I jumped at the chance of getting my hands on one of Antec’s Three Hundred Cases because the Nine Hundred series was a bit much –not in a bad way, but it was really meant to house something a little more feature packed than I was building. I wanted a media PC in a non-HTPC case.
Here’s the Three Hundred (on the left) versus the Nine Hundred (right, where else?). The obvious differences are the lack of front fans (they can be installed, but they’re optional, and if you have hard drives in one of the three bay sections a fan won’t fit anyway).
The Big Boy fan is not a part of the Three Hundred’s entourage although the fan that sits atop the case is quite big enough. (It’s 140mm versus the 300mm Big Boy.) Also note that the front panel stuff is actually front panel and not part of the top bezel, facing upward. Up is nice if the case is sitting on the floor. At 18-inches high, you could actually put either on your desk–in which case the front-mounted style of the Three Hundred is the better idea.
The Three Hundred has nine bays and they’re easy to fill. With no trays or special supports, the drives slide in place and supplied thumbscrews tack them down. Thumbscrews are also used to hold the 3.5-inch drive bay covers in place. And no, those thumbscrews don’t fall out when they’re loosened and you can slide the covers off the case for better access.
Sliding the ASUS M3A32MVP Deluxe WiFi/AP motherboard in place was just that: it needed to be slided slightly to the right and then repositioned to the left once it was flat. That’s the least juggling I’ve done with any motherboard in quite a while. (Antec’s P160 has a completely removable tray and that was really easy.)
All done in under an hour and no cuts or scraps on me or the case. No, the wiring won’t win any awards but that’s not Antec’s fault. I was able to slip the graphics card and WinTV 500 tuner card in under the wiring so it can’t be all bad. (I’m starting to grow fond of cases with bottom-mounted power supplies. )
Powered up, the case is very quiet –and that’s with the three fans set to “medium.” In fact, the only case I have that’s quieter is the P180 Mini (which is another story for another time). All I can tell you is that, in my experience, Antec has always been a good case maker but it’s getting better as the years go by.