Corsair 300R Case ReviewBluePanda - April 11, 2012
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Taking away a side panel I get my first look inside. The internal cables for the front I/O panel are nicely tucked away and a nice little cardboard box is mounted in the HDD bay, full of screws and what have you, to get your build put together. Looking at the mobo tray, you’ll notice a center brass stand-off to hold your board in place – but you’ll notice in a few pictures as well, there are no other stand-offs. The little raisers built in are the only stand-offs you’ll need. I find it somewhat a relief, as if you’ve ever gotten a screw stuck in a stripped stand-off before, you understand issues I’ve had. Neat idea, but it definitely does limit the boards that will fit in here.
Pulling off the other side panel we can get a look all the way through. The gap behind the CPU is massive. There’s plenty of room to work with your odd CPU back plate and keep all the heat from being trapped right behind your board. The pass-throughs for cables seem to be nice and large for Molex, PCI-E and SATA connectors to push through without problem. No grommets are included to hide the extra mess, but the holes are rounded over so there aren’t any sharp edges to deal with.
The three optical drive bays are easy tool-less mount bays. There’s only room for three, which makes me wonder what the wasted space below was for. It almost looks like another set of HDD bays could have been included, but for this model weren’t. There are screw holes behind the tool-less mounts, so if you have an unusual front bay item, you’ll be able to secure it with screws.
The HDD bay at the bottom of the case supports four drives including HDD or SSD options. The drive holders are the usual semi-flexible plastic that allows you to easily mount a HDD. The SSD mounting holes are still only off to one side, so you’ll have to pull out one of the metal pins that are there for HDDs. For some reason most companies haven’t addressed this issue (though a few have offered center mount holes for SSDs to avoid loss of a pin).
The bottom of the case has lifters for your PSU to sit on as well as holes we’ve seen in the 600T for an added support bracket to add additional support to your PSU. However, this seems to be the stripped guts of multiple Corsair cases thrown in one. A fan filter is mounted to the bottom, which can be pulled off for cleaning, but it’s mostly there to keep out the big dust bunnies.
In the rear of the case you can see the mounted 120mm fan. It’s a pretty basic fan, nothing too special other than it is at least included. The hole in the mobo tray seems even more extreme in size from this angle – you are guaranteed your CPU bracket will be accessible, no matter how oddly it’s on there. There’s room up top for a couple fans, either 120mm or 140mm, it is up to you; you can put in whatever you want. You can see the catches for the side panels on the front edge as well as the back edge of the case. Any of you with older or cheaper cases know how frustrating lining the side panels up perfectly is. Although newer cases have better methods for getting your panels back on, the old school punishment is back with this case. I’m genuinely not impressed with the innards of the 300R.
A quick start guide was included with the case, to help you when you just aren’t sure what you are doing it can give you some idea perhaps. Like I mentioned, there aren’t any stand-offs included, but that’s because you don’t need them (good and bad in my mind). You do get a few zip ties to help with cable management and a few different screw types to mount your mobo and other random hardware. It’s nothing too special, and you’ve been left with the minimum you’ll need to get it all up and running, provided you deliver the hardware.
Hardware in and it doesn’t look so bad. Getting things in place was surprisingly pretty easy. All the cut-outs were decent sized for cable routing and things just seemed to fit into place (as compared to some pain in the arse cases I’ve dealt with). The only real issue was putting the side panels back on. As always, the back panel required some effort to squash down some cables and with the old school panel mounting it was hard to line up the top and bottom at the same time without an extra knee to hold it in. All-in-all, it got the job done; it held my hardware in place and didn’t cause me to throw it across the room while putting it all together. That is a plus on any day.