Antec Three Hundred Two
When I set out to build a system I usually pick a case that fits with the level of parts I'm putting in it. Some users get the fanciest case they can find, some the lowest cost shell they can get a hold of, and some don't even bother with a case but rather just use the box the motherboard comes in. So to try and hit this wide range of tastes most manufactures have their flagship lines, middle of the road lines, and the budget line.
Antec has multiple style lines and levels in each. In Antec's Gaming line at the top end you have the Twelve Hundred and Eleven Hundred, in the middle the Nine Hundred Two, and for the budget minded the Three Hundred One. Today, we are looking at the newly refreshed Three Hundred Antec is calling the Three Hundred Two and is aimed at the budget minded user.
The Three Hundred Two has received several new updates. The interior has been updated to be similar to what Antec did with the Eleven Hundred. Some of the updates include making the hard drive and 5.25" bays tool-less, upping the expansion slots from 7 to 8, adding wire routing holes to help improve cable management, front USB3 with internal header connection, and adding mounting points for 2.5" drives.
Antec also added some changes to the cooling aspect of the Three Hundred Two. The old TriCool fans are now replaced with the new 2 speed TwoCool fans. The Three Hundred Two comes with a 140mm TwoCool fan in the top, and a 120mm TwoCool fan in the rear. Antec provides space for 4 more 120mm fans: 2 as front intake and one in each side panel. Antec also gave the Three Hundred Two the new side accessible PSU dust filter, and the front panel also has a removable dust filter as well.
Let's take a quick look at the features and then move on to looking over the Three Hundred Two.
Features of the Antec Three Hundred Two
- Removable, washable PSU air filter and front intake filter
- Rear 120 mm TwoCool™ fan / Top 140 mm TwoCool™ fan / 4 optional fans
- Maximum graphics card length: 12.5" (318 mm)
- 3 tool-less optical drive bays
- Cable routing holes behind the motherboard tray
- Side 120 mm fan mount to cool graphics cards
- 120 mm cooling fan mount behind motherboard
Specifications of the Antec Three Hundred Two
- Model: Three Hundred Two Case
- Type: Mid-Tower
- Color: Black
- Cooling System
- One 120 mm rear TwoCool™ fan
- One 140 mm top TwoCool™ fan
- Two 120 mm front intake fans (optional)
- One 120 mm side intake fan (optional)
- One 120 mm side exhaust fan behind motherboard (optional)
- Perforated front bezel for maximum air intake
- Top water cooling grommets
- Enlarged CPU Cutout
- Three 5.25” tool-less drive bays
- Two 2.5” drive bays (dedicated)
- Six 3.5” tool-less drive bays
- Two USB 3.0 with internal motherboard connector
- Audio In/Out
- Unit Dimensions (HxWxD): 20.2x9x18.5" (513x229x471mm)
- Package Dimensions (HxWxD): 22.2x11.4x20.7" (565x290x525mm)
- Net Weight: 15.3 lb (6.9 kg)
- Gross Weight: 18.7 lb (8.5 kg)
Unboxing the Three Hundred Two
The box for the Three Hundred Two is in usual Antec style.
The top of the box has all the specifications in multiple languages.
One end of the box has a nice overall image of the Three Hundred Two.
The other side has a nice interior shot showing the layout of the Three Hundred Two.
On the back is a series of images of the Three Hundred Two's features along with text about each.
The case comes wrapped in plastic and cradled in foam caps.
Looking Closer at the Three Hundred Two
The Three Hundred Two is a mid tower chassis. Its overall looks are not too aggressive, and just ever so slightly updated from the original Three Hundred. The sides of the front bezel have a slight outward curve to them, where the original was straight. The left side panel still has a mount for an optional user installed 120mm fan.
The front I/O has been updated as well. The arrangement is the same, but the USB ports have been updated to be USB3. So left to right, two USB3 ports, Audio ports, reset button, and power button.
The top rear of the case still has a 140mm exhaust fan. What has been changed is the fan has been updated from the old 3 speed TriCool 140mm to the new 2 speed TwoCool 140mm fan. On low the fan pushes 33.6 CFM @ 21.8 dBA, on high 58.9 CFM @ 26 dBA. Antec also decided to add water cooling pass through holes to the Three Hundred Two, something that the original did not have. For the life of me I do not understand why they put them on the top rear left corner of the case, rather than on the back where they are typically.
On the lower left of the case Antec gave the Three Hundred Two the side accessible PSU dust filter that they introduced with the Performance One P280.
On the right side panel Antec added the 120mm fan mount behind the CPU socket.
On the back there are a couple of more updates. There are now 8 expansion slots and the speed controls for the rear and top fans can now be accessed from outside the case.
To gain some room inside the expansion slots are flush to the back of the case. The retention screws for the expansion cards are now outside the case.
So there is room for installation of the cards a large slot is in the back of the case and covered with a cover plate. Not really a security feature as the plate is attached from the outside. It is mainly to cover the slot in the back of the case.
