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Overview of the Cooler Master MasterBox 5 Case

The MasterBox and MasterCase series of PC cases are the new Cooler Master products, and the main task is to fill the middle price segment of the chassis from this Taiwanese vendor. At the heart of the concept of these cases is the versatility, simplicity and modular design, which meets all the needs of modern users. So, let’s consider the budget version of the MasterBox 5 case.

Features



Case type: Midi-Tower
Dimensions, mm: 475 (H) x 220 (W) x 500 (D)
Material: ABS plastic, Steel
Weight, kg: 7.4
Color: black
Form factor: ATX, MicroATX, Mini-ITX
Devices 5.25": — (2 baskets can be purchased optionally)
3.5" external devices:3.5"/2.5" internal devices: 2/3 (2.5" drives can be put instead of 3.5")
Expansion slots: 7 + 1
Front fans: 2 x 120/140 mm (1 x 120 mm installed)
Rear fans: 1 x 120 mm (installed)
Interface sockets: 2 x USB 3.0, microphone input and headphone output
Other: modular design with the possibility to install additional baskets for drives.

Packing and Equipment


The product box looks extremely simple and lacks color polygraphy, but it contains comprehensive information on all the technical parameters interesting to the future buyer. On the sides there are handles for carrying, and transportation damage protection is provided by foam plastic dampers and a plastic bag. The side window is tightened with adhesive film.

The equipment included is as follows:

  • • leaflet with the warranty information;
  • • instructions for assembling the case;
  • • through Molex adapter to three-pin fan socket;
  • • 4 plastic rivets for mounting the fan;
  • • padlock bracket and screw for fixing it;
  • • 10 disposable cable ties;
  • • 7 motherboard racks;
  • • metal adapter for a Phillips screwdriver for mounting motherboard racks;
  • • 13 case screws (suitable for fixing the motherboard and PSU);
  • • 8 small screws to fix 2.5" devices.

Outlook


The MasterBox 5 outlook is quite simple. It is a large black metal box with a front panel consisting mainly of a metal mesh. Plastic faces of the front panel have a slope of 45 degrees, which slightly dilute the overall linearity of the chassis. The company logo is located in the lower third of the front of the case.

The entire front metal mesh is easily removed. It holds on the plastic snaps. From the inside there is a plastic grid consisting of large honeycombs, behind which a net of a good dust filter is stretched. Thus, in the air intake area the chassis is well protected from dust, and the filter itself is removed and cleaned easily.

Behind the grid there are no obstacles for the air circulation and this is very good. Access to the fans here is practically straight. Two 120- or 140-mm propellers can be installed on the front panel, with one 120 mm black fan already placed here by default. At the top there are two seats for 5.25" devices, but there is neither a basket nor a suitable front grid for them. They can be probably purchased separately.

External ports and buttons are assembled on the upper bevel of the front panel. There is a dot indicator of the drives activity, two USB 3.0 ports, a small rectangular system start button (with a built-in power indicator), two 3.5 mm audio jacks for the microphone and headphones, and a very small square button for system reboot.

The entire left side panel is a large transparent acrylic window through which all the inside of the case are visible. The door is equipped with a handle for dismantling and is fixed with two knurled screws. Inside the door has massive rigidity ribs, so, it is strong enough. Glass is fixed with metal clamps.

The right side door is solid, also has a handle and fixed the same way. Having no window and stiffeners, it is even stronger than the left panel. The top panel is solid as well.

The rear panel is quite standard as for the case with the lower power supply position. A 120 mm fan is preinstalled behind the exhaust grid with large honeycombs. Expansion slots are seven. Six of them are covered with vented reusable plugs, and the seventh has a bar for fixing the peripheral devices cords.

More to the right, opposite the main slots, there are blanks for installing a vertical expansion card and slats to support heavy video cards, as well as a staple for a padlock. However, there are no suitable details for all this included in the delivery kit, but for the staple, they also have to be purchased separately.

The power supply can be installed in this chassis both with the fan up and down. Under the block there is a quality retractable dust filter.

At the bottom there are multiple mounting holes that are not covered by anything, so the dust can easily get inside without going through the built-in filters.

A pair of large plastic elements glued with rubber dampers serves as case feet. Their total height is 30 mm.

Internal Organization


Cooler Master MasterBox 5 supports vertical installation of ATX, MicroATX and Mini-ITX motherboards. The permissible height of the processor cooler is 167 mm. The possible length of the expansion cards in all slots reaches 410 mm. if installing additional baskets opposite the slots; this figure is reduced to 285 mm. The permissible length of the power supply unit is not particularly limited, but the manufacturer recommends not to exceed 180 mm for the convenience of laying the wires.

The upper panel is solid; there are no air vents on it. The space to the motherboard edge here is 25 mm and this increases the convenience of connecting the sockets.

