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Vinceant
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Fractal Design Core 2300/2500 discontinued?

Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:29 pm

Well this sucks. It appears my two favorite general use cases are going bye bye. Best side panels apart from my Three Hundred Two, and pretty good in general.

Anybody find anything similar in that price range (50-60ish)? Fractal doesn't seem to have replacements out. Closest things I can find are the Corsair Carbide 200R or the Antec Performance Series P7, but neither have the good side panels.
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Re: Fractal Design Core 2300/2500 discontinued?

Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:54 am

Wait, what?

I've used Fractal Core cases and don't they have basic, flimsy steel side panels? Single layer sheet steel, no soundproofing, no cross-bracing, no filtering or fan-mount damping on those intakes and no cable-management from them either. I would say that they're decent budget cases and the only questionable parts are the side panels :\

Phanteks Eclipse (or Enthoo Pro if you want an optical bay) will be similar price/features/build - Bitfenix will probably do what you want to replace the Core series cheaper than Antec or Corsair.
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Re: Fractal Design Core 2300/2500 discontinued?

Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:02 pm

They have the hinge type instead of the friction fit type. I HATE the friction fit type on budget/conservative cases, they always have problems with the mechanism because it's bent sheet steel and not bent very precisely. I use these cases for offices for ease of maintenance. The side panels are a bit flimsy, but for 50 bucks, all cases side panels are going to be flimsy sheet steel, but at least the core 2300 had a good hinge mechanism.

Phanteks Eclipse have transparent side panels, which are a no go for an office build from me. So does every single one of the Bitfenix cases in that price range.

What I'd really like to find is a good (and affordable) replacement for the Three Hundred Two. Amazing case, but it's drive bay configuration is very... 2011. It has two 2.5 inch drive slots, but they are so awful I've never used them on mine (one of them requires you remove the motherboard to remove the drive, the other doesn't allow you enough room to actually plug the drive in without breaking the connector).
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Re: Fractal Design Core 2300/2500 discontinued?

Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:08 pm

Why do your office customers need an ATX case instead of something more compact? Have you tried a Silverstone Precision Series PS08 or PS09, or a Cooler Master N200?

$8 or $10½ will let you put a 3½" and two 2½" drives in one of the old-timey 5¼" drive bays in your Antec Three Hundred Two. Adapters to fit a pair of 2½" drives in a 3½" bay are plentiful and are also priced under $10.
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Re: Fractal Design Core 2300/2500 discontinued?

Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:41 pm

Hard to explain fully but briefly, but it makes sense for this client. Short answer is: lots of PCI express slots needed short term and for future proofing/application flexibility, so full ATX required.

Both those cases you linked will not work. They are not ATX. The PS14 looks decent though, Newegg says it's normally 200 bucks though. lol All of them have the **** side panels.

I am aware that there are converters between 2.5 and 3.5 bays and to 5.25 bays. That's not the only thing I mean by the Three Hundred Two having old school drive bays. It has a humongous fixed drive cage. If I needed to make a cheap server with 6 3.5 inch drives it'd be handy, but it's a huge airflow problem with the case. It also makes it way heavier than it needs to be. I still love that case, but some modernization could do it a lot of good.

I mean, I guess I get it. Full ATX business/practicality focused cases for affordable prices are probably a pretty small market, but it still astonishes me that the 2300/2500 were all that was there with that hing type mechanism. Why companies with even 100+ dollar cases uses that god awful friction fit/pinch mechanism is beyond me.
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Re: Fractal Design Core 2300/2500 discontinued?

Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:42 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
Why do your office customers need an ATX case instead of something more compact?
Vinceant wrote:
Both those cases you linked will not work. They are not ATX.
Obviously. They are something more compact than ATX. However, if your clients require 7 PCIe cards in every desktop machine, you can't give them micro-ATX PCs with only 4 PCIe slots.

Having committed to the larger ATX, EATX or SSI-CEB form factor, you can filter appropriately to get a list of cases available from your favorite e-tailer, like so: Newegg Search to quickly find inexpensive options like the Cooler Master N400, the Corsair Carbide Series 200R and a couple of cheap boxes from Apex.

