Antec Three Hundred Case Review
By Gabriel Torres on July 22, 2008


Introduction

Hardware Secrets Golden Award

Antec Three Hundred is an inexpensive mini-tower case for users demanding a small yet powerful case – according to the manufacturer there is enough room for you to install video cards from GeForce 8800 family in it –, featuring three 5.25” bays, six internal 3.5” bays, one 120 mm rear fan, one top 140 mm fan (both with individual speed control), plus space for installing three extra 120 mm fans (two on the front and one at the side). Let’s take an in-depth look at this latest release from Antec.

Even though this case is on the gaming line from Antec, it has a very sober looks, being a very appealing product for professionals.

Antec Three Hundred Case
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Figure 1: Antec Three Hundred case.

Antec Three Hundred Case
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Figure 2: Antec Three Hundred case.

In Figure 3, you can see the front panel from this case. As you can see, this case doesn’t have a door. Being a mini-tower model it only has three external 5.25” bays. The front panel is perforated, helping on the airflow, also working  as a dust filter (washable, like all cases from Antec) for the two optional 120 mm fans that can be installed in front of the six internal 3.5” bays (more about them later).

Antec Three Hundred Case
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Figure 3: Front panel.

Introduction (Cont’d)

On the front panel you can also find a panel containing two USB ports (with enough distance between them), mic in and headphones jacks, plus the power and reset switches and HDD and power LEDs.

Antec Three Hundred Case
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Figure 4: Connectors, switches and LEDs available on the front panel.

In Figure 5 you see the case top panel with its 140 mm fan. This fan has a three-speed controller attached to it.

Antec Three Hundred Case
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Figure 5: Top panel.

Finally we have the rear panel in Figure 6. On this case the power supply is installed on the bottom part of the case, and not on the top part. This is the first time we saw a mini-tower case with this feature, usually found only on high-end models. This case features a 120 mm fan on the rear, also with a three-speed controller attached. It has seven expansion slots and the two side panels are attached to the chassis using thumbscrews, which is great. The only thing missing here compared to high-end cases are the holes for water cooling systems, but honestly we don’t think that someone buying a mini-tower case will play with water cooling.

Antec Three Hundred Case
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Figure 6: Rear panel.

Let’s see how Three Hundred looks like inside.

Inside Three Hundred

In Figure 7 you have an overall look from the interior of this case. Even though you can remove the right side panel, the motherboard tray is permanently attached to the chassis.

Antec Three Hundred Case
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Figure 7: Inside Three Hundred.

This case doesn’t use a screwless mechanism to fasten daughterboards to the case nor thumbscrews. In Figure 8, you can see the rear 120 mm fan. Both the rear and the top fans have a three-speed controller attached, see Figure 9. These two fans use a standard 4-pin peripheral power connector, so they must be installed directly on the power supply and not on the motherboard.

Antec Three Hundred Case
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Figure 8: Rear 120 mm fan, expansion slots and place for installing the power supply.

Antec Three Hundred Case
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Figure 9: Speed controller.

The Disk Drive Bays

As mentioned, this case has three external 5.25” bays and six internal 3.5” bays for hard disk drives. The number of bays for hard disk drives is insane, especially because we are talking about a mini-tower model. This case comes with a bag full of thumbscrews for installing the hard disk drives, which is terrific.

Antec Three Hundred Case
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Figure 10: Bays.

If you have a floppy disk drive you need to buy the 5.25”-to-3.5” adapter separately on the manufacturer’s website, as this case doesn’t with this adapter.

If you pay attention in Figure 10 you can see the place on the front panel for installing two 120 mm fans. For accessing this area you need to remove the plastic front panel, which is done by pressing three plastic latches.

Antec Three Hundred Case
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Figure 11: Front panel.

As you can see in Figure 11 this case uses two doors for installing the front 120 mm fans. These doors are fastened to the case using hinges and thumbscrews (which are permanently attached to the doors, so there is no way for you to lose them). You can even remove them from the case.

Antec Three Hundred Case
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Figure 12: One of the doors opened.

Antec Three Hundred Case
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Figure 13: Door removed from the case.

On the plastic front panel there is a big washable dust filter.

Antec Three Hundred Case
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Figure 14: Dust filter attached to the plastic front panel.

Main Specifications

Three Hundred case main specs include:

* Researched at Shopping.com on the day we published this review.

Conclusions

Antec Three Hundred is an inexpensive mini-tower case targeted to exigent users. Here is a summary of what we found about this case.

Strong Points

  • Terrific cost/benefit ratio.
  • Good construction quality. No sharp edges where you could cut yourself while building your PC.
  • One 140 mm and one 120 mm fan with individual three-speed controller.
  • Six bays for hard disk drive, an outstanding quantity even for high-end users.
  • Thumbscrews for fastening the hard disk drives.

Weak Points

  • Doesn’t come with floppy disk drive adapters.
  • No screwless mechanisms for holding daughterboards, optical drives or hard disk drives.
  • No anti-vibration mechanisms for the hard disk drives.

In summary, this case provides a terrific cost/benefit ratio for mainstream users looking for a small yet powerful case. You can even build a high-end gaming machine using this case (you will probably need to add extra fans). It comes with an outstanding number of hard disk drive bays – six –, a quantity not easily found even on more expensive cases.

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Antec-Three-Hundred-Case-Review/586


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