A Closer Look at the Cooler Master MasterBox 5
Much like the MasterCase series from Cooler Master, the MasterBox 5 has a very conservative look using strong straight lines and heavier emphasis on form following function. The entire front area is ventilated with a honeycomb pattern; the larger pattern forming the stability frame while a finer mesh between the larger honeycomb and the smaller honey com at the front act as dust filter.
The bottom part of the mesh easily comes off allowing for access to front fan mounting without removing the entire bezel. Flexible fan mounting support for a pair of 120mm or a pair of 140mm fans are available.
Two 5.25″ drive bays are available towards the top and the front IO panel is positioned at an angle as a part of the bezel frame. The power button is squarely in the middle with the audio jacks toward the right with the small reset button while the HDD activity LED and pair of USB 3.0 ports are to the left. The USB 3.0 ports are colored gray instead of blue to create a more uniform look.
The cables inside stemming from the front IO are all uniformly black to conform with the color scheme as well. Removing the bezel allows for 360 mm radiator installation but requires an additional fan mounting accessory to be purchased separately. Some models use a drivebay-less bezel, although it is not clear at the moment whether that will be available as an aftermarket option later on.
More ventilation is available at the top, supporting 140mm or an offset 120mm fan / radiator. There is no dust filter on this area.
The bottom has a wide-base feet assembly that raises the MasterBox 5 up to 30mm, clearing carpeted surfaces easily. There are no screw tops or rivets visible for the 3.5″ drive cage which means removing it does not require accessing the bottom area. The dust filter for the PSU is accessed from the rear.
The last point of active ventilation is at the rear, providing support for 120mm fans (a black 3-pin fan already comes pre-installed). There are seven expansion slots in total, all with reusable covers and the seventh one is the CM StormGuard which can be used if users attend public LAN parties and want to secure their peripherals. An eight vertical expansion slot is also available to be punched out towards the side of the expansion slot array. The thumbscrew locking the PSU cover is accessed here at the rear and both side-panels also use thumb screws for security.
Both side-panels are identical and plain, made of steel and rolled on three sides for stability. A window side-panel option is available for after-market purchase.
Although not grometted, the MasterBox 5 presents many options for cable routing and management. There is the requisite 8-pin EPS12V routing at the top rear corner and there are also plenty of smaller routing holes toward the bottom of the motherboard for the front IO and USB cables.
The motherboard tray extends all the way to the front and has an open area at the bottom for the power supply and 3.5″ drive cage cable management.