CoolerMaster MasterCase Maker 5 Review
Published: 17th May 2016 | Source: CoolerMaster | Price: £179 |
As i'm writing this review we're a few days away from the NDA being lifted and at present we don't actually have the RRP for either the case or any of the accessories that will enable you to make a Maker 5 from either the Mastercase 5 or the Pro 5. As we're sure you'll appreciate this makes it kinda hard to give our opinion on whether what's on offer represents a great value way to upgrade a simple and inexpensive case or is perhaps makes it a pile of overpriced ephemera.
So let's start wit what we do know and we can always add in the kicker at the end. So, what coolerMaster are doing in releasing the Maker 5 is saying not only can you buy this actual case, but you can upgrade the lesser spec'd models either all or part of the way. We are though looking at the case as an entity, but keep fresh in your minds that all the additional bells and whistles can be had separately or in clusters.
The MasterCase Maker 5 then is a medium sized mid tower case able to accept ATX as well as M-ATX and M-ITX Motherboards. It's thick enough to take near as damn it any CPU tower cooler on the market and will accept GPUs up to 296mm, rising to 412mm with the HDD trays removed. Talking of HDDs, there's ample storage on tap, with most of it being user configurable or totally removable. The case also comes with 3x140mm fans with the option to house a shed load more. Wile on the subject of cooling it's worth noting that the roof of the case will take a rad/fan combo up to 64mm thick, and in the front a rad of 40mm thick not including the fans, with both locations able to accept either 240 or 280s.
Looks wise the Maker 5 has a sort of stealth fighter twinned with Starwars thing going on, seriously, and without a word of a lie, the angles are that "Stealthy" that the auto focus on my camera had trouble locking on to it. Build quality is pretty much up there with the best, with decent colour matching and shut lines between panel in evidence and we found no issues with it what-so-ever, save from the slight discrepancy with the chassis created when the full glass side panel is used. For most people this protuberance won't be an issue, but if you're the sort that tends to notice small details it will truly drive you mad.
And then we come to the accessories. And boy do you get a lot of them. Too many to mention here for that matter, but if you want a gander then head back to page 6. Let's just say that you know you're in for a treat when the case comes with its own magnetic based steel accessories box.
So what we have then is a well made, well specified PC case. This case displays all the options that should have been available at the time of release but weren't, which led to us not awarding the original release cases any award what-so-ever. At the time we banged on about how if CoolerMaster were going to champion it as being a user configurable modular case they should have released the modules at the same time. From a customer stand point that would have been great, but from, a marketing perspective that wouldn't have been a daft decision. You see, if they'd released all the add-ons at the same time as the actual built up high spec cases, who in their right mind would have bought the base case and then paid for the accessories to bling it up. CoolerMaster basically had to release the base case and then follow it up later, i.e. now with all the bling, in the hope that customers who bought the base case will want to upgrade, or new customers will fork out for the Maker 5. A lot will depend on price. If the accessories kit to make you base case into a Maker 5 costs too much, people will just bin their base case and buy a whole new set up. Likewise, if the Maker 5 costs too much, good though it is it will crash and burn
Well guys and girls, it's 5pm Monday evening and just a few hours before the NDA is lifted and we've finally been given a price. Normally we would at least get an email when the case arrived packed with details, so CoolerMaster really didnt help us at all when it came to trying to get things ready for NDA.
If you want a CoolerMaster MasterCase Maker 5 it's going to set you back £179. When we first heard the price, to be honest we were a bit taken aback. Now that we've had time to ponder though it we're starting to think it's not such a bad deal. It's actually a really good case, and unlike a fair few others we've looked at recently it's not one of those where they've gotten us all hot under the collar by missing obvious opportunities but for what you get we cant help but feel its still a bit expensive. At the end of the day, the Maker 5 has style and more importantly it has substance, and for that it get's our approval. Something we cant get out of our head though is if you're looking at the Maker 5 because of the glass panel and that's it, you're actually much better off buying the Maker Pro and then buying the glass panel separately. Its just a shame these options were not available at the start and more importantly we dont have more already, CoolerMaster need to keep pushing to get the most of of their vision for the Master Case, right now they haven't even touched the surface and lack of commitment to what could be an amazing concept means they only have themselves to blame. Lets hope we dont have to wait another 10 months for more modular options, because those options are going to be the only way this case will be the success it deserves to be.