‘There’s a nice little touch in the form of
a padlock loop at the rear.’
Cooler Master is well-known for its
high-end cases, but can its budget case, the Elite 330, prove a good choice for
the more conservative spender?
Although the Elite 330 is a mid tower, it’s
a fairly generously sized example, with ample space for a full ATX motherboard
and PSU, and more drive bays than buyer at this price will ever need: four
5.25” bays and seven 3.5” bays. The drive bays themselves contain a screw-free
locking mechanism, but you can take these mounts out and use traditional screws
if you prefer.
Its appearances are comfortably in the
middle of the road, sleek enough to fit a gaming PC, but understated enough to
work in an office or business situation too. The sides are mostly solid sheets,
but there are some hefty-looking vents on one site to help maximize airflow
around expansion cards.
The front, however, is almost entirely
mesh, both the drive bays covers and the space below them. The included dust
filters will prevent your system becoming furred up by this extra air flow, but
do remember to clean them if you’re hoping to keep it effective. It’s a little
maintenance for a lot of performance, which may put off the most novice users,
and in this regard, it certainly lives up to the Cooler Master name. In terms
of active cooling, the case comes with its own 120mm exhaust fan (there’s no
space for any others, but there are mounts for smaller fans if you want to
Although it’s a fairly basic case, there’s
a nice little touch in the form of a padlock loop at the rear, which allows you
to secure your unit from tampering, Admittedly, it’s not going to deter the
most determined thieves, but it does present enough of a deterrent that you can
keep your system secure while you’re out of the room, at least. There’s also a
tool-free locking bracket for expansion cards, this can’t be removed and is
rather fiddly – no least because its one-piece design means you have to release
them all to insert or remove just one card. It’s an odd choice, and a small
let-down in an otherwise great case.
Elite 330 is a mid tower, it’s a fairly generously sized example, with ample
space for a full ATX motherboard and PSU
A fantastic choice for building a
mid-ranger system with some room, but maybe not if you’re averse to a little
cleaning or if you swap your PCI cards around a lot.