When first hearing of the H100 from Cooler Master, I was excited and thought an excellent high airflow chassis at an ultra-compact form factor would be a very welcome addition. I, however, misjudged this scenario, and when Cooler Master briefed on the chassis, the fact that they mentioned the target of the H100 as an APU chassis started not to look as attractive. Adding to this that a full ATX PSU fitment is in place now raises some huge design decisions in my mind.
Testing the MasterCase H100, we observed an ambient of 22.6 with an RH of 44%. The CPU showed an average delta of 53.4C over ambient, which is a surprisingly decent result for the CPU thermals, but you must keep in mind there is no GPU adding to thermals here. However, it was as capable as some of the best ITX chassis we have tested. Except for the SilverStone LD03, which pulled an almost 7C advantage over the H100. The H100 falls in line with chassis such as the TU150 with no additional fans, although adding a fan to the TU150 likely would outpace the H100 readily.
Now we look at what we like about the H100 and why. First up, the aesthetic carries well here, and the H100 looks like you cut it straight from an H500P chassis or similar. The RGB massive fan moves air well here. The drive fitment is quite useful for such a small enclosure. The addition of ATX compatibility means you can likely find a much cheaper PSU to power a mini rig versus the sometimes more pricey SFX units.
Now let's look at what we don't care for as much or would like to see improved. First up is the ATX PSU, while it may be advantageous in some fringe scenarios, I would much rather see the H100 equipped for SFX/SFX-L as this would have a multi-faceted advantage. First up, an SFX mounting would allow far more room for fitment of CPU cooling along with more room overall for adjusting the chassis for more GPU clearance. Now the base chassis, I think, would be acceptable to all SFF users if it was a little bigger to offer more compatibility, especially from the GPU front. Also, widening the chassis just a little bit would allow for proper cable management gaps between the rear panel and allow for cleaner overall builds, along with opening up the main chamber as SSD's could mount back there.
Looking at the price point of the H100, I cannot help but feel that Cooler Master has made a solid chassis but left a lot on the table based on strange design decisions. If you are looking for a chassis strictly for a stock cooled APU situation, the H100 could be a good option, but for any enthusiasts looking to build a small and powerful rig, there simply are better options. Namely, the Thermaltake Core V1, while more prominent, simply offers far more compatibility.
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)
Last updated: Feb 20, 2020 at 04:26 am CST
The Bottom Line
Offering a unique ultra compact solution, the MasterCase H100 looks to be a stout contender. Once considering the price and fitment limitations, Cooler Master came up a bit short of what we have come to expect from the MasterCase series.