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Coolermaster Elite 100 Mini ITX Case

They say, “big things come in small packages.” If this is true, they must have had the Coolermaster Elite 100 in mind. While a lot of extra small cases can only handle an ITX motherboard, this new case can give you extra support for a mATX motherboard. Motherboard support isn’t all the Elite 100 has to offer. It can mount to the back of any monitor with VESA mounting holes. This last one may have caught your attention, so while we have it, let’s get into the review before you go drifting off.

 

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colermaster elite 100

They say, “big things come in small packages.” If this is true, they must have had the Coolermaster Elite 100 in mind. While a lot of extra small cases can only handle an ITX motherboard, this new case can give you extra support for a mATX motherboard. Motherboard support isn’t all the Elite 100 has to offer. It can mount to the back of any monitor with VESA mounting holes. This last one may have caught your attention, so while we have it, let’s get into the review before you go drifting off.

 

 

Introduction of the Elite 100

They say, “big things come in small packages.” If this is true, they must have had the Coolermaster Elite 100 in mind. While a lot of extra small cases can only handle an ITX motherboard, this new case can give you extra support for a mATX motherboard. Motherboard support isn’t all the Elite 100 has to offer. It can mount to the back of any monitor with VESA mounting holes. This last one may have caught your attention, so while we have it, let’s get into the review before you go drifting off.

What CM has to say about the Elite 100

Elite 100 (RC-100) is a compact enclosure for micro-ATX and mini-ITX motherboards. A simplistic face plate provides only the essentials with I/O for: power-on button, USB and audio. This chassis maintains Elite’s pedigree of compact-size to fit anywhere.

 

Specifications

Available ColorBlack
 
Dimension (W / H / D)(W) 262 x (H)69.6 x (D) 318 mm
(W) 10.3 x (H) 2.7 x (D) 12.5 inch
 
WeightNet Weight: 2.6 kg / 5.6 lb
Gross Weight: 3 kg / 6.5 lb
 
MaterialSteel Body ; Plastic Bezel
 
MotherboardsMicro ATX / Mini ITX
 
Device SpaceWith Micro ATX board: Slim ODD x 1 , 2.5” HDD x 2 /
With Mini ITX board: Slim ODD x 1 , 2.5” HDD x 1 , 3.5” HDD x 1 /
With Mini ITX board: Slim ODD x 1 , 2.5” HDD x 3
 
I/O PanelUSB 2.0 x 2 , SPK x 1 , Audio x 1
 
PowerFlex ATX 150W , Active PFC
 
Optional ComponentSD / MS card reader
4 pin to 4 pin power supply Y cable
 
Compatible BoardsDownload
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Features

  • An ultra slim chassis accommodates both micro-ATX and mini-ITX motherboards
  • Multi-device support: 
    – With micro-ATX board: Slim ODD x 1, 2.5″ HDD x 2 or
    – With mini-ITX board: Slim ODD x 1, 2.5″ HDD x 2, 3.5″ HDD x 1
  • Excellently cooled slim enclosure to support up to 65W CPU
  • Passive mini-ITX case with silent constructional design
  • Flex ATX 150W with Active PFC included
  • Front I/O panel for easy access (including USB 2.0 x 2 and HD audio)

 

Closer look outside

The Elite is an ideal setup, if you are looking for a case to build a smaller system inside. Unlike other smaller cases that only support mini-ITX motherboards, Coolermaster made theirs a bit larger to include mATX motherboards as well. This definitely gives the consumer a wider range of options, when it comes to selecting your motherboard.

The front of the Elite is not what I would call the most attractive front I have ever seen on a case before. Don’t get me wrong it is not ugly by any means but it is definitely on the plain Jane side. Actually, the plastic front makes it look on the inexpensive side. And at $60 is it very inexpensive. The simplistic front panel consists of two USB ports, two audio connectors and a power button. That’s it for front connections. And there is a single slim line optical drive slot.

The sides of the case has vent slots to allow air to enter and move across the surface of the motherboard. The top has even more ventilation holes, but what will draw the most of attention will be the black bracket that is attached. For those that want to save on space the Elite 100 can be attached to the back of most monitor will basic VESA mounting holes. If you don’t plan on mounting the case in such a way, it can be removed from the back of the case.

From the rear, you get an idea of what type of power supply used in the Elite 100. It is a flex unit rated at 150 watts and provides active PFC. There are no expansion slots. So, make sure everything you need is either integrated into the motherboard or has an USB counterpart.

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Closer look inside

Opening up the Elite 100, we see just how much room there is: not a lot. As it is only three inches tall, you can assume space would be limited. But Coolermaster arranged the case in a way that you get enough room to place a decent amount of components in it. The surface of the case is used primarily for the motherboard with a small area up front for the placement of cables and wiring.

The front of the case contains a metal bracket perfectly designed to house your drives. The number of drives are determined by what type of motherboard you decide to use. If you are using an ITX board, you can support a traditional 3.5″ hard drive. If using a mATX, you are limited to just two 2.5″ drives.

A rear shot shows the back of the case and the flex power supply used in the Elite 100. The PSU is rated at 150 watts with enough amps on the rails to support any of the CPU embedded motherboards on the market.

 

Installation

It all begins with removing the metal bracket up front. You need to do this to make the attaching of the drives much easier. Here we have a Silverstone slim line drive to the bracket. Next, we have a SSD attached to the same bracket. We used this configuration as we are using an ITX Jetway motherboard in this build. Another 2.5″ drive can be installed as well a 3.5″ one.

This image shows us installing the motherboard into the case. But before the motherboard could even be put down you will have to remove the power supply as one of the screw mounts serves as a motherboard post.

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Once in place you may find yourself having an issue or two. I will not place any blame on Coolermaster or the motherboard manufacturer as different board companies will place things in different locations. In our case, we had issues with clearance between the motherboard and power supply. Seen in photo the cables from the case are forced in place when the PSU is installed.

 

Conclusion

The Coolermaster Elite 100 is a decent looking, well-built mini computer case. It is one of the few cases of its size that can house a mATX. While able to support both styles of motherboards, it can hold multiple drives. We like this fact as it you decide to use the Elite 100 as a home theatre case, you have more expansion for additional space as well all know music and video can eat up a single drive in the matter of days.

As much as we feel the Elite 100 does its job, it comes at a cost. If you decide to use a mATX motherboard the expansions of the motherboard are useless as the flex PSU will cover them. Granted you are able to have a better performing CPU on a mATX than the ones embedded on the ITX counterparts. So you have to pick your poison.

If you are in the market for a case to use in a silent environment and looking at the Elite 100 as a possibilities you may look at changing the PSU out as it can be heard from within a close range say 10-12 feet.

If you are thinking of using this case in a garage or other working it is great as the sound is not a factor. I am currently using it in my garage for quick access to the web when I am expertimenting with my modding skills and when I am underneath the hood of my car. A lot of room is saved as the unit is mounted out of the way. More room for tools.

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ProClockers was founded in 2004, and since then we have reviewed thousands of tech products, including motherboards, CPUs, graphics cards, PC cases, cooling solutions and more. Whilst many of the original products we reviewed back then have long bit the dust, we continue working hard to provide unbiased PC hardware and tech reviews.

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