In Win 303 Case Review
   
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In Win 303 Case Review

May 31st, 2016 James Leave a comment Go to comments

Overview

 

For me the name In Win conjures up images of awesome looking cases that are often made of glass and are often very expensive also. Well it would seem that In Win have their sights not only set on the high end Case market but also the lower end too, especially with the launch of their latest Case. This is the In Win 303 an In Win Case with a retail price of just £85 here in the UK.

The In Win 303 is an ATX mid-tower case that sports an all steel chassis with a large glass panel on the left. The case itself measures in at 500mm (H) x 215mm (W) x 480mm (D). Inside there’s a single 120mm exhaust fan although there’s room for more. In addition to this the 303 supports x2 3.5″ drives and x2 3.5″ drives although there’s no provision for a 5.25″ device (this is now becoming more common). There’s also support for a radiator to be installed in the top of the case with up to 360mm being supported. The case supports Graphics Cards up to 350mm in length and CPU Coolers up to 160mm in height. It is also available in black (as we have here) and white.

 

In-Win-logo ‘The IN WIN team presents the 303, a simple, yet elegant computer chassis crafted from steel and tempered glass. The distinctively clean front panel is complemented with a bright LED design to balance the overall appearance. The IN WIN logo is highlighted “Neon” as well as the lucent stripped I/O front panel. These gorgeous LEDs also have the purpose of indicating when the PC is activated.’

 

In Win 303 - box

 

The In Win 303 arrived at pcG in a very large brown cardboard box that gave very little away as to what was hiding within…

 

In Win 303 - box left In Win 303 - box right

 

On one side of the box is a basic specification listing (see Specifications/Features below) while on the other side In Win highlights some of the 303’s main features.

 

In Win 303 - box open In Win 303 - cover

 

On opening the box we find that the 303 is nicely packaged and really rather nicely presented in its own black cloth bag, although there’s (still) no in Win logo! The Case within is also well protected within the box by eight hard foam blocks.

 

In Win 303 - accessories

 

Within the bag we find the case itself and a small clear zip bag that contains all of the case’s accessories. Within this bag we find various bags of screws that are labelled (sort of) as well as a multilingual manual and a handful of cable ties.

 

At the time of review, the In Win 303 is retailing at Overclockers UK for approximately £85 and comes with a 2 year warranty.

 

Specifications/Features

courtesy of In Win

Model 303
Color Black, White
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
HD Audio
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
Product Dimension
(H x W x D)
500mm x 215mm x 480mm
19.6″ x 8.4″ x 18.8″
Package Dimension
(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
* In Win products comply with RoHS regulation.
* Specifications may vary based on different regions.

* Additional details available here

 

First Impressions

 

In Win 303

 

First impressions of the In Win 303 are nothing short of impressive, this may be their cheapest Case yet but looking at it you wouldn’t know it. There’s now doubt this is still an In Win Case and that style and look of quality is still all here. The 303 is a good looking case for sure, especially that front panel, in fact it look like it illuminates too…

 

In Win 303 - left In Win 303 - right

 

The left side of the In Win 303 is dominated by a large (full size) window that covers the entirety of the left side of the case. At the top there’s a handle (complete with In Win logo) that sticks out a bit too much for my liking; this allows the panel to be released and the panel then hinges out from its base. Of course the good news is that there’s no thumb screws here…

The right side of the Case features a large steel panel that has an area for ventilation at the top. This honeycomb section looks particularly smart and no doubt allows the upper section of the case, where you may well have a radiator, to breathe. This panel also hinges at the base but this time is held in place by two thumb screws found at the top of the panel.

In Win 303 - top In Win 303 - bottom In Win 303 - filter

 

There’s very little to see at the top of the In Win 303 but you can now see that handle sticking out, rather too much if you ask me, upsetting the overall Feng Shui I feel…

Looking at the bottom of the 303 we can see that it is effectively dominated by the large filter found attached to the base, this slides out to the left so is easy to access and clean. The Case sits on two large plastic legs that are attached by way of two screws per leg. These screws are hidden beneath the rubber feet (just pull to remove) that lift the case up off of the plastic legs to keep vibration to a minimum, clever eh!

