Page 1:The Budget Build Returns
Page 2:CPU And Cooler
Page 3:Motherboard And Memory
Page 4:Graphics Cards And Hard Drive
Page 5:Case, Power Supply, And Optical Drive
Page 8:Test System Configuration And Benchmarks
Page 9:Benchmark Results: Synthetics
Page 10:3D Games: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 And Crysis
Page 11:Benchmark Results: DiRT 2 And S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call Of Pripyat
Page 12:Benchmark Results: Audio/Video Encoding
Page 13:Benchmark Results: Productivity
Page 14:Power Consumption And Temperatures
Page 15:Performance Summary, Efficiency, And Conclusion
The Cooler Master Hyper TX3 is easy to mount as long as you properly assemble the two-piece Socket AM3 mounting clip and remove the clip-on fan when locking down the heat sink. Notice that, unlike the Xigmatek HDT-SD964, the TX3 mounts in a front-to-rear orientation on an AM3 motherboard.
There were no fan-clearance issues with our RAM, but sticks cooled by tall heat spreaders would not fit in the first DIMM socket without orienting the fan to pull air through the back of the heat sink rather than push air through the front.
The Elite 330’s tool-less drive bay mechanisms are likely the first things you’ll notice when removing the enclosure’s side panel. Closer observation will also reveal a tool-less slot bracket. Honestly, I’m not a big fan of such mounting designs and would be one to quickly remove them and just use screws. Thankfully, Cooler Master makes this an easy option, but here we wanted to give its system a try to comment on the functionality of the design.
Removing the front bezel takes just a slight pull from the bottom and makes prepping the 5.25” bays a much easier task. There are no mounting clips supplied for the back side of the 5.25” drive bays, so it is unnecessary to remove the opposite side panel when swapping optical drives in or out. Once ready, twist and remove the mounting clips, which allows both the hard drive and DVD burner to be slid into place. The fit is very snug, which is crucial to the success of the mounting system. I was impressed by the security of these clips, although I wouldn’t rely on them when transporting the rig.
These mounting clips did not allow our DVD burner to line up completely flush with the front bezel, and for this you would need to revert back to screws. However, the amount of bezel indentation matched the 3.5” front IO ports, so overall appearance still looked in order. Lastly, the top 3.5” bay was inaccessible with our RAM installed, as the lower DIMM socket levers prevented the hard drive from lining up straight enough to slide into place.
The slot bracket looks a bit complicated, but it’s a very simple matter of flipping open the handle and inserting the graphics card into place. It was easy to mount the Radeon HD 5770, and the small card was held securely in place. Again, transportation would be a concern, and we can’t comment on whether the mechanism would be as easy with multiple expansion cards in place or secure enough to trust with a heavy, expensive graphics card.
Our modest components are almost lost in the spacious interior of the Elite 330, making assembly of this system an easy task. However, the enclosure width is a bit narrow, so keep in mind the 166 mm mounting limit for tall CPU coolers. This was far from an issue with the Hyper TX3, although any cooler of this design requires removing the CPU intake duct from the case’s side panel. Just a small complaint: longer PCIe and main power leads would have allowed for an aesthetically cleaner installation.
- The Budget Build Returns
- CPU And Cooler
- Motherboard And Memory
- Graphics Cards And Hard Drive
- Case, Power Supply, And Optical Drive
- Test System Configuration And Benchmarks
- Benchmark Results: Synthetics
- 3D Games: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 And Crysis
- Benchmark Results: DiRT 2 And S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call Of Pripyat
- Benchmark Results: Audio/Video Encoding
- Benchmark Results: Productivity
- Power Consumption And Temperatures
- Performance Summary, Efficiency, And Conclusion