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Recieved this case around a week ago using it with my new sandybridge build. The one i recieved came in full black which i prefer as the beige colours look very dated now. You can use up to four disk drives and five hard drives although im not sure that many people will use all these slots. I paid £30 for the case as i was on a budget but i have no regrets.
For the money i paid i was very impressed with the build quality because at this price point you can end up with cases that are just rubbish. The hard drives and disk drives are screwless as there is a kind of clip on device on each slot which is the first case ive had with this. This makes for a much better installation than having to fiddle around with screws.
Space was a little tight when fitting two hard drives although i was using a pretty beefy gtx 460. The only downside i can see with this case if the slots where you place the pci cards as once you have remove these you can not put them back on so choose carefully so it loses a star. The case came with a 120mm fan which is doing a very good job at cooling.
When it comes to keeping systems cool and efficient it is important to have a case with good airflow. THe CM Elite 330 is one of those Mid-ATX designed perhaps not for the hardcore gamers. but for the casual media connoisseur.
The case is very nice and there are no fancy side fans that glow in the dark, but the blue power button is a nice touch. It also has front panel USB, Firewire and Audio connectors so it scores highly for accesibility to features.
On to getting components in and out of the case - well this is where the mid-tower format can become problematic. It is easy enough to install motherboard, hard drive and optical devices, however expect difficulties when it comes to wiring to the motherboard; but it can be done if determined.
Most ATX motherboards can be housed in this case - I installed an Asus P5KC from my main system when testing this - but as has been mentioned, it can be a bit of a chore to to add a larger graphics card especially since it is extremely difficult to plug in the molex connectors.
As far as noise level is concerned it is barely audible and the system should idle easily at 40 degrees (depending heavily upon your CPU and graphics card). There are side intakes which draws in cold air.
Good for office and light media PCs.
I purchased this as my computer was in desperate need of a little more room for expansion; at the time on offer with a power supply included it seemed a deal not to miss.
Having previously used primarily cheaper brand cases this was an excellent step up, build quality was excellent in comparison to what I was used to. With the side panels removed the case was still sturdy, and with everything installed and screwed together my computer was as solid as a house.
Installation of components was simple, it came with the usual bag of screws for the motherboard & expansion cards, although for optical & hard disk drives it also features a screw-less system, allowing drives to be added/removed more easily with just a couple of twists of the connector. This system works well, although when I came to remove a drive I found that the plastic these connecters were made out of had somehow deformed, the plastic looked as if it had been forced to a position where it wasn't meant to be. In all fairness I think that this may be partly my fault, as I probably hadn't fitted them 100% correctly, although I do think that this could easily be overcome by using a better system/more robust materials.
The only real problem I had with this was the metal mesh covers for the upper drive bays; these are made out of metal and appear to be somewhat single use. I could find no way of removing them without physically bending them, so it seems that once you have a drive fitted there is no going back, unless you want a hole in the front of your computer.
Despite this I would totally recommend this case, it is of good build quality and pretty reasonable price.