15 Cases For Review

Startech - ATX8300 Pro, Continued

A look at the inside of the Startech 8300 Pro.

The construction of the case isn't bad. It has no twist or bend to it; it is steel and it feels like steel. The look of the case is adequate. It features a progressive-looking front with a retro beige color that many still find attractive. The overall quality is good, but not as exceptional as we have seen in some of the other designs that we have reviewed.

The airflow through the case was good. Air moved from the front of the case to the back with no problem. An intake vent in the bottom front of the case adds to this; while this is not the most efficient design we have seen, the air was able to circulate through the case. Only one fan was included with our case. You have the ability to add a fan in the front and a side panel fan, as well. The front fan was not included, and the side panel fan is additional.

Expansion cards in the case are held in place with a retaining clip, which is a very good design. This concept works well and addresses the potential issue of dropping screws onto the motherboard. The case is of a totally screw-free design. Access to the case is achieved by a slide-off side panel.

Sliding the door up reveals the front-mounted ports. We found that the door on our test case didn't work well, as it kept sticking, making it difficult to slide open.

The 8330 Plus features front-mounted USB, 1394 Firewire, speaker, and mic jacks that are hidden behind a slide-up door on the front of the case. The door didn't work well during our testing. Even after repeated attempts, the door continued to stick, making it difficult to access the ports behind it.

The 8330 Plus is certainly not the worst case that we have ever seen, but it does have a few glitches that don't match up to its suggested $100 US price tag. For that same $100, you could purchase other cases in this review that are "glitch-free" and a better value for the money. We liked the case expansion concept, but were less than impressed with the 8330 Plus during our time with it.