Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
Cooler Master is a company we have not looked at in a while. Today we are looking at one of the smallest of the MasterCase series of chassis. The chassis today is the MasterCase H100, which is a tiny ITX cube which is scarcely more prominent than an ITX board itself.
The MasterCase H100 is made for smaller lower power builds. Cooler Master, when we spoke to them, said the H100 was focused on APU/iGPU builds. I thought this was strange as the chassis has two expansion slots in place, which should support a GPU. Add to this the ATX PSU support, and I feel like there something amiss here. The chassis is noticeably tiny, but I have seen GPUs fit in small chassis, but we will see if we can install a GPU in this one based on its internal constraints.
The key features that Cooler Master highlights in the overview page for the H100 is as follows:
- Compact Mini-ITX
- Fine Mesh Ventilation
- 200mm RGB Fan
- ATX Power Supply Compatible
- Built-In Handle
The built-in handle is excellent and makes this a very LAN friendly chassis, especially when considering the tiny footprint. The ATX power supply compatibility is propped up by Cooler Master as "Full-sized ATX power supplies are supported to improve hardware compatibility and ensure efficient power to the system." This gave us hopes in the fact that GPU's should work well in this scenario for a knockout gaming build.
The H100 comes as part of the MasterCase series of chassis. Special note from Cooler Master when they first discussed this chassis is that while it carries the MasterCase H series naming, it is not made to be a high airflow case, which I imagine will confuse some users. The Part Number, if you happen to look for this chassis, would be MCM-H100-KANN-S00. The H100 measures in at 294mm high, 216mm width, and 278mm in length. With that information, we know this is indeed a tiny chassis. This measurement is without the exterior embellishments and focused on the base chassis itself.
Motherboard fitment is isolated to ITX, which I don't think is a surprise based on the form factor of the chassis. 3.5" and 2.5" drive fitment is as follows. 3.5" drive fitment is only one, and it is a combo 2.5" or 3.5" mounting. 2.5" drive fitment is three or 3+1 if you opt to install only 2.5" drives, using the 3.5" combo mounting for 2.5". PSU fitment is ATX style up to 210mm without a front mount AIO/radiator, or 160mm with a front mount radiator installed.
Cooling fitment is minimal in the H100. The fan fitment is only the front where the 200mm RGB fan is preinstalled. Radiators can be from 120mm, 140mm up to 200mm if you can find one like the one from Phobya we have seen before in the 200mm sizing. CPU air cooler height is limited to 83mm, which is small and means mostly stock coolers or something tiny similar to that. The issue I see will be that you either have to opt for a small lower-performing cooler or an AIO/Liquid cooling for the H100 as fitment limitations are a bit trying. Also note that using an SFX PSU with an ATX adapter might be the ticket for you to achieve better component space in a chassis that admittedly should have been SFX powered, to begin with, especially considering the GPU size limitation. Now is the perfect time to note that GPU size without a radiator installed is 210mm, while with an AIO/radiator mounted, it drops to 180mm. This means if running a discrete GPU, you would need a unit that is below 180mm, which is troubling as that strictly limits options to the 2060 or lower range unless you can find a used mITX GTX 1080 card or similar.
The MasterCase H100 is available at Amazon and several other retailers for $69.99, and this places it in quite a unique space. Being mITX, we focused our search down to that and found several competitors to the tune of the Fractal Design Nano S at $57.99 and supports up to four radiators, a full-size GPU, and CPU coolers up to 162mm. The others we find in this area would be the Thermaltake Core V1 at $50.99, which is admittedly long in the tooth but also offers some stout fitment and features. The MetallicGear Neo Mini V2 which is a chassis I am less familiar with but provides a direct price comparison with a sturdy feature set and minimal restrictions. Also, worth mentioning, for $5 - $10 higher, we can also reach the Node 304 from Fractal or the Enthoo Evolv ITX from Phanteks. The H100 is going to have to pull off a lot more than just the MasterCase H series styling to earn a recommendation for your hard-earned dollar.
Shannon's Chassis Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG Strix Z390-i (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: Intel Core i7 8700K (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair Hydro Series H60 (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair H100i Pro RGB (buy from Amazon)
- Memory: Corsair Vengeance Pro RGB CMW32GX4M4C3000C15 (buy from Amazon)
- Video Card: MSI GeForce RTX 2060 Gaming Z (buy from Amazon)
- Storage: SanDisk M.2 256GB
- Power Supply: SilverStone Strider Platinum 1000W (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit (buy from Amazon)