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Cooler Master Elite 430

Part 1: Four Gaming Enclosures Under $50

A stylish design with multiple fan grilles, metal mesh bay panels and a side window make Cooler Master’s part number RC-430-KWN1 appear as though it belongs in a higher price class, while an amazingly low 10.5 pound weight reminds us the Elite 430 is just as thin as most other budget-oriented enclosures.

Moderate rigidity can only be attributed to good design, as the case has bracing ribs on nearly everything but the outer skin. A look around back reveals the ribs there, along with an empty 120 mm fan mount that includes 92 mm and 80 mm mounting holes.

Another clue to the Elite 430’s low cost are break-away, non-replaceable expansion slot covers. Cooler Master still provides the convenience of thumb screws in spite of costs, and even equips the case with breakouts for water-cooling hoses.

Dual 120 mm fan mounts atop the Elite 430 are offset to the outside, allowing fans to clear the oversized heat pipe assemblies of most enthusiast-class motherboards. A liquid-cooling radiator might also fit here, but adding one creates DIMM clearance issues for most platforms.

Though no version of this case is produced with FireWire, an outline of its port is found next to the Elite 430’s dual USB 2.0 ports and headset jacks.

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