Antec Three Hundred Two Mid-Tower Case Review @ [H]

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FrgMstr

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Antec Three Hundred Two Mid-Tower Case Review - When Antec talks about its very affordable Three Hundred Two case, we hear terms like, "high performance systems,"affordable gaming case, "built for gamers," and "advanced cooling system" thrown about. We put all those to the test and find out if the Three Hundred Two is actually "the rightful heir to the Gaming Series legacy."
 

DOOMHAMMA

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I own the original. It is definitely worth adding the optional fans. I use mine with a fan controller as well. For light desktop use, I just turn all the fans off, or leave the top fan on low. They definitely looked at what modders and modern cases do and made good choices with this cases update. Even with the rolled edges, I still would have preferred rubber grommets on the cutouts.
Good review anyway! Even if its based on an older design, it is good to see Antec making good steps in their line up.

:edit: I also added a window to mine, painted the inside green, cut out my own wiring holes, and added NZXT's green LED kit. It is a fun case to chop up and not feel too guilty experimenting on if you mess up.
 

rvl

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I think it is wrong to not add the three additional fans to the Enthusiast system. The three video cards would make more noise than the added front and side fans, and the cost is nothing compared to adding two more video cards. Shame on you guys...
 

zero2dash

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It's a shame when a budget $50 Antec case still has the best dust filter design over cases that are even 5x as much.

Having dust filters is great. Being able to remove them and rinse them off without having to grab a screwdriver or remove any parts is a MAJOR benefit. I don't understand why more case manufacturers haven't designed their filters like this....either they're not removable at all, or you have to bend tabs and break stuff to remove them, or you have to remove parts and fans in order to remove them. WTH man....why? [banghead] I don't get it.

Very nice review guys. ;)
 

AliceCooper

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Aww I like the HD design on this one better than my 300. Can make the cable management much better with that design. Plus you don't have to offset the hard drives from the video cards, not that they would touch, but the cables probably would.


It's a shame when a budget $50 Antec case still has the best dust filter design over cases that are even 5x as much.

Having dust filters is great. Being able to remove them and rinse them off without having to grab a screwdriver or remove any parts is a MAJOR benefit. I don't understand why more case manufacturers haven't designed their filters like this....either they're not removable at all, or you have to bend tabs and break stuff to remove them, or you have to remove parts and fans in order to remove them. WTH man....why? [banghead] I don't get it.

Very nice review guys. ;)

I just shop vac the front of mine and it sucks all the dust right off those amazing filters. I have a crap ton of dust inside because I have a spot open up top for a drive I want to put in, but just havn't got around to doing it yet.
 

zero2dash

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I just shop vac the front of mine and it sucks all the dust right off those amazing filters.

I typically do that on my R3 since Fractal was dumb enough to make the intake fan dust filter a piece of the whole fan assembly itself (instead of a separate piece, which OF COURSE they did that with the R4 now). The only way to remove the dust filter on the R3 is to unscrew 4 screws and remove the fan+fan housing and then separate the filter from the fan itself and rinse/dry it off. This is the case on the front intakes as well as the bottom intake.

OTOH my 300 I typically just remove the filter rather than vacuum the outside of the case, and it takes roughly 2 minutes to pull the 2 side panel thumbscrews, remove the panel, and undo the 3 latches to remove the front of the case. IE Antec got it spot on 100% right.

I know vacuuming is an option....my point is that it shouldn't be necessary. :)
 

KayossZero

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It's a shame when a budget $50 Antec case still has the best dust filter design over cases that are even 5x as much.

Having dust filters is great. Being able to remove them and rinse them off without having to grab a screwdriver or remove any parts is a MAJOR benefit. I don't understand why more case manufacturers haven't designed their filters like this....either they're not removable at all, or you have to bend tabs and break stuff to remove them, or you have to remove parts and fans in order to remove them. WTH man....why? [banghead] I don't get it.

Very nice review guys. ;)

I agree. My first case with air filters is an Antec 1200V1, and after using air filters I will never go back to a case with out them. Now the 1200 by design requires having you to take off both side panels and unscrew 24 thumb screws (used for the HDD cages) in order to remove the front filters which is definitely a pain in the ass, easily solved by me just using my air compressor and blowing them out clean, however for others that's a major hindrance so stock case designs really need to evolve on this issue.
 

FrgMstr

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I think it is wrong to not add the three additional fans to the Enthusiast system. The three video cards would make more noise than the added front and side fans, and the cost is nothing compared to adding two more video cards. Shame on you guys...


I think we should highly modify all products from here out and then review those. Uh, no, not going to happen. You see where that goes wrong with that modified formula? Then we get beat up about how many fans, which spec fans, what RPMs, etc. etc. etc. By modifying case features we leave the door open for simply too many variables in the mix. So what we did want you to take away from the review, if you read it fully, was that we suggested these fan options to end users if they would want to push this "gamer" product into the "enthusiast" category.

All that said, the HardForum is here for you to share YOUR experiences with products. Or you can just look silly and whine about our efforts. Neither results are new and both are expected.
 

AliceCooper

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I typically do that on my R3 since Fractal was dumb enough to make the intake fan dust filter a piece of the whole fan assembly itself (instead of a separate piece, which OF COURSE they did that with the R4 now). The only way to remove the dust filter on the R3 is to unscrew 4 screws and remove the fan+fan housing and then separate the filter from the fan itself and rinse/dry it off. My 300 I typically just remove the filter rather than vacuum the outside of the case, and it takes roughly 2 minutes to pull the 2 side panel thumbscrews and undo the 3 latches to remove the front of the case. IE Antec got it spot on right.

