While aesthetically pleasing, this chassis is not over-the-top in any real way on the outside, but it does offer a lot to be liked. On the outside, this chassis simply offers a brushed looking appearance to the main section of the bezel, long strips of venting kicked back at an angle, and lots of black textured steel. As the chassis is shipped with two fans, that is how we tested things, and we found that this chassis has very good ventilation even as it sits.
Of course, having the option to fill the other five locations with fans will only increase this case's thermal efficiency. Although, even with its equalized air flow, all optional fan locations would bend the flame of a lighter as the fans make them draw air in passively from their flow. We also liked the LED placement on the top of the chassis, since it is highly unlikely that we will be blinded by it, or kept up at night from it shining across the room at you. And this is just the outside and one aspect of cooling that we have covered.
Inside of the chassis, the amount of room afforded for gear is really impressive for a mid-tower. Removing the lower storage bays and opting for the plate is a great compromise for the majority of users out there. Not many still run a bunch of spinners these days, as this is why NAS is so popular. Even so, with room for a total of eight drives throughout the chassis, there is ample room for many terabytes of information.
When it comes to the motherboard tray, we may be left with less access holes and tie points than in many other offerings; but really, EATX motherboards in a mid-tower?. Nicely played Fractal. Even as we tried to encroach on the GPU by installing a HDD right where it would cross the chassis, we found there is plenty of room, even enough that powering plugs on that side of the card versus the end will not cause issues either. Everywhere you look in this chassis, it would appear Fractal has thought of everything. Even so, they have kept to the white trimmed, black cases we have come to know, and also kept the super solid structural design that we love about the "tanks" that Fractal Design releases under the guise of cases.
Now, we aren't going to try to tell you this is the sexiest case on the market, but we are here to tell you that you are getting a ton of bang for your buck when purchasing the Core 3300. Structural integrity is a huge issue when it comes to economically friendly designs, and Fractal Design has proven that you don't have to skimp on the metal thickness, or in the way it is bent, connected to each other, or otherwise supported. While we may not have grommets, it has been a while since we have seen the use of a PSU gasket, and they do have their advantages. The front pops right off for easy cleaning, and the removable dust filter is short enough not to be impossible to pull out of the back. The drive plate is a terrific addition to the design, and leaves a ton of room to allow for pumps, reservoirs, and with it removed, only the video card length will restrict the thickness of the radiator that can be installed there.
While a Windowed side panel option would be cool, for what the Core 3300 offers, how can you pass it up when it will only set you back $67.99? The likelihood that you can pass it up is rather low, and we don't blame you either, as we will be recommending this chassis to others for all the reasons we have stated.
PRICING: You can find the Fractal Design Core 3300 for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The Core 3300 retails for $67.99 at Amazon.
Canada: The Core 3300 retails for CDN$70.54 at Amazon Canada.
- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging]
- Page 3 [Fractal Design Core 3300 Mid-Tower Chassis]
- Page 4 [Inside the Core 3300]
- Page 5 [Accessories and Documentation]
- Page 6 [Case Build and Finished Product]
- Page 7 [Final Thoughts]
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