This year at PAX Prime, over at the Cooler Master booth, Product Manager Nathan Almond gave us some great insight on the Master Case 5 and the Pro 5. If you haven’t yet heard of this line, it’s a mid-size tower that is completely modular. Aside from feature filed and easy to use design, it’s a sleek looking case on top of that.
Starting up with the base model the Master Case 5 with an introductory price of $109.99 from the CM store, you’re looking at very solidly built case for the price. Purely on the part of beauty, it’s not too fancy. It is a dark metallic exterior with a black interior, solid side panels, two SSD brackets, two disk drive ports, and two HD ports. The front features a steel mesh grating for standard ventilation and the top has a removable steel grate where you can mount two massive 144mm fans. The Master Case 5 packs in front control ports with two USB 3.0 ports and two 3.5 mm jacks – one for headphones and one for your microphone – and of course your power button. Cooler Master ensures the easiest possible access with top-front mounting of these ports, where in the past when some ports were mounted at the bottom making it much easier to bust the USB ports or tripping on your cords. On the top of the case are two very sturdy handles to lift and move its 23.4 lbs of weight, discounting your interior hardware. Some of this weight could be accredited to the Master Case 5’s sturdy build, we might go so far as to say you could probably toss it off a truck, though we don’t recommend it. Now to get to the Master Case 5’s exceptional features: There is a heat shield that partitions the case, separating the base mounting power supply from your motherboard. Super important for separating the heat away from your high end graphics cards or overclocked devices, this is a fantastic addition. There was also room for you to mount two of your hard drives down here as well, if you’re running solid state and you’re not concerned with any overheating. All of your drive bays are modular and do not require any tools to move the rear-locking system on the trays. Using rubber pegs that are seated into rubber grommets, not only are they easy to move, but also reduce noise and vibration while each bay is secured by a single thumb screw. There is a “phillips” slot on top of the thumb screw just in case He-Man put your bay in for you last time as well. It’s clear to see many tie down spots for precise wire management as well as 3 large grommet holes to freely move your wires from top to bottom of your motherboard. The case comes with two 144mm fans built in – one in the front and one in the rear.
The FreeForm Modular System supports multiple outlooks, allowing you to upgrade rather than entirely replace your case as your needs change over time.
Onto the meat to the Pro 5 series. As a total unit its price is $139.99 from the CM Store or if your were to purchase the full set for the Pro 5 to upgrade your master 5 case you’re looking at dropping another $66.95. Here is the beauty of that though you might not want several of these accessories so you have total control over what it is you’re looking for. Let’s start with a big feature upgrade on the Pro 5 the top is swapped out with a liquid cooling bracket that you can mount your system to before you even lower it into the case. This saves you lots of energy wrestling with the case to get the right angle and dropping hardware inside of it. There is nice mesh cover with matching side bezels to the front that converts the top to a much stealthier look. You get two more SSD brackets taking you up to four there is also a sleek spot to mount one behind the motherboard mounting shield. One cool feature if you’re out to show off those flashy SSD’s you can mount them to the top of these brackets instead of seating them into the clips. Three more HD mounts for a total of five again all modular. There is also one more 144m fan taking you to a total of three. A big part of the upgrade is the windowed side panel. This will allow you to show off those goods that your stuffing in this roomy case. Another cool addition to the window is a black tinted plexi that you can attach from the inside to cover where you have the power supply, if your not interested in showing that off. This tops off the differences between the two cases.
Some other cool features that I can totally relate too. You can remove your 5.25 drives from the from of the case without removing the side bezels. Now they do come off the same as most do with the large plastic snap in pegs, but I hope I am not alone in this were they have become worn out or broken after a few removals/accidental pop offs. Another awesome feature is that all the modular internal parts will be able to move from case to case as newer series come out like the master case 6 and 7. It will not matter either if they are coming from a mid size to a full size case or vise versa.
Nathan also let us in a little on the CM (Color Master) store. One thing they are trying to do is work with other case artists Such as Ron Christianson from Blue Horse Studios where they can sell custom pieces to some of your favorite CM cases.
It is like our version of Amazon but more specialized
Obviously they are trying to bring more of the purchases back from other sites and develop a homegrown fan base. I can respect that and wish them all the luck I will do my best to keep an eye out to watch how the CM store will grow. As always you can check out Cooler Masters official website for more updates coolermaster.com or check back here at PowerLeveled where we hope to be doing many more hardware reviews in the near future.