A 120-mm fan is pre-installed for blowing-out at the rear panel. The plugs of PCI slots are fixed by conventional screws.

The DF1202512SELN fan has a conventional plain bearing and has a standard blade configuration. The maximum speed of its impeller is approximately 1,200 min, and its aerodynamic noise is clearly distinguishable. The propeller starts at 4 V and 400 rpm. It remains relatively quiet up to 7 V and 750 rpm, but its engine produces a parasitic sound. The fan power cord is 300 mm long.

The seat of the power supply unit is covered with a removable plastic casing with a corrugated upper part and has an opening for drawing out the video card power supply wire. It is fixed with a single knurled screw, which is unscrewed from the back panel, after which the casing is shifted forward and removed.

At the bottom of the power supply seat, there are two large rubber dampers that absorb vibrations and excess noise coming from the PSU.

The basket for two 3.5" or 2.5" drives is located in the front lower part of the chassis. It is removable, fixed with one knurled screw. There are three positions for the basket: 1) close to the front wall and with 70 mm of space left to the power supply unit casing; 2) medium, 30 mm from the front wall and 45 mm to the PSU casing; 3) rear, 55 mm from the front wall and 20 mm to the casing of the PSU.

The telescoping slide is made of plastic. For 3.5" hard drives there is a screwless fastening in the form of pins with a rubberized base in it. A 2.5" drive has to be screwed here.

If the basket is completely removed, 190 mm of space will remain from the edge of the PSU casing (it is 240 mm long) to the front panel.

Another 120-mm fan is pre-installed on the front panel; it is completely analogous to the propeller fixed to the rear panel. As for radiators, it is possible to install 240-, 280- and even 360-mm models up to 50 mm thick without dismantling the storage basket.

At the top, where 5.25" compartments are usually located, one tray for 2.5" disks is fixed with a knurled screw.

The design of the motherboard pallet front part gives rather wide opportunities for the basket configuration. Here one can install three trays for 2.5" drives, up to three baskets for two 3.5" hard drives each, or one basket for 5.25" drives at the top (the front filter panel will have to be replaced) and two other types of baskets in the middle or below. All these details can be purchased additionally in the manufacturer’s official store. Additionally, in the front of the pallet there are also holes for the racks, which make it possible to install motherboards of the E-ATX format here, but this has not been officially confirmed.

The space behind the motherboard pallet looks impressive. Attention is drawn to the huge cut-out for mounting the amplifier plate of the processor cooler, and a very large number of eyelets for fixing cable ties. The space from the pallet to the side door is an average of 30 mm across the entire plane, which means that the cables can be overlapped in three rows.

Under the cut-out of the amplifier plate, one can attach another tray for a 2.5" drive (not included into the delivery kit).

The front panel rests on six flat snaps and disconnects very easily. However, wires are attached to its upper part; therefore, care must be taken when dismantling, so as not to damage them.

It is not necessary to dismantle the front panel, as there is still free access to the fan mounts. By the way, the space between metal and plastic parts of the front panel is 50 mm, therefore, from not only propellers but even some models of radiators can be installed from the outside.

The set of wires includes standard black cables for the drives activity indicators and the system power, PC start and reset buttons (soldered with one tape), one USB 3.0 socket and one HDAudio socket. Their length is more than enough to connect anywhere.

Assembly


The assembly of the system in the Cooler Master MasterBox 5 case is very simple. The only two things that are somehow confusing is the way to fix the front fans to the plastic rivets instead of the traditional screws (they actually do not hold very tight) and their short power wires, which is why one will have to use extension cords. In the rest everything is good, the components are easy to mount and all the wires loosely lay behind the motherboard pallet.

The entire contents of the case are perfectly visible through the side window. The system look even more attractive on the background of the white version of this chassis.

The indicators of the system power and the drives activity are of pleasant white color which is well seen in both darkness and light and does not irritate the eyes at all regardless of the angle at which it is viewed.

Conclusions


The MasterBox series represents a new approach to the chassis design by the Cooler Master Company. This approach is based on the desire for unification, universality and interchangeability of case components. In addition, the chassis data is a certain basic set and its functions can be significantly expanded as necessary.

MasterBox 5 should be considered from the point of view of its basicity. In fact, this is a simple and elegant solution, buying which offers everything needed right away to assemble an average power system. The case has a standard outlook, sufficient capacity and compatibility, and is easy to assemble, operate and maintain.

Of the shortcomings, weak cooling of the video adapter is to be noted. The front fan power cord too short and the metal is thin a bit. Of course, it cannot be called unduly modest, but it does not inspire a feeling of reliability in this case either.

Cooler Master MasterBox 5 is suitable for fast and comfortable assembly of medium power systems with one video adapter and one air conditioning system radiator.
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  • 14 June 2017, 10:31
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