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CM Elite 130 mini-ITX PC Case Review

  1. Introduction
  2. Packaging and Specification
  3. External Impressions
  4. Internal Impressions
  5. Installation Experience
  6. Conclusion
  7. Online Purchase Links
  8. View All

The PC specification that we’ve used are as follows:

Test Setup for: CM Elite 130 mini-ITX PC Case
Motherboard+ Processor Gigabyte Z97N-WiFi+ Intel G3258 Pentium ‘Devil’s Canyon’
CPU Cooler Stock
SSD Kingston HyperX Fury 240GB SSD
HDD 2x WD 3TB Red NAS HDD
Power Supply Coolermaster G450 Semi-Modular

Two main issues: Getting enough space to properly install 3.5” HDDs and very close proximity of the 80mm side fan and the motherboard which provides no space to connect the ATX cables properly. The second problem can be fixed if you work in a certain sequence depending on the components you plan to mount. The first could have been solved if one could remove the optical bay drive to allow you to slip your hands from the top.

The rubber mounts are much thicker than what BitFenix provided for its Colossus mini-ITX. But as someone who worked with mid-size cases almost all the time, I wish there was more space. These are not cons, but rather the frustration that first-time SFF builders would have to go through.

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In my case, I had CM  G450M. A semi-modular (24 pin, PCIe and ATX cables are the non modular cables) power supply is absolutely brilliant to use with this case, but I also wished the 4+4 ATX/EPS connector cable was also modular. Still, I didn’t have any need to connect extra cables.

Its best if you stick with semi-modular/modular power supplies with this case. Even if there if there a support bar where you can tie the excess cable, non-modular power supply cables (depending on the unit and amount/thickness of the cable) can be a pain to work with. Its best that people refer to the specification comparison table that’s put up and updated regularly in our forum’s never-ending power supply discussion thread.

In my case, I’ve installed the HDDs first, followed by the SSD at the underbelly of the optical drive, the SATA cables, tied them on the bar. Then, I’ve installed the motherboard, connect the SATA cables on the motherboard, then install the optical drive, then the power supply and then the GPU. Its important that you be patient when working around the HDD/SSD area. It’s easier to install the power supply since all you have to do is remove the PSU bracket from the case, install it on the power supply and then slide it in.

With low-profile coolers and even 120mm AIO coolers, you’ll not have an issue. The cable tie clips helped to tie down the wiring, including the front panel audio connector that’s inconveniently placed next to the PCIe slot.

In cases like these, this is the part where you can appreciate implementation like Asus motherboard’s Q-Connector. Just connect the front panel connectors on the Q-Connector which has proper labeling on the side and then install it on the motherboard’s pins.

Note that I’ve made a blooper of installing the power supply with the fan facing towards the motherboard. In the case of CPU air cooled rigs, make sure the PSU’s fan area faces towards the top. This will not be an issue if you use a 120mm AIO cooler.

Edit: I received a Zotac 780Ti AMP! Edition graphic card while I was dismantling the system, but the image below should give you a good idea of how large area you’re getting for the graphic card. The dimension of the card is 11″ x 4″:

Even if you have PCIe connectors on the side or on the rear (in this case, top and right side) of the graphic card, you can easily route the PCIe cables and connect it.

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