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.
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.