|Cooler Master Elite 430 Case RC-430-KWN1|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by Joey Peng - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Thursday, 22 July 2010|
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Elite 430 Detailed Interior Features
The Cooler Master Elite 430's top 5.25" drive locks are completely tool-less and locks are not removable. They simply flip left and right for locking and opening. It works extremely well. However Cooler Master only provides two locks so a third drive will have to be installed the old fashioned way using screws.
The locks for the Elite 430's 3.5" drives also work great. Cooler Master provides three locks for seven drive bays. Installing 3.5" drives on the lower five slots however will leave half the drive to sticking out. Cooler Master managed to minimize the container's size by using only two screw to lock the drive in place. Smart positioning of drives will allow easy installation for long graphics card like the HD 5970.
At the bottom of the Elite 430 the PSU spot sits right above a meshed vent. Metal bumpers stick out to ensure the PSU sits at the right place, and a flap helps to keep the PSU in place. It holds the PSU nicely, helping to avoid movement caused by any loose screws.
Installation for the Cooler Master Elite 430 was a little tricky due to wiring choices and limited space. I only had enough room to install two additional 120mm fans, at the rear and on the side window. There was no space at the top or bottom for additional fans. The top was due not so much to the overall size of the CPU cooler, more so because the general size for a heatsink covering a i7-920 CPU is just too wide.
Installation of the 5.25" and 3.5" drives was the easiest part as the tool-less design worked flawlessly. The 3.5" drive however was half sticking out. To install large graphic cards the PCI-slot would need to alternate rows with the 3.5" drives. Once the GTX285 was installed there was very little additional space to move things around.
The completed system looks pretty compact with most of the cables tucked at the bottom, pretty much the only place available. Unfortunately trying to add another 3.5" drive later proved to be extremely difficult. The drive had to be inserted horizontally from the left, where either the graphics card was blocking or cables were in the way. A total of three blue LED fans were installed, and with them, the case gives off a nice glow all around thanks to numerous meshed surfaces.
In the end the Cooler Master Elite 430 did what it set out to do, allowing the installation of huge graphic cards in a pretty small case. There are many options for additional fans and drive bays, but these options are only available when installing a moderate system, as space is the biggest limiting factor. While the spec sheet claims up to six fans can be installed most systems would only be able to install three. Poor cable management features didn't help the situation either. However in most cases this case would be suitable. Without a large graphics card eating away at all the space and without a CPU cooler blocking the top, the Cooler Master Elite 430 gets the job done well.