Cooler Master MasterBox 5T Review

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Cooler Master always continues to improve upon an already good design. They use this design principle for all of their products. I will be taking a look at the Cooler Master MasterBox  5T case. I actually enjoyed the MasterBox 5 already and you can check out my review here. The entire idea of the MasterBox series is to unlock your cases modular inner potential. The case gives easy access to critical components with an all new sleek design with ventilation. Building your PC will be easier, convenient, and allow new ways to mount your hardware. The slogan for the 5T is “Make of It What You Will”. The MasterBox 5 series have also been designed with the budget builder in mind. Let’s look at what the MasterBox 5T offer’s over the previous MasterBox 5.

The specifications are as follows:

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Shipping

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The box is pretty standard but did pack styrofoam to keep the case safe during shipping. They did advertise on the front the configurator system which allows you to mount different accessories in any modular part of the system you want. The plastic sleeve around the case is used to help protect the window as well during shipping.

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The accessories include:

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

The Phillips head adapter for the motherboard standoffs was very useful for tightening down the standoffs to the frame of the case. Sometimes when trying to remove your motherboard, the motherboard screws can start to unscrew the standoff which is really hard to undo. Kudos to you Cooler Master for including something so simple but so useful.

Design

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The case has a much more angular design than the regular MasterBox 5. It also offers two side vents for better ventilation and airflow. It is also a two tone color scheme giving you black/red to offer an aggressive look. The airflow direction is set up where you would mount radiators and such to the front. The top supports fan mount for 120/140 mm and rear only supports x1 120 mm. The PSU exhausts heat from the bottom and has a filter as well.

The front is made of dark acrylic with a mirror finish. This is also helpful for the included red LED light to reflect  off the light.

The MasterBox 5T is fun and provides:

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

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The top cover has a removable magnetic dust filter and the bottom PSU filter slides out. These option for a budget case are fantastic features. I do wish the PSU dust filter could go either direction and come from the front. It makes it a hassle to have to move your case to access the back for the dust filter. Having the top dust filter red definitely is a nice touch to accent the entire red/black color scheme. The raised feet on the bottom of the case help maintain even distribution from the floor for proper airflow between the PSU and the ground.

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The front connectors include:

  • 2x USB 3.0
  • Fan controller
  • 3.5 mm Headphone/Mic jacks
  • Power/ Reset buttons

This case comes packed with new features over the regular MasterBox 5. The I/O includes a fan controller and can control up to three case fans. The included fans are 1x 120mm in the front for intake and x1 rear 120mm for exhaust. I configured a 240mm radiator to the front and controlled the two fans on the radiator and used the third connector to control the rear exhaust fan. The controller supports either low or high fan modes. The top of the case doubles as a carry handle for case movement.

The bottom fo the case has a red LED at the bottom fo the case, I was surprised to see no button to turn this on/off from the top I/O, but it is power by Molex and if you really didn’t want the red LED you could just not connect the cable. The red LED does give offer fantastic brightness and a decent glow to help make the case feel premium. You can angle the light to reflect on a surface or show off the light inside the case.

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The rear of the case offers 7 expansion slots including a unique slot called Storm Gaurd. This unique slot is the last slot and offers a new way of safeguarding your peripherals. Basically, it wraps the cables through the slots holes making it harder for a thief to walk away with your stuff.

The inside of the case is no exception to the red/black color scheme. The red paint has metallic flakes to help give a sparkling effect while under a light. There are six major routing holes for cable management giving a ton of options for system configuration and cable management.

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Part of the fun of the MasterBox series is its modular expectation. The motto is ” You Decide the inside”. There are flexible mounting positions for the HDD cage, the SSD bracket, and convenient cable management for all your cables. There is also a cut-out for easy access to the motherboard for removing CPU coolers without removing your motherboard from the case.

The case fits multiple motherboard sizes:

  • Mini-ITX
  • Mico-ATX
  • ATX
  • E-ATX

Cable management is a dream in this case due to the power supply shroud and multiple cable points. There is a specific cut-out for the CPU motherboard cable and up to 35mm of clearance space on the rear motherboard tray.