On the bottom of the case are the stick on style rubber feet.
Inside the Antec Three Hundred Two
Pulling the side panels off we can get a look inside the Three Hundred Two. The Interior is not painted; it is a budget minded case. The layout is where the more noticeable changes from the original Three Hundred design are. The hard drive cage now runs side to side, rather than front to back, and are now tool-less. The 5.25" bays are tool-less. The motherboard tray has a massive CPU cutout, and now sports wire routing holes. The accessories come packed in a baggy and wire tied to the hard drive cage.
There is space for six 3.5" hard drives. The drives mount to the cage with drive rails. Since Antec went with rails rather than trays there is no option of mounting 2.5" drive in the drive cage.
There are two mounting points for 2.5" drives. First is on the floor of the case between the power supply and the main hard drive cage. The second is up on the motherboard tray near the CPU cut out.
Under the PSU is the side accessible dust filter. This can be removed from the side without removing the side panel.
Above that are the expansion slot covers. From the back of the case to the hard drive cage you have room for video cards up to 12.5" long.
In the top rear are the exhaust fans. The 120mm fan is powered with a standard 3 pin connector. The 140mm on the other hand is powered with 4 pin molex connector.
On the right side of the case there isn't a lot behind the motherboard tray. There are tabs for tying down the wires.
Looking closer we can see the second 2.5" drive mount area. With a full size ATX board installed the two mounting screws closest to the CPU cutout will be covered by the board. So to remove the drive later the board would need to be removed.
Pulling the front bezel off we can see the mounts for two user installed 120mm fans.
The I/O ports are attached to the case frame, so when the bezel is pulled off there are no wires mess with.
The intake dust filter on the inside of the front bezel is removable. The screen snaps into place; to remove it for cleaning the bezel has to be removed.
Installing the System into the Three Hundred Two
Antec provides all that is need to mount your parts into the Three Hundred Two.
I was able to get a clean looking install even with my non-modular power supply. I did run into a couple of things while doing my install.
With the Three Hundred Two being a mid-tower and having 8 expansion slots the motherboard is close to the top of the case. Close enough that my Prolimatech CPU Super Mega cooler gets rather close to the fan. So if your CPU cooler hangs over the top edge of your motherboard it is not going to work in this case.
If your motherboard is like mine and has the 8 pin CPU power connector in the upper corner of the motherboard then you will encounter the same thing I did trying to get the power cable plugged in. There is a small gap at the top of the case that I was able to wiggle the 2x 4 pin connector my power supply has through. If your power supply uses a solid 8 pin connector you may not get it routed this way.
Behind the motherboard tray I was able to run my wires and had no issues getting the side panel back on. Since my power supply is not modular I stashed the extra wires in the bottom of the hard drive cage. Also, since my motherboard does not have an internal USB3 header I just stashed the cable behind the motherboard tray for now. It would have been nice if there was a USB3 to USB2 adaptor cable, but if you’re building new there stands a good chance your board will have a USB3 header.
Final Thoughts on the Antec Three Hundred Two
Antec set out to refresh and update their Gaming Series Three Hundred with the Three Hundred Two and they did a very nice job. The outer style changes were subtle, but the changes to the interior improved the Three Hundred a lot. The new tool-less drive bays, drive bay layout, and addition of cable management, USB3, the 8th expansion slot, and very nice build quality make the Three Hundred Two a very nice little case for under $70.
In my time with the Three Hundred Two I didn’t run into any major issues, a couple of minor things on cable routing, and a couple head scratchers. Installation was quick, and I was able to get a very clean look for using a non-modular power supply.
For the cable routing a little more gap at the top would help in getting the connectors like the 8 pin CPU connector through without having to wrestle the system around trying to finagle connector through the small space currently there.
As for the head scratchers: I am at a loss on the placement of the water cooling pass through holes. I can understand why they were put there due to the cover bracket on the expansion slots. The original Three Hundred didn’t have the pass through holes; maybe Antec could have left them off instead of putting them on the top of the case. The other head scratcher is the 2.5” drive mount on the motherboard tray. With the motherboard mounted up 2 of the 4 mounting screws are covered. This means if the drive has issues you have to pull the motherboard to get the drive out of the system.
In my searching online I was able to find a wide range of prices for the Antec Three Hundred Two. On our shopping link I found Amazon had the best price at $73.89 shipped. If you are a fan of Newegg they have it for 69.99 plus shipping. Coming in at the $70 mark the Three Hundred Two is easy on the wallet and does the job very nicely. At that price point it has some competition from the Cooler Master HAF 912 and Lian Li Lancool PC-K57. Both are aimed at gamers and have slightly more aggressive looks. What the Three Hundred Two has over them is the 8th expansion slot and USB3.
Legit Bottom Line: With the Three Hundred Two Antec has brought some nice features to a budget minded case, but I am not quite sure what Antec was thinking about with the placement of the water cooling holes.