The new model in the family, named GX300 is designed to provide the essentials, which you need to build a performance gaming system, and a little extra features, which many users may find appealing.
With a standard packaging, not so different from other Antec products, the GX300 features a non-colored carton box with image of the case drawn as well as a black stripe, stating the company name and the “Designed in California” motto. There were several holes on the box itself, however I was pleased to see that the product inside was not damaged.
In a military style text the box stated GX300 on multiple areas and one of the sides was occupied with technical data regarding the case. Since the release of GX300, Antec has announced several more versions of the case and I was supplied with the basic version, which includes one cooling fan and a solid side panel.
|Side of the box
All the versions have the same physical dimensions, coming at 485 mm (H) x 180 mm (W) x 475 mm (D) and 5.45 kg of weight. It is a small case, but hopefully Antec has done the math right in order for the case to be installed with high performance components, which most of the time are large and give you clearance issues. After unpacking the box this is the view I got…
Nylon packaging and hard Styrofoam, I have to say thick enough for the case, as it is not a heavy one by any means. Removing the protective materials I was presented with the GX300 case itself and it is definitely a good looking case for an entry level. I do believe many users will find it appealing and there is a good reason for that.
ANTEC GX300 EXTERIOR
The case is entirely black and it sits slightly at an angle, due to the front stand, giving a distinct posture of the chassis. Overall the paint job is very good, as the plastic and metal elements don’t look different in terms of coloring. Speaking of materials, GX300 is made of steel and plastic, which is used mainly for the panels and stands. The gray Antec logo sits in the middle of the front panel and another logo is present on the left side panel with GX300, written in gray again. A front panel has mesh grill vents all over it and openings on the sides are left to supply fresh air for the frontal fans.
Moving forward with the side panels, they are both extruded to allow more space inside the case, which is a nice touch, as higher CPU coolers might be installed and space for cable management is always a must have. Front and back stands are reliable and provide enough grip for the case, also they have an essential part in the complete looks of the case.
|Top panel||Front stand|
There are openings on the top panel as well, which are for the exhaust air, and the entire top panel is made of mesh grill. Also there is an external hard drive slot, which the basic version doesn’t support, and one of the USB ports is not provided. Examining the top panel further, we can see the integrated fan controller right next to the drive bay, audio jacks, reset and power switches.
The power switch is quite tactile and is easy to press, where as the reset switch is restricted for no accidental restart of the machine and the usual USB 2.0/USB 3.0 port are available here also.
Taking a look around the case I enjoyed the view and at first sight I can say that the build quality is good enough for a case in this price point. Next step in this article will be the interior layout check, so let’s proceed with it and examine the case inside.
ANTEC GX300 INTERIOR
First step is always removing the left side panel and checking what may be inside, not that we don’t know already. There I found the internal layout of the case, including a small, transparent nylon bag with some accessories inside. It was attached firmly between the right side panel and the motherboard tray. Managing to remove it I checked the contents, which I will show you in the photos to follow.
Interior-wise the case seems quite familiar to me, as it was not long ago when I reviewed the GX500, a case with similar specs. GX300 is able to be fitted with Standard ATX, microATX and Mini-ITX motherboards and has a total of 7 expansion slots to be utilized. Large CPU cutout is visible immediately, useful enough for the guys out there having to change their CPU coolers once or twice a month…I am one of those guys, too.
There are slots for 6 drive bays, all of them compatible with 3.5″/2.5″ storage drives. Antec left space for 3 x 5.25″ optical drives, if you are still a fan of those or you just need some discs burned.
And here are the contents of the nylon bag with all the included accessories. The small bags are carefully labeled and all the screws are black to fit the theme of the case. Non-reusable zip ties are provided and should do the job for one complete build. Another nice touch were rubber protectors for the USB ports and audio jacks. They are used for protecting the ports from filling with dust and are also black, which will definitely contribute to the overall black finish of the case if protectors are used.
Lack of rubber grommets is a bit of a minus if you ask me, however with all of the interior being black I believe the big picture will not be disrupted by the missing rubber grommets.
