Most of us have heard of Cooler Master and their many products including power supplies, cooling accessories (heatsinks and fans), and, of course, cases. Today we will be looking at their newest offering, the Elite 430 Black. The Elite is a brand new mid-sized tower case that has not yet been released to the public. Some of Cooler Master’s goals were to “give both value and functionality within an entry level mid tower.” Let’s see if that was accomplished.
- Available Color: Black
- Dimensions: 7.5 X 16.7 X 19.3 inches (W, H, D)
- Weight: 10.3 lbs (4.7 kg)
- Motherboard type: Micro-ATX, ATX
- Case Material: 0.5 mm SECC
- 5x 1/4″ Drive bay: 3 Exposed
- 3x 1/2″ Drive bay: 2 Exposed and 5 Hidden
- I/O panel: 2x USB 2.0, 1x Microphone, 1x Audio
- Cooling Fans: Top – 2x 120 mm (optional), Front – 1x 120 mm blue LED, 1x 140 mm (optional), Rear 80/90/120 mm (optional), Bottom – 80/90/120 mm (optional)
- Power Supply: Standard ATX PS2 (Not supplied)
The Elite 430 comes in a box with graphics on the outside showing what the case looks like, some of its features, and its specifications. Like most cases, it is securely packed inside with Styrofoam inserts suspending the unit in the middle of the box to prevent damage.
When I removed the unit from the box I was surprised by how light it was. However, this certainly didn’t affect anything as far as its structural integrity or build quality while the motherboard was being installed. The exterior and interior have a nice black finish, which is a very nice touch for an entry level mid-tower.
There are plenty of spaces for fans aside from those included. A lower front 120 mm intake fan and a 120 mm intake fan in the bottom middle of the case are included as standard. Both intake fans and the power supply intake area have plastic filters on them, a nice addition to help minimize dust inside the case.
There is a 120 mm sized space on the clear windowed side to aid graphics card cooling, a 120 mm slot on the rear, as well as two 120mm spaces up top which can also hold a 2x 120 mm radiator if you go the water cooling route. It also has holes in the rear for routing tubing from an external radiator. The Elite 430 looks to be a nice air-cooling friendly case.
- Gigabyte P55 UD3R Motherboard
- Scythe Kaze Master Fan controller
- Western Digital 250GB HDD
- Evga GTX 285 Graphics
Installation of these parts was straight forward. There was nothing to get in your way, and no sharp corners to cut your fingers on. The accessory bag had all the screws and risers needed to mount everything securely.
Taking apart the front grill of the case was fairly simple – just push on the connection points and it pops off. The initial removal of the internal metal plates took a bit longer than I expected as they are pretty solidly installed. Once that was complete, adding optical drives or fan controllers was just a case of sliding them in place and locking them down. Half depth accessories – such as most fan controllers – can be mounted securely with screws on one side and the tool free locks on the other with no issues. Hard drives were also painless with their tool-free locking mechanisms.
Three mechanical drives and an SLI/Crossfire setup ought to fit inside the case with no issues. The case will certainly accommodate an ATI 5970 while losing a 3 1/2″ HDD bay, but there would still be four more to choose from. It held on to the GTX 285 in the picture with no issues.
Cooler Master states that it will hold large tower coolers such as their own V8 and Hyper 212+, so space is certainly no issue here. You can see the hole the case has to access the back of the motherboard for easy heatsink removal or changes.
The power and reset buttons have a surprisingly solid feel to them when turning them on or off and have nice blue activity and power lights. The included 120mm blue LED fan up front also gives the case a nice blue glow without being overwhelming.
So, what is the verdict? Could the Cooler Master Elite 430 bring value and functionality to the entry level mid tower class? The short answer is “Yes.” Its overall appearance should be pleasing to a large audience as it’s not too flashy, but still offers a little bit of color out of the box. There is a nice, large side panel window can show off whatever parts you choose.
The case, though light, never felt flimsy. There are plenty of potential fan locations with the intakes using dust covers, as well as the ability to put a 2x120mm sized radiator up top so the case will be a good choice for air or water cooling. I would have liked to have seen some routing for wire management, but I know in this class that is a tough task. A few well placed zip ties (included) will clean that right up.
According to Cooler Master, the MSRP for the case will be $59.99 and it should be available at the end of June. The Cooler Master Elite 430 will find a nice place in the entry level mid tower segment and should definitely be a consideration in the $50 -$100 price range for cases.
We would like to thank Cooler Master for providing this review sample.