Cooler Master Elite 340 microATX case

Enclosures and acoustic damping to help quiet them.

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AndrewD
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Location: Australia

Cooler Master Elite 340 microATX case

Post by AndrewD » Fri Dec 14, 2007 11:41 pm

I purchased one of these cases and received it yesterday. I haven't seen much about this case online, so thought I'd post some pics. Waiting on a m/board and some fans to arrive before I can start putting it together.

My build specs are:
E6750 w/XP-120 and Nexus 120mm
Gigabyte GA-G33M-DS2R
Crucial Ballistix 2Gb
Powercolor HD3870
Asus 1814BLT DVD/RW
Maxtor DM10 200Gb
Seasonic S12-430
2x Scythe 800rpm slipstream
1x Scythe 1600rpm S-Flex to replace the PSU fan
(XP-120, HDD, PSU and Nexus are from my old PC)

My current case (Antec 3000B) is really way to large for my needs and takes up too much desk space, so I've been looking for a smaller alternative. I've considered all the usual suspects, SG01/03, NSK3480/4480, TJ08, but wasn't happy with them either because of the internal layout or aesthetics. The 340 has the same internal layout as the TJ08, but it was under half the price, and the version I bought doesn't include a PSU or any fans, so nothing is wasted.

The case (excluding feet and front bezel) measures 19.5cm wide, 35cm deep and 37cm high. The feet add 1cm to the height, and the front bezel adds 3.5cms of depth. IMO, pretty much the perfect size for a smaller tower PC. Not too large, and not so small that major compromises have to be made. I liked the size of the SG03, but for the sake of 7cms of extra depth, you gain a fair degree of flexibility.

Overall impressions are very good. I really like the compact size :D. The side panels are thin as to be expected, but otherwise, it has a surprisingly high quality feel. The feet are hard plastic and may need replacing. Both side panels are removable, and there's some space on the right hand side to help with cable management. The front bezel has an intake area at the bottom in addition to the mesh grill.

The 2x 3.5" drive tray is removable as seen in the photos. This allows enough space for a 2nd 120mm intake fan. A HDD can be suspended below the lower 5.25" bay.

I'm going to try a positive pressure setup using 2x 800rpm slipstream fans at the front, possibly separating the upper and lower parts of the case so 1 fan cools the video card and HDD (if mounted on the bottom of the case) in the lower half, and the other looks after the CPU/RAM/chipset. I'm not sure how well this will work, but want to give it a try. I'm also thinking of fitting the case with Acoustipack as a local retailer will be stocking it from next month.

I was planning to cut out both fan grills, but now I'm not sure. If I don't have an exhaust fan, the rear grill might be ok as it is. I think the front grill will need removing though. Anyone have thoughts on this?

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AuraAllan
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Post by AuraAllan » Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:35 am

Great post.

Im considering this case for my girlfriends computer but couldnt find anything about it either.

I think you should cut the front grill but leave the exhaust grill if you arent going to need a exhaust fan anyway.
I'd rather go synchronize swimming with Angela Lansbury

Moogles
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Post by Moogles » Sat Dec 15, 2007 8:08 am

Thanks for showing this. I will now never buy another Silverstone case again. As a TJ08 owner, I'm a little annoyed. :)

It's literally IDENTICAL to the TJ08. The only thing Silverstone appears to have done, is add an aluminium front and cut out the fan grills. Woop ti doo!

I was disappointed in the shoddy build quality of my TJ08, because I paid a premium for Silverstone. The whole case is a bit too flabby for my liking, and too many screws are involved in assembly/disassembly.

I regret not buying the CM Elite 340 now. Can't go wrong for HALF the price...

About your airflow idea, I don't know if you'd gain much from going that route. I have mine setup in the conventional manner (i.e. 1 intake and 1 exhaust) and airflow is excellent. With 2 intake fans, you'd also have both fans closer to your ears, so it certainly won't be any quieter.

