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Cooler Master Elite 110 Mini-ITX Chassis Review

Cooler Master Elite 110 Mini-ITX Chassis Review

Cooler Master releases the smallest Elite chassis to date. It's time to look at the Elite 110. Follow on as Chad tells us all about this small new case.

| Small Form Factor Cases in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Apr 3, 2014 2:08 am
TweakTown Rating: 95%      Manufacturer: Cooler Master

Introduction, Specifications and Pricing

 

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While the Elite 130 we just took a look at not too long ago was just enough chassis to house our Mini-ITX motherboard and our full sized video cards, in a lot of users' minds, that chassis is still too big for their needs. Cooler Master is not afraid to take things to the level their customers desire; for instance, just look at the flip side of cases with the much larger Stacker chassis. While not everyone has enough to fill the main chamber without even thinking of parts for one or more add-on sections of the chassis, that did not stop Cooler Master. They delivered such a design without looking back. It is the same sort of logic that brings us here today. While these exaggerated designs may not fit the mold of the chassis of the everyman/woman, it has never stopped them before, so why stop now?

 

What makes this latest design so special is that while the Elite series of cases is easily recognized, they have gone forth to release the smallest version of this chassis for those that lack space and want something very light and portable. It even has half a chance to make for an interesting HTPC chassis. All of this depends, of course, on what your personal desires for usage are and the components you have planned to use in your build.

 

It is at this point where Cooler Master stepped in. Cooler Master has taken many of the features from the Elite series cases, downsized them to fit into this smaller case, and even added hidden features that might not be readily apparent. It is only when you actually complete the build that some of the strange openings and new layout all become very apparent as to why they are there in the first place. Even if you are not yet in the market for compact SFF gaming, this is one of that designs that may just get you planning one very soon.

 

Taking a look at the chart provided by Cooler Master for this Elite 110, we do see at the top that there seems to be two models available, the standard version that we received as well as the AMZ version. The thing is, when looking deeper, there is no real information available to describe the actual differences in them. From what we can tell from searching, both designs offers the same things listed in this chart. They are mostly steel, but they also use plastic and steel mesh for the front of the chassis. They have definitely shortened this design as it measures 260mm wide, 208mm in height, and is only 280mm deep. All told, the Elite 110 weighs in at 5.9 pounds empty.

 

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Around the outside of the chassis, you have a mix of materials, from the front's large mesh insert that takes up most of the front bezel, to the plastics used to surround that mesh as the frame of the bezel, and down to the clear power button installed into that steel mesh. There are no bays exposed in this design. Down both sides of the chassis, beyond the textured black paint treatment, the lower halves of those panels have passive ventilation cut into them, less for style and more for cooling such a compact design. The top of the chassis also offers ventilation, but the floor of the chassis is solid and is used as the motherboard tray. That leaves the rear of the chassis that has a PSU extension installed and also offers two full height expansion slots.

 

The inside is where things get a bit more interesting. There are two drive racks, well, less racks and more of a steel plate that will hold storage drives. These plates will hold up to either three 3.5-inch drives or up to four 2.5-inch drives. There is a 120mm fan supplied in the front of the chassis as the only active cooling, but there is also room afforded in this design to mount an AIO as well. There are also mounting holes for a pair of 80mm fans to be installed optionally to help increase the airflow across the motherboard from side to side as well as the air from the front fan to help improve cooling if high-end components are used and stressed to their limits.

 

Speaking of limits, there are some in this design. Potential users must consider the 76mm CPU cooler height limitation imposed due to the PSU location. Even the PSU has limits; the chosen power supply must be less than 180mm in length. Yes, there is an extension, but that measurement includes that being used. The last major hurdle for anyone wanting dedicated graphics in their system: there is a strict 210mm limitation here, and that does limit you to the smallest of graphics.

 

As we searched for either flavor of this design, both are just as available depending on where you plan to shop and can be found at a great price. Cooler Master had the intention to make a very unique chassis when they designed this Elite 110, but they also had plans from the beginning to make it very affordable. The fact that most of the hits we found were priced under $50 exemplifies this. Typically in this market, compact designs tend to come with a higher price tag, but Cooler Master is showing us that we can have a slick looking, simple yet sturdy, and compact Mini-ITX system for cheap, and we really think the Elite 110 is well worth the time to check it out.

 

 

PRICING: You can find the Cooler Master Elite 110 for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.

 

United States: The Cooler Master Elite 110 retails for $51.29 at Amazon.

 

Canada: The Cooler Master Elite 110 retails for CDN$62.10 at Amazon Canada.

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