I will give one thing to Cooler Master; they aren't afraid to try new things. The way the chassis market is going, there are a few things that have become "must-have" options when it comes to what a customer expects to see. Water cooling support is big these days, and so are fan filters built into the chassis. Native USB 3.0 is something that should be included, and there should be no need these days for a rainbow colored assortment of cabling. There should be room for an average sized tower cooler for the CPU, and there needs to be room for some serious graphics power to be bolted in as well. Another thing that is being offered I find very handy are hidden 2.5" drive mounting locations as well as possibly a removable hard drive cage for more room and better ventilation inside the chassis.
On the outside you can do just about anything, but as many companies will tell you, once you get too far outside the box, less and less people are interested in your designs. What I look for externally is a unique looking bezel that is well ventilated, but looks will supersede airflow for some. As for the door panels, well I prefer flat panels with a window, but my second choice is panels with bumps for extra room, and without a window, I do like the option to have a fan in the left side to blow directly on the video cards to help keep them cool when in SLI or X-fire. As for the back of the chassis, I don't expect much, maybe some removable expansion slot covers that I can replace later. No cheap tool-free mechanisms in the back, maybe some holes for water cooling, but most definitely it needs an exhaust fan. As far as the PSU is concerned, it can be at the top or the bottom as long as the cables reach, but if it is on the bottom a dust filter is a must.
The newest chassis to hit the desk for testing is the Cooler Master N200. What many will be surprised to see is that most of the things I listed above are in some way included in this new chassis. While this is a much smaller chassis than most are used to dealing with, Cooler Master did not let that stop them from helping to redefine what buyers want to see in any chassis, even if released in the sub-$50 category as this one is.
What you are about to see may be compact, but it is attractively stylish, offers all sorts of things we don't see in some towers much larger and more expensively priced, and is a chassis that I can see many buyers warming up to once they see everything the N200 has to offer.
Last updated: Apr 7, 2020 at 12:31 pm CDT
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