The sub $100 and $100 PC cases are filled with tons of options. The budget case segment has cases like the Pure Base 500DX and Lian-Li Lancool II. Antec released their newest case for the budget section, the Antec P120 Crystal.
The Antec P120 Crystal is a mid-tower case making headlines for its design. Yes, it almost looks like the Lian-Li O11D. Antec took inspiration from the Lian-Li case. The interior and exterior of the case strikingly look like the Lian-Li O11D. It took quite a long time for companies to come up with LianLi’s design. Antec finally made a chassis competing for the budget $100 section.
Will Antec surpass the O11D case, or will the build quality of the case drag it down to its grave? So let’s look at the specification, features, and performance of the new Antec P120 Crystal. Will the Antec make our recommendation? Let’s see.
- Type: Mid-Tower ATX
- Motherboard Support: ITX, M-ATX, ATX, E-ATX
- Dimension: 476 x 234 x 485 mm (DWH)
- Max GPU Length: 450mm
- CPU Cooler Height: 185mm
- Max PSU Length: 294mm
- Weight: 10.4Kgs
- Internal Bays: 2 x 3.5 inch, 3 x 2.5 inch
- Expansions Slot: 7 (Horizontal), 3 (Vertical)
- Front I/O: 2 x USB 3.0, 3.5 mm Audio and Mic Port
- Other: Tempered Glass Panel
- Fans: Front Fans: N/A, Rear Fans: 1 x 120mm (Up to 1 x 140mm)), Bottom Fans: 3 x 120mm / 3 x 140mm Side Fans: 3 x 120mm or 2 x 140mm (1 X HDD bracket needs to be removed when installing 3 x 120mm fan config)
- Dust Filter: Bottom / Right Hand Side
- RGB: No
- Damping: No
- Warranty: 1 Year
- Good Build Quality
- Adequate Cooling
- Supports Custom Water-Cooling
- No grommet installed
- No fans included
Design and Build – Interior
The Antec P120 Crystal looks kind of cheap knockoff of the Lian-Li O11D. But the overall build quality is better than your average cases. The case has tons of real estate for adding your own custom water cooling loop. The P120 Crystal fits up to an EATX motherboard. It has a larger area for airflow and is quite comfy for the components too.
Antec did try to copy the Lian-Li O11D but didn’t make it too visible for people to hate it. The manufacturer attempts to replicate the interior. Antec placed the power supply above the case. The PSU chamber isn’t removable and is riveted on the case. There is no top ventilation intake as the PSU blocks the incoming air.
The non-modular PSU wires are tucked in the PSU chamber, making it look dirty. But since the jammed cable isn’t visible, it works for the average consumer. It seems like a hard design choice for the employees at Antec. The Lian-Li O11D has two chambers allowing it to fit the PSU at the back.
As for storage, there are 2 x 2.5 SSD slots on the back case. The Hard drive caddies are positioned on top of the side intake vents. The 3.5-inch caddies also support 2.5-inch SSDs increasing the 2.5-inch support to 5 slots. But you will lose a hard drive caddy if you configure the side intake fans as 3 x 120mm.
The cable management, in this case, is average at best. There is no cable management track on the case. The user will need to manage their cables and RGB Hubs deliberately. There is a large opening for the CPU socket and a big opening for cable management. It is easy to route the 6-pin CPU socket power, but the cable management holes don’t have a grommet. Antec’s decision to leave out the grommet does affect the final build aesthetic of the case.
The Antec P120 Crystal has good quality PCIe slots covers. The case also supports a vertical mounted GPU. Antec also included a GPU support bracket with the motherboard. Overall the case looks great on the interior but lacks on the cable management aspect.
Design and Build – Exterior
The exterior of the case is excellent. The case features a tempered glass side panel. The side panel has a swing hinge and is easily removable. Plus point to the Antec for including a latch for the tempered glass. The case has a glass panel on the front. The glass panel is removable, and you can fit in a custom Distro Block.
The overall build quality of the case is good but creates rattling noise when moved or banged. The case has two mesh filters, one at the bottom and one at the side. Antec has provided case feet for elevation. But we will need to move the case feet to install 3 x 120mm fans on the bottom.
This is an apparent design flaw from Antec. The case feet should have been adjusted, but the bottom intake vent is meant for two fans. So we can leave it as it is. The finishing on the case is good but does attract fingerprints. The back panel of the case has cut out for the side intake. The panel is easily removable and creates no hassle putting it back in.
As for the I/O, there aren’t a lot of options. You get 2 USB 3.0 Gen 2 ports on the top with headphones and microphone jack. The USB 3.0 Gen 2 port is illuminated. These illuminated ports tend to loosen out in the long run. The I/O is disappointing as we expected to see a USB Type C port. Most of the competitors at this price point deliver USB Type C, which Antec lacks.
Cooling and Acoustic
The Antec P120 Crystal features three vents for cooling. The side vents support 2 x 140mm fans or 3 x 120mm fans and a full 360mm radiator. The rear vent supports a single 1 x 120mm or 1 x 140mm exhaust fan. The bottom intake supports 3 x 120mm and 3 x 140mm fan and a 360mm radiator. The case showcases a huge potential for custom loop water cooling thanks to the immense radiator support.
The acoustic of the case isn’t that great. The sound made from the components is amplified. The case is silent, even with the seven fans. But the sounds like coil whine get amplified. The case also doesn’t have a damper making it not a good choice for acoustic builders.
The Antec P120 Crystal was set up with a high-end system. The system consisted of Core i7 – 9700K and a GTX 1080 Ti. We focused on the thermals of the components. The testing setup used only five fans (2 on the rear, two on the bottom and one rear)
And as the chart shows, the case performs exceptionally. The thermals were in check and never went above 85C. The case had a good amount of airflow for the cooler. The CPU maintained a cool temp of 82C. It was exceptionally well considering Antec’s history of bad cases. This one gets an A for its thermals.
The Antec P120 Crystal is a good case for its price. The overall build quality of the system is above average, better than we expected. Antec had a history of bad cases. But this attempt to recreate Lian-Li O11D was successful.
For the price, the Antec P120 Crystal is excellent if there was no Lian-Li O11D. The Lian-Li O11 Dynamic is $20 more than the Antec P120 Crystal. With better features and better functionality, Lian-Li O11 D is the best choice. Antec P120 Crystal is for the people who want to know LianLi’s case. In some countries in South Asia, Antec cases are more available. If you are an enthusiast, you can try to build a case in the Antec P120 Crystal.
For the $100 price point, the Antec P120 Crystal is great but doesn’t get our recommendation. It still needs tons of improvement. But if you like to build a system in this case, go ahead. It will serve the users well.