CoolerMaster MasterBox 5 Review
Published: 15th September 2016 | Source: CoolerMaster | Price: 59.99 |
The CoolerMaster MasterBox5 "You decide The Inside". Or so says the marketing Spiel on their website. So does it? Well yes it does actually, and in all honesty we're rather taken by it. When undertaking reviews we always try to get the hands on and photography work done before we start any writing. The reason for this is simple in that when we start writing one of the first things we have to put into the editor is the price of the item. In this case then we'd already spent a good few hours with the case before we discovered it was just £59.99. Now admittedly is's not the cheapest case on the market, but we we're very pleasantly surprised and let us tell you it has the features and style of cases costing way more than it.
So what of these features then, well for starters, it's built a lot better than most cases at this price point. The exterior styling is sleek and simple without looking like it's just an OEM box, and the full size window is a great touch. The case we reviewed comes with an easily removed full length mesh front panel, and the white version of this case can be had with a solid black front panel. Open the case up and the first thing you notice is the vast array of cable management holes. Granted, none of them are grommeted, but at £59.99 we can hardly grumble. CoolerMaster have forsaken the need for 5.25" drive bays although brackets to mount these can be had as an accessory. Storage wise there are options a-plenty, with a main 2x3.5", 1x2.5" cage in the base of the case. This case is placed 50mm in from the front of the case, but can be moved closer or removed completely if your main data storage solution resides elsewhere. Talking of elsewhere, there're two positions on the front of the motherboard tray to flush mount 2x2.5" drives, or if you wish you can mount the SSDs into the same holes from behind instead. Added to this there's a third SSD mount round the back under the CPU cut out. While we're round the back we should mention that in addition to more cable tie points than you can shake a stick at, for the greater part there's 25mm of space with another 10mm extra in the lower fifth of the case. Before we leave the interior we should also mention that the MasterBox5 has a rather nice partial width PSU cover. now don't go thinking that we see the PSU cover not covering the entirety of the case base as an issue, because frankly it's not, especially if you're going to be water cooling. You see, those cases with full length false floor PSU covers often have to make a compromise when it comes to radiators in the front. Either they don't accept 360mm rads, or they have a sort of removable panel which sees part of the radiator disappear from view, which quite frankly ruins the aesthetic impact of having a massive 360 in the front, especially as the whole thing can be seen through the window. No such problems with the MasterBox5 though, and with the 3.5" drive cage being removable there's so much room created that we struggle to think of a fat 360 that won't fit in there, even in push pull. Not bad CoolerMaster, not bad at all.
So what of the competition? Well there's a fair bit of it actually, not least of which is the Phanteks P400. Now if you've read the review of the P400 you'll remember that we were a little disappointed that it didn't have enough room in the roof for a rad. You'll also probably have noticed that we haven't made a big deal of it here with the MasterBox5, and may be wondering why. The answers simple. The Phenteks could so very nearly have had that rad mount sorted, but they just didn't think their measurements and off-sets through well enough. The MasterBox5 on the other hand was never intended to have a radiator in the roof, as is reflected by the smooth external aesthetic. Other than the Phanteks there are a few others floating around the £60 price point that offer some of what MasterBox5 does, but few that offer as much. In fact, you have to go quite a bit higher in the price bands until you get to comparable cases.
So does the MasterBox5 live up to the marketing spiel used to describe it? Well yes it does, and aside from that, it's also a very nice case for the money.