipped with seven expansion slots: The P70 is equipped with seven expansion slots in addition to two bays for optical drives, a 3.5” bay, four HDD rail mounts and a dedicated SSD bay. The enclosure is compatible with Standard ATX, Micro ATX and Mini ITX mainboards. It also offers ample space for multiple high-end graphics cards up to a length of 380mm, making it a great choice for ambitious gaming systems. The P70 also supports CPU coolers up to a height of 158mm to protect the processors from overheating. The convenient top mounted high-end I/O panel ensures maximum user comfort. In addition to the fan control, it features Audio In/Out and two USB 3.0 ports.
It has a neat cable managment system just like most modern computer cases these days. You can remove the back plate and put the cables through holes, covering them up quite well.
So, lets’ take a look at the main focus of the case, silent operation.
I will compare it to the chassis I’m currently using, the Level 10 GT.
First I tried out starting just the fans on the chassis. Essentially testing how silent it is provided all other components are passively cooled, and all harddrives are SSD’s.
From a regular distance to the user, roughly 1.2m you can’t hear it at all. Which is pretty nice! However as you come close you can hear the fans spinning, which is not really an actual problem.
With a regular computer fan inside the chassis (I used the one built into the V8 cooler) there is no noticeable difference at normal operation speeds. At full speeds it gets a bit louder, but still, nothing to care about.
So far not even comparable to the Level 10 GT, which is far louder with just the built in fans.
So let’s add a graphics card, in this case the Gigabyte windforce AMD 7900. It’s a pretty noisy card. At normal operation the computer got somewhat louder, you can hear it from over 1.2m away. It’s difficult to describe just how loud it is, but in my opinion it’s not a problem at all. Compared the the Level 10 GT, it’s actually very clear that the Antec P70 blocks out a lot of noise.
Finally let’s take a look at the noise from harddrives. I tried with two WD black harddrives, one which is fairly noisy and one which is pretty quiet. The quiet one, which is the norm with today’s harddrives, you could barely hear it at all. Basically you could only hear it if you came close to the chassis. The noisy one however was at roughly the same noise level as the graphics card. And this tells us a lot, the graphics card is less noisy than the harddrive, yet the graphics card is located at an opening, with the fans blowing outwards. So the harddrive noise dampening does indeed work quite well, but it’s not really noticeable unless you have a noisy harddrive. On the Other hand the Level 10 GT doesn’t block out any of the noise from the harddrives.
If I was concerned about having a silent running computer this would probably be my choice of computer case.
I only really found two down sides, one being a personal opinion. The case doesn’t actually look very cool, it’s nice looking but it doesn’t say hardcore gamer, it looks more like a professional computer. But many people like it that way, so you can decide for yourself from the photos.
The other being a common ‘issue’ with today’s chassises, it’s tricky to install. Lot’s of components and in fact you need the instructions from time to time. This is not at all uncommon, but can be somewhat of a hassle. Not entirely sure if it counts as a con since I don’t actually know of any other case that is more user friendly. The Level 10 GT certainly isn’t.
I have to say at that price, if you like the looks of it, go for it, you won’t be disappointing with the noise dampening abilities either.