Today is a very special day indeed, as it marks the day I finally get my hands on the all-new Antec P380! I first saw this chassis at the start of the year, when we visited the Antec suite at CES 2015. I was very impressed with what I saw, but trade shows aren’t always the best place to get in close and really study a product. Antec used to be one of my favourite chassis manufacturers, I stress used to be, as they were one of the biggest players in the industry, creating some of the most popular chassis around. In recent years, Antec has seen fierce competition from the likes of Corsair, Silverstone, NZXT, Thermaltake and Coolermaster, to name but a few. The P380 is supposed to mark the triumphant return of Antec to the premium gaming chassis market, so let’s see if it’s got what it takes!
“When only the best can satisfy your needs, the P380 is the answer. Known for its minimalistic design, the Performance series focuses on delivering the perfect balance between performance and Quiet-Computing. Whether you’re designing your ultimate dream PC or, just creating a monster file server, the P380 should be the choice, without hesitation.” – Antec.com
As you can see from the specifications below, the P380 is very well equipped. It has room for a mini-ITX motherboard, right up to E-ATX motherboards with 9 expansion slots; certainly more than enough room for a high-end workstation or gaming rig. There’s 465mm of GPU clearance too, so even the biggest cards on the market should fit without any issues. There’s also a lot of fan and radiator mounting options throughout; great news for both air-cooling and water-cooling enthusiasts.
This chassis certainly has presence. It’s big, it’s heavy and it oozes high quality from the moment you take it out of the box. Down the left side, you’ll find a huge side panel window; perfect for showing off your new build.
On the from left corner, there’s a pair of USB 3.0 ports, a pair of USB 2.0 ports and HD audio jacks. While the power and reset buttons are tucked down the front edge on both the left and right side of the chassis; as not everyone has their chassis on the same side of their desk.
The right side panel is just a blank panel, but from here you can better see the top panel ventilation, which is on both sides at the top of the chassis.
The front panel is simple, yet elegant. It’s cut from a thick piece of beautifully finished aluminium and the curves at the top and bottom gives the chassis its sleek appeal, despite its large size.
Around the back, you’ll find two thumb screws at the top, which hold the top panel in place, a 120mm fan mount with a 120mm fan pre-installed, 9 expansion slots, two rubber grommets and a lot of extra ventilation holes.
The top also features a thick aluminium which nicely compliments the front panel.
There are four thick rubber feet on the base of the chassis, perfect for helping reduce vibrations and to give the PSU air intake some ground clearance.
One thing I really love about this chassis, to the point where I’ve been wondering why all chassis manufacturers don’t do this, is the PSU dust filter. It slides out from the left side of the chassis, it’s so simple, but it also means you don’t have to pull your chassis out from under the desk just to get to the filter!
The front panel, however, has a filter that slides out from the bottom. Call me crazy, but this isn’t ideal as it means I’ll need to tip my chassis on its back to clean it.
The only other way I can think of cleaning this filter is to lift the chassis onto a table and slide the filter out. However, awkwardness aside, it’s a great quality filter and perfect for maintaining clean front airflow.
The interior of the chassis has been treated to the same powder black finish as the exterior, giving the P380 a premium look inside and out. There’s a huge amount of space here too, although with E-ATX support and room for ultra-long graphics cards, it was hardly going to be small on the inside.
In the back, there’s a 120mm exhaust fan, which comes fitted with a speed control switch.
All 9 expansion slots are fitted with reusable ventilated covers and easy access thumb screws. There’s also two extra routing grommets to the side.
There’s a vast amount of space in the bottom of the P380; you’ll have no issues fitting any of the larger PSU models here!
The interior is fitted out with good quality rubber grommets to help keep cable routing looking as smart as possible.
There’s 8 HDD trays, more than enough room for those planning on building a workstation or extreme Raid setup.
The trays aren’t competely tool free, but they do slide out for easy access and are of a really good quality; they’re a lot more durable that the thinner trays we often see on chassis’.
In the top of the P380, you’ll find two 140mm fans, each fitted with a fan speed control switch. Water cooling enthusiasts will be happy too, as there’s more than enough room in the top for a 240/360mm radiator here.
