Cooler Master launches two new budget Elite series cases

By on January 27, 2011, 8:30 AM
Cooler Master has introduced two new value-minded Elite series desktop cases. The Elite 343 is billed as a budget enclosure for the "average user," but it also offers a compact solution for gamers that don't require a massive full-tower case like the HAF 932 or HAF X. Although it isn't quite as short as Thermaltake's Armor A30, it measures a narrower 7.20 x 14.04 x 17.55 inches.

Given those dimensions, the Elite 343 only accepts microATX motherboards. It has room for two 5.25-inch drives, five internal 3.5-inch drives, one external 3.5-inch drive, and four rear expansion slots. It also supports graphics cards up to 250mm long or 363mm if you remove the HDD cage (necessary for flagship cards like the GeForce GTX 580), as well as CPU coolers up to 148mm tall.

Meanwhile, the Elite 371 is classified as a mid-tower case, measuring 7.5 x 16.7 x 19.6 inches. Its larger frame affords it an extra 5.25-inch bay, three more rear expansion slots, as well as support for full ATX motherboards, graphics cards up to 315mm and CPU coolers up to 163mm. Both new arrivals have two USB 2.0 ports along with audio and mic jacks on the front I/O panel.

It's worth mentioning that both enclosures only come with a single 120mm fan. The Elite 343 supports a maximum of three fans (two in front and one in back), whereas the larger Elite 371 can hold up to seven (two on the top and side, one on the front, back and bottom). The latter also has dust filters pre-installed on all its fan grills. Both cases should be available soon for around $40.

User Comments: 6

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madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Oh come on, a reference GTX 570 is 267mm, if the 343 turned the drive cage to face the side panel, they probably could have made the space. A Radeon 6970 probably would not fit ether way. =/

Both seem like decent cases, and the addition of filters on the 371 is nice, though it looks cumbersome to get to them.

mattfrompa mattfrompa said:

This is good news. I really like my CM HAF 922. Even though it's much more expensive than these will be, I have become a fan of CM cases overall.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

madboyv1 said:

Oh come on, a reference GTX 570 is 267mm, if the 343 turned the drive cage to face the side panel, they probably could have made the space. A Radeon 6970 probably would not fit ether way. =/

Well this is a budget case, so it's understandable imo. At least with a removable driver cage you have the option to put in longer cards without much hassle.

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

True, but you lose a majority of the storage capacity of the case by removing the drive cage. A number of budget cases have the side panel oriented drive bays, so it was not infeesible for these cases to have them either. being only ~18mm off, a dremel and a little time can solve that; if I were to need that bay I'd put in a Solid State Drive in it

The case I own (Lian Li PCQ-08) actually has two drive cages, so rather than losing all six of my 3.5" bays I lose only two, but I also paid nearly three times the price compared to these cases, so that might not be a fair comparison. =)

Guest said:

I wish some cases would come out that didn't feature external 3.5-inch drive bays, they're ugly and who the hell still uses a floppy drive in this decade.

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

3.5" bays are also used for card readers, fan controllers, LCD Matrix bay screens, bay mounted IR recievers, etc. While including a bracket/bay cover to convert a 5.25" bay to a 3/5" bay could offer the same thing, a dedicated 3.5" bay may offer additional design space, especially when there is not enough space for that additional 5.25" bay.

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