Fractal Design Core 3300 Reviewir_cow -
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Fractal Design Core 3300: Introduction
Today we take a look at the Fractal Design Core 3300, which is Fractal Designs newest chassis line-up launched earlier this year, containing a mixture of Core X3 and X5 chassis. The Swedish-based company has popped up in North America last year, continuing to bring new ideas to the market while it has been steadily growing. Currently priced around $70, it lays in the middle of the Core series, between the smaller 1000 and larger 3500 chassis. The Core 3300 falls under the higher range of the competition compared to other mid towers price-wise. In that case, the price has its advantages by adding more features like Silent Series R2 fans, a new vertical hard drive bracket, and of course AIO (All In One) water cooling support. This chassis has some hidden gems, so let's dive into this review and see what it has to offer.
Fractal Design Core 3300: Closer Look
Once the packaging is removed and the chassis is revealed, you can see that the Core 3300 uses common design elements of a simplistic style. Though technically falling under the Core X3, each of Fractal Design core chassis has a unique look, but overall similar in the front panel design. The major difference between the X3 and X5 series is the hard drive cage area and fan controller added to the X5. The Core 3300 falls under the X3 category with it a unique hard drive bracket (covered later) and a windowless side panel.
Before getting further, let me first give you a run-down of the exterior of this chassis. From left to right: the front has two exposed 5.25" bays with the I/O ports right above on the top panel. On the back of the chassis is supplied what should be standard for a modern tower. These items include a 140mm rear fan, seven PCIe expansion slots, and spacing for a bottom mounted power supply. Moving on, the left panel includes a vent for either 120 or 140mm fan to allow airflow directly onto the video cards. Finally, the right panel is solid with little extra space for cables to be routed behind the panel.
Looking at the top of the chassis, there is a decent amount of space, allowing for more fan options. To start, at the front, all the I/O ports are lined up front and center, which is a design choice well suited for the style the chassis is going for. The top has no dust filters to speak of, but the option to install up to two 140mm fans is available with support for limited water cooling options like up to an 280mm radiator.
The bottom has a dust filter that covers the whole bottom vented section. In this case, the dust filter is a single long filter rather than split into two, as is often seen in other chassis. Removing the dust filter involves pushing down the clip to release and pulling on the filter lightly for it come out. In reverse, installing just requires pushing lightly and it will click into place.