Antec Three Hundred Budget Gaming Case

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Early last year, Antec launched their gaming line of cases with the Antec Nine Hundred - instantly garnering praise throughout the PC enthusiast crowd.  Its main claim to fame was the complete openess of the front bezel, using perforated bays and 120mm fans to keep airflow rushing inside.  Also notable was the expansive interior, bottom-mounted power-supply unit, and oversized "Big Boy" 200mm fan placed at the top that allowed some massive cooling over the CPU socket area.  We were able to take a look at the Nine Hundred ourselves and were pretty impressed overall, although we noted there were a few things that could have used some improving.

Well, Antec is back at it again with a dual offering for this year.  The Antec Twelve Hundred is a beast, featuring twelve bays and 6 large fans with two more mounts for installing additional units.  Price, however, can be an obstacle as the Twelve Hundred sells north of $200 US.  As a counterpoint, Antec has now released the Three Hundred Gaming Case.  As its name might suggest, the Three Hundred is a pared down version of their Nine Hundred gaming case, that sells for less.  It features six bays like the Nine Hundred, and includes some of the newer ideas used on the Twelve Hundred, but ships with fewer fans and accessories.  Up for today's evaluation is the budget-priced Antec Three Hundred.


SPECIFICATIONS:

Model: Antec Three Hundred

Case Dimensions: 18"(H) x 18.3"(D) x 8.1"(W)

Drive Bays: 9 total
Front accessible: 3x 5.25"
Internal: 6x 3.5" for HDD

Cooling System:
- 1 rear 120mm TriCool Fan with 3-speed switch control
- 1 top special 140mm TriCool Fan with 3-speed switch control
- 2 front (optional) 120mm Fans
- 1 side (optional) 120mm Fan to cool graphics cards

Motherboard Class: Standard ATX

Main Board Size: 12"(W) x 9.6"(L)

Expansion slots: 7 slots

Weight (net/gross): 15.9/18.7 lbs

Top I/O: 2 USB 2.0 ports, Mic-In & Headphone out jacks, Power and Reset buttons

Special Features: Washable air filters reduce dust build up in system, Perforated front bezel for maximum air intake

NOTE: No power supply included 
 


     

The Three Hundred ships in a box nearly identical to the Nine Hundred except for the graphics and text, but that's where the similarities end.  With the goal of keeping expenses to a minimum, Antec has only provided the end user with a manual, and two sets of screws: one set of larger thumbscrews for installing hard drives and another smaller group used for the motherboard and optical drives.  Missing is the 3.5" to 5.25" conversion kit, which allows a smaller drive (read: floppy drive or card reader) to be installed into one of the external bays.  Antec does offer this item for an additional $10 on their website, but you will need to look under the Nine Hundred accessory list to find it. 

The final piece, which isn't separate as we have shown it but comes pre-installed instead, is a mesh filter that resides within the front bezel.  If you recall, one of our nitpicks regarding the Nine Hundred was its propensity for gathering in dust through the front fans and settling within the chassis.  The Nine and Twelve Hundred models come with these built-in filters to reduce just such build-up.  The irony, then, is that there are no fans that come with the Three Hundred to make the same fuss over.  We assume most users will take it upon themselves to add at least one additional fan here, however, so no harm, no foul.

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a good case, a good computer case is well worth the invesment. the computer case can last you quite alot of upgrades and live up the 200 price tag. i spent around 170 for my tt armor and i dont regret it at all, my previous case was a generic heap of junk that literally fell apart.

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I was ready to critisize the lack of at least one front 120mm fan until I saw it was only $70 with free shipping on da Egg. For that price this looks like a pretty well rounded case for a game rig "on the cheap".

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I don't know if I'd say $79 is considered budget for a case.  If you want budget you'll look for the deals on $79 cases to be 50 or you'll haggle.  Ah the memories of my first HH inspired budget pc.

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mentaldisorder:

I don't know if I'd say $79 is considered budget for a case.  If you want budget you'll look for the deals on $79 cases to be 50 or you'll haggle.  Ah the memories of my first HH inspired budget pc.


 

Well... it has the cooling potential of higher-end cases but the price is not bad. Antec built it well with good materials and a nice design. So I think in terms of gaming cases, it can be called a budget gaming case. Note: When I say gaming, I am referring to the enthusasiast class pc case; ones that have a good build quality and cooling potential.

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I don't think it has the cooling potential persay.  It is made of steel judging by its 18lb weight, which does not help lower temps.  I mean yeah it has a huge mesh front, but still you don't need all that air if you cant push it out the rear at a greater cfm.  You'll in turn increase temps.  And that side fan is a joke If you use it as exhaust, the cpu won't get the cool air from the front.  If you use it to take in air, then you have 3x the cfm into the case than out of the case.  Sure it looks nice but is it really worth the money?  I'm sure there are better cases out there for cooling.  But hey, maybe I'm wrong and this is actually a solid case.

 

[edit] Forgot to mention that the top fan would be more idealy placed in the center of the top.  Since it won't be blocked by your psu.  Nor would it help doing anything all the way back there.

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I say it has potential because there are mounts to add two 120mm fans in the front. Which would give it the intake airflow to reach the processor and the other components. I'm pretty sure the case material will make little to no difference. Cooling should be sufficient enough that the hot air is exiting the case so the case doesn't need to act as a giant heatsink. I think the top fan is fine where it is because it should be positioned right over (at least near) the CPU to help the rear 120mm fan exhaust the hot air. Also, it isn't blockec by the psu because it is mounted on the bottom in this case.

 

Even if you don't add the front 2 fans, the negative pressure should mean that air is coming in from the front grills, if not elsewhere. Though I think adding 2 front fans would be better.

 

By the way, there is a pretty old article about the difference in cooling of a steel vs aluminum pc case. I think this was possible because this one company (Chieftech Dragon?) had two models that only differed in the metal material and weight of course. If I remember correctly, there was basically no difference in cooling.

 

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