Mid-Tower Case Final Thoughts
While custom water cooling loops is possible in this case, it is clearly designed more so for AIO (all in one) liquid coolers. With various radiator options in front, and a 120mm radiator option in the rear, you should be able to liquid cool a CPU as well as a GPU.
While I understand Cooler Master’s direction with this case, I don’t understand the use of proprietary SSD brackets. It would have been simpler to just cut holes for SSD mounting, instead of utilizing brackets, but I think they were traying to keep the cable routing options available and somewhat hidden by the brackets. The back of the motherboard tray is where they could have easily put in more SSD mounting locations without the need of a bracket, maybe just slots instead. Given how small the optional fan/radiator bracket that is needed to mount 3 x 120mm fans and/or 360mm radiator, it would have been nicer to have the bracket and maybe one or two more SSD brackets bundled instead of the PSU shroud and StormGuard slot cover.
Cooler Master MasterBox 5 Conclusion
Given the number of fan options, options for AIO radiators, and the sheer amount of configuration options, this case can easily perform as your daily driver or gaming PC. The only drawback to the performance of this case is the lack of any sound dampening. Be that as it may, choosing the right parts will negate this problem.
Appearance wise, the MasterBox 5 is a simple design. It’s square, it’s black, and it has a window. There isn’t really any design aspect that sets it apart from it’s budget friendly competition.
This case is constructed similarly to any other steel/plastic combo budget case. Thin side panels and a reinforced steel frame makes up the bulk of this case’s construction. The thin metal tabs that hold the plastic window to the case leave a lot to be desired, as they don’t tighten to the window well and allow the plastic window to rattle a bit.
This case functions fine for a AIO water cooling or air cooling user. In terms of custom water loops, well there’s just better options out there. I’m sure it can be done, and I’m sure some will do it, but it’s not really geared towards that type of setup. But, for the price, it will function well.
At it’s current price and configuration of $69.99 (Amazon | Newegg), the MasterBox 5 is a decent buy for the budget minded. It’s ability to grow and change as your preferences/needs grow and change makes it a decent deal, especially if you can use it in it’s default configuration for a while. That being said, for $40 more, you could get a Cooler Master MasterCase 5, which is a better case for the money.
I recommend this case for anyone who is looking for a budget friendly case that has a versatile layout and options to grow with the end-user. It has some OK cable management routes, but with the large holes and no grommets (yet), it can be a bit of an eye sore on the inside. The case might have better benefited if it had taken after it’s Canadian counterpart and came with solid panels on both sides.
+ Simple, modular design
+ Can support 5.25″ drives (with cage purchase)
+ Budget friendly
+ Multiple SSD mounting locations
+ Multiple radiator support
– Only 1 proprietary brackets for SSD included
– No sound dampening
– Plastic window not held securely
– Thin steel side panels
– No rubber grommets