This right next to me is the Antec P7 Elite chassis, a model that aims to be of a balanced value, but before I go into details, let me first go ahead and show how I build a system in it.
So, here we are, everything is set and done, where to start from, well few things stand out right away.
The most obvious one is this contrast in black colors between the front plastic panel and the chassis frame, it is a bit off-putting, it feels like you put an aftermarket replacement piece. Another one is the fact that the left side-window is acrylic, which yeah, it kinda feels dated, I know, but maybe we got a bit used to seeing tempered glass side-panels, as either way you put, it’s hard to make a 50$ chassis that has it all, plus a tempered glass panel.
Antec P7 Elite – instantly recognizable
They did do a good job of implementing the acrylic window into the side panel, it’s flush with it and has a big surface, while it’s a bit too tinted for my taste, it’s really hard to see anything through, reminds me sort of that first wave of tempered glass side panels, maybe that’s the effect they wanted to achieve.
Speaking of tempered glass, be sure to subscribe if you haven’t already, because for my next chassis I’m going to take a look at the Fractal’s Vector RS chassis series and their Celsius all-in-one watercooler, haven’t check them in a while, really excited to see it in action.
Back to the Antec P7, that aforementioned 50$ price tag is reflecting everything else, it revolves around it, you can’t avoid that fact, like for example the build quality, you can feel the chassis kinda seems skinny and light, but despite that everything is still well put together, and the final finish is really good, which is why it gives it that slightly better-perceived build quality. The dust filter on the bottom is also just a cut-up, like this, it’s a bit messy to pull it out and put it back in, or for example, look how these stand-off legs have just a blip of rubber padding although the feet itself have a much larger surface. You also have those “if you pull them off once you can’t put them back” or to be more precise non-reusable expansions slot cover, only the first one is, which is a bit weird since it has this clamp plate above them, so the whole deal expect the reusable expansion slots. Bottom line, It all comes down to you win some, you lose some, but again, as I said, it’s not like this is a bad thing itself, it’s to be expected for the price point, I can not resent them.
Putting that aside, I really like how the chassis looks, it’s really simple, cuts clean, nothing is over the top, just like we’re used to seeing from Antec. You’ll only get these two thin red stripes on each side of the front panel, and one on the bottom, and that’s it. The panel itself has that brushed aluminum finish imitation, so it gives it a little bit of that premium flare. On the top of it, you can see that it has your pretty usual array of I/O ports, separate audio in and out jacks, two USB 3.0 ports, power on, which has this LED ring around it which is powered using HDD LED indicator using the front panel header on the motherboard, but it doesn’t seem to be indicating its activity, and a pretty big reset switch. Thankfully, Antec went with the best possible solution of separating these ports and switches from the front panel itself, so once you pull it off, which is done with minimal force, they just stay put, so there are no cables pulling back the front panel and preventing you to remove it.
Inside of the Antec P7 Elite
Taking a look inside of the P7 Elite, everything is very simply laid out, there’s not much going on in the main compartment, we have we cutout around above the motherboard tray, one right-angled raised up duct-like pass-through on the right edge of the motherboard, and one slightly bigger cutout at the bottom, in the middle. As you can see, they don’t have any rubber grommets, but their edges feel thick and they are rounded enough so you don’t cut yourself or cables. The chassis can take up to 165 mm tall CPU cooler, and here have Noctua’s 158 mm tall NH-U12S Chromax model fitting without a problem, even with the fan being brought up a bit higher like this. On the right of it, we have enough empty room to put a long graphics card, a bit below 440 mm in length, unless you plan to put a radiator, which then, of course, limits the length of the GPU, to around 390 mm, which is plenty to fit something like the ASRock RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming D3. The radiator and fan configuration are pretty flexible since there’s a cutout in the front top part of the power supply shroud, so you can go even for a push-pull configuration. Speaking of the power supply shroud, it goes from front to back and completely covers that space, without any logos or cutouts around the power supply area, so everything looks pretty clean down there.
Moving to the back, we have two metal 2,5” drive caddies on the left half, which are easily removable just by undoing some screws and the only thing a didn’t like about them the fact that that they’re just a few centimeters away from the SATA ports on the motherboard, which means you’ll either have to get shorter SATA cables or you’ll have trouble doing the cable management as everything will be crammed within this small space span. Although there’s plenty of cable tie points, for which you’ll actually get few Velcro ties in the bundle, there’s not that much room in between the motherboard tray and the right-side panel, so you’ll be better of separating the cables from each other rather than stacking them around a certain area.
Thankfully, I also had Antec’s fully modular High Current Gamer 80Plus Gold 650W power supply, so I didn’t have any problems with the unnecessary amount of cables as I could pick and choose what I’m going to use. The power supply itself tucks in nicely in the bottom back part of the shroud, where the chassis has its own soft thick mounting pads, so the power supply is decently raised up from the bottom intake mesh, but in this case, it probably won’t pull a lot of dust in because of the filter that I mentioned learner, plus this model has a semi-passive hybrid mode so the fan doesn’t work all the time. There’s enough room for the cables between it and the 3,5” tool-less drive cage when it pushed away all the way to the back, which is its default position. You can move it to the front if you wish to for more space just by undoing four thumbs screws, but be aware that you’re then eating into your radiator space if you plan to put something here, or you can remove it completely if you don’t plan to use any 3,5” or additional 2,5” drives.
Antec P7 Elite – their most compact model
As for the cooling situation, you’ll get only one preinstalled 120 mm exhaust fan on the back, again, reasonable considering the price point, while on the front you can put up to 360 mm radiator, like the Fractal Celsius+ S36 Prisma that I’ve recently reviewed. Unfortunately, as you’ve probably noticed, there’s no ventilation holes or cutouts on the top panel, which is a shame. I don’t know if that would bring up the cost of production if it was otherwise, probably would considering it’s a more complex route to go for, so my guess is that’s the reason why they opted out. A bigger problem lies in the fact that we have a pretty restricted airflow since the front panel only has these small side ventilation cutouts, which also have these fixed dust filters. There’s an obvious difference in GPU and CPU temperatures with the panel being pulled off, even with no fans being installed on the front. As for the noise, since it doesn’t have a lot of its own fans, and that one that it’s in it is quiet, to begin with, the noise floor will differ depending on what you put in the chassis hardware-wise. Here’s a short sound clip of the chassis during idle and load, while also showing the sound meter for measurement comparison.
When you sum it up, this model is somewhere in the middle with all of its of pros and cons laid out, the competition is pretty harsh in this segment, although they all pretty much similarly priced, so it will all come down to personal preferences, especially for those who don’t care about chassis airflow that much, they will probably go about its design and looks, which is where Antec’s P7 stands a decent chance among others.
That’s it for this time from me, I hope this Antec P7 Elite review helped you in some way with making your decision, if you have any question feel free to hit me in the comments section of my YouTube video listed above, you can contact me via my social media channels!