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

Interior

The side panel locking mechanism is simple and effective – we much prefer it to the standard four thumbscrews and it's surprisingly secure as it hinges into place at the bottom too. As discussed prior the front and roof also comes away easily so the only real access issue is having to remove the handle to get at the top radiator bracket.

Inside it's a familiar sight as it uses the standard interior common to the MasterCase 5 range. That said, the metallic red paint on the motherboard tray and PSU cover adds welcome contrast and even a bit of shine. There's masses of space in the main area for bulky hardware and long graphics cards – your GPU length is limited to 297mm if you buy and install an additional HDD cage in the main area using the FreeForm modular system (the vertical strip of holes running up the motherboard tray), but even that is enough for most cards on the market. Our only real gripe is that only two motherboard mounts come pre-installed, but maybe (definitely) we're just lazy.

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There's an added step for PSU installation since you need to first remove the associated bracket via four thumbscrews before attaching it to your unit and sliding the construction in from the rear where it will then rest on some foam-lined rails.

The current trend regarding 5.25in devices is to ignore them completely, but Cooler Master still gives them some love with a two-bay cage in the usual position. Optical drives can be installed tool-free while a pair of separate metal brackets allow you to securely install shallow fan controllers too. If you don't need or want optical drives, fear not: The whole cage is removable and you can then install the supplied bracket that can accommodate a third front fan so as to not completely waste the space.

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At the front of the lower cavity is a two-bay HDD cage with plastic sleds that are tool-free for 3.5in drives and also support 2.5in devices. The cage can be removed completely with ease if you wish, as can the rail that it sits on, so as to make way for front radiators. Alternatively, you can just move them further into the chassis to retain 3.5in support, in which case you'll need to secure the cage to the rails with a couple of screws.

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A pair of Cooler Master's Slip-and-Clip metal SSD trays are supplied, attached via a single thumbscrew each to the top of the PSU cover. They're very easy to work with, and a pair of additional mounts behind the motherboard means you can move your drives there if you wish or buy some extra trays if you're running multiple SSDs. Similarly, the FreeForm modular system lets you buy and integrate additional HDD cages up front, with two-bay and three-bay models both available. Having support for only four drives feels a little light in a £230 case, but we can get behind the idea of not wasting material on drive bays that many will leave unused.

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Also atop the PSU cover is a magnetic red LED strip that comes pre-connected to a hub fixed to the rear of the motherboard tray. The hub is powered by a single SATA connection but offers four LED connections, leaving you three spare for additional strips sold by Cooler Master for €13 (about £11 including taxes) and currently only available in red, as well as six fan connections, with three spare since the two intake and single exhaust fans are all routed and pre-connected to the hub as well. A signal cable connects the hub to the front I/O buttons for control, with the controller also requiring a Molex power connector to work. It's a nifty little system and the cover over the PCB stops it looking too messy through the tempered glass panel too.

The MasterCase Maker 5t also includes a graphics card support beam with two plastic platforms that can be easily adjusted to any height and rotation. It's secured using the FreeForm modular system and is thus easily removable, though Cooler Master claims you can also use it in conjunction with additional hard drive cages if you get the positioning right.

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The three main routing holes in the motherboard tray as well as two cut into the PSU cover are fitted with rubber grommets for extra neatness. There are also smaller holes above and below the motherboard, including ones that serve the two SSD trays. Around back, a dedicated cable channel coupled with well secured Velcro cable ties makes for a solid system, although the channel could be wider and it should also continue through the PSU shroud instead of being blocked by it. Even so, with a healthy selection of zip ties and even a couple of stick-on clip-based cable tidies supplied, Cooler Master goes a long way to helping you tidy up.

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The roof radiator bracket allows 240mm and 280mm radiators to be installed providing they don't exceed 297mm in length. Meanwhile, the front has the same level of support and with at least 80mm of thickness between the front panel and the PSU shroud you can install some rather thick radiators here. Unfortunately, 360mm models are not officially supported, despite it being possible to install three 120mm or even three 140mm fans here after removing the ODD cage and fitting the fan bracket. There may well be room for one, but you might have to get creative with installing it. We don't think it unfair to expect 360mm radiators to be properly supported in a case this big and pricey, and it's unfortunate too not to see dedicated reservoir or pump mounts.
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