Review: Cooler Master Elite 360 Case for a media PC

The Cooler Master Elite 360  is a low cost versatile PC case.   I used it to build a multimedia PC.   The 2 reasons I chose this case were cost and form factor – low cost and it fit into my TV stand.  Although I had some minor issues with it, I recommend it as an inexpensive PC case.

Elite 360 case
Elite 360 case

I had issues mounting drives in the case.  It has 4 “tool-free” drive bays.  I found the 4 bays to be not versatile enough for my PC configuration and the “tool-free” mounting rails to be loose fitting.  My media PC has 1 DVD drive, 2 hard drives and one memory card reader that occupies one 3 1/2″ drive bay.

The case is designed for two 5 1/4 ”  drives and two 3 1/2″ drives.  My card reader and one hard drive filled the 2 available 3 1/2″ bays and my DVD drive filled one of the 5 1/4″ bays.  This meant I had to mount my second hard drive in the 5 1/4″ bay but the case does not come equipped with a way to do this.  Fortunately I had on hand some rails designed to adapt a smaller width hard drive to a larger bay.

Also the “tool-free” disk mounting pieces gave me problems.  First it took me a while to understand how they worked as their installation is not clearly described in the single page of documentation.  Turns out these plastic strips are placed on the sides of the disks, little pegs fit into where the mounting screws usually go, then the drive is slid in from the front of the case like a drawer in a dresser,  the strips sliding into slots.    For me the fit was not snug and the drives are a little loose.

The case comes with one 80mm case fan but unfortunately the power wires did not reach the system board SYSFAN connector.  To power the fan I used the included adaptor for a molex power connector.   Note this case comes in 2 versions – with and without power supply.

The case also comes with the usual system board mounting hardware and has built-in front panel  USB, speaker and microphone jacks.

The Cooler Master logo badge cleverly rotates for horizontal or vertical mounting but it is large and dorky.

Overall this is a good case and you can’t beat the price.

The pros of the case

  • low cost.  Fry’s had it on sale for $29.99 (no power supply) regular price $39.99
  • versatile mini-tower or desktop configurations
  • it is reasonably sturdy and well built

The con points of the case

  • the lack of drive bay versatility and flimsy drive mounts
  • undistinguished black case with a dorky looking Cooler Master logo
  • sketchy instructions

Cooler Master Elite 360 case at the Cooler Master web site.

Cooler Master Elite 360 case at Frys.

Media Center with Elite 360 case in TV stand
Media Center with Elite 360 case in TV stand

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