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Part 1: Four Gaming Enclosures Under $50

Antec Three Hundred

While many of its competitors have gone with cheaper materials to address the $50 gaming case market, Antec chose instead to scale back the “bling” in its Three Hundred. Buyers get dual exhaust fans in a case that’s around 33% thicker than most competitors, but give up LED lighting and several tool-free features.

Thicker panels increase durability and simultaneous cut back on noise--two things appreciated by those who constantly use and service their own systems. Yet, good ventilation is often at odds with low noise, and today’s test includes a noise evaluation.

Some of the Three Hundred’s added ventilation comes from a three-speed 120 mm rear fan. Replaceable expansion slot covers beneath the fan are standard on quality cases, yet rare amongst Antec’s low-cost competitors.

A three-speed top fan adds even more ventilation for the CPU area. Our previous evaluations have shown this fan to be far less important than the rear fan when using cross-flow CPU coolers, and using its slowest setting reduces noise dramatically.

Front-panel ports along the top edge are easily reached for systems that sit either under or atop a desk. Though this is probably the best compromise Antec could make to capture both markets, it does cause headset cables to dangle in front of optical drives.

  • 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.
    Reply
  • falchard
    I think the Antec 300 and AeroCool models lose for 1 simple reason. They cannot house the longer ATI HD5850~HD5970.
    Reply
  • 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...
    Reply
  • Mark Heath
    Interesting to see the Antec 300 doing well even when the fan speed's put to low.
    Reply
  • smithereen
    No NZXT Beta?
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • @falchard - My Vapor-X 5850 fit perfectly in my Antec 300. I don't know what you're BSing about.
    Reply
  • 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.

    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply