When it comes to computer chassis, the Antec 300 is a case which resides within a league of its own. This chassis can be had for less than $70 (in fact, I found it on Amazon for under $50) and packs quality for the consumer, bursting from the seams. I have had many cases throughout my computing career, and this one is neither the most expensive nor the most flashy that I have owned. However, it is the most well built, sturdy, and easy-to-work-in case that I have ever had. I think so highly of this case that I will definitely be using this on all of my future builds, provided that it stays in production and doesn’t disappear from the shelves of online distributors. It has been around for a few years already, with no signs of being discontinued any time soon, so I feel it is a safe bet that my next build will be able to enjoy a home within this case.
The Antec 300 Mid-Tower is a steel case, with sleek black finish and four fans that come stock installed, ready to plug into the fan headers of your motherboard. The fans are high-quality Antec quiet-cool with variable speeds controlled by built-in switches. A 140mm fan graces the top of it, just over the CPU, and a 120mm fan in the usual place on the back – both running exhaust, both keeping your components cool. The front boasts two 120mm fans as intake.
The included fans sport LED (blue), which is a really nice touch, lending a little bit to the aesthetics of the otherwise elegant and slick black design. With the fans in the back on medium, and the fans on the front on high, it is easy to keep a positive pressure in the case, driving dust away from the innards of the PC, outside of the case where it should stay. A place for a fan in the side panel makes this even easier – I added another 120mm fan to my side panel access, and that makes for 3 intakes and 2 exhausts – my PC will stay clean due to this positive pressure, and also because Antec designers were thoughtful enough to add an easy-to-clean dust filter to the front intake fans. Most chassis have hard-to-remove “set-pin” front covers; the Antec 300 was designed with these fans in mind and its front panel pops off with complete ease, swings open, and gives me access to an easy to remove screen filter, which I can wash any time it gets a little caked inside. Very well thought out design on the part of Antec as most manufacturers include nothing of the sort. Most cases come with places for fans – Antec included the fans. Most cases require modding to add filters – Antec’s design includes them.
With a bottom-mounted power supply, and enough room in the bottom of the chassis to install it “fan-side-down” (although they do recommend in the manual that you install them fan-side-up), the case runs even cooler than it would with a top-mount power supply, and that is what allowed Antec to include the extra fan in the top of the chassis.
My computer was suffering from heat issues prior to my buying this case. The heat of my old case led to a premature failure of a decent power supply. I knew from commercial reviews and consumer feedback that this case would be sufficient, but I was in for a shock when I got my components into my own Antec 300 – My temps run cooler than I have ever seen them, with any build I have ever made before. My CPU cores all idle at about 30c, and they never go above 42c, even when playing my most demanding games at maximum settings. I have stock air cooling – these temps are insanely cold for a stock heat sink, and unheard of in all of my years experience. My GPU never rises above about 55c that I have seen so far. This is unheard of in air-cooled computing. I have come to expect temps of 65c to 80c minimum when components are under load, and I have been absolutely impressed by the cool running of my components after being re-housed in this case. Cool running operation equates to long lasting parts, so I am pretty comfortable that, until my next upgrade, there won’t be any need for me to replace anything I’ve put inside my Antec 300.
The only drawback I have found to my new favorite case is that while the interior is spacious and accommodates my huge GPU, cable management can be a bit boring. I managed it, and it looks good inside, but it took me longer than I expected when starting out. However, this is no big deal and even if I did no management at all, I am sure that the case would still be pretty chilled out inside, due to the four fan design + my extra fifth fan mentioned earlier in this report. It is easily forgiven. I would likely not have enough room for my massive GPU had they made cable management easier, and would have had to spring for a full tower case, when what I really wanted, and what I got with the Antec 300, was a well-built Mid-Tower that looked good and sounded quiet while still running as cool as it does. Besides my PSU cables, there are also the chassis cables – the lines running to the audio headers, the power and reset buttons, and the 2 USB 2.0 ports on the front. These were clean as I have ever seen them, sleeved, and easy to route where I needed them to go, without being in the way when it came time to add in my expansion components.
All in all, this case has superbly impressed me. If it is ever discontinued, I will stick with Antec cases. I have tried many other chassis, I have built quite a few PC’s for myself and others, and this case, by far, is the greatest case purchase I have ever made, hands down, hands up, hands waving in the air, this is the best case I have ever owned, and I wanted to let anyone who reads this know it. This case will not let you down, will not break the bank, and will keep your components cold, just the way we serious gamers like them to be. If you are in the market for a case and come upon this writing, I urge you, to give this case a try. I have spent double on computer cases and been supremely disappointed in both quality and documentation for them. This is a budget case in price, but the deluxe model for serious gamers everywhere. I can’t speak about the 302, the 600, the 900, or the 1200, but I can say, this Antec 300, has made me a believer, and I will likely be a lifelong Antec case user. Their power supplies aren’t bad either.