AndrewD
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Location: Australia

Post by AndrewD » Sun Dec 23, 2007 4:05 am

Thanks for the feedback guys :) . I've got the PC up and running in the case and I'm extremely happy with it so far. I just wanted to try something different with the cooling, so I went ahead with the 2x intake fans - I removed the lower fan grill and the area below the 3.5" bays and zip-tied a 2nd fan there. Both fans running at 5V currently. Seems to be more than adequate. I left the exhaust grill alone for now.

At the moment my major noise sources are the HD3870 stock fan, then the HDD and lastly the PSU fan. My next step is to replace the HD3870 cooler with an Accelero S1. This should make the overall noise signature much smoother, and then I'll decide if its worth doing anything further.

I'll post some pics and results once I've tidied up the cabling and installed the S1.

Rebellious
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Another small put0r addict ...

Post by Rebellious » Sun Dec 23, 2007 3:36 pm

Yep it looks identical to my Silverstone TJ08, except for the bored out 120mm fan openings. Let's see some pics of the finished product!

I don't have a Dremel tool, but I assume it would take hours to drill out the holes. The Athenatech A301BS.450 is also the same case and it includes a 450W power supply, all for only $44.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811190104

Where did you buy the Elite 340?

kaange
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Post by kaange » Tue Dec 25, 2007 6:09 am

How thick are the panels vs the SLK3000B? I have looked at a CM 330 which is fairly similar to the 340 but found the panels to be quite thin and possibly resonant. The price is VERY good, though.

AndrewD
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Location: Australia

Post by AndrewD » Sun Dec 30, 2007 1:09 am

kaange - I'm not sure of the actual thickness of the 3000B panels but they're very solid (and heavy) - probably 1mm thick steel. The Elite 340 panels are noticably thinner, seem about half the thickness in comparison - my guess is they're 0.6mm. The specs don't say, but I think the TJ08 specs say 0.6mm, so the 340 should be the same.

I have my Elite 340 build completed (will post in the system gallery soon), and I'm not noticing any resonance problems. I was planning to add some dampening material, but it seems that won't be necessary.

Rebellious - I'm in Australia, and bought the case from a local online supplier ($44 AUD + shipping). I just used tin snips to cut out the grills and some U-tubing to make it tidy:

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__Miguel_
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Location: Braga, Portugal

Post by __Miguel_ » Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:17 pm

Hi, guys.

First of all, sorry for digging up this thread. I have a couple of questions about this case, and since info on it is rather scarce, I thought it might be a good idea to ask some of you.
Moogles wrote:It's literally IDENTICAL to the TJ08.
So, does that mean the mobo tray is removable, as well? That would be SWEET at the price point this case goes for... ~€35 is not the cheapest (you can get Chinese-made uATX+PSU cases for ~€30), but the CM has some serious advantage on many points.

@AndrewD: Does the second 12cm fan (mounted on the outside of the internal chassis, I assume) interfere with the front case cover?

Also, I've read on one review the front panel audio ports are not HDAudio-friendly. Anyone can confirm that one?

Lastly, are both the 3.5'' and 5.25'' drive bays removable, or only the 3.5'' ones? I'd like to dump a truckload of HDDs in there, and no drive bays would be SO much better for drive suspension and mounting... I guess I would be able to fit like 20 3.5'' HDDs on a case without drive bays and a mini-ITX motherboard :twisted:

Thanks in advance for any help.

Cheers.

Miguel

bonestonne
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Post by bonestonne » Wed Apr 08, 2009 9:05 am

I own the cases big brother, the Elite 330, but i'll try to answer your questions from what i remember of the 340.

