October 3, 2017 // 3 p.m.
UK price (as reviewed): MSRP £99.99 (inc. VAT)
US price (as reviewed): MSRP TBC
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.