When I signed up to take a look at Antec’s P110 Luce case, I was expecting just another ATX mid-tower with a tempered-glass side panel to hit my doorstep. Once I received the case and pulled it out of the box, though, I grew more excited by the moment.
The exterior of this case is simple and elegant. The front panel is made from brushed aluminum with a seven-color RGB LED-backlit logo at the top left corner. A moderately forceful pull on the bottom of the front panel disconnects the stainless-steel pegs from the chassis. There’s no need to worry about pulling on any wires for the LED logo, as the lighting system is thoughtfully attached to the chassis.
On both sides of the front panel, Antec includes removable vents to balance noise and air flow. To remove the vents, one only needs to pull and wiggle them out of their slots.
Removing the P110 Luce’s front panel exposes its front dust filter. This easy-to-remove filter is attached with strong magnets. Just behind the dust filter, there’s a preinstalled 120-mm fan with a three-pin connector and mounts for two additional 120-mm fans. You can also install two 140-mm fans after removing the preinstalled fan. Directly behind the front fan mounts there is room for a slim radiator up to 360 mm long. The entire radiator-and-fan stack mounted here can’t be more than 55 mm tall, though that’s a fairly typical figure for most all-in-one liquid-cooling systems.
The left panel is made of four-millimeter-thick tempered glass. Since the entire side panel is clear glass rather than the heavily-tinted stuff on some other tempered-glass cases, you can easily see all your RGB and expensive components inside. The panel is held in place with four thumb screws, so it’s easy to take off. The rubber grommets that hold the panel in place are captive on the chassis, so it’ll be hard to lose them.
At the bottom of the case, we have a large opening for airflow with a removable dust filter. This dust filter slides out from the left side of the case, making it easy to remove and reinstall even when the case is under a desk. The feet have rubber pads on the bottom to reduce transfer of vibrations into floors or desks and keep the case high enough off the ground to ensure air can be pulled into the case without restriction.
The top of the case features a recessed dust filter for the top fan mounts. The dust filter is removable and attached with very strong magnets. The top fan mounts of the P110 Luce support either two 120-mm fans or two 140-mm fans, and they can also accommodate radiators as large as 280 mm. The maximum thickness for the entire fan-and-radiator stack on this mount is 55 mm.
The P110 Luce’s top I/O ports include an HDMI connector for plugging VR headsets right into the front panel of the case. To support that idea, the case also includes two USB 3.0 ports along with the usual 3.5-mm jacks for audio and microphone input. The power button is RGB LED illuminated and will match the color of the Antec logo. A button on the top panel cycles through the seven available colors from Antec’s built-in controller.
At the rear of the case, Antec preinstalls a three-pin 120-mm exhaust fan. A 120-mm radiator can go on this fan mount, as well. The coarse mesh on this mount seems ideal for good airflow, and the mount uses adjustable screw slots instead of four fixed holes for easy repositioning of the fan if a builder needs to move it out of the way of a radiator stack, for example. The P110 Luce has eight expansion slot covers, so even builders exploring three- or four-way SLI will find enough slots for their needs.
The P110 Luce also has a pair of vertical slots for turning graphics cards on their sides, although Antec doesn’t provide (or even make) the complementary mount that’s required to pass a riser cable from the motherboard to this location. Vertical mounts are great for showing off expensive RGB LED-illuminated graphics cards, presuming yours will fit in the rather narrow space between the vertical mount and side window on this case.
The P110 has been at e-tailers for a while now, so its price is usually subject to the whims of the discount winds. Amazon has the case for about $92, while Newegg marketplace sellers have it for as little as $84. That’s quite reasonable for an ATX mid-tower with tempered-glass side panels these days.
At 20.4″ x 9″ by 19.2″ (HWD) or 518 mm x 230 mm x 489 mm, the P110 Luce is about average-sized for an ATX mid-tower—perhaps a bit on the chunky side. Let’s see how Antec puts that space to use now.
Upon taking off the tempered-glass side panel, builders will immediately note the wide-open interior of the P110 Luce. This case’s maximum CPU cooler height is 6.5″ (165 mm), and the longest graphics card one can put inside can measure 15.3″ (390 mm) in both horizontal and vertical orientations. Antec pre-installs most of the motherboard standoffs and provides extras in the case’s parts kit if they’re needed.
Two 3.5″ drive bays are mounted to the top of the PSU shroud. These bays come off easily with a twist of a thumb screw and a short slide away from the motherboard tray. The drive bays have four rubber grommets pre-installed at the four screw hole locations typical of a 3.5″ drive. The grommets can be moved to other locations on these covers to accommodate most any 3.5″ mounting points, and they can also be configured to accept 2.5″ drives. Once a drive is hanging off the underside of each bay, it’ll be practically invisible from the inside of the case when it’s mounted.
The right-side panel of the case is 100% metal. Unlike most other cases, the P110 Luce uses the same four-thumb-screw arrangement for this metal panel as it does for the tempered-glass left-side panel. Behind the panel there is a generous 1.4″ (35 mm) of clearance for cable management with plenty of tie-down points.
The P110 Luce includes a built-in RGB LED controller behind the motherboard tray that handles the lighting for the front-panel logo and power button. It also includes two four-pin LED strip headers for builders who want to synchronize the RGB LED party inside their systems. This controller doesn’t have any kind of software or USB hookup for finer tuning, though, so builders will need to be OK with one of Antec’s seven pre-baked lighting options.
