To open the CoolerMaster Elite 335 up, you simply remove two thumb-screws and the side panel slides off smoothly. This reveals one of the most spacious interiors we’ve yet come across, thanks to the use of a mini-ATX motherboard inside a case that’s built to accommodate full ATX boards. The ‘mini-ATX motherboard in a large case’ approach is another thing this PC shares with the cheaper CyberPower Infinity i5 Hercules SE, except that Scan has done an even more impressive job of tidying the cables in a case that only offers minimal options in this regard.
If we had to sum the Elite 335 case up in a word it would be ‘competent’. Most edges are nicely rounded but there are a few sharpish ones here and there. In addition to the 80mm fan mount on the removable side panel (the shroud has been removed because Scan uses a custom cooler on the i3 processor), it’s possible to mount a 90mm fan above the graphics card area and there are 120mm fans at the front and back so air-flow should be ample. In terms of noise this setup is middle of the road. With it producing a very audible hum even when idle it’s certainly not silent, but neither does it get disturbingly loud.
At the front of the case there are three free 5.25in drive bays and a single 3.5in bay which would be ideal for adding a memory card reader. Inside there is a cage which can hold a further five 3.5in drives, and though this does not face outwards, both optical and hard drive cages do at least sport a tool-free clip system. It’s one of the easiest systems we’ve come across and works really well, with the only niggle being its lack of vibration-dampening. It’s surprising then that Scan has opted to screw in the system’s single hard drive, though of course this does mean it’s as secure as it can get.
Getting onto the components inside, as mentioned this system is based on one of Intel’s brand-new Core i3 processors, specifically the Core i3 530, which is a Dual Core CPU running at 2.93GHz stock. It features Hyper-threading so appears as a quad core CPU, but lacks Turbo Boost so doesn’t dynamically overclock like the more expensive Intel chips. There’s also an integrated graphics chip, though with a separate graphics card in this system, it probably won’t be used.