Building a new PC with MasterCase 5 from Cooler Master

Introduction



Cooler Master has been constantly innovating and coming out with new products to meet the demands of consumers. They have expanded their range of products from CPU coolers, case fans and desktop cases to peripherals such as gaming keyboard and headsets. Regardless, their experience in designing desktop cases still puts them in the top spot as one of the best desktop case manufacturer in the market. Today, we will take a look at the MasterCase 5 and find out more about the different features and design concepts Cooler Master has put in place to make it one of the best mid-tower cases they have built thus far.

The MAKER SPIRIT and FreeForm Modular Design

It's difficult to design a desktop case to fit all the different requirements of end users. Some builders requires specific needs such as additional hard drive cage, radiator mounts, cable management features, SSD installation capabilities etc. In order have a system that caters to all these different needs, Cooler Master has made the MasterCase series to be highly modular and customizable. The most basic version of the case is the MasterCase 5. Different additions to this case can be added or replaced as accessories or parts in order to make the case fit the exact need for your build. This review will focus solely on the basic MasterCase 5 and also show you the different customization options available.

The MasterCase 5 is built with the MAKER SPIRIT. It is designed in collaboration with a community of makers and power users to inspire self-expression. This really shows how Cooler Master has adapted and listened to the real needs of the market. The FreeForm Modular design exemplifies the MAKER SPIRIT.

FreeForm Modular design allows the system to be flexible enough for users to first have a basic case and buy upgrades in the future if there is a need. The MasterCase 5 allows the side panel, top cover and top bracket to be replaced into a Windows Side Panel, Mesh Top Cover and Top Cooling Bracket, which essentially is the pre-configuration of the MasterCase 5 Pro. Moreover, additional hard drive cages and fans can also be added to the case to complete your build.

Design, Features and Capabilities

 General Capabilities


The MasterCase 5 by Cooler Master is only available in black. It is mainly made from SECC steel, which give its durable and reliable characteristics. This allows the case to be extremely sturdy, so that it can handle any PC components that you plan to put in it. Some parts of MasterCase5 are also made in plastic. Such areas include the 5.25" locking mechanism hardware, as well as the mesh which is placed in different areas for anti-dust capability.




Out of the box, the MasterCase 5 supports 2 x 5.25" devices, 2 x 3.5" HDD and 2 x 2.5" SSD/HDD. It has 7 expansion slots for any add-on cards, and have 1 x rear 140mm and 1 x front 140mm fan preinstalled. It also has 4 other spots where 120mm/140mm fans can be installed. The front can take up to another 2 fans, and the top can take another 2 fans as well. Moreover, dust filters are also in place to make sure that dust do not get in the way of the system components.




The case is also designed to incorporate any graphics card out in the market. It supports graphics card of up to 16.2 inches long. If the hard drive cage was in place, it still can support graphics card of up to 11.7 inches. 

At the front of the case, there are 2 x USB 3.0 ports, an audio jack and an microphone jack. The power and reset buttons are also found here.

Dual Chamber Design






The separation of the PSU bottom area from the main computer hardware area is one of the key design consideration for the MasterCase 5. Cooler Master calls this the dual chamber design. By partitioning the whole computer case into these two areas, builders can seek for better cable management and more effectively cooling of the desktop components. Moreover, it also allows the whole case to look much cleaner, as the clutter of the cables coming out from the power supply unit will not be seen at the motherboard area.

Tool-less Design

Installation of computer components into the MasterCase 5 was a simple affair, as Cooler Master has integrated an almost tool-free design into the whole case.


The 5.25" and 3.5" drives can be installed easily. The 5.25" drives can be locked into place with a simple locking mechanism that clicks the drive into place. The hard drive can also be placed into the hard drive cage without any screws or need for screwdrivers with the provided bracket. 



However, there are still some areas where screws are required. For example, the SSD drives must be screwed onto the bracket before it can be secured onto the case. Luckily, these brackets can be removed, so that the SSD drives can be installed easier than ever. Similarly, the power supply unit is needed to be secured with screws as well.


Cooler Master has placed thumbscrews at all the different places of the case where easy access is needed. This has made building of a desktop computer so much easier than before.

 Cable Management

There are multiple cable management features available on the MasterCase 5 to make cable management a breeze for builders. There are rubber holes that allows cables from the power supply to be hidden and properly routed to their respective components. At the rear of the case, there is a proper channel for hiding all cables running in the same direction, which is also held on by velcro strips. Although I was not someone who is very particular about cable management, nor am I great at it, the photo on the right shows how much neater your cables can be, even if you did a poor job at properly organizing your cables coming from the power supply unit.



On a side note, Cooler Master has also listened to feedback and placed a large hole on the motherboard tray that exposes the  CPU cooler bracket. This enables builders to change CPU coolers extremely easily, without the need to remove the whole motherboard from the system. It should be a must have feature for all computer cases today. 

Conclusion

The MasterCase 5 by Cooler Master is probably the last case you will ever need for your ultimate build. It has ample space for all the hardware goodness that you will be throwing at it. Moreover, its minimal design sets it aside from any other "ah beng" style PC cases out there which we have been very tired of. This is one of the most usable computer cases that we have tested so far, and the ease of installation was almost mind blowing. Yet, Cooler Master did not complicate the build with unnecessary features and kept it simple. Overall, the MasterCase 5's great build quality and options for customization and upgrade deserves a huge recommendation by us for any system builders out there looking for a new system case.

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