Cooler Master has been working hard to satisfy the PC builders needs. After spending more than a few decades in the PC market, the brand has gained its recognition in the PC market. Cooler Master has been promoting their Masterbox lineup of cases for quite a while now. With their MasterBox 5 taking modularity to the next-level, it was time for Cooler Master to finally bring some of the goodies down to Earth for budget-conscious PC builders.
The Masterbox Lite 5 definitely rips off a few stuff from the MasterBox 5’s list of features. However, Cooler Master has implemented a great selection of features to keep and not to keep on the Masterbox 5 Lite. Priced at RM229 in Malaysia, or $53 in the US, does it even stand a chance in the already congested PC case market? Lets find out!
01 | Unboxing, Features & Design
The MasterBox 5 comes in the usual brown packaging we’ve come to love. The Cooler Master MasterBox Lite 5 is protected by foam covers on the inside along with a sheet of plastic covering the whole exterior of the case so that the case gets to you safe and sound.
Before we pull the MasterBox 5 Lite out of its box, we first have to get an overview of its features. Now, one the most attractive features of the Masterbox 5 Lite is the transparency. Cooler Master has added a transparent, yet tinted plastic side panel to showcase your internal components inside of. What also is interesting here is that Cooler Master has implemented what they call the Dark Mirror Front Panel. Basically, the front panel of the case is also built of transparent plastic that allows you to show off your RGB fans enthusiastically.
After unboxing the case, we could finally get our full look at the case before it’s built. Since the case isn’t obstructed much, the case features support for even the longest GPUs. Inside the case, you’ll find support 3 x 120mm fans at the front of the case or you could opt for 2 x 140mm fans at the front. At the rear oft he case you could install a single 120mm fan. Meanwhile, the the top, there isn’t any room to install fans at the top of the case.
To install the PSU, Cooler Master has also made that easier allowing users to seamlessly install their PSUs without a lot of fuss.
For the specifications of the MasterBox Lite 5, here they are:
|Dimensions (LxWxH)||468.8 x 200 x 454.5mm|
|Motherboard Support||ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX|
|Combo 3.5″ / 2.5″||2 (Fixed, Non-Removable)|
|I/O Panel||USB 3.0 x 2
Audio in / out
|Pre-installed Fan(s)||Rear||120mm x 1 black fan|
|Fan Support||Front||120mm x 3 / 140mm x 2|
|Rear||120mm x 1|
|Liquid Cooling Support||Front||240mm / 280mm / 360mm radiator (limited) up to 50mm thickness without fan|
|Rear||120mm x 1|
|Clearance||CPU Cooler||160mm / 6.3″|
|PSU||180mm / 7.1″|
|Graphics Card||400mm / 16.14″
400mm / 16.14″ (w/o 3.5″ HDD Cage)
|Cable Routing||Behind Motherboard Tray||25mm – 35mm / 0.98″ – 1.38″|
|Dust Filters||Front, bottom|
|Power Supply Support||Bottom mount, ATX|
02| Build Quality And Building Experience
Cooler Master has kept and built a strong reputation in the PC market. And with the Cooler Master MasterBox Lite 5 making its way in the budget segment of PC cases, Cooler Master doesn’t disappoint when it comes to the build quality of the case. A solid sheet of steel coated in black gives the case a more stealthy look making it appealing to buyers who want their case have a neutral color scheme.
The front panel of the case is prone to scratches. That carries onto the side-panel of the case as well. However, due to the tinted color of the side panels, its really hard to notice the scratches and would completely slip off the naked eye if someone isn’t aware of it.
There’s minimal to almost no flex in the case along with a feel of solid steel spanning across the frame of the case. Of course this isn’t the highest-end case, but it is solidly built.
Taking simple aesthetics into account, I think it’s good. Especially when you factor in the dark mirror panel and transparent side panel that allows you to showcase your rig’s hardware. Cable management is also good in the case. PSU shroud – check, room for cables behind the motherboard – check.
However, I would personally love to give some feedback to Cooler Master to move a few things here or there for the future. First, I think that Cooler Master should place the cable cutouts closer to the motherboard. Second, I would have loved to see rubber grommets on the cable cutouts to give the build a mode appealing look to the final build.
Building inside of the case was definitely a great experience. With enough room to back up the thick cables behind the motherboard along with a host of cables that could be removed from our power supply, the final cable management job looked appealing.
03 | Final Words and Conclusion
Cooler Master has managed to push in a strong competitor into the entry-level market with their MasterBox Lite 5. The Cooler Master MasterBox 5 excels in a lot of ways and brings some excellent features at such a price point.
Some things Cooler Master definitely pulled back could have easily been avoided, such as making the drive cages being removable, adding a few rubber grommets here and there and adding a two fan slots to the top of the case. But hey, making a killer $50 case wasn’t their goal. Instead promoting their upper tier cases and providing an exceptional and functional case for the entry-level builder was their goal here.
*Just as a final note, no fingers were harmed or cut during the building process of building in the Cooler Master MasterBox 5 Lite case.*