Part 1: Four Gaming Enclosures Under $50

Building With The ECA3171-BR-AP

Our case arrived with a limited installation guide, two reusable cable ties, several screws and standoffs, a ratcheting cable tie with a self-adhesive holder, a ferrite EMI ring, and a security tab.

We had no issues fitting our large gaming platform within the ECA3171-BR-AP, but our large tower cooler prevented the side panel from closing with its top side fan in place.

Moving the upper side-panel fan to the rear and mounting it as exhaust alters the look of the case slightly, and likely improves cooling performance. This was the only reasonable installation option that allowed us to retain all three of its included fans.

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  • rzilla91
    Great article!
    I have the Antec 300 and love it - my current build is/was my first build, and the Antec case was very easy to build in.

    My only (rather silly) question is how did you get the case fans to run on low? They appear to be plugged into your PSU, which is what i did, but that forces it to run on high.
    0
  • falchard
    I think the Antec 300 and AeroCool models lose for 1 simple reason. They cannot house the longer ATI HD5850~HD5970.
    -12
  • gkay09
    ^ Did you read the Aerocool specs properly ? Card Length - 17.7"
    AFAIK there are no graphic cards that are longer than 12.5", so it would fit HD 5970...
    But as for the 300, I doubt it wont fit the 5970, but other cards would...
    But if you will be spending ~$600 for a graphic card, then am sure you wont skimp on the case...
    6
  • Mark Heath
    Interesting to see the Antec 300 doing well even when the fan speed's put to low.
    1
  • smithereen
    No NZXT Beta?
    1
  • Anonymous
    rzilla91Great article!I have the Antec 300 and love it - my current build is/was my first build, and the Antec case was very easy to build in.My only (rather silly) question is how did you get the case fans to run on low? They appear to be plugged into your PSU, which is what i did, but that forces it to run on high.

    It should be equiped with speed-adjustmentable tri-cool fans, which should have added speed selectors to go from LOW to MID or HI, and back.
    3
  • falchard
    I just reread the card length on the AeroCool.
    I would like a review on the NZXT Beta. Sub $50 market, you really aren't looking at any of those cases. You are looking at the Rosewills, NZXT, and cheap Thermaltakes.
    0
  • Anonymous
    @falchard - My Vapor-X 5850 fit perfectly in my Antec 300. I don't know what you're BSing about.
    4
  • rajangel
    I own the 300. It's a nice sturdy case, but in the end it really was a pain in the rear to put it all together. It's extremely cramped.

    @falchard-
    Also don't ever buy Rosewill. EVER. Their products are terrible. I've bought a few items they've had on clearance (from newegg) and not a single product is worth the 90% discount. One case came bent and the power supply inside was missing some of the power plugs the manual said it had. One item came shipped with a driver all in Chinese. Customer service blamed it on whoever shipped it (right because Newegg is going to switch the power supply inside a case). Newegg switched the case out and the girl on the phone said they have a lot of problem with Rosewill products. The laptop pad was missing fan blades.
    -2
  • falchard
    Well thats your problem right there, you are looking at Rosewill for electronic products. You shop Rosewill for products that don't rely on electricity like a case.
    1
  • vixiv
    I was expecting some of the $40-45 Raidmax, Foxconn, NZXT, CM, etc. cases. To be fair, $49.99 is under $50 =P

    Then again, cases in that range might be included in Part 2...
    2
  • liquidsnake718
    You should have added the gigabyte I-solo 210, its a beast of a mid-tower case and very neatly designed. It has watercooling holes so its ready for watercooling.
    0
  • belardo
    I've bought the Antec 300 case several times for $45~50 at Micro Center for friends and clients.

    I use the Antec 300 as a "normal" computer case because its priced cheap yet made well, looks good - and not so "kiddy" like. The power & USB are at a good position for FLOOR users. The fans are usually quiet... the blue lights are nice.
    2
  • gio2vanni86
    I own the antec 1200 and its a beast of a case. When i was trying to come up with a cheap but efficient case for my friends build i couldn't deny Antec's 300 case. To this day my friend loves the case, its great at cooling, and it looks superb at doing just that =D Was as sturdy as my 1200 n only cost 1/3 the price.
    2
  • Anonymous
    I have the threehundred chassi and I think its pure garbage to be honest..top fan is very loud and seems to be "vibrating" so the noise it gives is very annoying. Had to place a weigth ontop of the chassi, to keep the chassi is made from vibrating. Also hade som clearence issues with the cpu fan...
    Maybe it is good "for the price", but I will never ever buy another of those cheap ass antec chassis again.
    -4
  • h83
    I´ve bought an Antec 300 for 60€ and i couldn´t be happier!!! The case is silent, very cool and has a very nice construction quality.

    The only downsides are the tiny reset button (almost useless) and the inside of the case, that´s a little cramped and i don´t know if it can accommodate the bigger GPUs.

    rzilla91, both 120m fans that came with the case, have a small black cable with a little "button" on the end, that can be set on 3 positions; high, medium and low. That´s how you change your fans to low noise.
    2
  • cmartin011
    i got a antec 1200 its all a pro air cooler could dream of and a water cool wouldn't mind could use a couple more drive bays tho
    0
  • Anonymous
    zipzoomflyhigh is right the Antec 300 is always on sale somewhere. Canada Coputers currently has it for $49.99
    1
  • jorjxmckie
    I have the three hundred and it works great. Video card noise is perceptible under high loads, but its still less than many other cases with similar cooling.

    In the article the author downplays the usefulness of the top mounted fan, I have a Noctua NH-U12P with fans on either side in a push pull and rotated to blow out to the top case fan. I find this configuration better at keeping core and case interior temps low when the back of the case is pushed back against a wall. May not be the most efficient airflow if the rear of the case is unrestricted but that is not always possible.
    2
  • nukemaster
    The 300 is an unbeatable value for the price.
    0