Cooler Master is aiming right at the heart of the budget case market with its latest Elite 430. The black case is designed to take on the very popular Antec Three Hundred, and should certainly give it a run for its money in terms of build quality and use of space.
Despite its cost, there's still (just enough) space for a large CPU cooler such as the upcoming Cooler Master V6
, and it'll even handle three GeForce GTX 480s without turning into a fiery ball of mess, we were told. The system shown had such a setup but the case sides were off to show the PC inside, which would have helped the cooling.
With space for two 120mm fans in the roof, one 120mm fan at the rear, one 120mm fan in the floor and another 120mm fan at the front, there's plenty of scope to add more cooling if you need it. There were no side panels for us to look at, so there might even be a mount or two more for GPU-specific cooling.
However, considering that the graphics cards installed in the system were already very close to the side of the case (thanks for those overhanging heatpipes, Nvidia) you'd need to use a very thin fan if you planned to install and GTX 480.
To keep things simple, the hard disk cage isn't sideways facing, so it'll be awkward to fit or swap disks once the system is built. However, Cooler Master does throw in some nice tool-free clips to secure your disks and the optical drives above.
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The case even supports extended PSUs such as the giant 1.2kW Silent Pro Gold shown above, although this has meant that the demo system couldn't use the extra floor fan mount. The Elite 430 actually looks quite smart, with a neat and clean aesthetic. Unfortunately Cooler Master couldn't confirm a final price or a launch date, so you'll just have to keep checking bit-tech
Is this an Antec 300-killer? Or just another choice in the budget market is good for everyone? Let us know your thoughts, in the forums