Like most things that I review I tend to look at more than one aspect of performance. For me a case has to offer several things before it makes the cut. One of the first things it has to do is be easy to work with. It can be the best looking case on the planet, but if you cannot get your parts installed properly well then it is useless. The next thing it has to do is keep your parts cool this is the air flow test. Lastly (in my book anyway) it has to look good.
Ease of Build -
Surprisingly enough the Element Q was easy to work with. There were more than enough screws and mounts and once the PSU was removed (again very easy) we have excellent access to the inside of the case. We found that our RAM was a little tall and required us to angle our H55N into the case but everything fit. Once again our RAM choice got in the way of things we wanted to do. The fins on the heatsink were too tall and prevented us from installing a standard HDD in the front mount and we did not want to block the vents on the side with a drive. This is why we opted to put our smaller 2.5-inch drive in the front on the bottom of the case. With a shorter style of memory you will not have any issues.
Air Flow -
I have to be honest here; I was not impressed with the basic air flow. Remember our configuration has a Core i5 661 in place with the stock fan and of course the fan from the PSU. Between these two I would have thought the air movement would have been better. Now this I am not saying that this system was overheating but things did get quite warm. Unless you can add in some extra cooling (maybe putting an external fan on each side to create a push/pull) I would be careful about where you put this.
On a scale of one to ten I would put the Element at about a Six. It is nice looking but it is missing something. I cannot really define what it is, but there is something that is missing. Perhaps it is the lack of lights or the plastic front (which takes away from the clean look of the rest of the case). Letting a few others take a look at the consensus was the same. The Element is a nice looking case, but there is something that is missing.