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The case supports an array of mounting options and support for different types of cooling. The 5T supports CPU coolers up to 167mm in height, GPUS support for up to 410mm in length including the GTX TITAN X, and full 360mm radiator support in the front.

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This case was designed to really support your liquid cooling needs from the front as intake, I suppose if you got creative enough you could mount a 120/140 on the top, but only supports 120mm on the rear vent cover. I did find it hard to get some 280mm sized radiators to work on the front of the case. The EKWB Predator 280mm AIO cooler does “NOT” fit this case. The front does offer support for all major sized radiators 240/280/360 mm depending on style and thickness. You can also support up to three 120mm fans on the front offering higher airflow for better cooling.

Assembly

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

My test bench is as follows:

  • ViewSonic XG2703-GS Monitor
  • Motherboard- Gigabyte GA-H110m-S2H
  • CPU: Intel Core I3 6100 3M
  • Network Card- Netgear AC 1200 USB
  • Cooler- Raijintek 240mm AIO
  • Memory- Anarchy X 8GB DDR4 2800MHz
  • Video Card: Zotac Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti
  • Storage- Storage- Toshiba VX500 512GB (Boot) / Seagate 3TB/ Zotac Sonix 480GB
  • Power Supply- Corsair RM650X / Sleeved CableMod red/black cables
  • OS: Windows 10 x64 Pro
  • Headphones- Creative H7

My favorite part of building inside this case was the SSD mounting. 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.

Testing

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For testing, I overclocked my CPU to 4.5 GHz and  will test noise and cooling. I used Prime 95 and Aida64 Extreme to test load performance. The load performance will consist of max RPM for fans and temperatures recorded. You can use the included fan controller on the case or use your motherboards software or BIOS to control  fan curves or PWM fan speeds. I will compare the MasterBox 5 vs the 5T due to the built in fan controller. I suspect the 5T to have a higher noise level on the high setting but better cooling performance.

I record temperatures using Real Temp and an IRT207 infrared thermometer for case temps.

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For noise testing, I used a high gain microphone. I want to explain a few things about noise testing, and this unit in particular.

First: Testing noise levels can be difficult. First, don’t expect the same levels even with similar hardware. There are too many differences and variables that go into sound testing. You have to account for background noise and other sounds in the environment.

Second: I am one reviewer, and am not a professional sound studio. I am not testing these items in perfect conditions. I do not have an anechoic sound chamber in my test studio.

The noise level differences are minimal but are noticeable when using the fan controller from the 5T. 50dB is about the noise level of a normal conversation. On the high fan setting for the 5T it was a bit louder than the normal MasterBox 5. You can also play with limits in your BIOS using PWM control or fan curves if you wish to have more control over what speeds are set. The high fan controller setting allows full speed and low is about half that.

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The case temperatures turned out to to be pretty accurate with what I expected for the fan controller. For a budget case, this definitely offers some pretty high-end features. I used a 240mm Radiator AIO cooler from Raijintek to represent these temperatures. The temperature tool used is an IRT207 infrared thermometer for case temps. I picked some of the hotter spots like near the CPU block. I then compared them to my temps recorded from core temp while stress testing. The temps seemed to be very close, so I used the temps from Real Temp represented above.

Conclusion

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There are some new inclusions over the MasterBox 5 which make this case better all around.

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

  • Removing dust cover must come from rear
  • Doesn’t fit all 280mm sized radiators

There isn’t a lot to criticize in this case for the price, it’s an excellent budget friendly case with a ton of options and customizations with its modular design. This case truly shines in the cable management department. You get a PSU cover, and a ridiculous amount of cable access points. One thing about the color scheme is black/red will go with most parts because this is a very popular choice amongst PC manufacturers. If you are building a PC you will want to consider your color option before choosing this case and make sure it fits your style and look your going for, but this should be easy because is a lot of hardware that comes in black/red colors. I highly recommend this case for anyone looking for lots of cable management features and doesn’t want to spend a lot. The MSRP for this case will be $89.99 and available at Amazon, New Egg, Micro Center, and the Cooler Master CM store.

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Cooler Master MasterBox 5T Review

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