Remove the thumbscrews at the back, and you can lift the top panel to easily access the top fan/radiator mounts. You can remove the panel completely, but it means removing the I/O panel cables from the inside of the system. Under the top panel you can also see dual mounts for the I/O panel, as it can be moved from the left side to the right side of the chassis; very cool!
There’s a lot of room behind the motherboard, which should make cable management an easy task.
There’s also plenty of cable tie loops behind the motherboard; great news for those who like to route their cables with OCD levels of detail.
A six-port fan hub, powered by a single 4-pin Molex. This is perfect for keeping extra fan cables away from your motherboard, as it will help you achieve a much cleaner looking system build.
The Antec P380 is one of the best chassis I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. The installation process couldn’t have gone any smoother and as you can see in the picture below, even a full ATX motherboard, a high-end power supply and a pair of Sapphire R9 270X graphics cards, with their huge Tri-X coolers, barely fills the interior of the chassis.
Dependant on your motherboard’s configuration, you could easily fit three graphics cards into the P380.
At 308mm long, these cards are hardly small, but there’s still a lot of room to spare without having to remove any of the hard drive bays.
The chassis is huge, so without using cable extensions, I had to bundle the excess GPU power cables in the base of the chassis. Although, there’s enough space here that it doesn’t look cluttered.
Motherboard clearance at the top of the chassis is very good, more than enough room for a slim radiator in the top and there’s a few extra cable routing holes at the back to deal with any additional fans you install.
All panels back in place and the P380 looks even more incredible! The side panel window gives a great view of the systems interior and there’s no doubt that this is a great system for showing off your rig.
The overhanging aluminium top and front panels do a nice job of hiding the I/O panel and power buttons; giving you a clean look from the top and front of the chassis.
This chassis is big, bold and most certainly beautiful; a very clean and tidy build overall.
The Antec P380 Performance Series Windowed chassis is available from Overclockers.co.uk for £159.95. This is obviously expensive, but it’s comparable to the NZXT Phantom 820, Corsair 780T, Thermaltake Level 10GT and just about everything ever made by Lian-Li, to name but a few. When it comes to ultra high-end chassis that are capable of housing extreme systems, the P380 price and spec is on par with the competition.
I’ve fallen in love with the design of this chassis. It’s one of those products where photographs don’t really do it justice. The finish on the aluminium front and top panels, with its inky black surfaces and silver edges, just oozes premium quality. The side panels and interior of the chassis are robust steel and while they’ll work wonders for stopping unwanted noises from escaping your system, they’d likely also stop a bullet too; this is one seriously strong and rather heavy chassis!
With radiator support in the front, top and back, you’ve got extensive options for installing custom loop water cooling in this chassis. Air cooling support is well catered for as well, with high-quality speed-adjustable fans pre-installed, washable dust filters throughout and a 6-port fan hub behind the motherboard.
465mm graphics card clearance is very impressive, you’ll easily fit even the longest graphics cards into the P380 with no issues. In the rare circumstance that you do have an issue, you can always remove some of the hard drive bays for extra clearance. The same can be said for the CPU cooler clearance as 180mm should be more than enough to accommodate virtually any enthusiast grade air cooler.
The only issue I have with this chassis is the dust filter configuration. On one hand, we have the PSU dust filter which slides out from the side, this is very practical and makes cleaning the filter a very easy task. Then we have the huge front panel dust filter, which slides out from the bottom. I’m not sure how I’m supposed to remove this for quick and easy maintenance.
This chassis is expensive, but it’s also one of the nicest chassis I’ve ever seen or worked with. Antec used to make some of the most popular chassis on the market and I’m very happy to say that the P380 is a return to form. This chassis has some of the best build quality and durability of any chassis on the market.
- Exceptional build quality
- Huge side panel window
- Excellent GPU clearance
- Cable management
- 6-port fan hub
- Speed switchable fans pre-installed
- Washable dust filters
- Aluminium top and front panels
- Extra thick side panels
- PSU dust filter slides out from left side
- Excellent water cooling support
- Removable HDD bays
- Reversable I/O panel and dual power/reset buttons
- Front panel dust filter slides out from bottom
“Antec have gone all out on the Performance P380 and it really shows, as this is a great looking product. Those who invest will not be disappointed. The P380 s is by far one of the best looking and most capable chassis on the market today.”
Thank you Antec for providing us with this sample.