In a world of nearly unlimited choices when it comes to PC cases, manufacturers are always looking to find the “next big thing” that consumers want. These features seem to come in waves, and once unique features like LED lighting, fan filters, and tool-less designs are now almost a given in modern cases. In Win has been known to employ the use of glass panels that make up nearly the entire side of a case, and their new 303 case follows that trend. This new ATX chassis has a simple, yet modern look, pieced together with a combination of steel and glass. Continue along as we take a look at the In Win 303.
As with all products, there are a few standout features on the 303 that we would like to cover. Without standout features to differentiate one product from another, we would live in a pretty boring world. Lets take a look at a few things that make the In Win 303 stand out from the crowd.
Tool-less Side Panel – The 303 offers a more traditional steel side panel featuring the In Win logo and two thumb screws, or, as our review sample features, a tinted glass side panel with an easy to use handle. Simply squeezing in on the handle allows the side panel to hinge down from the top. A plastic bezel on the bottom of the panel features two tabs that make it easy to re-align the panel when putting it back into place.
Illuminated Front I/O Panel – The 303 features what In Win calls “Radiant Luminosity”, an almost neon looking blue lighting feature that illuminates an In Win logo, along with the audio ports and four USB ports (2x USB 2.0 and 2x USB 3.0) that reside on the front of the case.
|Case Type||Mid Tower|
|Case Material||SECC, Tempered Glass|
|M/B Compatibility||12″ x 10.7″ ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX|
|Expansion Slots||PCI-E x 7|
|Maximum Compatibility||VGA Card Length:350mm|
CPU Heatsink Height :160mm
|Front Ports||2 x USB 3.0|
2 x USB 2.0
|Internal Drive Bays||2 x 3.5″|
2 x 2.5″
Pre-installed (Max. up to 3 bays)
|Thermal Solution Compatibility||1 x 120mm Rear Fan / 120mm Radiator|
3 x 120mm Top Fan / 360mm Radiator
3 x 120mm Bottom Fan
|Power Supply Compatibility||PSII: ATX12V|
– Length up to 200mm
(H x W x D)
|500mm x 215mm x 480mm|
19.6″ x 8.4″ x 18.8″
(H x W x D)
|335mm x 610mm x 572mm|
13.1″ x 24″ x 22.5″
|Net Weight||10.88kg / 24lb|
|Gross Weight||13.02kg / 28.7lb|
As mentioned in our introduction, the In Win 303 has a mostly plain exterior at first glance. Available in black or white, the 303 has a mostly steel build, with a few plastic features here and there. Aside from the two color choices, the 303 is also available with either a steel side panel with an In Win logo, or a full tinted window side panel like our review sample has. While there doesn’t seem to be a lot of excess material in this case, it is very heavy, weighing a hefty 24 pounds when empty. Toss in your components and this case can be quite a load. Thankfully all of that weight is constructed in a way that gives the 303 a very solid feel.
The front panel of the 303 is essentially a solid panel of black steel, save for the power and reset buttons, an illuminated In Win moniker, the four USB ports, and a headphone and microphone jack. Interestingly, all of these front-mounted connections, along with the In Win panel, are illuminated with a light blue glow when powered on. And while there has been some pushback towards blue lighting in many facets of technology lately, mostly related to eye stress, the glow from the front of the case doesn’t seem to be too overwhelming. As is with many new cases, there is no option for mounting an external 5.25″ drive in the In Win 303.
Moving to the left side of the case, we are presented with the aforementioned glass panel that gives a tinted view into the 303. A plastic frame along the top and bottom of the panel provide the mounting hardware for this side, and it really helps keep the look clean. The top frame hosts a lever that can be opened to let the side panel swing down for easy removal, while the bottom frame has two tabs that fit into the frame of the case for easy panel alignment. It is truly a breeze to get in and out of this side of the case.
The right side of the case features a unique hexagonal pattern across the top third of the case. This pattern is actually used as passive ventilation for the case, as you are not able to mount fans directly to the side panel. Thankfully just behind the hexagon pattern are interior fan mounting options which we will go into more detail about when looking at the interior of the case. The right side panel is held on with two large thumb screws at the top of the panel, and the bottom is held in place by tabs similar to those on the left side.
The rear section of the In Win 303 is very plain, with a “no nonsense” approach to aesthetics. Your standard cutouts for the motherboard I/O shield and expansion cards are present as expected, and a single 120mm fan mount is available for exhaust duties. Note that no fan is included here, or anywhere else in the 303, so be prepared to use fans you may already have, or purchase new units for the 303. A vertical cutout for the power supply resides at the top of the back panel.
Taking a look at the bottom of the 303 shows us the bulk of the plastic on the case, as the front and back risers of the case are comprised of molded plastic. Sitting between the two feet risers is a removable fan filter that keeps the optional three 120mm bottom-mounted fans clean.
After removing the glass side panel from the left side of the 303, we are presented with a case interior that has almost been sectioned off into a top 1/3rd and a bottom 2/3rd section. At the top of the case is an open hexagonal patterned panel that serves as both a fan mount for up to three 120mm fans or even a liquid cooling radiator mount, as well as a bit of a cable management area. The power supply resides in the rear section of this upper compartment and is mounted in a way that allows it to pull warm air from the interior of the case and exhaust it out the back.
