Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced review

September 14, 2012 | 09:43

Tags: #cooler-master-mini-itx #htpc #mini-itx

Companies: #cooler-master

Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced - Interior


Undoing three thumb screws on the back allows you to lift off the sides and roof of the case as a single unit, a solution we found to be handy and simple to work with. It wasn't the sturdiest piece of metal we've ever seen, but it attaches firmly to the case and once there it doesn't rattle or wobble. In fact, build quality throughout the case is superb given the asking price – there were no sharp edges and the interior is reassuringly solid. We've seen manufacturers cut corners in this area in cases that are more than double this case's price, and Cooler Master deserve credit for keeping costs so low without compromising on the build quality.

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The drive cage, situated at the front, is unfortunately fixed to the case and cannot be removed. It has three bays, each of which can house a 3.5inch hard disk with tool free plastic rails that we found to be a reliable and easy to use. The rails can also hold SSD conversion bays that can hold two SSDs each and of which two are provided.

Despite its tiny dimensions, the Elite 120 Advanced supports standard sized ATX PSUs (and a removable PSU bracket is thankfully provided to aid with installing these) and full length graphics cards – it can house graphics cards longer than even the spacious BitFenix Prodigy with its drive cage removed.

Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced review Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced - Interior Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced review Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced - Interior
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Building a system into a mini-ITX case is never going to be as easy as it is in larger cases, so it was nice to find that with just a bit of sensible planning, installing our test-kit was a relatively straightforward and mostly fiddle-free affair. We can't really fault the case's design in this respect, but we must emphasise that once your kit is in, things do begin to feel rather cramped and tight. It's also important to remember that due to the PSU's position above the CPU, you are limited to low-profile CPU coolers only – anything bigger simply won't fit.

Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced review Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced - Interior Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced review Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced - Interior
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When it comes to tidying away cables, the case's small size really does begin to show. While Cooler Master does provide some basic zip ties, it's difficult to find anywhere to effectively hide the cables. We opted for tucking as many as possible into the empty 5.25inch drive bay at the top of the case, which worked pretty well, but any users who make use of this bay in combination with a non-modular PSU are going to seriously struggle to find a space for their cables that doesn't impede the case's already limited airflow.
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