Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced Case Review
By Gabriel Torres on July 26, 2012
The Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced is a small case for Mini-ITX motherboards, targeted to users who want to build a small yet powerful gaming computer, since it supports the installation of video cards up to 13.5” (343 mm) long and power supplies up to 8.7” (220 mm) deep. Let’s see if this case is a winner.
The case has air vents on its top and side panels, providing good airflow for your computer. Only the top vent has an air filter.
The front panel of the Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced has a brushed aluminum finish, giving it a nice look. The case comes with two USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, and the traditional audio jacks. The USB 3.0 port uses an internal connector.
The reviewed case supports the installation of a standard-sized optical drive, and it comes with a 120 mm fan on its front panel, as you can see in Figure 4. This fan uses a three-pin fan power connector and comes with an adapter in case you want to install it on a peripheral power connector from the power supply. This fan spins at 1,200 rpm and produces a 19 dBA noise level.
The bottom panel is plain, with no additional features.
The rear panel is shown in Figure 6. It has two expansion slots with solid covers and a hole protected with a rubber cover that is 0.79” (20 mm) in diameter. The rear panel and the interior of the Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced are painted in black.
The top cover of the Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced is fastened to the chassis through two black thumbscrews. In Figures 7 and 8, you have an overall look inside the reviewed case. The case only supports Mini-ITX motherboards. The bottom panel has several metallic clips for you to fasten cables using cable ties. This case supports video cards up to 13.5” (343 mm) long and CPU coolers up to 2.5” (65 mm) tall.
One of the highlights of the reviewed case is the presence of a slim 80 mm fan on its right-hand side, blowing hot air outside the computer. This fan spins at 2,000 rpm, generates a 20 dBA noise level, and uses a three-pin fan power connector. It comes with an adapter in case you want to install it on a peripheral power connector from the power supply.
You can install an optional 120 mm fan on the hard drive cage for improving airflow inside the computer. See Figure 10.
Thanks to the external bracket that comes attached to the rear panel, the Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced supports power supplies up to 8.7” (220 mm) deep. At its website, Cooler Master says this case supports power supplies up to 7.1” (180 mm) deep; however, they are not taking into consideration the extra space added by the external bracket.
The Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced has one external 5.25” bay and three internal 3.5” bays, all featuring tool-less installation mechanisms. The case comes with two adapters, each allowing you to convert one 3.5” bay into two 2.5”/1.8” bays. Therefore, you can simultaneously have one optical drive, one 3.5” hard drive and four 2.5” or 1.8” hard drives or SSDs. This configuration is really impressive for such a small case.
The main specifications for the Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced case include:
We were extremely impressed with the Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced, as it is small, yet allows you to install a high-end video card up to 13.5” (343 mm) long and a big power supply up to 8.7” (220 mm) deep. This case also offers a very versatile configuration for storage devices. You can have a standard-sized optical drive and three 3.5” hard drives; or two 3.5” hard drives and two 2.5” or 1.8” devices; or one 3.5” hard drive and four 2.5” or 1.8” devices. And pricing couldn’t be better: costing only USD 50, it is clearly a winner.