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Written by Austin Downing   
Sunday, 08 May 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
Cooler Master Elite 371 RC-371-KKN1
Closer Look: Exterior
Closer Look: Interior
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Cooler Master Elite 371 Case Review

Manufacturer: Cooler Master
Product Name: Elite 271
Model Number: RC-371-KKN1
Price As Tested: $49.99 at Newegg.

Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by Cooler Master.

Not too long ago all custom computer builds where done using beige boxes. Unlike their mass-built cousins, these cases had very few externally defining features. In the last five years, this has changed with many cases having very useful features or being very showy. Sadly, this has come at price, and with each year the costs of computer enclosures have risen. Cooler Master has addressed these rising costs with the Elite series of cases and with its newest addition the Elite 371. Priced for only $49.99, Benchmark Reviews determines if the Elite 371 has everything that is needed in cases or if too many corners have been cut for the sake of cost.

Many people like me have built a multitude of computer systems for different purposes. Depending on a user's budget or the intended purposes, users do not always need an innovative case. For many people a basic case that will hold all of their components and stay out of the way is all they need. Cooler Master has designed the Elite 371 just for this. With the ability to hold even the largest of video cards, and comfortably provide future expandability at a reasonable price the Elite 371 fulfills many builders' needs without breaking the bank.


When reviewing a case you have four major things you need to look at. First, you need to look at build quality because no one wants to spend hours putting hardware in a case only to find defects or to have parts that will fail months later. Secondly, you need to look at cooling because as the heat output of components goes up, so do cooling needs. Third, you need to look at the acoustics of your new case because as anyone who has worked on or near servers knows adequate cooling can come at an acoustic cost unless a company put expenses into preventing this. Lastly, you need to look at the ease of build, which depending on your system may or may not play a big role in your choice of case. If you like, I spend lots of time inside of your case modifying parts then you want a system that you can easily move around in while making modifications. On the other hand if you want to setup your system and leave it then this becomes less of an importance and therefore can be moved lower on the requirements for your case.

Computer Case Features

  • Filtered intakes on bottom and top.
  • Tool-Free mechanical design for quick assembly and maintenance.
  • Side ventilation holes for better cooling performance.
  • Easy access front I/O panel.
  • Supports long graphics cards including HD Radeon 5970.

Elite 371 Specifications

Available Color Black
Material Steel Body ; ABS Plastic
Dimensions 7.5" x 16.7" x 19.6"
Weight 10.1lbs
Supported Motherboards Micro ATX/ATX
5.25" Drive Bays 3 External
3.5" Drive Bays 5 Internal / 1 External
I/O Panel USB 2.0 x 2, Mic x 1, Audio x 1
Expansion Slots 7

Top: 120mm x 2 (optional)
Front: 120/140mm x 1 (optional)
Rear: 120mm x 1
Side 120/140mm x 2 (optional)
Bottom: 80/90/120mm x 1 (optional)

Power Supply Standard ATX
Maximum Compatiblity Video Card: 315mm/12.4"
CPU Cooler: 163mm /6.41"



# RE: Cooler Master Elite 371 RC-371-KKN1Robert17 2011-05-09 15:51
O.K. case I guess. I opted for the Coolermaster HAF 912 a couple of weeks ago for a build, paid $60 + tax. Has the features you mention as missing from the Elite 371 for only $10 more. Came with three fans, did some moving around, added a 200mm up top and made up a nice build for a wedding present (yes, the 912 has a military or goth look to it, but they're kids, to me anyway) and I'm now EMPTY NESTING !!

It looks like Coolermaster is trying to fill every niche and void in their line-up.

Nice review Austin. Thanks.
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# RE: Cooler Master Elite 371 RC-371-KKN1Austin Downing 2011-05-09 18:37
No problem, very interesting I will have to check out the HAF 912. Looks like you can turn the empty rooms into a Man Cave.
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# RE: Cooler Master Elite 371 RC-371-KKN1Justin Smith 2011-06-03 13:12
Hey Austin,

I am really new to building computers and am starting one that includes this case. You seem to be really smart at this sort of stuff so I want to build my own computer for recording but I'm not sure what type of components that I want to go into this case. If it's possible could you please enlighten me with your knowledge and maybe make some suggestions?

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# RE: RE: Cooler Master Elite 371 RC-371-KKN1Olin Coles 2011-06-03 13:24
Hello Justin: I think this would be the ideal discussion for our forum. Please visit and start a thread asking for help.
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