I know vacuuming is an option....my point is that it shouldn't be necessary. :)

I'm a bit lazy when it comes to dusting my computer and I don't have an air compressor at my disposal unless I go to my parents so the shop vac is nice to at least clear out the filters quickly. Though I really should put in that drive so dust stops getting plastered against the acrylic window from my Hyper 212+, makes it look super dirty. Maybe I should buy one of those hurricane can things that is like a canned air, but it's a compressor so it compresses air on the fly and never needs refilling, just needs to be plugged in. Too bad their like $80 :(.
 

zero2dash

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I think it is wrong to not add the three additional fans to the Enthusiast system. The three video cards would make more noise than the added front and side fans, and the cost is nothing compared to adding two more video cards. Shame on you guys...

I think you're going to be hard pressed to find a site that reviews cases in anything other than stock form. :rolleyes: In fact I don't think I've ever seen any site ever review a case with any extra "open" fan mounts filled up with anything.

Maybe I should buy one of those hurricane can things that is like a canned air, but it's a compressor so it compresses air on the fly and never needs refilling, just new batteries. Too bad their like $80 :(.

Yeah the $50 ED500 DataVac is on my "to buy" list after hearing enough people rave about it. ;)
 

jonathonball

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Looks like the same case have now (Antec 300) with a deeper back plane and the HD cage rotated 90 degrees. Kind of wish Antec had a trade in program.
 

Domingo

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I've been a huge fan of the Thermaltake Element G, which is a bit similar, but a hair more stylish. Plus, it has several fans already built into it and a pretty nice mechanism of a wireless fan on the side door. It's pricier at $130'ish, but worth the extra money IMO.
Literally I think the only knock on it is that there are no USB 3 front ports right now.
 

ICOM

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Thank you for the review. Well done.

I have the original 300 series case and I love it. I built my budget gaming rig with the Antec 300 in mind. With the few peripherals that I have (see signature), it's a very good performer for the money.
 

wtourist

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Possibly the Cooler Master HAF 912 offers more.
Preferred it to the 300, think I prefer it to the 302.
 

DOOMHAMMA

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Possibly the Cooler Master HAF 912 offers more.
Preferred it to the 300, think I prefer it to the 302.
I agree that the 912 is better than the 300. But I am not completely convinced against the 302. Though I am a fan of the more plain styling than the HAF look.
 

4LC4PON3

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Another shitty case by Antec. When will they ever learn. Functionality is the key here. I cant believe they went with another unpainted case.
 

FrgMstr

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Yeah the $50 ED500 DataVac is on my "to buy" list after hearing enough people rave about it. ;)


I bought one of those and it has come in handy for a whole lot of things. Canned air is still good for little nick-knack jobs, but if you really need to clean something, pull that bastard out. Great for dusting about anything in the house too. Wife used it the other day to dust decorative flower arrangements that were high up on display and nasty as all hell after 12 years.
 

FrgMstr

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Another shitty case by Antec. When will they ever learn. Functionality is the key here. I cant believe they went with another unpainted case.

You do realize this is its $60 no frills case? I think your post is simply unfair.
 

dcds1

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One point I think you missed about this case that I truely like is how the hard drive cage wall is rounded on the end. I also like how the side panels are attached to the case. Instead of having to slide the panels you just pull the back side out away from the case.

I have to say that Antec truely needs to work on space managment. For the size of the case you should be able to mount an extened atx motherboard. I also don't care for the fact that if you put fans in the front of the case you have a very restrictive area to try and push air through.

I personally don't care for fan mounts on both of the case sides, and top. The top fan mount wouldn't of been bad if they would of just made the top smooth instead of raised. Also the water line groments on the top of the case just look terrible.
 

AliceCooper

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I also don't care for the fact that if you put fans in the front of the case you have a very restrictive area to try and push air through.

I personally don't care for fan mounts on both of the case sides, and top. The top fan mount wouldn't of been bad if they would of just made the top smooth instead of raised. Also the water line groments on the top of the case just look terrible.


Yeah that is one thing that I was looking at, the front fans won't be pushing air through as easily. Also I am not a fan of a fan on the back side of the motherboard, on the side is ok, but I would window mod it so it wouldn't be there anyways. Also I do agree the top shouldn't be raised and a 120mm would be more functional for those water line gromets. Still a nice case though :).
 

BlindedByScience

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I built my work PC, my home PC, the wife's PC and my oldest son's PC in the original version of this case. A small mod I've done to them all was to route the wire for the top fan through to the back side of the MoBo tray, and connect it to power there. Keeps the inside a bit cleaner. Cable management is quite good and I always end up with nice clean systems.

I just don't see how you can beat them, bang for the buck. Would use again, and probably will.
 

XeenSD

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I have 3 of these cases (albeit the older one). You can get them for 50 shipped every once in awhile. I am very happy with them overall, though I am not a builder the typical "gamer" pc, my builds are more general purpose. As far as fans in the case, I usually swap fans on almost all cases I get. The upside of this case is the use of 120mm and 140mm fans (quieter), the simpler side access and rolled edges (never cut my hand on one of these - a very big deal in cheaper cases).

Downside of the case (more of a note then a downside) is the lower PSU mounting position is pain for cables. Pick the PSU carefully, the ATX cable lengths are very important unless you buy extensions.
 

Bbq

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I own one of these. Got it for $40 after a $10 mir.

It's a pretty damn nice case, not even looking at the price.

It doesn't have a window, and you can't see any grey.

The build quality is pretty good, and the design is better than even the fractal design case I have my desktop in.

The only downsides I can think of, is that the ssd mounts are pretty loose, the front fans have to overcome a lot of resistance to push air through the cage (which is true of every case with a sideways mounted drive cage), and that it has no 8-pin hole, although you can easily slip the cable between the motherboard tray and the top panel to do exactly the same thing.
 
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