In Win 303 Case Review: Page 3 of 6
Posted by Damon Bailey on Thursday, July 7, 2016 - 8:00am
Closer Look – Exterior
Let’s start with a tour of the exterior of the case. The entire left side of the case is a monolithic pane of tempered glass. There is no frame, only a narrow bar at the bottom that has tabs that lock into the bottom of the chassis, and the narrow band at the top that contains the latching mechanism along with the low profile exterior handle. The entire side can be released and removed by simply depressing the button on the top inside of the handle, tilting the panel outwards a bit, and lifting it clear of the chassis. Closing it is even easier, simply set the tabs on the door bottom into the slots on the case, and tilt it closed until you hear it latch. No more wrestling with getting the top and bottom aligned at the same time, no more case screws in holes that never quite line up right, no more headaches. If you are someone who gets into your machine frequently, you will really love this setup!
Next, we’ll move around to the rear of the case. Here you can find the usual ATX I/O areas including the motherboard I/O and 7 card expansion slots. Just to the outside of the motherboard opening, you can find a 120mm fan space that can also be used for a single 120mm radiator, such as what hybrid GPU’s and some ‘All in One’ coolers use. At the top, we see the ATX Power supply area that can handle even the longest and largest power supplies thanks to the innovative dual chamber design that runs the length of the case.
One thing to note is that the power supply can only be mounted in one direction. On most power supplies, this will leave the main intake fan facing the windowed side of the case rather than the grill on the right side. If you water cool, this could leave your PSU sucking in the already warm exhaust of your radiator. While many high end power supplies boast temperature tolerances fit for an industrial environment, this could put extra strain on a heavily taxed power supply, so keep that in mind. I did find while mounting the power supply, that the PSU is designed to rest fully on the bottom of this compartment rather than only hanging from the screws. Those with heavy, high wattage power supplies will probably like this, but it did make the mounting screw holes a bit more snug than usual.
Another thing to notice is the Motherboard I/O shield is only held on the two longer sides, allowing it to slide several millimeters up and down after installation. This allows the shield to adjust a bit for perfect alignment, but relies on audio or video ports, Wifi antenna jacks, or something similar on your motherboard protruding through the shield to keep it in place over its own springy mounting. Having run across cases with I/O shields that don’t line up 100% myself, I kind of like it, but I’ll leave this up to you to decide if it’s a good thing or not.
The last thing to point out, the expansion card area is covered only by the removable blanks. There are no strips between them like most cases, so if you remove the blanks, you can open this entire area up. This keeps the normal strips of metal from partially obscuring recessed ports such as HDMI and Display Port on your GPU.
Moving on around to the right side, we find a smooth door with a rather unique stamped honeycomb grill design for the main case exhaust, and two low profile captive thumb screws to secure it. It installs and removes nearly the same way as the glass panel, and in fact can be mounted on the left side of the case in place of the glass panel, however, the class door cannot be installed on this side, although I’m really not sure why you would want to anyway.
Moving around one last time, we get a good view of the sleek front of the case. The front is adorned only with the power button, small reset button, a hard drive activity led, and one of the other neat features of this case. The In Win logo and front I/O ports are all illuminated while the system is powered on in a pleasing neon blue color. The front ports consist of two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 (Type A) ports, and the standard 3.5mm headphone and microphone jacks. The industry has been trending away from optical drives in favor of digital downloads and flash based media, so you will not find a 5.25” or even a 3.5” drive bay. If you require an external bay for a drive, or any another front bay device, you’ll have to come up with another solution.
Now let’s take a look at the inside.