Antec at Channel Expo
Having done several reviews for them in the past, we decided to give the Antec stall a quick visit.
Dan Reeves, finding it hard to look at the camera
Once we were there we were greeted by the enthusiastic Antec rep who was more than happy to tell of their latest products. They were mainly showing off their cases, including the new Antec P190 which builds on the success of the older P180 case and other Performance One enclosures.
Notably, the case will come with nearly 1200 watts of power courtesy of the twinned power supplies, which are setup with some obscure cabling which means they both turn on at the same time. All this means is the 24pin ATX connector has been combined.
One of these power supplies is directly responsible for powering the graphics card subsystem while the other unit powers the rest of your rig. These power supplies sit at the bottom of the case.
After being stabbed in the chest by the corner of the case side panel, I was even more interested in huge fan screwed onto it. Sized at 200mm it’s the same one that was used in the Antec Nine Hundred case. Apparently, it has become very sought after by case modders and so Antec are now selling them separately. As with all Antec fans, they are Tri-Cool which means they have a small speed variation switch allowing you to change from hurricane to slight breeze easily. This fan comes with a massive dust filter which most people wanted on their Nine Hundred.
Other than this fan, you’ll find 4 others, two rear 120s and two top mounted 140s, all Tri-Cool, and all super silent. Every intake fan comes with a dust filter. Antec really have listened to their customers and reviews.
The front of the case is made of their patented noise dampening material which stops any noise escaping from the front. And at the back you’ll find a fridge light which turns on when the side of the case is open.
Other than this, you’ll find many other innovations, including a screw holder, water cooling outlet holes and removable drive bays. There is no removable motherboard tray as apparently – according to the rep – only reviewers look for this and it would have reduced the ‘structural integrity’ of the case.
They were also showing a hard disc enclosure which the rep was very frank about. It’s made of carbon fibre/fibre glass and has the same noise deadening panels that the P180 has, but it uses a large 80mm fan at the bottom. As everyone knows, hard discs heat up, and if left in a passive hard disc enclosure they aren’t going to last long. Using a tiny 40mm fan won’t really help unless you are looking for an asthmatic breath over your data.
The 80mm is located at the bottom of the drive and forces air to travel right around the hard disc making sure it stays cool and happy. Connectivity wise, you’re looking at SATA only hard disc, and e-SATA output along with USB 2.0. With capacity up to 750GB this enclosure should last a while.
In order to satisfy the LED junkie, the enclosure will shine a nice blue colour out the bottom of the unit telling you it’s on and, more than likely, hard disc activity. You’ll see a review of this product here soon.
Another interesting product, which isn’t really directed at PC owners, was a hi-fi cooling module. Essentially, it sits between your incredible expensive audio equipment and acts like a laptop cooler. From the front it looks nice and sleek, and from the bottom you can see the twin fan cooling area. The front also has a variable air flow switch meaning you can watch your romantic movies in silence.
Antec are also now looking to go into the high-end watt PSU market, and releasing two Mini-esque power supplies rated at 850 and 1000W. Complete with PCI-e 8pin connectors these should make for interesting products.
After explaining that the Spot Cool that we reviewed earlier had a faulty LED, the rep was more than helpful about it and we walking away with a brand new one. This outweighed the damage inflicted to my stomach earlier so Antec score an 8.