Completed Build, Performance, and Conclusion
With everything in place the result looks clean and orderly, and I didn't have to put much time or effort into it. As I mentioned on the last page, the In Win 301 is a very easy case to build with as long as you are using air cooling (or a 120 mm radiator on the back fan mount). The front mounts do in fact accomodate a full-sized 240 mm AIO cooler, but the process of installing one requires some patience.
The back view of the completed build shows very little cable mess, as it is neatly channeled in the compartment to the left. The large cutout behind the motherboard allowed for the easy installation of the cooler after the motherboard was in place, and once everything was connected the back panel went on without any obstruction. It doesn't get much easier than this.
Temperature results might seem meaningless without comparative data, and I apologize in advance as this is the first case review with my latest test platform (I promise I'll stick with this one. Probably).This particular completed build, which uses a mini-ITX motherboard, compact Noctua air cooler, and reference AMD Radeon card, was used specifially for testing the enclosure – and the same setup will be found in upcoming enclosure reviews for the testing phase.
|Processor||Intel Core i7-7700K|
|Motherboard||ASUS ROG Strix H270I Gaming|
|Memory||Crucial Ballistix Sport 8 GB 2400 MHz DDR4|
|Graphics Card||AMD Radeon R9 290X (Reference)|
|Storage||Samsung SM961 NVMe SSD|
|Power Supply||SilverStone ST1000-P PSU|
|OS||Windows 8.1 64-bit|
The Intel i7-7700K runs pretty hot compared to my old i5-6600K enclosure platform, and should provide a better test of the thermal design of a given case, and I chose to stick with the Radeon R9 290X - even though it has a blower-style cooler - as it still provides a good challenge for enclosures with regard to temps and especially noise levels.
Temperatures and Noise
With this In Win 301 we see the unusual result of a better GPU load temp than CPU load, though this seemed more reasonable after I considered the fact that the GPU has a blower-style cooler, and the CPU cooler eventually heats up as the case fills with warm air. The 301 would certainly benefit from at least an exhaust fan, and preferably an intake fan (or pair of fans) as well.
Noise levels were better than I expected, with the case providing some reduction in the noise of the GPU especially. The reference R9 290X has one of the loudest GPU coolers around, and while 55 dBA looks bad there was a muted character to the sound under load (less audible whine) that helped quite a bit.
The In Win 301 is not your average lower-cost enclosure, and while I have seen this case offered for as little as $59 at times there is little about the design or construction to suggest a lower price point. When I get cases in for review I generally evaluate their design and construction long before I ever look up an MSRP, and with the 301 I would have assumed a price of around $90 based on my experience. In Win is being very aggressive with their pricing on this model, and that's a great thing for consumers.
- Strong, high-quality construction
- Tempered glass side panel with tool-free closure
- Intelligent cable routing for a clean build
- Clean, attractive style
- Low cost for a case of this quality
- 3.5-inch hard drive support limited to one bay
- No case fans included
Other than the somewhat limited storage support, this case holds any standard build and it looks great doing it with its clean lines, tool-free tempered glass side panel, and illuminated front I/O. There are no case fans included, but that is understandable as In Win had to make some concessions to hit this price point - and for a case of this level of quality to be offered for $69.99 (or $64.99 for this white version currently) makes it an easy choice for our highest award level.
If you haven’t experienced an In Win case before I think you’ll be very pleasantly surprised, and at this price it's a no-brainer. The In Win 301 has now become my default recommendation for a micro-ATX case, period.