In Win 301 Review

May 11, 2017 | 13:57

Tags: #micro-atx #mini-itx #small-form-factor

Companies: #in-win

Performance Analysis

Given the absence of fans, the 301's relatively lacklustre thermal performance shouldn't come as a surprise. In fact, we'd say it performs better than expected. The CPU delta T of 61°C is certainly warm, but we've seen worse from the likes of the Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ITX. The PSU acting as the system exhaust isn't ideal, but it clearly has at least some impact; the Phanteks chassis has the even worse combination of no exhaust fan and the PSU being installed below the motherboard. For the 301, adding a 120mm rear exhaust fan would easily sort things out on the CPU front.

In Win 301 Review In Win 301 Review - Performance Analysis and Conclusion In Win 301 Review In Win 301 Review - Performance Analysis and Conclusion
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The GPU delta T of 55°C, meanwhile, is mid-table rather than bottom of the pile. The 301 may be devoid of intake fans, but the large, porous area directly beneath the GPU ensures it does have access to at least some cool air. Adding a fan or two in the bottom, provided you don't need that lower expansion slot, would obviously see a lot more air reach it, which could reduce noise by keeping the automatic GPU fan control at a lower level.

Speaking of noise, the 301 of course produces none itself, and it's actually quite well sealed too. Adding fans would change things up, of course, but we can certainly see a quiet but powerful air-cooled system being a possibility here.

Conclusion

All in all, the 301 is a lovely little tower chassis. Aesthetics are subjective, of course, but we think it looks great. Thankfully, there's much more to it than this: The materials and build quality are top notch, for example, and the ease of access is a nice touch too. Its design belies its cooling ability as well, as even without fans it's able to better some cases that include them, and adding your own would improve the situation further. Its abilities in the cable management department also surprised us, although users with lots of hardware might still run into some issues here.

In Win 301 Review In Win 301 Review - Performance Analysis and Conclusion In Win 301 Review In Win 301 Review - Performance Analysis and Conclusion
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It's not all good news, of course. The 301 would definitely struggle with a dual-GPU micro-ATX setup, for example, and feels like a case that's more comfortable with mini-ITX hardware inside. Water-cooling abilities are also a little limited, especially if you're looking to install a fully custom loop – we're sure some of you could find a way, though!

With an asking price of about £75, the 301 is a tad pricey for a case of its dimensions, especially as it comes without fans, but we think it offers good value still considering the quality – this one is an easy recommendation for anyone looking for a small form factor tower.
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