I didn’t like the user manual/guide as it provided no information whatsoever for a newbie user on how to install components inside this case, and since this is a case presented as entry level one I find it a bit confusing. At least a couple of pages would have been enough with basic explanation what goes where. It is not a shame, but if you are a new builder you might have some hard time installing everything without checking the Internet.
- 9 x ATX screws
- 8 x Fan long screws
- 5 x Power + VGA screws
- 8 x ODD+SSD screws
- 2 x rubber plugs for USB ports
- 2 x rubber plugs for audio jacks
- 5 x plastic, non-reusable zip ties
- Long screws for all of the HDD bays.
- 1 x additional MB stand off
Pretty much all you would need if you undergo a system build with GX300 is added to the accessories. And not to forget that all the screws are black painted to match the looks of the case, as some manufacturers still include the non-painted screws that sometimes make you want to go and buy or use a different set of attachment products.
In order for me to provide you as much information about the case as possible, I need to strip it down to the core and see what it is made of and whether it will bend easily, so to speak. First step will be to remove all of the removable parts, then put them back into place while explaining the process and then I will transfer my PC inside GX300 to check its out of the box performance.
||Behind MB tray
Okay, so I was able to quickly disassemble the case, leaving it only with the chassis, take a few pictures, examine it and then put it back together. From what I noticed during the process I can say that the overall build quality is moderate, not because the case would crumble or bend, but there are places where the metal is incredibly thin, almost paper thin. That, as you can imagine leaves a bad impression at least for me. Rest assured, the case will take all the hardware you put inside and it will do it well, but good build quality is one of DVTests main concerns and we just like to see things that are well put together.
And here are all the parts I was able to remove from the case and their short description beginning with the…
- 1 x GX300 steel chassis
- 1 x front mesh grill panel
- 1 x top panel
- 2 x solid side panels
- 1 x removable dust filter
- 1 x 120mm Antec fan
- 1 x front stand
- 1 x rear stand
- 1 x HDD cage
- 6 x HDD plastic rails
- Loads of black screws
And here comes the time when I install the parts on the chassis, explaining what goes where and why. First things to go in are the front and rear stands/feet, front panel and the PSU dust filter. Panel clips into place quite easily and it has also a built-in dust filter to keep the system clean inside if front intake fans are installed. Front and rear feet are made of hard plastic and non-slippery material attached to them to absorb vibrations and to ensure the case will not move around easily. Frontal stands role is to keep the case’s front part at an angle, not commonly seen, but nonetheless it gives an interesting look to the GX300. The stand is secured by four small screws and the rear feet as well.
|Front/rear stands and PSU dust filter||Front panel with dust filter|
In the next step of the assembly process I went with the included fan in GX300. It is 120mm, with a standard frame of 120mm x 120mm x 25mm, black 3-pin cable and black frame to match the interior. Blades are 7 with slight curve to them to provide nice steady airflow as an exhaust. The fan is attached with standard fan screws, however there is a minor important detail – rubber pads which will absorb any vibration being passed from the fan motor to the metal chassis.
||120mm fan installed
Sadly this is the only included fan inside GX300, so I expect the performance to be a bit on the “not great out of the box” side as I would have enjoyed a second fan included as frontal intake. And speaking of additional fans, the case can be equipped with 4 more 120mm fans. Two 120mm on the top and two more on the front, including the 120mm at the rear a total of 5 fans could be placed inside, so if you occupy these slots the case would be performing exceptionally well even with OC-ing.
Other versions of GX300 have LED fans installed which will give the case different look, more appealing to the eyes.
Proceeding further with assembling the chassis the top panel was installed, which is held by four short screws and has a dust filter installed under that mesh grill. To the top panel there the I/O cables, fully black and long enough to give you the necessary flexibility when building your dream machine. The included fan controller is powered by one 4-pin molex connector and has two 3-pin fan connectors available. Another molex connector is present here, used for the LED strip on the front.
Last thing to attach back to the case was the HDD cage, or at least part of it. There are two positions for it, however I find it hard to see what is the purpose of that. In the original position there three slots that could be utilized with 3.5″/2.5″ drives as the rails for them go directly in, but in the second, narrow position, neither the rails can go in, nor a 2.5″ drive. Only benefit that I can think of is the extra space provided for a GPU, the maximum length of a GPU can be up to 400mm.