The motherboard tray is removable if i remember correctly. As for the 5.25" bays, i think they are, but i'm not 100" positive.

if you mount a fan on the outside of the rear, you will have trouble fitting your side panel back on, but there are ways around that if you wanted to go there.

that certainly is a truckload of drives though, i'm not sure they would all fit.

as for front panel audio, that's a tough one, i had issues with my 330 wiring up front panel audio, but what i ended up doing is wiring it minimalistically, and the front and rear port are both giving me a signal flawlessly (helps when i watch a movie with a friend).

Elite 340 isn't listed on coolermaster's site anymore, so i can't get you better answers than that, but i hope that helps you a little.
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__Miguel_
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Post by __Miguel_ » Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:07 am

bonestonne wrote:The motherboard tray is removable if i remember correctly. As for the 5.25" bays, i think they are, but i'm not 100" positive.
Nice for the motherboard tray, and do you have a way to know about the 5.25'' bays? I hate voiding the warranty a couple of days after buying stuff... lol
bonestonne wrote:if you mount a fan on the outside of the rear, you will have trouble fitting your side panel back on
Sorry, I was not specific on that one. I meant the second fan AndrewD installed on the front of the case. The lower one is on the inside of the frame, the upper one is on the outside. If I managed to move the fan to the outside of the chassis without too much going on (read: major modding to the front case cover), and albeit that's detrimental to airflow, I'd score some more drive volume without too much fuss.

Also, I'm thinking uATX instead of mini-ITX. Cheaper (I actually have a spare system lying around, though the mobo sucks big time - ASRock, 945G-based, not funny to fiddle with...), 4 SATA ports and Gigabit LAN (do you know how hard it is to find a decent mini-ITX board capable of that which doesn't cost you an arm, a leg, and at least a kidney and half a liver in Portugal?), plus I don't actually loose that much space. I'm guessing two slots, with low profile PCIe 1x cards (let's just hope the PEG slot accepts other stuff...). Not that big of a deal, and I can still manage up to 24 drives (yeah, I know, good luck with that) with only needing space for four expanders (WHS will be the OS, not a problem with speed).
bonestonne wrote:that certainly is a truckload of drives though, i'm not sure they would all fit.
Well, I still need to do the math on just how many I can fit, but me and my father are known for getting at least twice as much into something as it should be there (and yes, I know just how bad that sounded... :oops:)
bonestonne wrote:as for front panel audio, that's a tough one, i had issues with my 330 wiring up front panel audio.[...]

Elite 340 isn't listed on coolermaster's site anymore, so i can't get you better answers than that, but i hope that helps you a little.
Actually, it is. At least on the European site :)

I found out the answer for this one through the site a short while after posting. It clearly states "AC'97 only", which is SO dumb. I mean, there are NO AC'97 codecs available nowadays, and HDAudio pinouts are backwards compatible...

Not a problem, thankfully, since the machine I intend for the case does not need audio.

I'm kind of sad, actually. I wanted a 10TB mini-ITX-based WHS machine with a 17x17x17cm case (I've measured, it's doable, AND with HDD suspension and a single system fan). But everything is just so damn expensive and difficult to get a hold of... The motherboard alone is about €150 (Intel's DG45FC, no other is available in Portugal); ~€100 more for the PSU+brick combo, at least €50 for the CPU (more like €75 if I don't want to limit myself to a Celeron E1200... :?); or €90+€80 for the D945GCLF2+4-port HDD controller.

So most likely I'll have to go the bigger way, but with a MAJOR revenge. From 10TB maximum storage capacity (5x2TB), I'll want at least double (hopefully triple or more) capacity :twisted: AND I've just discovered that my motherboard can be made to accept a sister BIOS, effectively making it compatible with ALL single or dual-core LGA775 CPUs (why Quads are not available is beyond me...).

Let's see where this takes me. Thanks again for the help.

Cheers.

Miguel

bonestonne
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Post by bonestonne » Fri Apr 10, 2009 7:55 am

well, to start off, if you moved the front fan outside, it still wont fit under the front panel, there's less than 1cm there, the fans would both have to be on the inside of the case to fit.

