Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Antec P183: SSD Mounting Options

When I blew $150 on a "luxury" case a few years back, I went into it with the idea that this would be the last case that I'd ever buy -- boy, was I wrong.

Recently, I decided to blow a few hundred bucks on an SSD drive for fun and I had an Antec P183 from before SSD drives became mainstream. The case has something like five 3.5" traditional HDD mounts in the lower compartment and two more 3.5" mounting trays in the upper compartment, but none fit the standard 2.5" SSD size. Note that the newer P183 V3 version does have 2.5" mounting holes.

Unfortunately, I got the non-retail version of an Intel drive, so it came with nothing in the box except the drive. I found out later that the retail version of my Intel drive comes with a 3.5" to 2.5" converter, which would have been nice. Luckily, it's not too expensive to buy a tray converter. I found one for $10 at my local computer store -- a Vantec model.

But again, being cheap, I decided to not buy it and just zip tie it into a 3.5" tray. From what I've found on Mr. Google, it should be fine since there are no moving parts and it shouldn't get too hot. The zip ties I used are rated for 85 C under load, and Mr. Google says that the nylon material it's made from melts at 200+ C -- I'm hoping that it'll be fine. To be clear, this is an "improper" mounting method and should not be interpreted as a recommendation.

You can also buy a replacement tray from Antec. The thing has been "out of stock" every time I've checked the Antec store though. This is a nice option if you've used up all the lower mounts for regular drives or use the lower mount for stashing cables like me.

To recap, Antec P183 users can:

1. Buy 2.5" to 3.5" converter tray: ~$10
2. Buy an official Antec replacement 3.5" tray with 2.5" mounting holes: $7.95
3. Buy an aftermarket 3.5" to 2.5" adapter (I bought this one).
4. "Improper methods"