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Part 1: Four Gaming Enclosures Under $50

Cooler Master Elite 430

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.

  • rzilla91
    Great article!
    I have the Antec 300 and love it - my current build is/was my first build, and the Antec case was very easy to build in.

    My only (rather silly) question is how did you get the case fans to run on low? They appear to be plugged into your PSU, which is what i did, but that forces it to run on high.
    Reply
  • falchard
    I think the Antec 300 and AeroCool models lose for 1 simple reason. They cannot house the longer ATI HD5850~HD5970.
    Reply
  • gkay09
    ^ Did you read the Aerocool specs properly ? Card Length - 17.7"
    AFAIK there are no graphic cards that are longer than 12.5", so it would fit HD 5970...
    But as for the 300, I doubt it wont fit the 5970, but other cards would...
    But if you will be spending ~$600 for a graphic card, then am sure you wont skimp on the case...
    Reply
  • Mark Heath
    Interesting to see the Antec 300 doing well even when the fan speed's put to low.
    Reply
  • smithereen
    No NZXT Beta?
    Reply
  • rzilla91Great article!I have the Antec 300 and love it - my current build is/was my first build, and the Antec case was very easy to build in.My only (rather silly) question is how did you get the case fans to run on low? They appear to be plugged into your PSU, which is what i did, but that forces it to run on high.It should be equiped with speed-adjustmentable tri-cool fans, which should have added speed selectors to go from LOW to MID or HI, and back.
    Reply
  • falchard
    I just reread the card length on the AeroCool.
    I would like a review on the NZXT Beta. Sub $50 market, you really aren't looking at any of those cases. You are looking at the Rosewills, NZXT, and cheap Thermaltakes.
    Reply
  • @falchard - My Vapor-X 5850 fit perfectly in my Antec 300. I don't know what you're BSing about.
    Reply
  • rajangel
    I own the 300. It's a nice sturdy case, but in the end it really was a pain in the rear to put it all together. It's extremely cramped.

    @falchard-
    Also don't ever buy Rosewill. EVER. Their products are terrible. I've bought a few items they've had on clearance (from newegg) and not a single product is worth the 90% discount. One case came bent and the power supply inside was missing some of the power plugs the manual said it had. One item came shipped with a driver all in Chinese. Customer service blamed it on whoever shipped it (right because Newegg is going to switch the power supply inside a case). Newegg switched the case out and the girl on the phone said they have a lot of problem with Rosewill products. The laptop pad was missing fan blades.

    Reply
  • falchard
    Well thats your problem right there, you are looking at Rosewill for electronic products. You shop Rosewill for products that don't rely on electricity like a case.
    Reply