Cooler Master MasterBox 5t Review

December 8, 2016 // 8:55 a.m.

Tags: #atx #cooler-master #cooler-master-masterbox-5t-review #mid-tower

Interior

The side panels use a notches and rails system, but it's one that's easier than most to get on with. As mentioned, you can also remove the front fascia very easy with a light pull, so getting access to your hardware with this case is no trouble.

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Other than painting the motherboard tray red, there's very little difference between the insides of this case and the original MasterBox 5. The case isn't a true dual-chamber one, but it does have a roughly half-length PSU cover to hide your unit and the associated cables.

The motherboard area is spacious enough to make installing your core hardware painless, although it should be noted that there are only a couple of pre-installed motherboard standoffs and regular screws rather than thumbscrews on the expansion slot covers. These are very minor niggles but it does mean build time is slightly increased. Still, the important thing is that there's lots of clearance for big air coolers and graphics cards.

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The PSU cover is removable via a single thumbscrew at the back. It's plastic, not metal, which is a shame, but it is very easy to work with – far better than the fiddly two-part one we've seen in Corsair's Carbide 400C and Crystal 460X cases. With it out the way, you install your PSU as normal on the foam strips that help quell vibrations, then cover it back up to neaten the build. There's no front wall on the PSU cover, though, so some cables risk spilling out into the visible area. That said, we didn't have much trouble making things tidy here.

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A two-bay HDD cage is installed up front. The trays inside use locking arms to clip in and out of place and support both 3.5in and 2.5in drives, with the former using tool-free pins and rubberised mounts and the latter using screws. The entire cage can be removed via a single thumbscrew, or moved further back to one of two positions to give you extra front radiator clearance. A dedicated 2.5in tray sits on top of the cage and this too is removable with its thumbscrew. This allows you to move it to one of three positions on the window-facing side of the extended motherboard tray or completely out of sight to one position in the rear. It's a shame Cooler Master doesn't give you an extra tray or two in this more expensive case as adding an extra SSD is definitely a viable future upgrade path, although you can purchase them separately. Finally, we should also note that motherboard tray has labelled screw holes with a legend suggesting that you can install extra 3.5in HDD bays or even a 5.25in cage in this case, although we're not aware that the accessories enabling this are available yet.

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There are six large cable routing holes cut into the front of the motherboard tray, giving you plenty of space to get cables through. None are covered by rubber grommets, however, so it may not look as neat as other cases. Smaller holes above and below where the motherboard sits mean you've no excuse for having excess cabling on sight. The front fan is pre-connected to the fan controller although oddly the rear one isn't. The area behind the motherboard tray is very spacious and thick power cables fitted easily, helped by a nice selection of zip ties and plenty of anchor points, although fancier systems like Velcro or clip-based cable routing mechanisms aren't present as they are in competing cases.

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The only real change inside is something we've mentioned before – support in the front fan bracket for three 120mm fans instead of two. This also nets you support for 360mm radiators, and 280mm models are also supported. With the HDD cage in its furthest back position, you've at least 50mm of clearance and this excludes fans since they're installed on the outside of the bracket. You could even remove the HDD cage completely for even thicker hardware here although then you'd be without 3.5in drive support.
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