Fans and filters are the two most important things usually missing from a budget case, thereby excluding such cases from mainstream builds. Other items such as tempered glass side panels and RGB lighting seem faddish by comparison, as some mid-market buyers don’t even care about lighting, and others specifically don’t want it. But when it comes to value, fans and filters typically separated the wheat from the chaff.
The P8 has fans, along with that tempered glass side panel that may be faddish but still adds cost, all for around $70. Some lesser-known sellers are even offering it for less. Buyers also get a pair of USB 3.0 ports, headphone and microphone jacks, power and reset buttons, and activity LEDs for the motherboard’s power and HDD indicators.
What sets the P8 apart from other low-cost, single-glass-panel cases is that it has fans. And filters. The front panel fills two of its three fan mounts with 120mm units, and covers those with a rigid-framed mesh filter that can be flexed for removal. What Antec doesn’t tell you is that a pair of 140mm fans will also fit, giving users the choice of 2x 140mm or 3x 120mm-fan radiators up to 17.5” long.
The top panel also includes a filter screen, which is secured at its edges with magnetic strips. Antec says users can mount two 120mm fans here, but we added three without a problem. As with the front panel mounts, Antec doesn’t mention support for two 140mm fans, but we also fit those without a problem. You won’t fit a 2x 140mm radiator and fan set here due to the 1.2” of motherboard clearance, but a few users might be able to fit a 3x 120mm unit within its 15.6” of internal length thanks to the 1.2” of offset away from the surface of the board. Given the placement of EPS12V connectors on most motherboards, a 2x 120mm radiator and fan set is a more likely fit.
Given the P8’s low price, we’re not too upset about the inconvenient under-tab mounting method for the power supply dust filter. And, we’re happy to see that the hard drive rack in front of it can be slid forward. We hit an obstruction while sliding this one forward, but that still left it with 9.4” of power supply clearance.
The P8 has only the standard seven mounting slots, where higher markets sometimes need an eighth slot to add a double-slot graphics card to the motherboard’s bottom slot. One thing that will impact the P8’s target market is that six of those slot covers are break-outs and can’t be put back if you alter your card configuration.
The P8 has a mere 0.7” of cable clearance behind the motherboard, but that opens up to 1.1” near the front of the case. The forward portion includes two 2.5” removable drive trays, and the lower portion includes a movable, removable 3.5” drive rack. A box of mounting hardware is temporarily placed in one of the two 3.5” bays.
Designed to secure 3.5” drives using integrated side pins, the 3.5” drive trays also have mounting holes for 2.5” drives, just in case you need six 2.5” SSDs. That’s right, six. Moving on . . .
Each of the other two 2.5” trays are affixed with a thumb screw and slide tabs to the top of the power supply tunnel. The tunnel has an open spot up front for radiator and fan combinations up to 2.9” thick, and enough clearance on the opposite side to slide a power supply in from that side.
Other points of interest are that the forward-most 2.5" tray on the power supply tunnel has an opening for cables, while the rear one does not. At the left of the above picture we see that cards are secured using both screws and a sliding bracket, and on the right we see that the case has pegs to hold the glass panel in place while it’s being installed or removed. In the center we see a gap that allows cables to pass through from the forward 2.5” bay area to the front edge of the motherboard, but that lip also prevents any boards longer than 10.3” from being installed. Motherboards deeper than the 9.6” ATX standard typically fall outside of the P8’s target market.
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