Cooler Master MasterBox 5

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You decide the inside. Cooler Master makes some of the most modular cases to date. They continue to innovate new ways to make computer building easier and find numerous ways that allow the builder options. The MasterBox 5 is the newest addition to the MasterCase series. This case was designed to make building easier, and convenient for all system builders. Let’s look at new ways to experience endless fun, and express your personality when building with the MasterBox 5.

The MasterBox 5 comes in two colors, White and Black. I will be testing the black version of this case.

The specifications are as follows:

Materials Steel body, Plastic mesh bezel Dimensions (LxWxH) 500 x 220 x 475mm Motherboard Support E-ATX, ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX Expansion Slots 7 Drive Bays Combo 3.5″ / 2.5″ 2 SSD 1 I/O Port USB 3.0 x 2, Audio in / out
Pre-installed Fan(s)
Rear 120mm x 1 Front 120mm x 1
Fan Support
Front
120mm / 140mm x 2 *with optional bracket support up to 3 x 120mm Rear 120mm x 1
Liquid Cooling Support
Front 240mm / 280/ radiator, up to 50mm thickness without fan
Rear
120mm *with optional bracket support up to 360mm radiator
Clearances
CPU Cooler 167mm / 6.5″ PSU 180mm / 7.1″ GPU 410mm / 16.2″ (w/o 3.5″ HDD cage) Cable Routing Behind Motherboard Tray 25mm – 35mm

Shipping

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The box was shipped in standard packaging. The case was well protected by Styrofoam, and a case sleeve. The sleeve helps reduce scratches and protects the window panel.

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The accessories include:

  • MasterBox 5 manual/ Warranty info
  • Screw set (HDD/SSD/MB-mounting)
  • Zip ties
  • Molex fan connector
  • Locking bracket
  • Standoff Phillips head screw driver adapter

The Phillips head adapter for the motherboard standoffs was very useful for tightening down the standoffs to the cases frame. Sometimes when trying to remove your motherboard, the motherboard screws can start to unscrew the stand off which is really hard to undo.

Design

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The MasterBox 5 will unlock your computers inner potential. The cases design comes with conveniently placed cut-outs, making building easier than ever.  The MasterBox 5 can support larger high-end components, air and DIY watercooling. Your system will look clean, and organized using the numerous routing holes provided. Create a design that follows your personality, and preferences.

The MasterBox 5 is fun and provides:

  • Ease of use and building
  • Flexible mounting options
  • Compact cooling
  • Good expansion
  • Simple modular design

The case provides maximum flexibility, and allows you to mount the parts where you want to, or not to.

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The MasterBox 5 allows expansion support, and fits ,multiple motherboard sizes.

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With flexible mounting zones you can easily mount and rearrange SSD, HDDs across the motherboard tray, along the bottom shelf or the back for SSDs.

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The MasterBox 5 supports a large amount of room for cooling and building. It supports a CPU cooler of up to 167mm in height, and 410mm in length for GPU expansion.

 

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The front of the case was well designed with metal mesh, and displays the Cooler Master logo.

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The front panel connectors include:

  • HDD indicator LED
  • 2x USB 3.0 ports
  • Power button
  • Headphone and microphone 2.5mm jacks
  • Reset switch

Despite the many mounting options provided, there is no drive bays for DVD/CD installation. This isn’t too critical as they are not very well utilized anymore. I did find plugging cables into the USB 3.0 ports were difficult to pull out, and not in a good way. The idea of the Master Box is a modular case design, so Cooler Master may be selling other accessories for this case, but nothing has been announced yet.

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The bottom of the case provides an easy removable dust filter for the PSU. It is only removable from the rear which does provide complications if your system is against a wall. I hope to see the removable filters from the front in a future design. The feet are well-balanced, and extremely sturdy.

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The two sides are built to easily slide on and off with ease. The side window is made of standard acrylic, but does display a large wide window for viewing your masterpiece. The back panel is really plain, but does provide enough room for cable management.

