A Closer Look at the Cooler Master MasterCase Maker 5t
Tempered glass side-panels never fails to squeeze an audible “wow” of admiration from anyone who sees it for the first time out of the box, that is why it has become a popular new trend on PC cases recently. The MasterCase Maker 5t has the same effect, taking the same MasterCase Maker 5 core and having some seemingly minor yet impactful upgrades that makes it an undeniably premium chassis offering. The styling of the Maker 5t itself is reminiscent of the CM Storm Trooper case with a center handle running along part of the top spine, except now it is in a more compact mid-tower form.
The 5mm tempered glass side panel is darker than typical case windows and has a smoked view. A fragile warning sticker is present on both panels and they are locked with the provided key at the top center. To remove them, the user has to unlock with the key first, open at an angle up to 20 degrees from the top and then pull the side-panel out.
With the side panels removed, the internal chamber reveals a dual color scheme with the dividing top and bottom chamber panel as well as the motherboard tray painted with a metallic red matching the front face trim around the front IO and underneath the handle area at the top. As with the rest of Cooler Master’s current chassis line up, the Maker 5t uses the free-form modular design, meaning almost everything can be taken apart and almost everything can be upgraded, replaced, moved around or even swapped out with other MasterCase models depending on the user’s preference. This makes it an ideal platform for master modders and to entice beginners to personalize their build.
The default storage space includes a 5.25″ cage with space for two 5.25″ devices (with tool-less mounting), a HDD cage with space for two 3.5″/2.5″ drives and two 2.5″ mounting plates. Pre-installed behind the motherboard tray is a light and fan controller PCB with a cover. It is SATA powered and is wired directly to the front IO so users can voltage control up to six fans (3-pin) and toggle up to four Cooler Master LED light strips (2-pin). The cover is easily removable as it is just pushed into place. This makes it easy to mod as well.
Aside from the LED toggle controls (on, off, breathing) and fan controller (low, high), the front IO also has four USB 3.0 ports via 2x 19-pin USB headers, and audio jacks for headphones and microphone. The power button doubles as the HDD activity LED and is located at the center, while a smaller reset button is available to the left of it.
The built-in handle at the top has a load capacity of up to 28.5kg or 62.8lbs. The grip is rubberized entirely. Underneath this area are ventilation slots for the top fans.
Additional ventilation is available at the rear which users can open up or choose to have it remain covered.
The entire top panel is held in place by magnets so accessing the area underneath is convenient.
Magnets also hold the front panel in place with additional latches at the bottom so it does not just easily fall off accidentally or during transportation.
This front cover actually opens up at an angle to allow 5.25″ optical drive usage at the top-most external drive bay, similar to a case door, except the hinge is at the bottom. This front cover has noise dampening material and can be removed entirely by the user if they wish to.
With the magnetic cover removed, a regular mesh cover is still present. The front intake houses a pair of pre-installed 140mm fans and if the 5.25″ drive cage is removed and with the adapter mounted, users can install a 280mm radiator.
Unlike the CM Storm Trooper, the MasterMaker 5t’s feet are significantly sturdier, having wide metal beams with rubber soles for surface grip. The view from the bottom also reveals movable slots for the HDD cage mounting and a removable dust filter.
From the rear, a standard seven expansion slot layout is provided, all with reusable slot covers. The seventh cover is a CM Storm Guard cable protector for users who take their systems to LAN parties so their peripherals are not stolen.
Another 140mm fan comes pre-installed, this time at the rear and the mounting area here also supports 120mm fans with variable height adjustment to allocate radiator or other component clearance.
At the top of the PSU chamber tray are two 2.5″ drive plates which can also be installed at the back of the motherboard tray. As with other Cooler Master FreeForm modular accessories, users can purchase them later on as well if more drives need to be mounted. A red LED strip with magnetic backing is also bundled. This has a thoroughly diffused glow so that it is even across the strip having a more elegant look.