The Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus is a low-cost, mid-tower case with a USB 3.0 port, an external SATA docking bay, and other features usually only found on more expensive models. Let’s see if the Elite 431 Plus is a good deal.
The reviewed case has a huge transparent window on its left panel, and the right panel is solid.
Figure 1: Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus case
Figure 2: Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus case
[nextpage title=”The Front Panel”]
The Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus has a plastic front panel. There are two 5.25” bays and two 3.5” external bays, all with meshed covers. There is a 120 mm fan with blue LEDs (Cooler Master A12025-12CB-3BN-F1, no technical specifications are provided) behind an air filter in the lower section of the front panel. You can replace this fan with two 140 mm models if you wish. The included fan has a three-pin connector and comes with an adapter for use with four-pin standard peripheral power connector.
There is a third 5.25” bay that is occupied by an external 3.5” SATA docking bay. We will comment this feature later in the review.
The case comes with one USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports, and the traditional audio jacks on the top part of its front panel, as well as the power and reset buttons. The USB ports use internal connectors.
Figure 4: Buttons and connectors
[nextpage title=”The Top, Bottom, and Rear Panels”]
The top panel of the Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus supports the installation of two 120 mm fans, which are not included. There is an air filter for these fans. The case supports the installation of a radiator up to 280 mm long on its top panel, but as the motherboard position is too close to the top panel, it may interfere with memory modules, depending on the motherboard.
On the bottom panel, the Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus comes with an air filter for the power supply fan. It also supports one 80 mm, 92 mm or 120 mm fan at this panel, but there is no air filter here.
The rear panel and the interior of the Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus are painted in black. The power supply is installed at the bottom of the case.
The case supports the installation of an 80 mm, 92 mm or 120 mm fan (not included) at the rear panel, as well as a 120 mm radiator. There are also two holes with rubber covers for hoses of external liquid cooling solutions.
This case has seven expansion slots with disposable covers. We missed some reusable covers here.
Let’s now take a look inside the Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus.
[nextpage title=”Inside the Elite 431 Plus”]
Both panels are attached to the chassis using black, metallic thumbscrews. The motherboard tray has a huge cutout for you to access the backplate of the CPU coolers without having to remove the motherboard from the case. There are no holes in the tray nor clearance between it and the right panel, so it is impossible to route and store cables behind the motherboard tray.
Figure 9: A view behind the motherboard tray
In Figure 10, we have another overall look inside the case. Expansion cards are fastened using regular black screws. The Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus supports video cards up to 12.2” (310 mm) long and CPU coolers up to 6.3” (160 mm) tall.
The power supply is installed at the bottom of the case. It can be installed with either its bottom fan facing up or facing down, so you can decide if you want the fan of your power supply to pull air from inside the case or from outside of it. As shown before, there is an air filter for the power supply fan. The Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus supports power supplies up to 12.6” (320 mm) deep.
Figure 11: Power supply compartment
As we mentioned before, the reviewed case supports one 80 mm, 92 mm or 120 mm fan in the bottom panel. If you install a 120 mm fan, you will only be able to fit power supplies up to 5.9” (150 mm) deep.
[nextpage title=”The Disk Drive Bays”]
The Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus has two external 5.25” bays, two external 3.5” bays, and five internal 3.5” bays. The installation of the 5.25”, one 3.5” external, and two 3.5” internal devices can be done without the use of tools or screws.
There is a third 5.25” external bay that comes occupied by a 3.5” SATA docking bay, shown in Figure 13. This dock is very easy to use: just remove its cover and slide a 3.5” SATA device into it, and pull the device to remove it.
Figure 13: The external SATA dock
[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]
The main specifications for the Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus include:
- Style: Mid-tower
- Application: ATX and smaller form factors
- Material: Zinc-coated steel (SECC) body
- Power supply: Doesn’t come with the product
- Available colors: Black
- Side panel: Transparent window
- Dimensions: 16.8 x 7.6 x 19.6 inches (427 x 192 x 499 mm) (H x W x D)
- Net weight: 11 lbs (5.0 kg)
- Gross weight: 13.6 lbs (6.2 kg)
- Bays: Two external 5.25” bays, two external 3.5” bays, one external 3.5” docking bay, and five internal 3.5” bays
- Expansion slots: Seven
- Maximum video card length: 12.2” (310 mm)
- Maximum CPU cooler height: 6.3” (160 mm)
- Fans: One 120 mm fan on the front panel (Cooler Master A12025-12CB-3BN-F1, no technical specifications are provided)
- Optional fans: One 120 mm, 92 mm, or 80 mm fan on the bottom panel, two 120 mm fans on the top panel, and one 120 mm, 92 mm, or 80 mm fan on the rear panel
- Extra Features: Support for radiators up to 240 mm long on the top panel
- More Information: https://www.coolermaster.com/
- Average Price in the U.S.*: USD 50.00
* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.
The Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus is an excellent value case, with an outstanding cost/benefit ratio. It provides several features usually only seen on more expensive cases.
- Interior painted in black
- Huge transparent window in the left panel
- External 3.5” SATA docking bay
- Support for video cards up to 12” (310 mm) long
- Support for radiators up to 280 mm long
- Support for CPU coolers up to 6.3” (160 mm) tall
- Support for five 3.5” hard drives
- Tool-less installation mechanisms for storage devices
- A huge cutout in the motherboard tray for accessing the backplate of the CPU cooler
- Holes with rubber covers for external liquid cooling hoses
- Slot covers are not reusable
- No holes to route the cables behind the motherboard tray
- Does not support 2.5” storage devices
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