 

In Win 303 - front In Win 303 - front panel (PowerResetLogo) In Win 303 - front panel (IO) In Win 303 - back

 

Looking at the front of the In Win 303 for the first time is a little surprising as it’s dominated by a rather large (almost neon) In Win logo in the top right corner. Having said that it does look good, really good and unlike any case I’ve seen so far. Just above the In Win logo we find the main power button and a small reset button. Below this there are two USB 2.0 ports followed by the audio ports (Headphone & Microphone) and then finally two USB 3.0 ports. The ports look particularly cool and dare I say, somewhat over-engineered, I wonder if they light up!? 😮

Looking at the back of the In Win 303 we can immediately see something’s not quite normal, and it’s not! That’s because the PSU cut-out is at the top of the Case instead of the regular position at the bottom. Next up we have the main motherboard I/O shield cut-out and the only fan fitted to the 303. Below this we find seven expansion card slots, but note how close the lower slot is to the bottom of the case…

 

In Win 303 - left (panel removed) In Win 303 - right (panel removed)

 

Removing the left side panel allows us to take a look at the inside of the In Win 303 and what a lot of space there is, that’s my first thought. Closely followed by what’s that at the top? Well that section of the case is really designed for a radiator, either for an AIO Water Cooler or for a bespoke water cooling loop. It can house radiators up to 360mm in length along with their associated 120mm fans. The base of the 303 can also support the installation of three 120mm fans, so it should be easy to get a nice bottom to top airflow going, it’s just a shame In Win only provides one fan! Also while the cables themselves are black there’s still a lot of coloured wires exposed at some of the ends. Over on the right there are also two 2.5″/SSD mounts, but more on this later.

Looking at the back of the 303 we can see there’s plenty of cable management space, which is always good to see. You can also now see the PSU mount point along with the radiator section at the top. Slightly left of centre we also find two 3.5″/HDD mounts. In addition to the above there’s also a well placed sizeable CPU cut-out along with a few (but not many) cable management holes.

 

In Win 303 - rear exhaust fan In Win 303 - radiator support

 

Looking at the cooling and the default setup we find it to be nothing short of poor as In Win include only one 120mm fan with a rotational speed of 1000RPM! I do understand that the idea is to add your own, but I think that’s just a bit of a cop out to be honest…

Taking another look at that special section at the top of the case we can see that it’s significant in size, although I’m unsure how many of us will utilize all of the space, especially if you’re just using an AIO cooler for the CPU.

 

In Win 303 - SSD mount In Win 303 - HDD mount

 

As I mentioned earlier the In Win supports the installation of both two 2.5″/SSD’s and two 3.5″/HDDs which is good. But what’s more impressive is the mounts for them, these can be found inside the left side of the case for SSDs and in the back of the case for HDDs. Both styles of mounts work in the same way, just screw the bracket to the drive (using the four screws provided) and then the bracket simply clips into place and is secured by way of a single thumb screw, very cool!

 

At this point I’d have to say I’m very impressed with what I’ve seen so far. The In Win 303 is a good looking and extremely well made case, that’s got a lot of nice features such as the radiator support and the SSD/HDD brackets. Although it’s obvious that the cooling setup as standard is lacking, which is a shame.

 

Hardware Installation

 

  • Test Rig Setup

  • Case In Win 303 Power Supply Corsair Professional Series AX 760i
    Motherboard ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 GAMING K6 CPU Intel Core i5-6600K
    CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U12S RAM G Skill Ripjaws 4 16GB
    Graphics Card EVGA GeForce GTX 980Ti Classified SSD (M.2) Samsung SM951 512GB
    SSD HyperX FURY 120GB HDD Seagate 2TB SSHD

     

    In Win 303 - Skylake MB assembly In Win 303 - SSD bracket

     

    The first task was to put together the motherboard assembly (MB, CPU, CPU Cooler & RAM) for this review. This consists of our test motherboard an ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K6, an Intel Core i5-6600K CPU, a Noctua NH-U12S CPU Cooler and x2 4GB G.Skill Ripjaws 4 RAM modules. This Motherboard assembly can be seen above left.

