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This review is from: Antec P100 Black ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Pros: * Quiet
* Great cooling potential (if you add fans)
* Solid build quality
* Accomodates large GPU's and cpu coolers
* Accomodates water cooling
* Lots of hard drive space
* Elegant looks
* Excellent wire management
* Decent fan filters
Cons: * Only comes with 2 fans
* Stock cooling mediocre
* Front door a bit flimsy
* MSRP is a bit high compared to competition
Other Thoughts: I decided on the P100 to replace my son's old Antec 300. We wanted something that would accommodate his large new Asus DCII R9 290 graphics card, provide ample cooling while staying pretty quiet. The Antec P100 fits the bill and then some.
First, the dimensions are great for a mid size case. Plenty of room in the inside for large GPU's and to work around the motherboard and not feel squeezed. There is room for a 240mm water cooler up top, I test fit my CM Glacer 240L and it fit perfectly. The case can also accommodate tall cpu coolers and easily had tons of room for my Hyper 212. There is excellent routing for wires behind the motherboard tray. The included fans are quiet at both speeds, my only complaint is that there are only two of them and stock cooling with them is mediocre at best. Thankfully there is plenty of room for more and I added 2x140mm corsairs up front, moved the fans that came with the case to the 2 spots on top and added a Corsair 120mm to the back. With these in place the case was still dead silent at idle and offered ample cooling keeping the power hungry overclocked R9 290 to only 65C when 100% loaded playing Far Cry 4 on Ultra settings.
There are tons of hard drive trays and they have nice silicone bushings to keep rattling away. The slot in easily and snap in place with a nice and solid "clack". Also, the front fan filters are of nice quality and easily cleaned. The front door is mostly plastic and feels a little flimsy, so some care may be needed to make sure it is not damaged. The side doors have sound deadening material attached, which really does help. The top has deadening as well, but I removed the panels so I could replace them with top exhaust fans.
The case offers 4 front USB ports, 2 of which are USB 3.0, but if you have a older motherboard and do not have one of the new USB 3.0 headers, the cord has a built in adapter to plug into a normal 2.0 header! My only real wiring complaint is that the individual wires for the power button, LED, reset, etc should be wrapped together in a single cord. They all plug in near the same place on every motherboard known to man, why are they loose like that?
In the end, I am very pleased with this case. I got it for $59 after rebate and for that price it is a steal. At the normal $89 MSRP, there are some solid alternatives out there, but the Antec P100 absolutely deserves at least a look.
Pros: * Pretty quiet
* Great build quality
* Comes with backplate
* Great 3 year warranty
* Runs pretty cool for a R9 290
Cons: * Big
* Fans get loud past 70%
* Elpida memory
Other Thoughts: I purchased this card for my son to replace his aging EVGA 660ti 2GB. First thing you will notice is the card is big, so big in fact that it would not fit in my son's Antec 300 mid size gaming case. Shame on me for not double checking the interior dimensions of the case. So I got him a Antec P100 which the 290 fits in with room to spare.
The build quality of the Asus is great. It is hefty and big, but everything exudes a feel and look of excellence. The cooler is large with fat heat pipes and works well. Playing Far Cry 4 on 1200p Ultra settings temps only reached 65-66C. When looping the Valley benchmark for 30 minutes, temps slowly rose to 74C when on a custom fan profile that had the fans at 65% at that temp. Once the fans get into the 70-75% speed range they do start to get a bit loud though, but at least it is not annoying or buzzy sounding, just the whoosh of fast moving air. It is possible that temps could be lowered slightly if I had turned up my case fans, but as it stands the temps are good.
Overclocking was a pleasant surprise, for the core at least. On stock voltage the core reached 1125Mhz perfectly stable, more voltage allowed me to get to 1200Mhz, but generated more heat than I wanted. The memory, which is Elpida was not as fortunate, but still clocked to 5800Mhz, which is still acceptable. For reference, my ASIC score was 79.5%. At my 1125Mhz overclock there is absolutely no throttling present.
Performance wise, it is a HUGE upgrade over the 660ti (which was overclocked to 1240Mhz on the core). In almost all test benchmarks, the frame rates doubled or more. The additional power allowed us to once again max out visual details in newer games at 1200p resolutions. Compared to my MSI GTX 970 Gaming, the 290 actually performed very closely. I was able to purchase the Asus DCII 290 for $220 after rebate on sale, at that price it really is a amazing deal. Up to $275 this card is a great option, however, if priced at $300, I believe that the GTX 970 is a better buy with better power consumption, less heat and better performance.
So in the end, I think that the AsusDirectCU II OC R9 290 is a great graphics card and if you can find it for $250-275 or so (as of this writing anyway), it represents a excellent bargain. Above that however, start looking at the GTX 970.
Pros: + Comes with backplate
+ Reasonably quiet under load
+ Good Cooling
+ High quality components
+ 3 year serial based warranty
Cons: - Voltage locked at 1.2v which is low compared to many other 980 offerings
- Fans do get somewhat loud once at 70% speed
Other Thoughts: I purchased an Open Box Asus Strix GTX 980 from NewEgg, but though the review would be better served here. It really is a great card with excellent components. It is silent at idle and as long as the fans stay under 70%, it remains fairly quiet.
Mine overclocked to a solid 1508/8000 using Afterburner perfectly stable, but sadly voltage is limited to 1.2v. This is unfortunate as many competitors allow up to 1.26v which would likely allow for additional overclocking headroom as the card can certainly handle it.
The cooler is good, but appears to be slightly less effective than the one on my MSI GTX 970 Gaming card which runs slightly cooler even when pushing more voltage while being quieter. Still, it does a good job and even when overclocked and pushing 100% GPU load temps rarely touch much over 70C.
While comparing to a GTX 970, I tested both overclocked to the same 1508/8000 to see how much performance difference there was. Using Metro Last Light, AC Unity, Shadow Of Mordor and Bioshock Infinate all at 2560x1600 resolution, the Asus 980 was on average about 13-15% faster in terms of average frame rates. So we are talking maybe 15% better performance (with clocks being equal) for 60% more cost. I feel that the GTX 980 should really be about $50 cheaper to reflect the minor performance bump over a 970, but as it stands the Asus Strix GTX 980 is a great card.
Display Name: Jason H.
Date Joined: 03/11/03
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