The power cable for the RGB LED controller is pre-routed into the power-supply compartment and uses a four-pin Molex connection. It’s a lot more common to end up with spare SATA power connectors from a PSU these days, so I would have preferred it had Antec used this more up-to-date connection.
The motherboard tray has many locations to pass cables through, the most prominent of which is a cable channel cut into the area ahead of the motherboard standoffs. Plastic clips in this channel ensure that any wires here will remain under control.
Antec also includes a combination cable-management cover and graphics-card support bracket that goes over this cable channel for an extra dose of cable concealment. A plastic shelf screws into the slots on this cover to support especially long graphics cards, though shorter pixel-pushers may not make their way far enough forward to rest on this shelf. Like most features of the P110 Luce, the graphics-card support can be set aside if it’s not needed.
On the back side of the motherboard tray, there’s a sled for two 2.5″ SSDs. The power supply compartment provides room for PSUs measuring 7.9″ (200 mm) or less. Ahead of the PSU mount, there’s a removable drive bay that can accommodate two 3.5″ or 2 2.5″ drives. If this mount isn’t needed, it can be removed to provide more room for excess cables. The PSU mount has anti-vibration rubber strips preinstalled to reduce noise, although the semi-passive modes of most power supplies these days make these strips less essential than they might have been in the past.
During the build process, I mostly noticed how little room there was for cables coming from the PSU into the main motherboard chamber. This is just a small annoyance. I would suggest removing the drive bays on top of the power-supply shroud to make more cable-routing room if they are not needed. I opted to use the 3.5″ bay ahead of the power-supply mount to ensure I had enough room.
Another minor pain point of the P110 Luce is the fact that it needs a dedicated Molex cable to power the LED controller, so that added a long and mostly unused power cable to the already limited space in front of the power supply shroud.
Aside from those minor annoyances, everything else in my build process went smoothly. The installation was one of my quickest builds yet, and Antec deserves praise for making the P110 Luce easy to build in.
Our testing methods
Here are the specifications of our test system:
|Processor||Intel Core i7-6700K|
|Motherboard||ASRock Z170 Extreme7+|
|Memory||16 GB (2x 8 GB) G.Skill Trident Z DDR4-3000|
|Graphics card||Sapphire Radeon R9 380X|
|Storage||OCZ Vector 180 480 GB SSD
WD Black 1 TB HDD
|Power supply||Aerocool P7-850|
|CPU cooler||Cooler Master MasterLiquid 120|
|OS||Windows 10 Pro|
Our thanks to ASRock, G.Skill, OCZ, WD, Aerocool, and Cooler Master for helping us outfit our test rigs with some of the finest hardware available. Our thanks to Antec for providing the P110 Luce for testing, as well.
Our case testing cycle consists of the following phases:
- 10 minutes of idle time at the Windows desktop
- 10 minutes of the Prime95 Small FFTs CPU torture test
- 10 minutes of the Prime95 Small FFTs CPU torture test and the Unigine Heaven graphics torture test
- 10 minutes of idle time at the Windows desktop
Ambient room temperature during our test run was about 72° F or 22° C.
Here are the results of our thermal performance tests, plotted over time:
And here are the minimum and maximum temperatures we recorded during our testing period:
No surprises here: the P110 Luce performs about as well as the other cases in our test suite. Its cooling performance isn’t quite as good as that of the Aerocool cases we’ve tested of late, but those enclosures are more airflow-oriented than quiet-oriented, and the P110 Luce is the exact opposite. Perhaps it’s a mark in the P110’s favor that cooling performance doesn’t take a hit from its less-ventilated panels.
At idle, the P110 Luce’s included fans produce a mild, clean-sounding hum. I expect these fans would easily fade into the background at idle. Under full load, it’s possible to hear the fans kick up, but the sound they produce is still smooth and clean. In both subjective and absolute terms, the P110 Luce delivers fine noise performance.
Antec got nearly everything right with the P110 Luce. The brushed-aluminum front panel and tempered-glass side panel lend an air of class to this enclosure, and features like dust filters on every intake cement the P110 Luce’s premium billing. Antec’s pre-installed 120-mm fans are of high quality, and the case has plenty of mounting options for liquid-cooling hardware for those who want to explore it.
Outside of getting the basics right, Antec throws in some nice features like a pre-installed RGB LED controller and an integrated graphics-card support bracket. The case also includes an unusual front-panel HDMI pass-through for VR headsets, and it’s got enough USB ports alongside the front-panel HDMI port to make plug-and-play Oculus Rift support a reality.
The P110 Luce’s extensive internal options for hiding stray cabling and potentially unsightly storage devices make clean builds simple, too. I’d have appreciated it if the RGB LED controller was smarter or more configurable, or that it at least controlled both the front-panel logo and the logo on the PSU shroud. As it stands, the white LED Antec logo on the PSU shroud can’t be synchronized with other lighting in a system.
Although the P110 Luce’s cooling performance isn’t anything exceptional, it didn’t cause any of the components in our test system to reach alarming levels, either. Laudably, its noise levels under load are among the lowest we’ve seen among the recent cases we’ve tested. That’s a fine balance of performance we expect a lot of builders will be happy with.
At about $91 on Amazon or as little as $84 through Newegg’s marketplace right now, the P110 Luce offers a classy, high-performance and well-put-together package for not a lot of cash. Builders who want a case capable of putting a clean face on any build would do well to check out the P110 Luce, and I’m happy to call it a TR Editor’s Choice.