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Cooler Master Elite 130 Review

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Building a System, Continued

cooler_master_elite_130_video_clearance

As you can see, the end of my GTX780 is pressing right up against the power and data cables for the SSD boot drive. I had to use right-angled connectors for both here. Flipping the boot drive around so that its connectors faced the other side of the case was problematic because of the tubes for the water cooling unit.

cooler_master_elite_130_assembled_top

I went with a Silverstone STF45F-G modular power supply for this build (Newegg/Amazon), since its small SFX form factor and modular cables helped make the best of a tight situation. At about $95, this 450 watt gold-rated power supply is pricey, but its tiny size, modular cables, and quiet operation make it ideal for tight m-ITX builds. Still, things are somewhat cramped. With four SATA devices (one optical drive, two hard drives, one SSD), all of whose connectors are facing different directions, it’s almost impossible to come up with a neat cabling scheme. Note that I have the SFX power supply mounted so that its intake fan is pointing down: Cooler Master recommends this orientation for builds using a water cooler, the idea being that air will flow into the system from the front of the case, and the power supply fan will help to exhaust it. For air-cooled builds, Cooler Master recommends that the power supply be mounted with the fan at the top.

cooler_master_elite_130_assembled_right

A view of the right side of the case gives a better idea of just how chaotic the wiring is. I had to use Molex to SATA adapter cables in order to connect all the drives, which added more clutter.

cooler_master_elite_130_assembled_left

At the left side of the case is the NVIDIA GTX780 graphics card. It fits easily, although as I noted earlier the front of the card is pressing against the power and data cables for the SSD. At the lower right of this image, you can see an NZXT IU01 internal USB hub (Newegg). This $20.00 accessory is a life-saver for motherboards like my Gigabyte Z77-N, which has only a single USB 2.0 header.

Despite the clutter in these images, I managed to keep the area behind the radiator pretty clear for good airflow. The system’s been running for days now and the CPU and GPU temps are quite reasonable, so I’m happy.

Next, my final thoughts and conclusions about the Cooler Master Elite 130 mITX computer case.


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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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