Product Reviews Hardware Elite 371 Mid-tower
 
Hardware Elite 371 Mid-tower
 

Elite 371 Mid-tower Hot

Elite 371 Mid-tower

Product Info

Price
39.99

Hardware

Model
Elite 371

Decent mid-tower with tons of cooling options.

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Elite 371 Mid-tower
Elite 371 Mid-tower
Elite 371 Mid-tower

Editor reviews

 
Overall rating 
 
3.5
Ease of installation 
 
3.0
Build quality 
 
3.0
Performance 
 
4.0
Value 
 
4.0
FragProvider Reviewed by FragProvider    August 11, 2011
Last updated: August 12, 2011
#1 Reviewer   -   View all my reviews

Cooler Master offers decent mid-tower

The Cooler Master Elite 371 looks like a standard steel and plastic mid-tower case, but offers flexible cooling options for its market segment. The all steel chassis with plastic bezel is nothing spectacular yet doesn't sear the eyeballs like some low-end chassis designers try to do. The build is solid and the plastic doesn't feel like it will snap as soon as you touch it. The chassis covers most openings for drives with steel mesh providing a nice look and more ventilation than with normal solid coverings (though they can prove to be a dust trap) while the expansion card slots are punched steel that can be a little maddening to remove as the steel is fairly thin there. The drive bays are all tool-free designs and the side covers have thumbscrews, so you'll only need a bit-driver for installing the motherboard standoffs and screws and any expansion cards.

When building a box using this chassis I found no unduly sharp edges and the basic layout is sound with the PSU mounted on the bottom and the lower (internal) drive bays facing towards the back, which means you may have to account for longer cards interfering with any drivers or cables. I only found two issues while building the box. The first is that due to the fact that it's a mid-tower it can get a little cramped once everything is installed. The second is that there aren't really any options for routing cables as in most modern higher-end cases. I had to plan my installation carefully (OK, I didn't - I had to remove stuff first) in order to route wires where needed, especially at the top of the case where the top and rear fans can interfere with access to the CPU 4+4 pin connector and then CPU heatsink.

The case really comes into its own when it comes to cooling. According to the Cooler Master site, the case offers:

  • Top: 120 mm fan x 2 (optional)
  • Front: 120/140 mm fan x 1 (optional)
  • Rear: 120 mm fan x 1
  • Side: 120 / 140 mm fan x 2 (optional)
  • Bottom: 80 / 90 /120 mm fan x 1 (optional)


Now that's a lot of fans! The bottom PSU opening and top fans have a mesh filter while the others are simply hole patterns in the steel. I had to forgo installing 2 fans as one of the top fans and one of the side fans would not clear the CPU heatsink (a Cooler Master 212+).

Overall this is a very nice case for the NewEgg price of $40 with a ton of cooling options available.

Review

Pros
Tons of cooling options, cheap, sturdy
Cons
A little cramped, minimal cable routing
Do you recommend?
Yes
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