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There is 35-25mm of cable space for hiding cables behind the motherboard tray. I would say the back of the case is plain, but does provide a blank canvas for custom artwork.

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The cable management is also easily hidden by a PSU shroud, that can hide your PSU and the cables running behind the motherboard tray. I want to point out the small hole on top of the shroud. This is really useful for running your PSU cables to your GPU. I like to point out the small things like this that make a big difference for design.

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The top of the case has no ventilation, but the front is where the design of this case takes the lead. The front does come with  1x 120mm Cooler Master fan. The case supports three 120mm fans, 2x on the front, and one on the rear. There is also a 120mm Cooler Master fan included for exhaust on the rear.

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The front is where are the watercooling magic happens. You can install 280/240mm radiators on the front, and one 120mm in the rear.You can install a 360mm radiator with an optional front bracket.

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The rear of the case supports 7x expansion slots, but there is something new I have never sen before, and this is where Cooler Master continues to innovate. They call it StormGuard. This cover slot is for security, and safeguards your peripherals.

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I had no problem exposing the frame, or removing any of the HDD cages. Some cases make it difficult to remove the front or top panels. In fact you can remove the HDD cage with a single thumb screw. The front popped off by putting pressure on the 6 side tabs ( 3 on each side). As you can see from the picture they provide six routing holes for any system configuration.

Assembly

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Building inside the MasterBox 5 was extremely easy. The modular design and easy cable management makes this case really easy to work in.

The build used the following parts:

  • Motherboard- MSI Z97-Gaming 5
  • CPU: Intel Core I7 4790K
  • Network Card- Netgear AC 1200 USB
  • Cooler- Silverstone Ar01 CPU cooler
  • Memory- Anarchy X 16GB DDR3 2800MHz
  • Video Card: PNY GTX 960 4GB
  • Storage- PNY CS2210 480GB
  • Power Supply- Cooler Master v700 series modular PSU
  • OS: Windows 10 x64 Pro
  • Headphones- HyperX Cloud II

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My favorite part of building inside this case was the SSD mounting towards the top. Not only does it provide simple SSD mounting, it gives you options. You can easily hide your SSD behind the SSD mount, or proudly display your SSD logo. The best part is all you do is remove a single thumb screw. I can’t say how much I love this, and it helps keep the computer looking great, and provides easier cable management. I only wish they added a second cage right below. Thank you Cooler Master for implementing this design. The other best part about building inside the MasterBox 5 is the PSU shroud. It provides extremely easy cable management, and hides your PSU well.

Testing

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I am testing the MasterBox 5s acoustic performance with the included two fans from Cooler Master.  The fans will be set to 100%, and tested with a high gain microphone. I will also include a video to display the audible noise of the system fans running at full speed. As you can see above the fans are right around the same acoustic level. I would say they are audible but not too distracting. The fans are easily controlled with a fan curve using your motherboards software, so you can adjust the audible level to your preference.

Cooler Master definitely has created a simple modular design that allows system builders to experiment with different options. This has been the most modular case I have worked with on the market.

Conclusion

This case does provide a ton of modular ability, but does have some negative aspects:

  • Only 120mm fan mounting out of the box
  • No top ventilation
  • Removing dust cover must come from rear
  • USB ports on front were hard to remove from

Despite only a few problems, this case truly shines in the cable management department. You get a PSU cover, and a ridiculous amount of cable access points. This has been one of the easiest cases I have worked with in a long time.  It provides a nice clean look, while providing you with an amazing price. My favorite part of this build was the hidden SSD mount at the top, and watercooling options it provides for being a budget case. I was completely impressed with how great my build turned out, and all the options the MasterBox 5 provided me. I highly recommend this case for any one looking for lots of cable management features, and doesn’t want to spend alot. You can buy the MasterBox 5 at MSRP of $69.99. The case will be available soon on Amazon, NewEgg, and at Micro Center.

 

 

 

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Cooler Master MasterBox 5

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