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Thavion Hawk

CoolerMaster MasterBox Pro 5 RGB Review

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Posted · Original PosterOP

You can look at the specs on CM's Website Here so I won't bother with the low level details, only my personal experiences with this case over the past three builds I've done in it.


First Impressions:


Pulling the case out of the box and looking at it, it's a very clean design. You have a flat boxy exterior that would look mundane if not for the tinted plastic front panel showing off the white blades of the included three RGB fans. That along with the full cover Smoked Tempered Glass side panel give the case a much more enthusiast look. I say enthusiast because this case isn't really for Gamers, it's a case you buy if you want RGB and Glass on a budget. For under $99 you do get that for sure, but read on for the flaws. The top is solid, no fan mounts or venting making the air flow a one way front to back affair already maxed out with a fourth black non RGB 120mm fan in back for exhaust.


Cracking it open:


The front of the case is dominated by the solid tinted plastic panel behind which you can see the included RGB fans. Along the edges there are token Slats that represent the only real air intake points for the case. Removing the plat is as simple as pulling it out from the bottom as it pops out with little if any force. Once out you will find plenty of room for mounting three 120mm or two 140mm fans. The included fans are mounted with plastic Expanding Push Pin's instead of screws. I found taking them off to be quite east. Once must simple push the Center Pin out to allow the expanded Hosing to contract and slide out. Getting them back in without breaking them can be a pain but is doable without tools. At the top of the case you will find the Front IO with CM's trade mark 45 degree slant. There is little to note about the layout with Power and Data LEDs, Power and Reset, Headphone, Microphone and two USB3 Type A ports(Normal USB3 not the newer 3.1 Gen 2) No Type C or 3.1 Gen 2 and no Fan Speed or LED controls.(The latter three are not included with the case nor are they advertised as being so, but I feel it bares mensioning)


I do like that CoolerMaster uses a half Hinged mounting system for the Tempered Glass side panel. Two rubber gasket screws hold the top in while the bottom lip of the Glass has a metal hinge plate that sockets onto the bottom frame rail of the case allowing the panel to pivot out at the top. The downside I've found is that the hinge plat can make centering up the top screw holes with the Glass a bit finicky, but I find it a better design then full rear hinges or simply using four screws.


Once inside the case you find a reasonable layout for the internals. Working front to back, you find the three RGB fans, each with relatively short 3-pin DC power and standard 4-pin RGBV headers linked together by a Molex to Tripple 3-Pin and Three into One RGBV cable respectively. If you have a motherboard with enough fan headers or a fan controller you can discard the Molex adapter. The same goes for the Three into One RGB header. Given that most Motherboards I've worked with have at most Two RGBV headers I tend to leave the Three into One adapter in place.


Moving back from the RGB Fans you have three spots to mount 2.5" SSD/HDD Sleds(Only two are included with the Case) These mount flat to the back of the case to show off your SSD', or can be removed to make way for up to a 360mm Radiator and Pump/Res. Yes this case is built with Liquid Cooling support, but you are limited to a single 120mm Rear and the aforementioned front 360mm mounting for radiators. Back to Storage, you have a removable Two Sled 3.5"/2.5" Drive Cage at the bottom of the case. Again it can be removed to make way for Water Cooling or for better air flow from the bottom most case fan.


Next up you have the Motherboard tray itself. The mounting options and support are quite good with lettered standoff points to help guide a novice builder. As a plus CM includes a Standoff Driver with the screws so you won't have to improvise(Anyone that has had to use pliers to install standoffs.)  if you didn't already have a socket driver handy. Above, in front and below the Motherboard tray there is ample cutouts for cables(More on that later)


Finally the removable plastic Power Supply Shroud. If you do not want it you can simple remove it with a single thumb screw, however as it does not block off the entire bottom of the case and does give enough coverage to obscure most if not all of your PSU Cables(Again more on that later) I tend to leave it on. The top of the shroud does have a whole to pass through cables located in line with most motherboards Front Panel headers. That cutout is of little use in my experience, however I could see it used for a second GPU's PCIe or like wise the power to a Sound Card. In those cases the shorter run from the top of the shroud to the card may look better than running the cable through the mane cable cutouts at the back of the Motherboard. I should note that you will need to remove the Shroud to installation of the PSU. 