    In addition to this I also added a single SSD in the form of a HyperX Fury (120GB) this was simply screwed to one of the two brackets with the four screws provided and then reattached inside the case to one of the two mount points. I chose to use the upper mount point, but both seem to work as well as one another.

     

    In Win 303 - PSU installed In Win 303 - MB installed

     

    The next task was to fit the Corsair AX760i Power Supply, this meant positioning the PSU in the top of the case, a position unique here in the 303. At first I was under the impression I could choose which way round to mount it (fan facing in/out), but no. The PSU would only fit fan facing in due to the positions of the screw holes at the back. The PSU was then simply secured by the usual four screws.

    With the PSU in position I set about fitting the MB assembly after first fitting the I/O shield of course. It was at this point I noticed the first oddity in that the I/O shield is recessed inside the case and effectively has no sides therefore it can move left and right, which is a little odd. Therefore perfect positioning is needed to line up with the motherboard. Fitting of the motherboard itself was simple enough after adding the five six additional stand-offs required for this ASRock motherboard. A stand-off insertion tool is also supplied which is always good to see.

     

    In Win 303 - cabling (8-pin power) In Win 303 - cabling (HD audio)

     

    After installing the motherboard and starting initial cabling I ran into the first issue and something that I wasn’t so keen on! As you can see from the images above there’s no cable management holes at the bottom or the top of the motherboard meaning all cables have to be stretched across the motherboard! The HD audio cable looks particularly unsightly, there’s also USB and front panel cables to contend with. Unfortunately I doesn’t stop there as the same issue exists with the CPU 8-pin power cable, no dedicated hole/slot means that it has to be draped across the motherboard again, not good! I thought we’d solved issues like this years ago, In Win!?

     

    In Win 303 - complete In Win 303 - complete (right)

     

    Having said that this was the only real issue that I ran into when installing all of our test kit into the In Win 303. Installation of the SSD (using one of the drive brackets) was a breeze as was installing our rather large EVGA GTX 980Ti Classified. This is all helped by the fact that there’s both plenty of room within the case and plenty of cable management space at the back. Even the power to supply the front panel uses a SATA power connector and not a Molex which is nice to see and the right way to do it.

     

    In Win 303 - Power On

     

    With the In Win 303 powered up that front panel comes to life and not only does that neon In Win logo illuminate but also all of the USB and Audio ports too, very smart!

     

    Testing Methodology/Setup

     

    At pcGameware we use Prime95 and ASRock’s F-Stream utility to evaluate CPU temperatures and voltage, and we use MSI Afterburner to evaluate the GPU temperatures. Of course Prime95 being a CPU stress test also helps to generate heat for us to check the case thermals. We also use UNiGiNE Heaven 4.0 for GPU temperature testing.

    CPU performance testing is carried out using Prime95 (Small FFT) to stress the CPU. Each run is timed for 15 mins and the maximum temperature is recorded for all cores and then the average core heat is taken. Testing was carried out with an overclocked Intel Core i5-6600K at 4.4GHz courtesy of the ASRock UEFI.

    GPU performance testing is carried out by running UNiGiNE Heaven 4.0 for 15 minutes and then by recording the maximum GPU temperature.

    * All case fans (x1 in the case of the In Win 303) and the CPU Cooler (Noctua NH-U12S) are run at 100% throughout testing. To ascertain case noise levels, the GPU fans are set to their lowest setting and the CPU Cooler fan is unplugged, whilst the dBA is recorded from 1m away.

