Cooler Master MasterCase Maker 5t Review

December 12, 2016 // 9:01 a.m.

Tags: #atx #cooler-master #cooler-master-mastercase-maker-5t-review #mid-tower #modular

Cooler Master MasterCase Maker 5t Review

Manufacturer: Cooler Master
UK price (as reviewed):
MSRP £229.99 (inc VAT)
US price (as reviewed): $249.99 (ex tax)

It was only a few days ago that we reviewed the MasterBox 5t from Cooler Master, and now the company is back with another 't' edition case – denoting a 'Turbo' design of an existing chassis – and this time it's a decidedly high-end affair. The MasterCase Maker 5t tweaks the MasterCase Maker 5 design with added features and a new dual-tone red and black colour scheme. It's £230, which is not cheap by any stretch of the imagination, but we're keen to see what Cooler Master can do at this end of the market having recently seen a number of other companies go there like Corsair, Nanoxia and In Win.

Cooler Master MasterCase Maker 5t Review Cooler Master MasterCase Maker 5t Review
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If you don't already know, the MasterCase series relies on Cooler Master's FreeForm modular system, whereby all cases in the range have the same core chassis that users are then free to tweak and customise using upgrade kits or individual accessories bought through Cooler Master's online store. Users could theoretically start with the standard MasterCase 5, for example, and eventually upgrade various bits and end up with a MasterCase Maker 5. The MasterCase Maker 5t, however, has unique elements to it unavailable in the standard range of cases and accessories. The red and black colour scheme is one of these, which sees red highlights added to the front and roof panel and a red metallic paint job applied to the feet, PSU shroud and motherboard tray. Aesthetics are always divisive, but as mentioned in the MasterBox 5t review, red and black is still a popular colour scheme for gamers and enthusiasts so it's an understandable decision.

Cooler Master MasterCase Maker 5t Review Cooler Master MasterCase Maker 5t Review
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While the front plastic panel is solid, it's still made of plastic – not ideal in a £230 case. Still, the design is pretty neat. It's held in magnetically, and pulling on the opening at the top will open it downwards to an angle that gives optical drives room to open or space for your hands to reach in and fiddle with a fan controller if you install one. It's also backed by noise dampening material and if you lift the plastic front cover out completely you're greeted by a full-height mesh covering with both the ODD bay brackets and the main bit beneath back by dust filtering material, behind which a pair of 140mm fans is installed. This main filter pulls away from the case easily for cleaning too.

The angle and position of the I/O panel will make access easy with the case on the floor or your desk, although we're not keen on the glossy finish. The four USB 3.0 ports ensures you'll pretty much never need to reach around back and there are buttons for LED and fan control too. The former switches compatible LED strips (one of which is installed) between on, breathing and off modes, while the latter switches fans between high (12V) and low (7V) speeds.

Cooler Master MasterCase Maker 5t Review Cooler Master MasterCase Maker 5t Review
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The main feature on the roof, and one that is unique to the Maker 5t within the MasterCase series, is the rubber coated carrying handle that harks back to cases like the CM Storm Trooper. While lugging a case this size is never especially comfortable, the handle helps a lot and can support up to 28.5kg – it certainly feels very sturdy. The roof cover, meanwhile, is much like the front one: unfortunately plastic, but magnetic and easy to remove. It also has a small cover at the back which can come off to improve ventilation and the mesh here is filtered too to shield against dust. There's not filtering material beneath the red roof section, however. Also, it's necessary to unscrew and remove the handle (three screws) to access the radiator mounting bracket in its entirety – a bit of a pain, but nothing you'll need to do too regularly.

Cooler Master MasterCase Maker 5t Review
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Undoubtedly a factor in the high cost is the duo of tempered glass side panels – Cooler Master sells these individually for €50 (around £42 including taxes) on its store, although this is the only case to ship with them by default. They're thick, weighty, very strong and also quite heavily tinted. You can see through them but LEDs will be needed to really showcase your build. It also puts pressure on you to do a good job cable routing. The panels are attached using a nifty little key mechanism and two keys are supplied as well as a cleaning cloth so you can wipe away all the dust and fingerprints that will inevitably accumulate during the build or when transporting the PC.

Cooler Master MasterCase Maker 5t Review Cooler Master MasterCase Maker 5t Review
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At the back is the case's singular 140mm exhaust fan. Cooler Master also includes its StormGuard PCI-E expansion slot bracket for added peripheral security at LAN parties and the like – it's definitely a case geared towards fans of such events. The chassis stands on two metal platforms, and the quality of this material makes it even more of a shame Cooler Master didn't use it up front and on the roof. Finally, there's also a slide-out dust filter for the PSU that's dead simple to use.

Specifications

  • Dimensions (mm) 242 x 544 x 574 (W x D x H)
  • Material Steel, plastic, tempered glass
  • Available colours Black with red
  • Weight 13.5kg
  • Front panel Power, reset, 4 x USB 3.0, stereo, microphone, 2-step fan controller, LED control
  • Drive bays 2 x external 5.25in, 2 x 3.5in/2.5in, 2 x 2.5in
  • Form factor(s) ATX, Micro-ATX, mini-ITX
  • Cooling 3 x 140mm/120mm front fan mounts (2 x 140mm fans included), 1 x 140mm/120mm rear fan mount (1 x 140mm fan included), 2 x 140mm/120mm roof fan mounts (fans not included)
  • CPU cooler clearance 190mm
  • Maximum graphics card length 412mm
  • Extras Removable dust filters, fan and LED control hub, magnetic red LED strip, external fan controller bracket, graphics card holder, carry handle

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