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Cooler Master Elite 130 Review

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Cooler Master Elite 130 mini-ITX Computer Case Review

By David Ramsey

Manufacturer: Cooler Master, Inc.
Product Name: Elite 130
Model Number: RC-130-KKN1
UPC: 884102024221 EAN: 719512045176
Price As Tested: $49.99 (Amazon | Newegg | B&H)

Full Disclosure: Cooler Master provided the product sample used in this article.

I’ve reviewed a lot of Cooler Master cases over the years for Benchmark Reviews, and one thing that impresses me about the company is that they never stop innovating or refining. One has only to track the evolution of the Cosmos series of cases to see this writ large (very large, in the case of the Cosmos II), but what keeps my attention is the way they’ll roll smaller, incremental improvements into an existing case line. Today’s example: the Cooler Master Elite 130 mini-ITX computer case.

I’ve previously reviewed the Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced case that the 130 descends from, and it impressed me with its design and low price, making it my favorite mini-ITX computer case. If it had a weak point, it was CPU cooling: since the power supply is mounted over the motherboard, you had to use a very low-profile cooler. Depending on the motherboard in your system, you might have been limited to the stock Intel cooler.

cooler_master_elite_130_front_34.

The Elite 130 addresses this limitation by supporting closed-loop water coolers with 120mm radiators. How did Cooler Master manage to find the space for this in a mini-ITX form factor? It’s not as if there was a lot of free space inside the Elite 120 Advanced…

Features & Specifications

Model RC-130-KKN1
Color Midnight Black
Material Appearance: polymer front mesh panel. Case body: Steel alloy
Dimension 240 x 205 x 377.5 mm / 9.4 x 8.1 x 14.9 inch
Weight 3.1 kg / 6.8 lbs
M/B Type Mini-ITX
5.25″ Drive Bay 1
3.5″ Drive Bay 3 (1 from 5.25” drive bay)
SSD Bays 4 (3 from 5.25″ drive bays, 1 from the side bracket)
I/O Panel USB 3.0 x 2, USB 2.0 x 1, Audio In & Out
Expansion Slots 2
Cooling System Front: 120mm fan x 1 (installed)Side: 80x15mm fan x 1 (installed)
Power Supply Standard ATX PS2 (optional)
Maximum Compatibility VGA card length: 343mm / 13.5 inch CPUcooler height: 65mm / 2.5 inchPSU length: 180mm/ 7.1 inch (w/ less cable management) 142mm / 5.6 inch (w/ full cable management)
Warranty 2 years
UPC Code 884102024221

Let’s take a look at this new case in the next section.


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8 comments

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  1. Nyks

    Hi,

    thanks for the nice review.

    I’m looking for a case in these dimensions; before seeing your image above, I missed a possibility build a DVD-RW and a cardreader into the Elite 130.
    Which components are needed for the this combination? A slim-DVD-drive and a 3,5″-Cardreader … and anything else? Do I need to buy a “mounting frame”?

    PS: Sorry for al the certainly existing mistakes … I’m not a native english-speaker.

    1. Olin Coles

      There are too many options to list, but we did just review this: http://benchmarkreviews.com/15508/fractal-design-node-804-micro-atx-case-review/

  2. David Ramsey

    Hi Nyks,

    Yes, I like an optical drive and card reader in all my computers. To mount both a slim optical drive and a 3.5″ drive adapter in a single 5.25″ bay, I used this adapter:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817998058

  3. Nyks

    @Olin: The Note 804 doesnt sound good: it isnt jet relased, the dimensions are unknown, there are no front-mountingtrays, and the estimated price is rather high (99 EUR).

    Thank you David Ramsey! A mount like this (SLIM + 3,5″) seems to be very rarely available. But I could find the “SLIMCDFDCAGE” at least from one german amazon-marketplace-retailer.

  4. Ludewig Kepler

    Nice review and plenty of pictures ! Excellent ! My case is on it’s way and already planning to build, as you did, an hackintosh for my self and your review has inspired me :-) One question though, what motherboard model you’r using ?
    I guessing it’s a Gigabyte but which model number ?
    Thanks for the answer

    Ludwig K

  5. David Ramsey

    I’m using a Gigabyte GA-Z77N mini-ITX board.

  6. Dominik de Lioncourt

    Could you please recommend a few Water Cooling 120mm AIO units that will fit into this case? Thank You!

    1. David Ramsey

      Virtually any 120mm AIO cooler should fit, although those with double-thick radiators like the Antec Kuhler 920 might be tight. Any of Corsair’s 120mm AIO coolers will work fine.

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