Cooler Master MasterCase 5: Beauty is truly skin deep
The motherboard installation was easy and fuss-free. Moreover, stand-offs on our review unit were already installed to accommodate our ATX board. Next, we installed our graphics card and secured it with two thumbscrews. The PSU installation was a break from norm as we had to remove the PSU bracket from the case and attach it to the PSU. Following which, we had to slide the PSU from the rear of the chassis, with the rubber-padded rails to guide the unit inside and cushion it from vibration.
Using the drive adapters, we mounted the 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch drives at the 3.5-inch drive cage. Installing 3.5-inch drives is a tool-free affair, requiring users to only latch the drive onto the adapter itself.
However, 2.5-inch drives would need to be secured to the drive adapter with additional screws. After both drives were secured in their adapters, they were slid into place at the drive cage.
Here's another view from the rear of the motherboard installation area. Seeing how the power cables bunched up at near the front of the chassis, we feel that it might not be a good idea to install a drive at the drive tray there as ventilation will almost certainly be negatively affected.
However, if you really have to make use of that space, you would have to use the mounting tray. We remove the tray for a closer look. The 3.5-inch drive cage will slide into place from the front of the tray.
The drive cage is installed from the front of the tray, and secured with three mounting screws.
We hit a little snag here; after we put the drive cage onto the mounting tray, we couldn't get the entire unit back into the chassis. Therefore, the removable mounting tray should stay in its place, and the drive cage has to be secured to the tray from within the chassis.
As we mentioned earlier, we would avoid using the space behind the PSU due to cable clutter from the PSU itself. After securing the side panels, we had ourselves a well-ventilated, mid-tower chassis.
The happy story didn’t end here as we were armed with MasterCase 5 accessories that can be purchased separately. The accessories allowed us to exercise the FreeForm modularity design concept in order to customize the chassis to suit our needs. Here's a look at the accessories that users can purchase separately to add additional capabilities to their MasterCase 5.
- Liquid cooling bracket, and the top mesh cover
- 2.5-inch drive bracket
- 3.5-inch drive cage (two versions; one that fits up to three drives, the other can accommodate up to two drives)
- window side panel (this was the only accessory that wasn't supplied to us)
The first accessory was the liquid cooling bracket and its accompanying mesh cover. This would allow for the installation of liquid-cooling radiators in the top panel.
So in order to fit a 240-/280 mm cooling radiator of a liquid cooling system, we had to remove the original top mesh cover and the plastic cover of the rear metal handle.
Following which, we installed a water-cooling bracket, it was a tool-free affair as the bracket was held in place by four thumbscrews.
After that, we installed the top mesh cover that covers the entire top cooling bracket. The entire radiator would thus be hidden and ensures a sleek and uniform look.
For mounting additional 2.5-inch drives, we were supplied with a 2.5-inch drive bracket. We had to secure our 2.5-inch SSD to it with four mounting screws.
There are two of mounting positions, which are located below the CPU cooler cut-out of the motherboard tray. The bracket is easily secured with its thumbscrew.
The last accessories we were supplied with were two 3.5-inch drive cages with three and two drive adapters respectively. They were fairly easy to install as they had thumbscrews, so we didn't have to fiddle with any additional mounting screws at all.
We installed the three-drive, 3.5-inch drive cage below the one that was pre-installed. If we added them all up, the MasterCase 5 can accommodate a total of four 2.5-inch drives and five 2.5/3.5 drives for a grand total of 9 drives.