Vinceant wrote:
I mean, I guess I get it. Full ATX business/practicality focused cases for affordable prices are probably a pretty small market, but it still astonishes me that the 2300/2500 were all that was there with that hinge type mechanism. Why companies with even 100+ dollar cases uses that god awful friction fit/pinch mechanism is beyond me.
It's possible that the sub-group of users in that market that need to open up their desktop cases to swap PCIe cards on a daily basis is an even smaller niche.
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Re: Fractal Design Core 2300/2500 discontinued?

Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:22 am

Vinceant wrote:
Hard to explain fully but briefly, but it makes sense for this client. Short answer is: lots of PCI express slots needed short term and for future proofing/application flexibility, so full ATX required.

I am curious, 7 slots even for the short term? That seems a little excessive. Granted the only thing I can think of is some high-end data/imaging capture setup where data transfer rates are important. If the need is just lots of USB ports or drives, you normally don't need more than 3 or 4 slots.

Future proofing? Let's be honest here. Are you really ever going to need more than 3 or 4?
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Re: Fractal Design Core 2300/2500 discontinued?

Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:47 am

Requirements not set by me, but by the specific client I still build custom machines for. What they are doing doesn't strictly require all of those PCI express slots, but a couple of the requirements the owner of said business has laid out does require more flexibility than a typical compact board would allow. And, well, the client is the one writing the checks, and honestly them wanting it this way doesn't really end up costing them significantly more than any other normal basic office computer I could custom build, so it is what it is. Like I said, hard to explain briefly, but we ended up needing primarily full ATX boards and cases for good reason.

For most of my other clients, I just tell them to buy prebuilts or laptops. Rarely do I encounter a case where I can provide a solution that would be more cost effective than a simple Dell or Lenovo desktop. This client needed more than that.

JustAnEngineer wrote:
Having committed to the larger ATX, EATX or SSI-CEB form factor, you can filter appropriately to get a list of cases available from your favorite e-tailer, like so: Newegg Search to quickly find inexpensive options like the Cooler Master N400, the Corsair Carbide Series 200R and a couple of cheap boxes from Apex.


The N400 is nice, but 100 bucks. Nearly double the Core 2300's cost (and still has awful side panels, ugh). The 200R is a much more palatable price. Still has bad side panels, but as far as I can tell, Antec is the only one who makes things with the nicer mechanism now. The Sonata Proto seems like a good option as well I suppose the good old three hundred two, but neither of them are listed on Antec's website so I wonder if they are in production still.

JustAnEngineer wrote:
It's possible that the sub-group of users in that market that need to open up their desktop cases to swap PCIe cards on a daily basis is an even smaller niche.


It's not a question of needing to open a desktop every day. It's a matter of case makers not using the cheapest possible enclosure mechanism to the usage of the cases detriment. Not to mention swapping a drive or a PCIe card without having to unplug the machine and lug it to the top of a table is extremely handy. Yes this is a common procedure. Could I live with the crappy mechanism? Sure, but there's no reason case manufacturers haven't evolved beyond cases from the 70s and 80s that I can tell.

Flying Fox wrote:
Vinceant wrote:
Hard to explain fully but briefly, but it makes sense for this client. Short answer is: lots of PCI express slots needed short term and for future proofing/application flexibility, so full ATX required.

I am curious, 7 slots even for the short term? That seems a little excessive. Granted the only thing I can think of is some high-end data/imaging capture setup where data transfer rates are important. If the need is just lots of USB ports or drives, you normally don't need more than 3 or 4 slots.

Future proofing? Let's be honest here. Are you really ever going to need more than 3 or 4?


One of the main reasons? Monitors. Lots of them. So lots of video cards.
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Re: Fractal Design Core 2300/2500 discontinued?

Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:17 am

Vinceant wrote:
Requirements not set by me, but by the specific client I still build custom machines for. What they are doing doesn't strictly require all of those PCI express slots, but a couple of the requirements the owner of said business has laid out does require more flexibility than a typical compact board would allow. And, well, the client is the one writing the checks, and honestly them wanting it this way doesn't really end up costing them significantly more than any other normal basic office computer I could custom build, so it is what it is. Like I said, hard to explain briefly, but we ended up needing primarily full ATX boards and cases for good reason.
If the client really insists of such customized setup, they should be willing to pay for it. I fail to understand why they (or you) are nickel and diming here. Costs of multiple PCIe x16 video cards easily dwarfs the $100 difference here.

