The Core 3300 External
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The Core 3300 Internal
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Round at the front we see the use of another Silent Series R2 fan, again 14cm with 3pin connector and behind the board is a 22mm cavity for wiring. Also in this area behind the board is a location which can accept two 2.5” drives. Our other drive location is the column that runs down the front edge of the system. This allows us to install three drives (vibration dampened), 3.5mm or 2.5mm and can be removed completely by taking out 3 thumbscrews.
Performance and Conclusion
Performance was tested using the i7-4960X and ASRock X79. The case fans used are the hydraulic bearing, 140mm models provided as standard with 1000RPM speed.
Radiator Compatibility from Fractal Design:
Front –30mm thick 240 or 280mm radiator: 15mm fan spacing required for full fastening, radiators with 20mm fan spacing can be used with only the top half fastened to the case. (Radiators of any thickness may be used if all 3.5″ positions are empty).
Top – 30mm thick 240mm radiator (with no components on the upper 11 mm on the motherboard that are taller than 38mm).
Top – 30mm thick 280mm radiator with slim fans.
Rear – 120/140 mm radiator.
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Overall we have found the Core 3300 to be an impressive entry to mid-level case. The build quality is decent with a solid main construction. Yes the front panel is plastic, but it isn’t flimsy and is finished well. It is also easy to remove giving us quick access to clean fans and filters if required.
Elsewhere on the design we get plenty of flexibility on the range of components we can install. As the images above show the case is more than capable of taking some fairly hefty radiators and we could for example add in an E-ATX board, Radeon 295X2 with its radiator, 240mm CPU liquid cooler and a couple of SSDs. Hard to complain about that. Our only note on that config is that the E-ATX boards do cover the wiring holes a little so flat cables are beneficial on the PSU we choose.
The other design aspect worthy of note is the drive install. Having two 2.5” locations behind the motherboard tray is ideal. The column at the front of the case seems oddly located though. We like it as a concept but having it hang down at the other side of the 5.25” bays would make wiring so much easier and tidier. Actually, Fractal could have easily designed the column and case so we could choose which side to attach it.
In terms of performance we get reasonable airflow in the default configuration and the Fractal Design fans are low noise. So all good there. We can of course add plenty more airflow ourselves from both 12cm and 14cm fans but the key aspect of this case is its pricing. At £56 ($75) it is hugely impressive in its flexibility and so wins our value award.
Price: Dabs.com – £56.61