Now I can't deny that this Test Bench V1.0 has already seen its day, and likely will be hard for you to locate one. What I hope to do at this point is really inspire Cooler Master to take this unit back to the drawing board and offer us an updated version. I found very few issues with the unit. To be specific, I loved the plastic risers, but the brittle plastic may break if they are installed any way other than "perfect". There are ways to get around this little issue, so I was still able to use my Test Bench V1.0 with pleasure. An extra foot wouldn't hurt either, but the flex of the floor didn't translate to any deviation of the motherboard tray, so I can't say it is a major concern.
While it certainly fulfilled my checklist for points I wanted in my test bench setup, there are a couple of things I would have liked to have seen, but they just aren't offered. A support for expansion cards would be awesome, even if it was just rods with screws to keep the card aligned in the slot properly. The second addition would be some USB connectivity on the front. While I know it is easy to get to the motherboard USB ports, getting screen shots and saving them to a thumb drive, or even loading the OS would have been made more comfortable during normal use with this simple addition. I really hope that Cooler Master takes this to heart and can over us a new version of the Test Bench and bring a new option to this segment; open air test benches.
Like I said, in the U.S. market you are going to be hard pressed to find this unit any longer. It's a shame really as I really do like this simple, yet elegant solution to test benches. Even if I was asked to pay the equivalent of the £60.39 asking price at ComEuro.net, or roughly $94 US dollars, I would have, as this chassis does everything I need it to. What I would love to see is a slightly stronger model, with more appropriate supports, and a bit more connectivity for around the same price, so that those who missed out or can no longer find this chassis have a chance to enjoy the time using the Cooler Master Test Bench V1.0 as I did. Don't let the score fool you, things like availability and the easy to break risers do get reflected in the otherwise great score.
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
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- Page 1 [Introduction]
- Page 2 [Specifications, Availability and Pricing]
- Page 3 [The Packaging]
- Page 4 [The Cooler Master Test Bench V1.0 Open Air Chassis]
- Page 5 [Accessories and Documentation]
- Page 6 [The Build and Finished Product]
- Page 7 [Final Thoughts]
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