Vinceant wrote:
One of the main reasons? Monitors. Lots of them. So lots of video cards.

I am sorry, how many are we actually talking about here to be "lots"? 8? 16? You can easily get away with just 2 cards. More than 16? The cost of the case will be so minuscule. Then there is also this thing called DisplayPort daisy chaining (granted I have read that not all implementations work, but solutions are out there), which reduces the need for >2 video cards a lot. It does come down to what you mean by "a lot". High end home setups can do 4-6 easily these days.
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Re: Fractal Design Core 2300/2500 discontinued?

Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:06 am

Oops! I mistook this as a thread seeking an answer to a question.

Cheap, windowless, low-bling, roomy ATX cases with removable dust filters:
$54 Antec P7 Silent
$55 Apexgaming Hermes 51
$60 Apexgaming AK-47
$63 -10MIR Corsair CC-9011023-WW
$69 Cooler Master NSE-400-KKN2
$70 Antec Three Hundred Two
$88 Phanteks PH-EC416PSC_BK
$89 be quiet! BG021
$90 be quiet! BG022
$94 Fractal Design FD-CA-MESH-C-BKO
$97 Fractal Design FD-CA-DEF-C-BK
$98 Antec P100
$100 Cooler Master RC-902XB-KKN2
$106 Phanteks PH-ES614PC_BK

Without dust filters:
$50 Fractal Design FD-CA-ARC-R2-BL-W
$79 Thermaltake CA-3K7-45M1NU-02
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Re: Fractal Design Core 2300/2500 discontinued?

Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:26 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
Oops! I mistook this as a thread seeking an answer to a question.

Cheap, windowless, low-bling, roomy ATX cases with removable dust filters:
$54 Antec P7 Silent
$55 Apexgaming Hermes 51
$60 Apexgaming AK-47
$63 -10MIR Corsair CC-9011023-WW
$69 Cooler Master NSE-400-KKN2
$70 Antec Three Hundred Two
$88 Phanteks PH-EC416PSC_BK
$89 be quiet! BG021
$90 be quiet! BG022
$94 Fractal Design FD-CA-MESH-C-BKO
$97 Fractal Design FD-CA-DEF-C-BK
$98 Antec P100
$100 Cooler Master RC-902XB-KKN2
$106 Phanteks PH-ES614PC_BK

Without dust filters:
$50 Fractal Design FD-CA-ARC-R2-BL-W
$79 Thermaltake CA-3K7-45M1NU-02

I pick a couple at random and they are not hinge style side panels, which is a thing stated by the OP. It you really need to swap out cards all the time, may as well go with an open bench? :roll: I am seriously doubting the actual business requirements vs the OP's own preferences. I do appreciate that everyone has their thing, so there's that. :P
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Re: Fractal Design Core 2300/2500 discontinued?

Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:35 pm

Flying Fox wrote:
I pick a couple at random and they are not hinge style side panels, which is a thing stated by the OP. It you really need to swap out cards all the time, may as well go with an open bench?
There are such things as ATX open benches for under $100, but I struggle to reconcile that style of case with the "no transparency" requirement. :-?

The hinge-style side panel mounting is still present on the Antec Performance Series like the P100 (or the lovely old P160 that I have in my spare parts pile).
Last edited by JustAnEngineer on Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fractal Design Core 2300/2500 discontinued?

Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:37 pm

I think it is a bit much to expect a decent hinge-style side panel in the $60-and-under segment. Great that the Fractal Design Core 2300/2500 met all of his requirements before, but now that it is going away it may be time to decide what features to compromise on.

An open bench style case is going to be a complete non-starter in an office environment.
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Re: Fractal Design Core 2300/2500 discontinued?

Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:24 pm

just brew it! wrote:
An open bench style case is going to be a complete non-starter in an office environment.

I do really wonder what kind of "office environment" involves swapping 6-7 cards frequently on every client computers? If it is just for monitors I don't see why one would need to upgrade so often that requires hinge style doors. The stated requirements seem to fundamentally contradicting themselves. :-? Like everyone in the office, including the reception/payroll person, needs to have that kind of "future proofing"? I'm calling BS on that.
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Re: Fractal Design Core 2300/2500 discontinued?