The lower 2/3rds of the 303’s interior are dedicated to motherboard, storage drive, and cooling options. The interior of the 303 is coated in the same black paint that adorns the exterior of the case. As far as we could find, all edges have been sanded and rounded as to not be a danger when working inside the case. At the bottom of the 303’s interior are three 120mm fan mounts, filtered by the previously mentioned removable filter. Depending on the installed motherboard and the headers (USB, audio, front panel buttons) used in a build, it may be quite cramped to fully utilize this cooling option. Unfortunately, this is the only real intake option available on the 303, and really has us wondering why In Win didn’t come up with some sort of solution for a front intake while still keeping with the simple aesthetics of the front of the case.
Another feature found on many new cases that is also found inside the In Win 303, is the presence of 2.5″ drive mounting options on the unused section of the motherboard tray. Two removable 2.5″ drive trays allow for the installation of two drives that are visible, so that you can show off your all SSD storage builds. Between the two mounting positions is a cutout for keeping power and SATA cables as hidden as possible. An additional 2.5″ tray can be purchased to utilize the third visible mounting position within the 303 as well. Next to the 2.5″ mounts is a section of mount points used for installing the included GPU holder that can help keep your graphics card from sagging.
Multiple cutouts in the motherboard tray are available to help keep cabling clean, but we would have really liked to have seen some rubber grommets in these holes, as we think they help out quite a bit. A quite large cutout resides behind the CPU area of the motherboard and should provide plenty of room on the backside to enable users to swap out cooling options without tearing their whole rig down. While there is quite a bit of room to route most SATA and ATX power connections on the 303, we would have liked to have seen a larger cutout below the motherboard to help keep the motherboard header connections a bit more tidy. As is, these connections have to run along the bottom of the motherboard and over to a cutout to the side.
On the right side of the case above the motherboard tray we have open access to the upper chamber where the power supply will reside. A modular power supply will allow users to better utilize this upper chamber for cooling, as after installing optional fans at the top of the case, exhaust can more freely flow out the side panel venting. A little more or an opening between the upper and lower sections would have been welcome, as things can get a bit tight when trying to route all of the power supply cables through the provided opening.
Behind the motherboard tray we are presented with two additional drive mounting trays that can accommodate either 2.5″ or 3.5″ drives. A decent amount of space between the back of the motherboard tray and the side panel is available to route any necessary cables.
INSTALLATION AND USE
|Case||In Win 303|
|CPU||AMD Phenom II X4 975 BE|
|Motherboard||ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3|
|Ram||PNY DDR3 1600, 8GB|
|CPU Cooler||Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro|
|Storage Drives||Samsung 840 Pro 120GB SSD|
|GPU||ASUS ENGTX460 Direct CU|
Installation of components in the In Win 303 was pretty straightforward. The only real gripe we had when doing our build was the small opening for our 8-pin ATX12V cable that attaches to the top of our motherboard. As long as we routed the cable prior to securing the power supply to the case, everything was fine. More of a slight hassle than anything, but something we wanted to point out. The same goes for the lack of cable passages below the motherboard. While there is room to route these cables to the right of the motherboard, it would be nice to hide them below the board.
We really liked the removable drive trays that In Win has used in the 303. While they are not tool-less, they are small and actually mostly not visible when a drive is installed. The opening between the two rightmost mounting points was plenty of room for our build, and had enough spare room for cabling int he event that we add more drives in the future.
We were a bit worried that the abundance of blue lighting at the front of the case might be overwhelming, but even in low light conditions, the illuminated feature is quite pleasing. Depending on the angle you are viewing the front of the case lighting can effect the brightness, but this is pretty much standard with any type of case lighting. We think it would be great if you could customize the large rectangular panel or the color of the lighting, but we can’t complain too much.
While our build doesn’t feature any fancy lighting or extreme water cooling setups, there is plenty of area to show off gorgeous builds inside the In Win 303. The unique mounting location for radiators provides a different perspective than most other cases, and there is plenty of room for pumps and reservoirs to be shown off behind the large glass side panel.
It can be tough to stand out in a crowd without becoming quite obnoxious. In Win seems to know this, and has created the 303, a case that really does stand out without the negative reactions. The mostly steel design of the In Win 303 may seem overly plain at first glance, but the available tinted window and illuminated front panel will probably add enough flash to the case for most users. Just like tinted windows often make a car look better, the tinted window on the In Win 303 looks quite sleek, and the handle at the top of the panel make removing it a breeze. The combination of steel and glass in the 303 add up to a pretty heavy case, weighing in at 24 pounds empty.
Once opened up, there is plenty of space for installing components, however we would have liked to see a bit more room below the motherboard to allow for better motherboard header cable management. If the optional 120mm fan mounts at the bottom of the case are put to use, things can get quite cramped.
Speaking of fans, none are included with the In Win 303. This leaves users on the hook for providing fans for each of the optional seven fan mount points. And while the bottom fan mount features a removable filter to keep dust levels down inside the case, the proximity of the fans to the bottom of the motherboard is quite close.
The only thing holding back the In Win 303 from being one of our top case recommendations is the absence of any included fans. Take that fact away and the 303 is a great case. The build quality is great, resulting in a very sturdy, albeit heavy, case that has plenty of room for high-end components, water cooling, and multiple drives. The In Win 303 is currently available at Newegg.com for $90 USD. I think most users would expect a case at this price point to come with at least an exhaust fan. Even if the price were $20 higher we think that users would be willing to pay an increased price for this case with a few included fans.
All things considered, the In Win 303 is a great case for the price point of $90 USD. The few drawbacks of the case are quite minor, and can be easily remedied. The 303’s pros definitely outweigh the minor cons, and will provide users with a great canvas to build upon. Wrapping things up brings us to award the In Win 303 case with the Bjorn3D Seal of Approval.
|In Win 303 Pros||In Win 303 Cons|