Cooler Master MasterCase 5 Final Thoughts
MasterCase 5 gives any computer user the flexibility to customize their build to serve any purpose. The FreeForm Modular System allow computer users to take control in fully customizing the exterior and interior parts of the case. Extra storage cages, a top cover kit, and a side window kit can all be purchased separately to turn this case into a server, productivity, or gaming machine. Beginners can start out with the MasterCase 5, but have the option to upgrade the case anytime in the future without having to purchase a new case. In the near future, we can expect more FreeForm accessories from Cooler Master, like different color exterior parts, sound dampening side panels, internal fan and water cooling accessories, updates to the front I/O panel with USB 3.1 support, and even tempered glass materials.
Cooler Master MasterCase 5 Conclusion
MasterCase 5 comes with two preinstalled 140mm fans, one at the front and another in the rear. Water cooling is possible but only at the front of the case as a separate radiator bracket must be purchased separately to support a top radiator. Because the internal components can be moved around, airflow into the case should not be much of an issue. Three 140mm fans can be installed at the front, which is something not common on a mid-tower chassis. Aside from having to purchase additional accessories, MasterCase 5 comes ready to cool out from the box with the flexibility to make it better.
The black finish on the exterior looks very modernized with it slick and minimalistic appearance. Although this is based on personal preference, I think it looks great with or without the side window upgrade kit. With the window, this may appeal more towards a gaming computer, but the standard side panel without the window does make sense to have for a server or a productivity machine. Improvements can always be made in the future as more parts come out. I am really hoping to see different colored side and front panels along with the option to have sound dampening materials to build a silence optimized computer. Having different types of modular accessories can really satisfy the consumers.
The overall structure of the case is very sturdy even without the side panels attached, but the side panels themselves are not the sturdiest I have seen. They do have hinges to prevent them from falling off when removed, which is something very handy for a lot of users who loves removing their side panels every now and then. The fact that Cooler Master is finally including captive thumbscrews with the MasterCase 5 is something I have been waiting to see for a very long time. I was starting to question these major case manufacturers because even my old Compaq Presario desktop PC from 2007 had its own captive thumbscrews. I really hope other manufacturers can begin putting captive thumbscrews with their cases so this can finally become the standard. The handle bars up on the top of the case are also a nice feature to have especially for LAN events or just to carry the case from place to place.
The MasterCase 5 has the potential to become a case that can serve just about any purpose. Without any additional accessory, it can be suitable for a basic computer or perhaps a gaming PC. Two 3.5″ HDD slots are available for 2.5″ and 3.5″ drives along with two more 2.5″ Slip-and-Clip SSD pockets, but mass storage using 3.5″ drives can become limiting. Water cooling potential is also limited to only the front without the additional top radiator bracket, but the FreeForm Modular System will allow computer users to purchase additional parts when needed.
As of November 2015, Cooler Master’s MasterCase 5 is available online for $104.95 (Amazon | Newegg). Although it may not be in the sub 100 dollar category, it still makes a great case for what it has to offer. Other computer cases, such as the Fractal Design Define S, Phanteks Enthoo Pro M, and NZXT S340, are all alternative choices under 100 dollars. But looking at what the MasterCase has to offer with its support for three 140mm fans at the front, the FreeForm Modular System for maximum flexibility to customize, adjust, and upgrade, and separate parts that can be purchased from the Cooler Master store, it really does make it a good value for the price. Instead of purchasing something with a lower price tag, spend just a few more bucks on something that can last a long time without having to purchase a new computer case every time your needs change. All accessories can be purchased from the CM Store at www.cmstore-usa.com.
+ FreeForm Modular System to customize, adjust, and upgrade
+ Captive thumbscrews on interior and exterior parts
+ Lots of interior room to work with
+ Lots of accessories to choose from
+ Includes handles and safeguard for portability
+ Great build quality
+ Supports three 140mm fans at the front with included fan bracket
+ Removable dust filters all around
+ Easy to build for beginners and experience system builders
– Limited on storage and water cooling potential out of the box
– Extra accessories can be purchased separately, but better than purchasing a new case