There is a lot to admire with this design. For one, if you are already a fan of the styling of the large Elite cases, this Elite 110 follows that to the finest detail. The exterior may be a bit simplistic in its design, but that allows this chassis to work well in multiple environments rather than just being a SFF net surfer or LAN box. The Elite 110 would look just as good in the entertainment center or on a desk in the living room to let the kids surf while keeping an eye on them.
Of course, the sound levels can get high if the fans is left to run full speed, but it comes with a Molex plug and a 3-pin fan plug to allow your motherboard to lower its speeds when not needed, which allows it to go almost unnoticed. We also liked all of the ventilation, both in the front and the removable three piece panel. It will not only draw in a flame while holding a lighter next to it, but it was also able to allow our system to run below the average of other SFF chassis in this size range.
There are some major things to consider with this design, though. Of course, we have the pre-defined limitations of the PSU, CPU cooler, and video card length; that will have most customers searching for a while to find the perfect components for their desired uses. Those limitations are easy enough to deal with and all have a few offerings that are easy to locate to fit the bill. The more major issue we found when assembling the chassis is that this takes a fair bit of planning, trial and error, and small hands to get the build completed and wires managed.
Wire management is almost what needs to be done first just to leave room to easily access the tie points. This is better than doing the ballet of the case sitting in our lap while we contorted ourselves to just connect the tie straps to hold the wires down. This is also where the extra room behind the bezel comes into play; some wiring naturally will work better if you run it there first, like for storage drives, PCI-e power, and the front I/O wiring.
Cooler Master may have gone very small in this design, but the designers' ideas and design implementations were big. The Elite 110 Mini-ITX chassis may not fit every single person out there, but for those with the need for a compact build and still want good cooling potential and styling that can go in any situation, this may be the chassis for you. What also really helps out with this design is that Cooler Master is not demanding much at all for the Elite 110.
Being priced under $50 will definitely make a lot of heads turn when they are looking at a lot of the other, less economically friendly solutions available. The Elite 110 Mini-ITX chassis did everything we asked of it inside of the limitations given for this chassis, and we were more than pleased with the solid nature of this design and the thermal performance. Also, since we can easily PWM control the fan, that 40 dB rating is hard to hold against them.
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.