Cooler Master MasterCase Pro 6 ReviewManufacturer: Cooler Master
UK price (as reviewed): £132.29 (inc VAT)
US price (as reviewed):
Cooler Master's MasterCase series seems to be growing quite rapidly. The newest release, the MasterCase Pro 6, is part of the company's ATX lineup along with all the various MasterCase 5 editions and is built around the same frame as those cases. However, you are not able to upgrade any of the 5-series cases to the Pro 6 in the way that you can move from a MasterCase 5 to a Pro 5 or Maker 5 simply by buying the right accessories, at least for now, as the 5-series cases would need some external modifications to be compatible with the new panels Cooler Master is using here. That said, the company has confirmed that future 5-series chassis will have these modifications applied, but it has not given a release window for these revised editions. This is also the first and currently only announced case in the 6-series (i.e. no MasterCase 6 or MasterCase Maker 6 so far). It is not completely divorced from Cooler Master's modular approach to cases, however, as it is compatible with a range of accessories designed for the 5-series, including the tempered glass side panel and all the internal ones.
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If you're completely lost by this point, fear not, as from here on in we'll be looking at this case as a standalone product; we just thought it important to contextualise it amongst the growing MasterCase family of cases and accessories.
The MasterCase Pro 6 is Cooler Master's attempt at creating a high-end case that doesn't also come with a traditional gamer look. The smooth outer panels do make for a rather refined and toned down aesthetic, although there's still a large window and red LEDs on the rear fan and in the bottom-front corner (a blue LED version is also available), so whether or not it's truly a grown up chassis or suitable for office use is for you to decide.
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The chassis is very solid, but we were still hoping for a little more from it in terms of build quality. It still uses plastic on the roof and front panel, for example, whereas aluminium (or at least an outer aluminium coating) would have been nicer to see given the price tag. The chassis stands on thick rubber feet, and a full-size carry bag is supplied for transportation, as the smooth panels mean Cooler Master has had to forgo any form of a handle.
Even the I/O panel is hidden in order to maintain the smooth panels. A small tab at the front of the roof lifts out the way whenever you want to use the buttons or ports here, and there are no extra features beyond the usual USB and audio connectivity.
Click to enlarge - The MasterCase Pro 6 with its front and roof panels popped (left) and removed (right)
Solid panels like those here often result in a lack of airflow, but Cooler Master has a couple of ways to combat this. Discreet air vents are positioned in all four corners of the case, so it always has at least some means of airflow. You can also increase the ventilation by “popping” the top and front panels outwards; they're held in place magnetically, and a small tug on either one will lift the panel a few centimetres away from the case. Pulling more firmly releases the panels entirely for access to the fan mounts, and it's easy to replace the panels once you're finished – the mechanism is really well designed. Airflow is actually generated by a pair of 140mm front intake fans and a single 140mm rear exhaust.
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With the front panel removed, we see a large dust filter guarding the front fans and a couple of 5.25in drive bay covers. These are an odd choice for a case with a solid front panel; we imagine they're something of a hangover from the core chassis this case is based on and can't see many people using them. The front filter is well designed, clipping in and out of place easily. Meanwhile, removing the roof panel reveals Cooler Master's fan/radiator bracket secured to the roof with thumbscrews.
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A quick look around back reveals a couple of noteworthy features. First is the standard PSU dust filter, which again deserves praise for its mechanism – it's very easy to remove, clean, and replace without having to lift or tilt the case. There's also an external cable management shroud, although we're less enamoured by this. The plastic is thin, and consequently it feels cheap. It also blocks access to the PSU filter and the side panel thumbscrews, and honestly we just don't think it's that necessary. Still, it's easy to remove and forget about if you agree.
- Dimensions (mm) 235 x 544 x 548 (W x D x H)
- Material Steel, plastic
- Available colours Dark metallic grey (with red LEDs or blue LEDs)
- Weight 11.74kg
- Front panel Power, reset, 2 x USB 3.0, stereo, microphone
- Drive bays 2 x external 5.25in, 5 x 3.5in/2.5in, 2 x 2.5in
- Form factor(s) ATX, micro-ATX, mini-ITX
- Cooling 2 x 140mm/120mm front fan mounts or 3 x 140mm/120mm front fan mounts without ODD cage (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 296mm (412mm without HDD cage)
- Extras Removable dust filters, front LEDs, FreeForm modular system