Here are the provided mounts for the HDD/SSD which are black and have white/transparent rubber mounts to absorb vibrations. Installing a drive is quite a simple process of 4 screws provided in the package, securing the drive firmly.
With that last bit of assembly I believe the time has come to build my system inside the Antec GX300 and check out the performance out of the box, and of course write a conclusion at the end with my thoughts about the case.
ANTEC GX300 TESTS
For the testing I will use an Intel based system with Z87 chipset motherboard.
Intel Z97 Test system
- CPU: Intel i5-4670K
- At standard frequency 3.400 MHz (Voltage set to Auto when not OC-ing)
- Motherboard: ASUS Maximus VII HERO Z97
- Video card: MSI AMD R9 280X GAMING 3G
- Memory: A-Data XPG 8 GB Dual channel, 1600 MHz
- Solid State Drive: Intel 530 Series, 120 GB
- Hard drive: Western Digital 640 GB Black Series
- Case: Antec Nineteen Hundred
- Power supply: Corsair RM750 W
- Cooler: Noctua NH-U12S
- Thermal paste: Noctua NT-H1
The test was conducted in a closed system with:
- 1 x 120mm Antec fan, rotating at maximum RPM range of about 1200 revolutions per minute.
- Room temperature ot about 20 degrees Celsius.
And here I want to describe my testing method.
I will install my test rig inside the case and do CPU and VGA stress tests using AIDA64 and Prime95 stability test for about 10 minutes with these settings:
- CPU: Intel i5-4670K – running at stock voltage and frequency, because after all this case is not enthusiast grade in terms of cooling, but rather an entry level case.
- MSI AMD R9 280X GAMING 3G – running at stock voltage and auto speed control of the fans.
Prime95 test will be with custom settings of minimum FFT size (in K of 128), max FFT size (in K of 128) and Run FFTs in place at standard frequency of 3.400 MHz on the CPU.
Before proceeding with the tests I had to install my test rig inside which was an easy task. Modular PSU is a charm to work with, but if you are an owner of a PSU with all the cables attached you might find it a bit hard to route all of the cables. I would recommend before installing the MB to route the 8/4-pin CPU power cable first, as later there is less space in the case and the hole for that cable is not big enough. Otherwise it is a straight forward process of putting everything where it should be.
Here is the end result with the build:
|Behind MB tray
Clearly there is enough space for the system to go in and I have to be honest that it all looks quite neat and tidy – what a lovely case!
Here is the result from the stress test I conducted:
As I expected temps are not great with that high amount of stress put into the system, so this will be the only test conducted. If more voltage is applied to the CPU the temps inside will become a bit of a concern.
ANTEC GX300 CONCLUSIONS:
After I spent several hours disassembling, assembling, reviewing and later testing the case, I believe it is time to express my thoughts regarding the product.
1. Antec GX300 performance – Well, even though it didn’t blow my mind in terms of cooling I cannot say that the case is performing badly either. I am certain that if more fans are installed it will be a huge improvement as the whole airflow path will be different. Not to mention that there are GX300 variants with two fans included, so performance will vary from version to version. Given the relatively low price tag of the case it could be equipped with additional aftermarket fans to guarantee a steady, cool environment for the hardware inside.
2. Antec GX300 appearance – As I mentioned before in the article the case really has outstanding looks and differs from many of the chassis being sold at that market niche. The slightly angled posture brings a great deal of diversity as well as the sleek overall design. Black version is my personal favorite, and the other colored/window options are prone to success for all the different users out there.
2. Antec GX300 noise level – Being with one fan only, adding the CPU fan and the GPU itself I can say the case is astoundingly silent, which is not a surprise at all. That 120mm included Antec fan, spinning at 1200 RPM is indeed silent and when left spinning at lower RPM you have almost a passive cooling silence in the room.
A job well done, Antec!
I believe Antec GX300 deserves the following reward:
Official price (MSRP): Antec GX300 – €59 (Europe)
Warranty: 36 months
Special thanks to Аntec for providing us with a test sample.