Sat Feb 09, 2019 3:50 pm

just brew it! wrote:
I think it is a bit much to expect a decent hinge-style side panel in the $60-and-under segment. Great that the Fractal Design Core 2300/2500 met all of his requirements before, but now that it is going away it may be time to decide what features to compromise on.

An open bench style case is going to be a complete non-starter in an office environment.


Why is that mechanism not on all cases in the 70 and up segment though? I can understand the cheaper market not using it because, you know, cheap. But 70-100 dollar cases are devoid of this feature as well.

But alas, I suppose you are right. **** as it is, it appears that I'm going to have to let go of it. It's stupid, and case designers should take note, but what else can I do?

Flying Fox wrote:
I pick a couple at random and they are not hinge style side panels, which is a thing stated by the OP. It you really need to swap out cards all the time, may as well go with an open bench? :roll: I am seriously doubting the actual business requirements vs the OP's own preferences. I do appreciate that everyone has their thing, so there's that. :P


The side panel mechanism is more my preference (I'm the one who has to maintain the things), the clients requirements are why we're using ATX etc. It's not required, but I was really hoping that I would find a few options and that I was just missing something. Sadly it seems true, that most side panels use the crappier type. I can live with it, but why not shop for the preferred product?

JustAnEngineer wrote:
Oops! I mistook this as a thread seeking an answer to a question.

Cheap, windowless, low-bling, roomy ATX cases with removable dust filters:
$54 Antec P7 Silent
$55 Apexgaming Hermes 51
$60 Apexgaming AK-47
$63 -10MIR Corsair CC-9011023-WW
$69 Cooler Master NSE-400-KKN2
$70 Antec Three Hundred Two
$88 Phanteks PH-EC416PSC_BK
$89 be quiet! BG021
$90 be quiet! BG022
$94 Fractal Design FD-CA-MESH-C-BKO
$97 Fractal Design FD-CA-DEF-C-BK
$98 Antec P100
$100 Cooler Master RC-902XB-KKN2
$106 Phanteks PH-ES614PC_BK

Without dust filters:
$50 Fractal Design FD-CA-ARC-R2-BL-W
$79 Thermaltake CA-3K7-45M1NU-02


Some good options here. Very few have the preferred side panels, but most have all the other features I'd be looking for. The P7 seems like an effective and cheap option, and is likely what I'm gonna go with.

Except... hold up. That FD case for 94 bucks. The Meshify C. Is that a hinge I see? I don't see any of the normal holes for the pinch brackets (what are those things called anyway?). This might be worth considering. As the rest of that case is pretty awesome. Maybe I'll replace my Three Hundred Two in my workstation to dog food it and see how it goes.

Flying Fox wrote:
Vinceant wrote:
Requirements not set by me, but by the specific client I still build custom machines for. What they are doing doesn't strictly require all of those PCI express slots, but a couple of the requirements the owner of said business has laid out does require more flexibility than a typical compact board would allow. And, well, the client is the one writing the checks, and honestly them wanting it this way doesn't really end up costing them significantly more than any other normal basic office computer I could custom build, so it is what it is. Like I said, hard to explain briefly, but we ended up needing primarily full ATX boards and cases for good reason.
If the client really insists of such customized setup, they should be willing to pay for it. I fail to understand why they (or you) are nickel and diming here. Costs of multiple PCIe x16 video cards easily dwarfs the $100 difference here.

Vinceant wrote:
One of the main reasons? Monitors. Lots of them. So lots of video cards.

I am sorry, how many are we actually talking about here to be "lots"? 8? 16? You can easily get away with just 2 cards. More than 16? The cost of the case will be so minuscule. Then there is also this thing called DisplayPort daisy chaining (granted I have read that not all implementations work, but solutions are out there), which reduces the need for >2 video cards a lot. It does come down to what you mean by "a lot". High end home setups can do 4-6 easily these days.


