The Cooler Master MasterCase 5 Reviewby E. Fylladitakis on August 27, 2015 9:00 AM EST
- Posted in
- Cooler Master
The Interior of the Cooler Master MasterCase 5
Much like the exterior, the interior of the MasterCase 5 is entirely black as well. Every part, with the sole exception of the motherboard's standoffs, is black. The metallic surfaces are sprayed with the same satin black paint as the exterior, while the few plastic parts are slightly glossy. A large rectangular hole is cut on the motherboard's tray to allow for the installation of aftermarket coolers without having to remove the motherboard.
A metal floor separates the system area from the PSU compartment. This floor is permanently attached to the frame and cannot be removed, which is not exactly great for a modular case that boasts maximum flexibility. However, it is necessary for the mechanical cohesion of the case, as the mechanical strength of the body is not great, especially for a case with two carrying handles. If not for the metallic floor, the rest of the chassis would be prone to twisting/bending.
There are two holes on the floor, covered with rubber grommets, for the routing of cables, as well as an opening near the front for the installation of liquid cooling radiators. There are also two slots for the "slip-and-clip" SSD pockets. Each pocket is held in place by a thumbscrew.
Each of the expansion slot covers is vented and held in place with a thumbscrew. The lowermost cover is different and can serve as an exit for up to three cables. To minimize the chances of pulling/damaging the cables when moving the case, they can be locked by twisting them over the hook next to the hole.
As the metal floor is fixed to the case, the PSU can only be installed by sliding it in from the rear of the case. Four thumbscrews hold the PSU cover in place. Cooler Master installed two rails that the PSU slides and sits upon once inserted. To insure that there will be adequate and proper air intake regardless of the power and position of the PSU's fan, the designer perforated the floor beneath the PSU all the way down to the center of the case. A metal stand is located in the PSU compartment, near the front of the case. It serves as a stand for a dual bay drive cage, if there is one installed, and can be removed to make room for a liquid cooling radiator.
Only one dual drive cage is installed in the standard version of the MasterCase 5. The user can move it vertically to any height between the top of the case and the compartment's floor, install it inside the PSU compartment, or even remove it completely. The 5.25" cage has convenient plastic lever locks for the devices. If desired, the 5.25" can be removed, allowing for the installation of a third front intake fan and or the installation of a 3.5" devices cage instead.
With the removal of the faceplate, virtually only the frame of the MasterCase 5 remains. The intake fans are installed from the front side of the case but there is not enough room for a radiator there. Liquid cooling radiators can be installed only to the inside of the case. Although the removal of the drive cages allows for the installation of three intake fans, a triple radiator is unlikely to fit, as its extra height will bump to the top of the case.
The radiators of all-in-one liquid cooling solutions should easily fit in the lowermost part of the case but beware of other solutions that may be too wide or thick. Also, do note that the presence of a radiator obviously denies the installation of a drive cage. A 240/280 mm radiator requires the removal of the metal stand in the PSU compartment as well.
The rear of the motherboard tray is all black as well. We can see two more slots for the "slip-and-clip" SSD pockets here but there are no pockets installed from the factory. Only two are provided with the case and can be installed on either the main compartment's floor or here. If more are required, Cooler Master is offering them as extras for $5 each. The clearance of 23.6 mm (0.93") is plenty for the easy routing of cables and the cable straps to the left aid cable management a lot. The only issue is that the presence of the SSD slots prevented the creation of cable tie mounting joints. There are only a couple of mounting joints located near the back of the case.
For the means of this review, we installed a Corsair AX760i with the red cable set, for strong visual contrast. It fits without issues inside the MasterCase 5 and the cables are long enough for a standard system. Still, do note that the CPU power cable is not long enough to be secured with cable ties across the edge of the motherboard tray, at least not without placing a lot of stress on the connectors. Other than that, cable management is easy and the design of the MasterCase 5 does help with cable management a lot.
A standard ATX system comfortably fits inside the system area of the MasterCase 5, even with the extra drive cages installed. However, cards longer than 29 cm (11.4") will not fit with a drive cage installed in front of them. Without a radiator installed, the maximum length of an expansion card is 41 cm (16.1"). If a radiator is installed, its thickness needs to be subtracted from this clearance. Up to a 280 mm radiator can be installed at the top of the case only if the extra top cover is purchased and installed and still we would not recommend the installation of a radiator thicker than 30 mm. Without the top cover, there is not enough clearance for a liquid cooling radiator, only for two fans.
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Terry Suave - Thursday, August 27, 2015 - linkIt would seem to me that Fractal Design is a better choice over this half-baked attempt at modularity. Even the Define R4 allows both a front radiator + HDD cages at the same time, and the R5 has even more quality of life improvements.
Achaios - Thursday, August 27, 2015 - linkI have to agree with Terry Suave.