     

    Hardware Performance

     

    IN Win 303 - Prime95

     

  • CPU RESULTSIn Win 303 with Noctua NH-U12S and Intel Core i5-6600K @ 4.4GHz
  • Case Ambient Temperature Max CPU Temperature (core average) Delta Temperature
    Lian Li PC-X510 22.00 58.00 36.00
    Cooler Master HAF XB 21.00 58.00 37.00
    Corsair Carbide 600C 23.00 60.00 37.00
    Cooler Master MasterCase Pro 5 22.00 60.00 38.00
    NZXT Manta 24.00 62.00 38.00
    In Win 303 21.00 60.00 39.00
    NZXT S340 (Special Edition) 22.00 61.00 39.00
    be quiet! Silent Base 600 23.00 62.00 39.00
    BitFenix Nova 22.00 65.00 43.00
    Raijintek Styx 21.00 67.00 46.00

     

    Within reason the CPU cooling performance of the In Win 303 is pretty good considering it’s only got one fan and it goes to show what an important job that single exhaust fan does. Of course to think about the case (with its one fan) in this way is a little crazy as there’s plenty of other cooling options as outlined above.

     

  • GPU RESULTSIn Win 303 with EVGA GeForce GTX 980Ti Classified
  • Case Ambient Temperature Max GPU Temperature Delta Temperature
    Lian Li PC-X510 23.00 77.00 54.00
    Cooler Master MasterCase Pro 5 22.00 77.00 55.00
    NZXT S340 (Special Edition) 22.00 79.00 57.00
    Corsair Carbide 600C 23.00 80.00 57.00
    Cooler Master HAF XB 22.00 79.00 57.00
    be quiet! Silent Base 600 22.00 81.00 59.00
    Raijintek Styx 21.00 81.00 60.00
    BitFenix Nova 23.00 84.00 61.00
    NZXT Manta 23.00 84.00 61.00
    In Win 303 21.00 83.00 62.00

     

    Graphics Card thermal performance on the other hand is not so good, well actually it’s terrible. With a maximum GPU temperature of 83 degrees (62 Delta) Celsius it’s obvious the In Win 303 needs some additional fans. And it’s here that things start to get a little frustrating as the best place to install fans (for GPU cooling) would logically be in the base of the Case. But if you do this not only will you lose your last PCI slot but also (because there’s no cable management holes) the cabling for the Audio/USB and Front panel gets in the way. In fact if you were to install fans in the bottom you’d also not be able to install an SLI or Crossfire setup as there’s simply no room!? It’s odd as there’s so much design gone into this case (in other areas) it seem strange that In Win have missed these points.

     

  • Acoustic Performance
  • As there’s only one (1000RPM) fan in the In Win 303 there’s very little point in talking about its acoustic performance as that is likely to be down to you and what you install into the case. Using our test equipment we found that if we isolated the single installed fan the noise produced was approximately 35dBA, in other words pretty quiet but still audible when at full speed.

     

    Final Thoughts

     

    There’s a lot to like about the In Win 303 especially when thinking about the asethetics and exterior design. It’s a good looking Case with a smart looking neon illumination around the front panel controls. Unfortunately there’s little cable management around the motherboard itself and the GPU cooling out of the box is poor.

    The In Win 303 arrived at pcG in a rather large plain brown cardboard box. Within the box the 303 Case was found to be nicely presented (in its own bag) and also well packaged. Once out of the box the first impressions of the 303 were very good, this may be In Win’s budget Case but it’s still an In Win Case. Quality is high as is the build quality with the front panel being particularly impressive. Taking a look in and around the Case also reveals a cavernous interior space with a good general layout and with plenty of cable management space at the back. On face value what In Win have produced here seems to be spot on.

    Installation revealed a few flaws however suggesting that most of the design had gone into the 303’s aesthetics. I wasn’t keen on the fitment of the I/O shield as it can actually move left and right as it’s only supported top and bottom. Also the fact that there’s no cable management holes at the top or the bottom of the motherboard area means that cables had to be trailed across the motherboard, something I cant understand in this day and age!? Installation from this point forward though was easy thanks to a generous amount of cable management space and plenty of room inside. The SSD/HDD mounts are also a nice touch and are easy to install and cable up.