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if you look on that picture, you'll notice a few things. if you look at where the rear side panel is, there are 3 screws holding it on. the outer two hold the panel on, the third one in the middle is for the motherboard tray.

at the same time, if you look at the corner by the 5.25" bays, you'll notice there are two screws holding it into place, but there are no screws in any other corner. my guess is that those hold the 5.25" bays into place, but i wouldn't want to put money on it, i could be wrong on that.

i can't find any better pictures of the case on the internet anywhere.

as for the audio, it's not completely backwards compatible actually. HDAudio needs sets of jumpers to turn off the back panel when the front is plugged in. if you wire it right, you can just have them duplicate each other (that's what i ended up doing) and it works great.

if the case is still listed, you may try dropping Cooler Master an email with your questions, they've probably got one on hand they can inspect for you. the most important question is probably if the 5.25" bay is riveted into place or not.
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__Miguel_
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Post by __Miguel_ » Fri Apr 10, 2009 8:29 am

bonestonne wrote:well, to start off, if you moved the front fan outside, it still wont fit under the front panel, there's less than 1cm there, the fans would both have to be on the inside of the case to fit.
:oops: :oops: :oops:

Sorry about that, now that you mentioned it, I took another look at AndrewD's pic, and you're absolutely right. I could have sworn the second fan was on the outside of the chassis on his case... I need a new pair of glasses...
bonestonne wrote:if you look on that picture, you'll notice a few things. if you look at where the rear side panel is, there are 3 screws holding it on. the outer two hold the panel on, the third one in the middle is for the motherboard tray.

at the same time, if you look at the corner by the 5.25" bays, you'll notice there are two screws holding it into place, but there are no screws in any other corner. my guess is that those hold the 5.25" bays into place, but i wouldn't want to put money on it, i could be wrong on that.
Very nice pic, thanks.

I agree with you on your observations about the 5.25'' bays, it makes a lot of sense. I do, however, believe there is also a screw near that small "arch" that holds the mobo tray into place. At least that's what it seemed like on one review I've read.
bonestonne wrote:i can't find any better pictures of the case on the internet anywhere.
Yeah, I know what you mean... You would think there would have been more, considering how much time this case has been in the market...
bonestonne wrote:as for the audio, it's not completely backwards compatible actually. HDAudio needs sets of jumpers to turn off the back panel when the front is plugged in. if you wire it right, you can just have them duplicate each other (that's what i ended up doing) and it works great.
Nice hack. Very nice hack indeed.
bonestonne wrote:if the case is still listed, you may try dropping Cooler Master an email with your questions, they've probably got one on hand they can inspect for you. the most important question is probably if the 5.25" bay is riveted into place or not.
Probably that's the best idea. Thing is, every time I contact a manufacturer, they are everything but keen (or fast) to reply.

Also, it seems there are no portuguese suppliers that carry this case. Not sure if it's a temporary or permanent thing, though. :(

Suddently, the TM-210 seems a good option again. One of the only ones available, too. If only I could go around the lack of 12cm fan placeholders, the MAJOR vibration issues and the IMPRESSIVE resonation this case is capable of...

Cheers, and thanks for the help.

Miguel

cpu
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Post by cpu » Sun Jun 21, 2009 7:39 am

Will Scythe Ninja 2 fit this case?

__Miguel_
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Post by __Miguel_ » Sun Jun 21, 2009 8:45 am

cpu wrote:Will Scythe Ninja 2 fit this case?
As a rule of thumb, I've been able to fit a Ninja (same size as the Ninja 2) in just about any case that fits a 12cm fan on the back.

Since this case is one of the VERY few ones in uATX form factor able to fit a 12cm fan, my guess would be "yes".

But since I wasn't able to get hold of one (CM kindly remembered me this one was discontinued, AND there are no more available in portuguese supliers), I can't tell you for sure.

Cheers.

Miguel

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