Gigabyte Aorus AC300W Review

October 3, 2017 // 3 p.m.

Tags: #aorus #atx #gigabyte #mid-tower #rgb

Manufacturer: Aorus

UK price (as reviewed): MSRP £99.99 (inc. VAT)

US price (as reviewed): MSRP TBC

So awash is the case market with manufacturers that to enter it anew is at the very least a questionable proposition – you either need an existing big brand behind you or some radical ideas, and ideally both. As a very well known maker of motherboards, graphics cards, and more, Gigabyte certainly has the former, but the latter remains to be seen. Technically, Gigabyte has dabbled in the case market before, so this isn't a totally new direction for the Taiwanese firm, but it hasn't done so for many years, and the AC300W is very much an Aorus product and marketed as such, so in that sense it's the first of its kind. Coming in with an MSRP of £100, the AC300W is tentatively stepping into perhaps the most crowded segment of the entire market, that of the mid-range mid-tower, albeit leaning towards the higher end.

The Aorus team has played it safe from a design perspective, and you can verify this by imagining the case without the distinctive Aorus logos adorning the case and seeing how nondescript it becomes. Then again, logos exist for a reason, and the brushed metal effect on the front fascia and the cutaway, indented segments add some visual flair, but this still is a fairly by-the-books 2017 tower chassis design. This shouldn't be taken as a criticism – sticking with what works is valid, tried-and-tested advice – but iconic this case is not. Still, with sharp angles, clean lines, and a big acrylic window, the AC300W does little to offend, aesthetically speaking, although we're surprised not to see a tempered glass side panel.

Build quality is mostly a match for the price tag, and we've no real complaints in this regard. The use of plastic is restricted to the sturdy front panel, and the steel withstands pressure well enough. Meanwhile, the feet are rubber-tipped to aid grip on smooth floors and desk surfaces.

Despite the front panel's solid appearance, airflow is not totally restricted thanks to a series of vents running down either side of it. A single 120mm fan is installed in the lower-most of the three front mounts (two if you opt for 140mm models), and this is complemented by the 120mm rear exhaust. With six fan mounts in total, those looking to maximise airflow should be satisfied.

Dust filters haven't been overlooked, with the front, roof, and PSU all guarded by their own filters. The front and PSU ones use a slide-out mechanism, and we particularly like how the front one so quickly and easily comes out to the side, while the roof uses a simple magnetic design. All three are a cinch to remove, clean, and replace, so full marks to Aorus there.

The front I/O is rather modern with its inclusion of a HDMI port for VR devices as well as a USB Type-C connector. Sadly, this is limited to USB 3.0 speeds (also know as USB 3.1 Gen 1) thanks to its use of a traditional USB 3.0 internal header – your motherboard will thus need two of these to power all three front USB ports at once.

There isn't any fan control, but Aorus has foregone the reset button and instead installed a lighting control button to toggle the lights of the two logos and the strip on the front panel between on and off. By default, the lights only have a single setting: colour cycle, which is unlikely to be to everyone's taste, so we think some static colours are in order. For additional control, you need to synchronise the lighting using a motherboard's RGB header and the supplied cable, and obviously Aorus would like you to use Gigabyte RGB Fusion for this, but in theory it will be compatible with other vendors too.

Specifications

  • Dimensions (mm) 211 x 458 x 469 (W x D x H)
  • Material Steel, plastic
  • Available colours Black
  • Weight TBC
  • Front panel Power, 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 3.0 Type-C, headphone, microphone, LED control
  • Drive bays 2 x 3.5"/2.5", 3 x 2.5"
  • Form factor(s) ATX, micro-ATX, mini-ITX
  • Cooling 2 x 140mm or 3 x 120mm front fan mounts (1 x 120mm fan included), 1 x 120mm rear fan mount (1 x 120mm fan included), 2 x 140mm/120mm roof fan mounts (fans not included)
  • CPU cooler clearance 170mm
  • Maximum graphics card length 400mm
  • Extras Removable dust filters, vertical PCIe expansion bracket (PCIe riser cable not included)


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