Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus - An Entry-level Stalwart

Introduction + External Design


Cooler Master is one of the biggest manufacturers of computer chassis and they often update their products with refreshes. The Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus can be seen as an improved version of the Elite 430 that we reviewed in late 2010. Let’s see if Cooler Master has made any significant improvements to this entry-level chassis.

The Elite 431 Plus is the latest entry-level update from Cooler Master.

External Design

Aesthetically, the new Elite 431 Plus looks similar to the older Elite 430. Both are completely decked in black and have roughly the same design scheme.

However, the new Elite 431 Plus does boast a couple of new features worth highlighting. First and foremost, the revised chassis now boasts a single USB 3.0 port that is enabled via a proper USB 3.0 header. It also gets an X-Dock which is a feature that lets user hot swap 3.5-inch devices. This is a relatively new feature seen on pricier Cooler Master chassis and we are pleased to see that it has made it to the entry-level Elite 431 Plus.

What’s not so good, however, is that the new Elite 431 Plus is still made from a combination of 0.5mm SECC steel and ABS plastics and as such it feels just as flimsy as the older model.

A side window panel lets its users show off their components.

The Elite 431 Plus has been updated to include a single USB 3.0 port. Along with it, it also gets two USB 2.0 ports, the usual power, reset buttons, and headphones and microphone jacks.

The rear panel is as you'd expect from an entry-level chassis. There's two grommets for liquid-cooling setups and there's provisions for a rear exhaust fan. Really though, a rear exhaust fan should have come as standard.

The Good
Inclusion of USB 3.0 dock and X-Dock
Able to accommodate large graphics cards
Mostly tool-free installation
The Bad
Only one intake fan
No space behind motherboard tray to tread cables

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