In and Around the Antec Three Hundred Two

As is typical of sub-$100 cases, the Antec Three Hundred Two isn't particularly flashy. We can be thankful it's not gaudy, but the basic plastic finish and extensive ventilation in the front doesn't do a lot for making the Three Hundred Two much of an eye-catcher either.

The outer shell of the Three Hundred Two really is pretty basic and bog standard. Antec employs a black plastic front bezel with ventilated 5.25" drive bay shields and then a massive amount of ventilation in front of the internal drive bays (note that a pair of 120mm fans can also be mounted here). In place of USB 2.0, however, Antec has included a pair of USB 3.0 ports at the top front of the case next to the audio jacks and power and reset buttons. The USB 3.0 ports are controlled off of an internal header, as has become standard with new enclosures over the past few months.

When we get to the side panels, the left side is business as usual, with a single ventilated fan mount for a 120mm intake fan to blow across the expansion cards. The right side, on the other hand, tries something a little different: there's a 120mm fan mount placed directly below the processor socket, behind the cutout in the motherboard tray. I've seen Antec and SilverStone experiment with this, but I'm still waiting for one of them to actually decide it's important enough to mount a fan there in the stock configuration.

The rest of the exterior is more of the same routine. There's a 140mm exhaust fan in the top of the case, and two rubber-grommeted holes for routing liquid cooling tubes. The back features a 120mm exhaust fan as well, but everything's where you'd expect it to be. Can someone explain to me who still uses these liquid cooling holes, especially when even the highest end rigs I've seen from boutiques don't have any use for them? They're included in nearly every case I review as a matter of course, but in a $79 case I'm just not sure what purpose they serve.

When you do remove the thumbscrews from the side panels and pop the Three Hundred Two open, though, you see a more refined build that's in line with modern case design. In an effort to both maximize case width as well as ensure clean cabling, Antec uses a lateral drive cage and then shifts the motherboard tray away from the side a bit to allow for cables to be routed behind it. The side panels are also hinged instead of sliding into notches, making the enclosure easier to open and close.

Antec also supplies a surprisingly effective toolless 5.25" drive locking mechanism as well as decent routing holes in the motherboard tray and a large opening in the tray for mounting cooler backplates, a development prevalent in the industry as a result of Intel's staunch refusal to actually fix their heatsink mounting system. [Ed: Die, push pins, die!]

Ultimately the Three Hundred Two's build and design are fairly straightforward, but it's nice to see more and more advances in case design trickling down like this. This enclosure was clearly designed by people with some sense of what enthusiasts want and require, and they did it all without pushing the price too high.

Introducing the Antec Three Hundred Two Assembling the Antec Three Hundred Two
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  • stren - Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - link

    I have actually drilled my own water cooling ports on my older Antec 300, PM me on the forums if you want to see it. So yes they're good to have. Unusually placed on the top, the rear is much more normal. Glad to see they fixed the major flaws with the old Antec 300, but really they could have gone a few steps further and painted the inside black as well as offering a windowed version. An improvement, but not worth paying $80 imo, there are other better cases out there.
  • mbf - Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - link take the original 300 and make it look like crap. I'm saying this purely from an aesthetic point of view and I'm specifically referring to the the curved front. It seems to be what Antec is best at these days considering the hideous DarkFleet series, the LanBoy Air and also the new P280. It's a shame....
  • GuyIncognito_ - Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - link

    That's exactly what I was thinking!

    The only thing I didn't really like on my 300 was the pair of protrusions on the front. So they made them even bigger! XD

    I hope that either the USB 3.0 panel fits the old 300 or the 300 plastic front fits 300-2.
  • marc0871 - Sunday, February 12, 2012 - link

    the curved front is my greatest issue with this case too.
    the rest of the case on the other hand, is to much of an improvement over the 300 to not put it on my shortlist.
    and pretty high on that too.

    still, i would like to see the 300 bezel on the 302.
  • 8steve8 - Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - link

    why bother reviewing full-size atx cases?

    who buys these clunkers?

    what percentage of people need atx over microatx? why? and for the masses, mini-itx...
  • Stuka87 - Thursday, January 26, 2012 - link

    Are you being serious?
  • bnolsen - Thursday, January 26, 2012 - link

    mostly agreed, but the old 300 is excellent for holding a small raid array excellent drive cooling, etc. I was hoping antec would release a microatx version of the 300 (same number of hard drive bays, dump the extra 5.25's).
  • ZekkPacus - Sunday, January 29, 2012 - link

    The issue is that most hobbyist builders won't have great cable management skills, bigger cases are easier to tidy.

    Added to that, I'll always have full ATX cases. Granted I only run a GPU and a soundcard nowadays, but spacing them out makes me happy. Show me a MicroATX case that has thermals equivalent to an antec eleven hundred/p280/corsair carbide 500r, and as much cable management.

    The P180 mini isn't far off but have you seen the size of it? It's more or less a mid-tower case. Added to which it is now badly out of date.
  • Cybertori - Saturday, February 11, 2012 - link

    I have a Three Hundred that I am very happy with. Only downside is the fan noise, which is kind of inherent in a well-ventilated steel case for gamers. Its nice they went to USB 3.0, and made the side panels easier to attach. Very solid case, easy to work with, and keeps a gaming rig cool and stable.
  • nikhil2004 - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    i brought this cabinet and i m satisfied with the performance.
    unfortunately this one is no longer available, never the less almost all antec products are eequally good...
    i bought it from gave me best price along with COD facility
    try out yourself for best deal on Antec products

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