Cooler Master recently added the Elite 311 to its line-up of entry-level PC cases. This model is an update to the existing Elite 310. While it retains the outer design, the layout of the interior has been enhanced.

Features and design
The power supply has been relocated to the bottom, and a mesh with an air filter has been provided at the base for the power supply for air intake. The air filter is removable and is held in place by tiny clamps. Another significant change is the provision of cutouts on the motherboard back panel for cable routing, which is usually seen in high end cases. With cables routed from behind the back panel, clutter is greatly reduced, thereby enhancing air flow. The Elite 310 had a single cage with six 3.5-inch drive bays, but the Elite 311 offers five bays, which are oriented sideways for easy installation of hard drives and SSDs. One 3.5-inch bay has been reduced because the cage with three bays is removable to accommodate long graphics cards such as the Geforce GTX 580 or Radeon 6970. Starting from the top, you have three 5.25-inch bays and two exposed 3.5-inch bays, which can be used for installing a card reader.

Roomy

Roomy

While the Elite 311 comes with one 120 mm rear fan installed, it would have been nice if Cooler Master had also provided a 120 mm or 140 mm intake fan in the front. This would help keep the hard drives cool and enhance airflow within the case. A third fan (120 mm) can be added to the side panel to cool the graphics card and components on the motherboard.

The exterior of the Elite 311 is all black and the front bezel had a coloured trim running around the border. You have four color options to choose from – Red, Orange, Blue and Grey. The bottom of the bezel is a mesh lined with a dust filter for the front fan. The top half sports a glossy finish, which looks good, but it tends to easily attract scratches, dust and stains, which would take away its charm. Had it been matte, you wouldn’t have to worry about this. The power and reset buttons are located right at the top along with a pair of USB 2.0 ports and jacks for headphone and mic.

Spacious interiors

Spacious interiors

The Elite 311 is also available in a ‘Plus’ variant, which features a transparent windowed side panel, full black interior, tool-free design, front blue LED fan and USB 3.0 ports on the I/O panel. These features would certainly appeal to the gaming audience, and while they come at a premium of Rs 800, it is very well justified.

Verdict
The Elite 311 has been designed very thoughtfully adn the interior has been designed extremely well. What we liked the most were the removable hard drive cage for installing long graphics cards and cutouts on the back panel for cable routing. Cooler Master has also bundled a small bunch of cable ties to hold the cables in place. For Rs. 1,950, this cabinet is good value for money considering its design and the benefits it offers. If you’re planning to build a gaming PC, we suggest going in for the Elite 311 Plus, which costs Rs. 2,950 – it looks very cool with the transparent side panel and front blue LED fan, plus you get a tool-free design for easy hardware installation and USB 3.0 ports.

Quite a slick looking design

Quite a slick looking design

Specifications
Dimensions (WxHxD): 19 x 45 x 47.7 cm;

5.25-in bays: 3; 3.5-in bays: 2 exposed and 5 hidden;

Installed fans: 120 mm rear;

Optional fans: 120/140 mm front, 120 mm side.

Publish date: October 7, 2011 10:13 am| Modified date: December 18, 2013 8:39 pm

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