8+ monitors on a single workstation. That's only... like a quarter of the story. It was just supposed to give you an idea of why we would be completely insane (given the response here it seems like ATX is an outlier standard) and using ATX mobos. And I'm well aware that there are expensive GPU's that can do 8 on a single card, but they are expensive, and the hassle of using ATX and more cards is worth the savings we get from not using those with smaller boards.

We used to use Radeon 7750s for all the GPUs there. I don't think the 810 was out at the time we started that. But we recently swapped to the P600/P620 Quadros and they do quite well and are very cheap for their performance and features (and the drivers don't make me want to stab myself).

Also, I'm completely willing to sell them a slightly more expensive case, within reason. But given that there was a case in that price bracket that did all the things, it's a hard sell to explain that there just isn't anymore. Wouldn't YOU be annoyed if they stopped making something you used regularly and the only product that met all of your preferences and requirements was nearly double the cost? Just about anybody would get annoyed with that.
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Re: Fractal Design Core 2300/2500 discontinued?

Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:44 pm

Vinceant wrote:
Why is that mechanism not on all cases in the 70 and up segment though? I can understand the cheaper market not using it because, you know, cheap. But 70-100 dollar cases are devoid of this feature as well.

Unfortunately we do have inflation so decent cases now start from about 100. Margins for anything below is just too thin, discounts excluding.

Vinceant wrote:
But given that there was a case in that price bracket that did all the things, it's a hard sell to explain that there just isn't anymore. Wouldn't YOU be annoyed if they stopped making something you used regularly and the only product that met all of your preferences and requirements was nearly double the cost? Just about anybody would get annoyed with that.

Like flagship phones with removable batteries that do not cost >1K? There's been enough bitching all over the internets already. :lol:
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Re: Fractal Design Core 2300/2500 discontinued?

Thu Feb 14, 2019 5:05 pm

So, now the P7 silent is missing everywhere. Newegg currently only has two cases under 60 dollars that has USB 3 FPIO and no windowed side panels that can fit an ATX board. wtf is going on?
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Re: Fractal Design Core 2300/2500 discontinued?

Thu Feb 14, 2019 5:57 pm

Vinceant wrote:
Newegg currently only has two cases under 60 dollars that has USB 3 FPIO and no windowed side panels that can fit an ATX board. wtf is going on?
Inflation. Increase your budget.
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Re: Fractal Design Core 2300/2500 discontinued?

Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:25 am

"inflation" explains a slow increase in price. Not the falloff of all cases without windows and usb 3 on the front in the past 5-6 months.

https://www.neweggbusiness.com/product/ ... 0100022120

There are two that I thought had windows, but apparently do not. Not useful for my needs, but that brings the grand total up to... four. Four cases on Newegg that are actively in stock for less than 60 bucks that don't have windows. This isn't an issue of inflation. Also, a solid sheet of aluminum would be cheaper to manufacture than a side panel window. These are cheaper cases I'm looking for, they just don't exist.
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Re: Fractal Design Core 2300/2500 discontinued?

Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:45 am

If you just want cheap and nasty, there are still cheap cases available. Adding more USB ports is easy, too.
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... A5W4WG1112
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Re: Fractal Design Core 2300/2500 discontinued?

Fri Feb 15, 2019 9:47 am

Vinceant wrote:
"inflation" explains a slow increase in price. Not the falloff of all cases without windows and usb 3 on the front in the past 5-6 months.

If you believe in the government's CPI number, then sure it is slow. But look at your own regular expenses like food. It is increasing faster than that headline rate. And we may have a shock coming if the China tariffs are going kick another notch higher. We the consumer will be eating all that.

As for the so called "falloff", you have just been buying up inventory without noticing the trends. Inflation of raw materials and manufacturing mean manufacturers are not charing the same low prices you were still living in with the same set of features. They are adjusting features to keep some products at the same lower prices. Classic cost cutting move.

But you are partially right, there are other factors at work here. The trend with windowed side panels is definitely on, has been for a few years. I am not a fan of windows too and I have been finding less cases without them.

JustAnEngineer wrote:
If you just want cheap and nasty, there are still cheap cases available. Adding more USB ports is easy, too.
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... A5W4WG1112

How many of those have hinge type side panels?

At this point, I would have to say suck it up and stop being cheap. Budget, features, performance/quality, you can't have all 3 I'm afraid.
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