Legit Case Reviews
Cooler Master Elite 430 Black Mid Tower PC Case Review
|Product:||RC-430-KWN1 Elite 430 Black|
|Date:||Thu, Sep 09, 2010 - 12:00 AM|
|Written By:||Austin Hamann -|
The general aesthetics of the Elite 430 are pretty plain in a great way because not everyone wants an extravagant work of art and this is just a clean functional home for your rig. One big bonus for budget cases that just have clean flat panels is that they are easily mod-able for those that just want a custom graphic on either side panel, especially with the big window.
The window exposes almost the entire inside of the chassis, hiding just the HDD and DVD drive bays. Hopefully once assembled we will be able to see all the components without much cabling, either.
As you can see above, the 120mm side fan location is directly across from where a video card will be so that multiple as well as single card solutions will get plenty of air with a fan installed. The lexan is ~1/8" thick.
The window is held on by standard plastic pins; notice the exterior paint is textured. You will notice my camera will have trouble with contrast once parts are installed as I have seen many times before with other cases with this type of paint. It doesn't photograph well but it sure does look good in person.
Notice how the light hits the three 5.25" drive bays? The drive bay covers have an angle for the bottom 1/2" which makes them really stand out in a subtle and elegant way.
The front panel features two USB 2.0 ports and the standard HD Audio jacks with expandability to full-size Firewire though it seems a different model case will utilize it.
The power and reset buttons are a glossy dark charcoal, so they are easy to notice but don't really stick out like they can on some cases.
Two status LED lights are housed on the opposite side as the power/reset buttons. These LEDs are for 'system' and 'HDD' activity though I disable them after initial use because my system resides where I sleep and it folds, so I keep it on overnight.
Money shot: notice the metal dust filter for the 120mm front blue LED fan, which is removable as you can see below.
Users can either use the included 120mm blue LED fan or another 120mm or 140mm fan of their choosing. All bay covers have foam dust filters. The front panel connector wires are connected to a small circuit board which has all of the front ports. I'm a big fan of front panels which are easily removable without having to disconnect anything, but there are much worse designs out there in that respect. At the very least the power and reset buttons as well as LEDs do not require any effort.
Again we see the expandability for 1394 Firewire, maybe an Elite 440? We'll find out eventually, or just forget. Either way, let's move on to the back.
I do not see much room above the I/O shield, which is common of most short mid-tower cases, but you have water line pass-throughs and a bottom mount power supply. The main thing I notice, though, is the throw-away expansion slot covers, but considering this cases price tag is very understandable.
The power supply can be mounted fan up or down for more versatility, and here you can see the slot for the lock mount and the nice steel thumbscrews. The thumbscrews with this case are shorter than Thermaltake thumbscrews but longer than what NZXT uses.
This is a first for me; the back and bottom panels are actually just one big piece, not riveted together like you almost always see. This shaves off some weight as well as helps manufacturing costs, allowing Cooler Master to do all the other cool stuff at its cool price tag.
The front panel clips on, the feet clip on, the power supply vent has a dust filter and the bottom fan can be either 80, 92 or 120mm. Not much more can be asked of the bottom of a case.
The feet set the case roughly 1/2" off the ground (if on a flat surface, i.e. hardwood/cement).
The top is, again, very simple and expandable for dual fans or a 240mm radiator. The top fans have a thin filter.
Next Page - Internal Impressions
Page 1 - The Cooler Master Elite 430
Page 2 - Retail Package & Bundle
Page 3 - External Impressions
Page 4 - Internal Impressions
Page 5 - Installing Components
Page 6 - Final Thoughts and Conclusions