Pros: painted interior, cable management, CPU cutout, toolless everything, sleek professional look , silent fans, bottom mounted filtered PSU
Cons: cannot fit a 240 radiator at the top without slim fans, no filter supplied for top and side, short HD Audio cable
This is a great case on a budget, but there have been some corners cut. It has decent airflow and stock fans don't push much air but are relatively quiet.
Sturdy build , thicker metal than Cooler Master 690 II
Dust filter in front and bottom of the chassis
Decent price when it is on sale for $50-60
Fits full size ATX and full size GPUs (17.7")
170mm CPU coolers fit
Tool-less 5.25" drive bays
Vibration grommets for HDDs
Vented PCI slot covers
Cable routing holes
17.7 x 19.1 x 8.3 inches (HxWxD) is a nice size
Better thermals for the CPU than the 200R and other cheap cases
Can fit two 140mm fans on top, front and side (most cases can only fit 120mm or 200mm on sides and front)
Bottom mounted PSU with PSU filter
case elevated from floor using the same foot design as Obsidian 650D
Well painted interior
Doesn't look like a Christmas tree (lighted fans on the higher models)
The power button is not spring loaded, so sometimes you don't know if it's pressed.
You need to route the HD Audio cable creatively if you have a ATX motherboard
Front fan filter isn't easily removable (500R has the same issue)
Want fan filters for the side and top? That's about $20-30 of corner cutting right there. The 400R also has the same issue, lacking top and side fan filters ; 500R lacks side filter
Want grommets? Drop $15 on Corsair 800D/700D grommets for $15+shipping (for me this is $8-11...), and you will have extras you won't know what to do with.
No USB 3.0 to USB 2.0 adapter kit available from Corsair
I have 3 USb 2.0 headers on my motherboard but nowhere to plug them in without buying a 5.25" bay.
A fan in the bottom middle like the 200R would do wonders for GPU temps and for Dwood bracket radiators
Needed EPS extension for motherboard to be connected to PSU (probably PSU cable's fault) = $8
No rubber vibration mount for PSU
* Does not need motherboard standoffs , uses bumps that may cause shorting if you're not careful
* Don't put a loud GPU in it since the hexagonal cut panel next to the GPU will vibrate , noise is the 300R's biggest con
* Need screws for SSD mounting
* Unlike Antec ONE & Xigmatek Asgard Pro, the 5.25" drive bay covers and PCI slot covers can be replaced (they are not breakout covers)
* Alternative is Fractal Define R4 , with fan swap. (About twice as expensive) or Fractal Design Arc Midi (not the R2 with the window), also with fan swap ... the advantage those have is the bottom fan mount + 140mm rear fan , Midi R2 has filters on top , Define R4 has 2 removable foam pieces on top where fans normally go
* Purchased for $70 and received $20 MIR a month after , this case has a higher MSRP but $70 is the max I would pay for it
* There's a trade-off of sound and thermals. If you get a loud CPU cooler don't bother with this case , even if the CPu cooler will spin lower. It's better to get quiet components and a case with good thermals instead of loud components and a quiet case that will end up cooking your parts.
*** 1°C better than Fractal Define R4 according to Vortez: http://www.vortez.net/articles_pages/fractal_design_define_r4,10.html
*** a few °C better according to Anandtech http://www.anandtech.com/show/6102/fractal-design-define-r4-case-review-evolution-not-revolution/6
* Notched side panels rather than hinged ones , but hinged ones are usually only on $100+ cases anyhow.
* 170mm clearance for CPU coolers, I measured 10mm from top of Noctua NH-D14 fin stack.
* the top mesh is only attached by tabs created by folding the top mesh into the top part of the case (so this may account for added vibration from fans on top, so a radiator would be a worse idea) .. while it looks like the top of a Vengeance C70 / Obsidian 350D this is a big difference
* 140mm front intake fan is supposedly the same one as in the new Obsidian 350D / 900D : 140mm Corsair A1425L12S 1000 RPM +/- 20% 54.0 CFM 20dBA 0.30A 3 pin , Intake Static Pressure 0.67 H20
* 120mm exhaust fan is 120mm Corsair A1225M12S 1200 RPM +/- 10% 32.95 CFM 18dBA .11+/- .02A 3 pin , Exhaust Static pressure 0.69 H20
--> see http://www.hardware.fr/articles/874-12/comparatif-63-ventilateurs-120mm-dc.html
--> same one as Vengeance C70 , Obsidian 650D stock 120mm fan
see also http://forum.corsair.com/forums/showthread.php?p=602542
How I would improve it
* Make it easy to remove front panel filter for cleaning (500R also has this issue)
* Make it a bit higher (5mm?) so that radiators fit in the top
* Include grommet kit as purchasable for $5-10 shipped
* Make the PSU filter extend further and then add a 120mm/140mm fan mount on bottom