What is actually happening in the market of PC Cases, is Swedish Fractal Design taking the PC entusiast world by storm.
The Fractal Design S & R5 have been reviewed by every single major You Tube PC Enthusiast reviewer, including Jayz Two Cents, Linus Tech Tips, Paul's Hardware as well as the British Kit Guru.Net, and have received dithyrambic praise by ever single reviewer.
From what I see of this case, it offers nothing to the PC enthusiast that Fractal Design S doesn't have and there are even several features that are missing.
All in all, I am quite disappointed. I am a Cooler Master fan btw, having owned a Cooler Master Cosmos RC-1000 case. It is very disappointing to see Cooler Master fail to study the Fractal Design S and produce a similar case.
In my humble opinion, there isn't any reason for an enthusiast to buy anything other than a Fractal Design S or R5 at this stage. Personally, I was forced to buy a Corsair Graphite 780T to replace my former Cooler Master COSMOS RC-1000, but this only because Fractal Design cases are sold out everywhere here in Greece. Generally, I dislike Corsair and tend to avoid them as a company that sells over-priced medium to low-quality hardware.
usernametaken76 - Thursday, August 27, 2015 - link"The Fractal Design S & R5 have been reviewed by every single major You Tube PC Enthusiast reviewer, including Jayz Two Cents, Linus Tech Tips, Paul's Hardware as well as the British Kit Guru.Net, and have received dithyrambic praise by ever single reviewer."
Some or all of them do advertising for Fractal Design. They're also YouTube reviewers, high on production value (in some cases) while light on critical details. Not always, sometimes they give the specific reasons for why they feel something could use improvement, but all in all, those YouTube reviewers you mentioned are fluff.
Achaios - Thursday, August 27, 2015 - linkWhile it is true that some of them do advertising in the form of spots inserted into their videos or product presentation, I wouldn't call any of these reviews as fluff. In addition, it is somewhat condescending & baseless to assume that every viewer of the said channels cannot discern said reviewers heavily and disingenuously pushing a specific product.
It is no coincidence that every single reviewer is of the same opinion regarding Fractal Design cases.
As a final note, Kit Guru. Net (Brits) have been specifically excluded by AMD in their latest GPU presentation due to their refusal to compromise on delivering impartial reviews, so you are misinformed in addition to being wrong.
usernametaken76 - Thursday, August 27, 2015 - linkI would and did. They are light on details and anytime you accept advertising and free products from the company you're reviewing, it's 100% suspect that you're able to provide an unbiased viewpoint. Those guys have to make a living, I don't fault them for that. But many, many videos they put out start out strong and ride off with a whimper. Almost as if they said what they needed to say before getting to the final bits of advertising (some of which consume 20-30% of the total runtime of said videos. I don't take them seriously. They do provide a service but, for the most part, it's all just entertainment. They are entertaining. When I want to make an informed decision I read Ars and Anand and pcper, HardOCP, bit-tech, etc.
usernametaken76 - Thursday, August 27, 2015 - linkp.s. you could just as well be a shill for Fractal Design. There's no way for anyone to know.
As far as Kit Guru, one example. If they (AMD) have limited supply, and believe Kit Guru or anyone else may be shilling for Nvidia or anyone else, that's their call to supply or not supply them with free review hardware. If Kit Guru wanted to or did purchase retail product for review, that's their prerogative.
As far as being wrong and uninformed, that's your opinion. You're generalizing based on me disagreeing with you, and I don't care if you agree with me or not.
My opinion is those YouTube channels are providing a service, an entertaining one, but they are too short and do not provide enough "meat" for me to make an informed decision. Almost never do that do that, and if they are pushing Fractal Design products AT THE BEGINNING of their video, I'm going to judge them based on what they are...paid endorsers.
Isambard - Thursday, August 27, 2015 - linkKitguru? You mean the same site who just copied their PSU testing equipment from another website and are claiming to be doing tests impossible to be done? The same site that continuously posts odd ripple and single digit numbers with a 12bit usb oscilloscope with a maximum resolution of 10mv that can show only even numbers? Those who are making new posts based on what they overheard from company members sitting next their table at a cafe?
Please. Everyone who knows a thing or two about computers and electronics knows that this site is a sham. They have done so many amateurish mistakes betraying most of their reviews and articles are fake that it is obvious they are not even at a level allowing them to cheat properly.
Samus - Friday, August 28, 2015 - linkO SNAP
JonnyDough - Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - link*snaps 7 fingers on both hands
romrunning - Thursday, August 27, 2015 - linkAchaios: "In my humble opinion, there isn't any reason for an enthusiast to buy anything other than a Fractal Design S or R5 at this stage."
So what if I wanted a small, mini-ITX case? I guess I wouldn't be buying a Fractal Design S or R5. ;)
(I could, however, buy one of Fractal Design's Node series.)