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Fractal Design Core Series 3300 Mid-Tower Chassis Review

By: Chad Sebring | Mid-Tower Cases in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Sep 4, 2014 9:10 pm
TweakTown Rating: 94%Manufacturer: Fractal Design

Inside the Core 3300

 

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The front bezel pops right off to clean the side venting when needed, and it also shows the front I/O is attached to the chassis. There is a breakout plate in the lower 5.25" drive, and we can see the fan at the front is inset into the frame to give it a good chance of drawing in air.

 

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Our first look inside shows that things are left to pretty much flop around at will. The wiring is tied behind the tray and run through again to minimize its movement, but the hardware box broke free of the tie on the storage plate, and we found it as you see it. However, without a window to protect, it doesn't matter too much.

 

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The pair of 5.25" bays are a permanent fixture in this design, and are not easily removed for extra cooling capacity. There also aren't any tool-less mechanisms in place, but thumbscrews are offered to ease the installation of drives and devices here.

 

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This way of handling storage drives is new to Fractal. This plate is held in place with three thumbscrews for easy removal to install 2.5" drives on one side, while 3.5" drives hang on the other, both clear of video cards.

 

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With the storage plate out of the way, we can see how the steel is cut, bent, and inset to offer the fan mounting. This not only sets the fans further from the bezel for better air flow, but it also makes the front of the chassis much stronger due to the bends, so it can hold the weight of water cooling bits.

 

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While the motherboard tray is only marked for ATX, and Micro-ATX motherboards, it will also fit Mini-ITX, and even EATX motherboards as long as they aren't so wide as to run into the 5.25" bays. We also see four management holes, a large access hole in the middle, and six tie points to tame wiring. Also, there are holes near the bottom of the tray that will allow you to mount 2.5" drives to the back of this tray, allowing storage options for those who want to use a thick radiator in the front.

 

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The floor of the chassis has the same honeycomb mesh as the top, and along with the fan location, we find the rubber pads to support the PSU. It is tough to see the outline, but there is also a padded gasket on the back to tighten the PSU to for complete isolation of the PSU from the case.

 

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Near the top, we find the eleven white blades and black frame of the R2 Series 140mm fan that matches the front fan; both are powered via three-pin fan connections. The seven expansion slots are also white to match the white trim of the fans. Thumbscrews are used to secure these and the expansion cards.

 

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The 22mm measurement taken for this chassis is from the inside of the frame to the nearest bumps of the motherboard tray. In some areas there is a little more room, but where the tray ends, it is less before you move all the way left to an unlimited amount of room for whatever you need.

 

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The length of the cabling is fairly short in our opinion; it does reach where it is intended to go, but just barely, and without much slack. All of the cables are black, and ribbon cables are used for the HD Audio and button and LED connections, leaving the native USB 3.0 connection off to the right.

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