    I’m also not a fan (haha get it!) of Cases coming with only one fan, yes of course I understand that it’s down to me to add my own, but really a case manufacturer knows the best setup and should at the very least supply an intake and an exhaust fan, IMHO!

    Having said the CPU cooling was actually pretty good thanks to the single exhaust fan, but GPU cooling was nothing short of poor. In fact I’d go as far as to say that the In Win 303 has been designed with CPU Cooling as a priority which is odd as CPUs in general aren’t nowhere near as hot as they used to be! To make matters worse should you wish to go for an SLI/Crossfire setup and fit fans in the base of the case you’re also going to run into clearance issues with the fans touching the lower GPU. Acoustically the In Win 303 scores well, as it would with only one 120mm (1000RPM) fan fitted! We measured appropriately 35dBA with our test equipment although real noise output is likely to depend on what fans you add.

    Overall though In Win serves up an good budget (well for In Win!) Case in the 303. It looks good and it looks even better when on thanks to that neon blue illumination around all of the front control etc. It can also swallow plenty of hardware although I’d avoid SLI/Crossfire setups for the reasons mentioned above. But the issues with cable management and the close proximity of the lower fans (should you fit them, and you should!) to the motherboard are at odds with In Win’s knowledge of Cases and it does let the overall package down in my opinion, which is a shame.

     

    Verdict

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    Overclockers UK




    In Win 303

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    Design/Quality pcGameware awards the In Win 303 a Silver
    Performance
    Value
    Overall

     

    Many thanks to In Win for providing this sample for review

     


    1. biggestinsect
      June 1st, 2016 at 23:57 | #1

      After looking at the interior photo it became immediately apparent that there was going to be a problem. The motherboard is just too close to the bottom of the case. InWin could have used 8 PCI slot and added at least 25 cm or more below the motherboard area to the overall height. This would allow fans and possibly a radiator to be installed in the bottom and given them room to add cable holes on the lower portion of the motherboard tray.
      The case isn’t too tall as it stands and an inch or two increase in height wouldn’t be a big issue. These changes would make the case a lot more flexible when it came to cooling options. Right now it is limited to air or at the most a 240 AIO.
      It seems that on every case InWin makes they do at least one major mistake that screws up an otherwise excellent design.

      • James
        June 2nd, 2016 at 08:13 | #2

        Totally agree! 😉

        and thanks for reading… ATB James

    2. Evan
      June 6th, 2016 at 09:45 | #3

      Great review. Just curious if using an M-ATX instead of an ATX motherboard with SLI would provide the space needed for the botton fans. I really like this case and I want to use it for an SLI build but the lack of space for bottom cooling might be a deal breaker for me.

      • James
        June 6th, 2016 at 10:03 | #4

        Thanks! As an M-ATX board has only 4 PCIE slots that would force the Graphics Cards to be side by side, with no gap! Therefore what you’ll gain from the additional cooling will likely just be negated by the fact that the cards are now close together. I personally would not use this case for SLI/Crossfire. I myself run an SLI setup too… 😉

        ATB James (ED)

        • Evan
          June 6th, 2016 at 23:14 | #5

          Thank you for bringing this up! You saved me a ton of hassle as I have no firsthand SLI/Crossfire experience.

          What a shame though, I really like the aesthetics of this case. Maybe I’ll find something similarly styled in this price range. I love the look of no drive bays showing in the front.

    3. Johannes
      December 19th, 2016 at 10:06 | #6

      Actually there is a dedicated cable management hole for the 8-pin cpu connector. You can see this hole on the pictures of the “bad” cpu cabling and the top chamber.
      You can put the 8-pin connector through a cutout and than slide the cabel to the exact position of your 8-pin header. At the end you can’t see the cable of the 8-pin connector at all.

      • James
        December 20th, 2016 at 19:29 | #7

        do you mean the slot that’s covered by the PSU?

    4. noodle
      September 25th, 2017 at 12:45 | #8

      is there a way to disable the front I/O panel from staying lit up?