The last case we reviewed from Antec was the P8, so we started out with very low expectations for the P120. The P8 performed badly, but its greatest offense was being a boring version of the same chassis everyone was selling that year. It had the feel of a cheap rebrand from an old company (by PC hardware standards) that was unwilling or unable to keep producing the weird concepts that they did in The Old Days, like the Skeleton or the Razer Cube. The P120 Crystal we’re reviewing today is a mixture of solving and doubling down on that problem, by making a relatively exotic chassis that just so happens to look the same as an existing one.
The Antec P120 Crystal takes some obvious inspiration from the Lian Li O11. That’s the first thing we noticed when we saw this case, and that’s why we bought one to review. It doesn’t use the same tooling, it doesn’t even use exactly the same layout, but one glance is all it takes to reveal the inspiration. We regard the original O11 Dynamic and the O11 Dynamic XL highly--check our reviews for more in-depth analysis--which makes it hard to accept a design that borrows so freely from them. That doesn’t make the P120 a bad case, and we’ll do our best to give it a fair shake.
Antec is a venerable company, founded in 1986, but they’ve been an infrequent guest to GamersNexus. We did a quick summary of the Performance One when it launched in 2012, were intrigued by the more recent Razer Cube, reviewed Antec’s 1250 highly, and reviewed the GX700. But that’s it--until now. Like many other manufacturers, Antec is now experimenting with sub-$100 tempered glass in their new P8 mid tower.
Once a leading force in the industry with the Antec 900, the company has been mostly quiet for the last few years. Antec's newest endeavor is in partnership with Razer, similar to what NZXT did with the H440 (“By Razer”) and S340 (“By Razer”) cases. We're not completely sure of how much design involvement Razer had with Antec on the case, but previous partnerships were largely logo licensing/branding and green/black color schemes that were not otherwise available.
The case was at PAX West 2016 for the first time, where we got a few moments of unsupervised hands-on with the case (see video below) for the basic specs. Since shooting that video, we've also retrieved a specs table from Antec (also below) with the hard information.
At the beginning of working on this case round-up, these three selections – the NZXT S340, Antec P70, and Zalman R1 – were all about $60 to $70 max. The price range was perfect, and the cases made for currently-marketed solutions that users may encounter. Over the week that we've worked on the round-up, things have changed a bit: Zalman's R1 and Antec's P70 now sit at $40 after a $20 rebates, shifting the price range to be unintentionally wider. The base price is still $60 for both cases.
These are the three cases we're looking at today:
- NZXT S340 Mid-Tower ($70, after MIR $60)
- Antec P70 Mid-Tower ($60, after MIR $40)
- Zalman R1 Mid-Tower ($60, after MIR $40)
In this gaming case round-up, we review the performance and build quality of NZXT's S340, Zalman's R1, and Antec's P70, hoping to narrow the selection of budget gaming cases. There are dozens of similarly-priced chassis out there and this is far from a comprehensive list, but it's our start on producing regular component round-ups as a means to more easily compare products for our readers. We'll work on more comparisons shortly following.
Closed-loop liquid cooling (CLC) supplier Asetek has agreed to settle its ongoing patent infringement lawsuit vs. CoolIT. CoolIT, also a liquid cooling supplier, allegedly infringed upon Asetek's patents (8,240,362 & 8,245,764) that effectively lay claim to liquid pumps mounted to the CPU cooling block.
CoolIT is the most recent in a string of action imposed against Asetek's competitors, a list that includes Cooler Master and Swiftech.
Update: CoolIT has provided a statement, found below.
Antec's CES presence this year showcased a few rehashed exteriors on existing frames, but also teased the forthcoming release of a new high-end enthusiast case. The company's general theme was one of a "comeback" to the higher-end market, suggesting that they're aware of the general perception that Antec dwells in its own shadow. We've got an upcoming article that'll discuss whether we think this plan is going to work.
Our YouTube following has grown substantially over the past year, largely thanks to the tremendous support of our regular readers and active community. Having recently hit a milestone of 2,000,000+ video views on YouTube (with hundreds of millions of minutes of content consumed), we announced that we'd like to give back to the community with some big hardware prizes.
Our YouTube channel just recently hit 2,000,000 views and the website is receiving approximately 3.5 million pageviews per year these days. Things are going well – GN is growing up. In light of our tremendous success this year, specifically celebrating the growth in YouTube channel popularity, we're excited to announce our next big giveaway!
This weekend's sales round-up features a 256GB SSD for $105, the new i7-4790 for $295, a Z97 board that comes with a free mouse for $110, and a full-size case for only $60. Next weekend is Father's Day, so grab some good discounts now and watch our Twitter and Facebook feeds for additional savings throughout the week.
Antec's 1250 CLC presently rules as king over our CPU cooling test bench. The liquid cooler uses a dual-pump design with fixed fans, ensuring rapid exchange of liquid through the radiator. Software controls the fan RPMs (silent, extreme, and custom speeds) in a manner that enables silence and extreme performance, depending on the use-case scenario.
All this stated, we're happy to announce that Antec has kindly provided us with a 1250 Kuhler for giveaway on the site.
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