The back of the case has nothing out of the ordinary. All of the Slot Covers are removable, vented and held in by normal screws(Thumbscrews would be nice but really are not needed) The bottom most cover is different from the rest offering some cable hooks advertised by CM in the case bumpf, but I've found no real point to it. The Rear IO cutout is well done making installation of IO Shields easy(Not all cases stamp it out equally even at higher price points) As for the PSU, it has mounting holes for both top and bottom fan orientation. If you do mount it with the fan up, you will need to remove the PSU Shroud as it is not vented. The bottom of the case does come with a rear sliding filter for the PSU intake, and the feet of the machine gives it about two inches of clearance for good airflow.(The only naturally good airflow in the case.)


Around back you find a normal, two thumb screw case panel. It is flat maintaining the all around clean lines of the build with a simple mat black finish. Taking it off you will find ample cable management space and cable tie-down points. Like with the stand off driver, CM was nice enough to include a number of ~5" black zip ties along with the included Twist tie holding the front panel cables to a together should be enough to reasonably handle cable managing your build. As most Mid-High end PSU's also include zip, twist or even velcro ties, this case is very easy to cable manage. My only complaint would be the lack of cable tie offs between the cutouts for the 2.5" Trays. You may need to improvise to cleanly run cables in the gaps as I did with this build. If you are using an non modular PSU you will find a quartet of tie-downs in a recessed plate next to the PSU that makes for an excellent hide for unused cables. (That plate is the reason you must install the PSU from the front by removing the Shroud)


Pros, Cons and Notes:


I couldn't help but put some of my build impressions in ahead of this section, but I will go into more detail here including the flaws.




-All and all this is a good looking case and the solid cable management options alow for very clean builds.

-There is more then enough room for large GPU's for an SLI or Crossfire Build(See Cons for why not to do so)

-The PSU Shroud is a nice to have and easly removed item, as is the HDD/SSD cage, both of which use a single thumb screw to mount and remove.

-The included fans are bright enough to shine through the tinted front panel and show through(Not nearly as well) the tinted Glass Side Panel.




-The effectively Solid, extremely restrictive front panel chokes the system's airflow. The included Triple 120mm Fans combined provide about as much airflow as a single low RPM 120mm fan would in a case with a mesh front. Taking the panel off provides unrestricted airflow, but destroys the clean look of the case.

-There is No Filters on the Inteak. No Mesh Gills, nothing. The only Filter on this case is the bottom mounted one for the PSU.

-No Top mounting for fans or a Radiators limits cooling even more so.

-Do to the constricted front panel, large builds with multiple GPU's and any form of Overclocking is Not Okay. You'd cook your parts.

-The tint on the Glass Side Panel is too dark for the front RGB fans to shine through. Perfect if you have RGB Cards or Motherboard lighting though.



-The MasterBox Pro 5 line does have a Mesh front panel option. The panel can be purchased from Cooler Master's UK store, however as of posting it's not available from the US store. If you can get one of those, or are willing to do some light case modding(Cutting and installing Mesh on the front panel or the front frame) you'll be stuck taking the front panel off the case if things just get too hot. I've seen one system where the owner bent chicken wire to form his own panel(Sadly no photo of that)




For under $100 you can get this case and build a very good looking system with little trouble. Even B Chip-set boards from AMD and Intel come with RGB Headers these days(Often trimmed back color control options) making the RGB lighting on this case usable even with lower, affordable builds. I can honestly recommend this case to people that want the looks and are not going to be testing the limits of thermals. The overall clean look of the case makes for a good contrast with the lighting and it's honestly one of the easiest cases I've built in. If you want the RGB, better Airflow and can live without the clean look, you can get the CoolerMaster MasterBox MB500 for a few bucks less and still get the same Triple 120mm RGB. (I'll be reviewing that case in the near future) It drops the non RGB fan, moving one of the three RGB's to take it's place, and has a mesh grill to give some airflow(Again look for my full review when it drops)


Buy it and you'll love it for its looks and ease of build, just know it will run hot unless you put effort into making it run cooler.






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