Cooler Master Elite 430 Black

Exterior Design

Exterior Design

Coming so soon after we reviewed the massive BitFenix Colossus, the Cooler Master Elite 430 Black almost felt as light as a feather. Indeed, at less than 5kg, the Elite is but a third the weight of the Colossus. Unlike the Colossus, which has a smooth, rubbery exterior, the Elite felt rough to the touch and we found that we could easily leave white 'scratch' marks on its surface with just our fingernails. While these marks could be rubbed out with any cleaning cloth, we weren't too impressed with the thin, albeit light side panels on this chassis.

On the other hand, given its entry level pricing, the choice made by Cooler Master to keep its costs down is understandable. At least the chassis is decent looking, with a front facade that reminded us of a car grill. The basics are covered, with the front panel I/O having the usual USB and audio/microphone jacks. Like quite a few chassis nowadays, the Elite 430 Black comes with a transparent side window, the better for users to show off their components, or simply just to check that their cooling fans are still running.

The Elite 430 comes with a transparent side window for those who have a color coordinated set of components installed for show.

A typical set of front panel I/O ports is found at the upper half of the front facade. Two USB 2.0 ports and audio/microphone jacks.

Does this not look like the front grill of a car to you? External 2.5-inch drive bays are found between the power, reset buttons and the LED indicators for them. Right below there is the only pre-installed cooling fan, a 120mm blue LED fan.

All the external bays come with a meshed dust filter. You have to pull apart the plastic front panel of the casing to get to them before you can install any external drives like your DVD-ROM.

The rear of the casing is standard enough, though the holes for water cooling setups are still intact. You'll have to push through them with a screwdriver should you wish to use them for that purpose. In other words, no pre-installed grommets.

So far, from its exterior design, Cooler Master has played it safe and the Elite 430 Black looks like a competent, conventional mid-tower chassis. It won't stand out in the crowd if that's what you're looking for.

The Good
Competitive price
Easy to install
The Bad
Lacks cable management options
Only one cooling fan included