The chassis is compact which a lot of people like, and is why mid-tower cases are such a huge success for many companies. It is not the most solid design we have had in our hands, but even with so little to support the chassis with the panels off, it wasn't super flimsy either. We liked the removable mesh inset at the front, allowing access without the need to deal with the front I/O wiring, and we liked the modularity of the bays and the room behind the motherboard tray. It is nice to have a PSU cover, and we also like that the side window is slightly tinted. The external aesthetics are clean and straightforward so that the MasterBox 5 will fit nearly everyone's taste in chassis design.
Usually, even with a pre-release sample, we find that everything is ready to go as is. However, we discovered that the motherboard screws and the hex head screws did not fit the additional standoffs. They fit well with the two already installed in the motherboard tray, but that left us with seven screws which could only be screwed in a thread or two. We do feel that while an SSD and a couple of spinners in RAID do cover most user's needs, without buying more 2.5" drive plates, three drives are all you can fit in here out of the box, and may limit quite a few of their customers. We like that the PSU cover is removable and that there is one at all, but we do wish it were longer, so it would cover the wiring we had to run. We realize they had to steer clear of the HDD rack, but with only two drive trays there, they could have hidden them like in many other designs, allowing for a cleaner finished product with a longer PSU cover. The noise from the MasterCase 5 is neither a hit nor a miss. At 37 dB, it won't make your ears bleed with it close to you in the office, but is not silent like many others either.
The initial pricing of the MasterBox 5 is still worth every penny. While we found some issues along the way, we still feel the Cooler Master is on the right path here. You will be hard pressed to find many cases that are designed like this. Offering many options to install the various drive plates and racks, all of the room inside and behind the motherboard tray simplifies installation and makes your time using the MasterBox 5 a pleasure. While the chassis is somewhat limited in its feature set, at $69.99, we can see this being a huge hit with gamers and system builders alike. While we do wish we could have found spare parts and pricing for optional parts shown to go along with this design, we cannot see Cooler Master charging small fortunes for them.
So, even if you do need a few extra bits to build your dream system in this chassis, it is likely you can stay near $100 and load this chassis up. While not a "Maker" myself, the idea and thought of this movement is easily seen to be of benefit to everyone, and it leaves the MasterBox 5 in a separate category, only to be surpassed by its larger brother, the MasterCase 5.
Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD4-B3
- CPU: Intel Core i7 2600K (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair H80i GT (buy from Amazon)
- Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws F3-12800CL6D-4GBXH
- Video Card: ZOTAC GeForce GTX 970 AMP. Extreme Edition (buy from Amazon)
- Storage: SuperSpeed 128GB SSD
- Power Supply: SilverStone SST-ST85F-G (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit (buy from Amazon)
Product Summary Breakdown
|Quality including Design and Build||90%|
|Bundle and Packaging||93%|
|Value for Money||97%|
|Overall TweakTown Rating||92%|
The Bottom Line: The MasterBox 5 has enough to keep most customers happy, and if not, they offer the parts to fit your needs! With three versions available, and all of them at very reasonable prices, Cooler Master has delivered a very unique and very affordable design.
PRICING: You can find the Cooler Master MasterBox 5 Mid-Tower Chassis for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link below to see real-time pricing for the best deal:
United States: The Cooler Master MasterBox 5 Mid-Tower Chassis retails for $70 at Amazon.
United Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon UK's website.
- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging]
- Page 3 [Cooler Master MasterBox 5 Mid-Tower Chassis]
- Page 4 [Inside the MasterBox 5]
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