Antec CES Suite Tourby Jarred Walton on January 14, 2015 7:25 PM EST
- Posted in
- Trade Shows
- CES 2015
The story of Antec of the past few years has been rather curious. Five years back, it seemed like just about everyone was using Antec cases and power supplies… and then suddenly things got quiet. The company was still around, but either marketing just wasn't a focus or the increased competition from small and hungry companies pushed them out of the spotlight. I'm not privy to all the details of what may have been going on behind closed doors, but when Antec invited me to stop by during CES I was certainly curious to see what the company had to show. Most of it is what you'd expect from a company generally associated with cases and power supplies, but it will be interesting to see if they can recover any of their former glory.
Starting with cases, Antec had several designs on display. First and most impressive is the P380, their latest halo product. It has thick (4mm) aluminum wrapped around the front and top of the case, with noise reduction foam on the side panels, tool-less drive bays, a fan hub, support for multiple radiators (up to 3x120mm on the front and top), and basically every other high-end feature you care to name. It drops most support for optical drives, though there is room for a slim ODD option. It includes three 120mm fans with mounts for four more. This is intended to carry the torch from the P180, which is still well regarded years after launch, with a price to match. It should retail for $249 with availability expected in March.
Next up is the ISK600M, a recently launched Micro-ATX/Mini-ITX "cubic" case that's basically the upsized version of the Mini-ITX ISK600. It comes with top and bottom internal compartments to separate the PSU and drives from the motherboard and expansion cards. The power supply goes on the bottom and the case has support for three 3.5" drives, three 2.5" drives, and there's a slim ODD bay as well at the top (which could also be used as a fourth 2.5" bay). The top portion houses the motherboard and expansion cards with four expansion slots. Cooling is provided by up to four fans (120mm on the rear, an optional 80mm on the rear, a 140mm intake at the front, or the front fan can be replaced with an optional 2x120mm configuration). The case measures 273mm x 340mm x 290mm (WxDxH), with clean and minimalist styling that should stand the test of time. I've seen reviews of the case mostly from European sites and I can't seem to find any major resellers in the US, but hopefully that will change in the near future. I expect the price to be around $80-$90, or about $20 more than the ISK600 (which is available for $60 online).
Next up, the P50 is similar in some ways to the ISK600M but with vertically split compartments – or if you prefer, it looks a lot like the Corsair Carbide Air 240. This is designed to be more of a budget-friendly Micro-ATX/Mini-ITX case and it uses slightly downgraded materials (e.g. plastic front fascia and thinner metal sides). It can fit two 2.5" drives, three 3.5" drives, and a 5.25" external bay is available. The P50 includes three 120mm fans and has eight total fan mounts, with room for two 2x120mm radiators.
Moving on, P70 has nothing really in common with the P50; where the P50 is like a budget friendly version of the ISK600M, the P70 is a standard ATX tower. It has support for up to ten drives total; there are 2 x 5.25" and 1 x 3.5" external bays and 4 x 3.5" and 1 x 2.5" internal bays; I believe you can put four 2.5" drives in place of the two 5.25" bays. The case is designed to reduce noise with polycarbonate layers on the side panels, and it includes three 120mm fans with two optional 120mm fan mounts available. Liquid cooling and radiators are also supported on the top and back, and the price point of $70 targets the mainstream market.
Moving on to power supplies, there wasn't too much to discuss. Their EarthWatts series has done well, as has the BP series (Basic Power), and they've found that they can essentially keep the efficiency and even improve some of the components while dropping the price. To that end, there will be new BPxxxS models coming out at the lower end of the pricing spectrum. At the high end, the Edge line is their top performing PSU with 80 Plus Gold and much higher price points.
Finally, Antec was showing their Xbox One cooler, conveniently named the X-1 Cooler, with an integrated LED display showing the intake and exhaust temperatures. Note that the green lighting effects in the pictures are not part of the retail product, thankfully, as it's a bit bright. The X-1 is already available at Antec's store, with a price of $29.99, and it reportedly cools the Xbox One by up to 30%. It also senses the temperature of the Xbox One and only turns on the fan when the temperatures are above 30C.
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just4U - Thursday, January 15, 2015 - linkI haven't had the opportunity to pick up any edge PSU's but they do look quite good overall and pricing is actually quite nice. Are their new Earthwatts made by Seasonic as well? Hmm..
kwrzesien - Thursday, January 15, 2015 - linkI switched from 100% Antec cases and psu's (300 and Earthwatts 430) to 100% Corsair (350D/450D and HX650/750). Sure that was a big step up in cost and features but it has been worth it. I like the 2.5" cages, better cable routing, a little more width and clearance behind the motherboard tray, great fan arrangements and support for top mounted 240mm radiators along with modular cables on the HX psu's. It just makes building and supporting the boxes better. Plus I feel I ran into some overclocking reboots due to the 430W where 650W is never an issue.
kwrzesien - Thursday, January 15, 2015 - linkThe P50 sounds interesting but I don't see any pictures. The P70 looks pretty good, depending on the price point. For $99 it would be a solid contender but I suspect it will be $120+.
JarredWalton - Friday, January 16, 2015 - linkFrom the top, the P50 is the fourth image -- the cover was removed on the ISK600M, so I can see how you might think they're the same case. The gallery also has additional photos.
Ryanf714 - Saturday, May 7, 2016 - linkDon't buy the P50. If you do, Don't expect anything to fit or expect to have more than half your fans working without a live bare wires just randomly hanging out.
Ryanf714 - Saturday, May 7, 2016 - link^ I'm definitely not buying from antec anymore either. Really disappointed with my last antec purchase. I don't think I've ever owned a single, quality product from them. Fans, cases, psu... None of their stuff is made to last longer than the three year warranty, nonetheless a month past the deadline to return it to the store =/
chlamchowder - Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - linkI don't understand the X-1 cooler. Is it like a fancy laptop cooling pad? And how would the temperature sensor work?
The Xbox One is already very quiet (and presumably cools well enough) at stock. I doubt there's a market for that cooler.
Ryanf714 - Saturday, May 7, 2016 - linkThe P50/ P50 Red Window are both terrible. Reallly cheap fan connectors spliced to break after the second time opening the case. This is on ALL 4 (2x120mm top and 2xfront) fans. Not to mention the extreme lack of clearance between the mobo panel and the top of the case makes it impossible to install any 240mm radiator/fans on the top and the case itself too small to fit any 240mm radiator in the front (other than antec, im guessing) In fact, Not a single AIO 240mm water-cooling system (besides one of antec's models) has been proven to fit in the case. That doesn't quite seem like dual 240mm radiator compatibility to me... Good idea. Horrendous execution. DO NOT BUY.