It seems we’ve reached the pinnacle of the MasterCase series from Cooler Master as last week they launched their new MasterCase Maker 5 for a steep $189. This is their new mid-sized tower based on the familiar MasterCase design, which like it’s predecessors, pushes their FreeForm Modular System which allows exterior expandability and choice of separately purchased accessories on the recently launched CMStore. From the horse’s mouth itself:
“The MasterCase Maker 5 offers the option to completely swap and readjust the case’s form and functionality with multiple interior and exterior outlooks, ample space and customized accessories,” said Crane Chen, Case Team Manager. “We’ve listened to the community since the launch and have taken steps to ensure a number of accessories are available including maker made accessories for the community. These accessories are available for purchase online and this truly enables endless build possibilities.”
As touted before, the idea with the MasterCase series has always been user control over their case looks and functionality. Their FreeForm design means that users have the option to adjust the case exterior, as well as provide interior flexibility in a mid-sized case. For the mid-sized MasterCase Maker 5, this FreeForm case design supports many different configurations over its lifespan, enabling users to upgrade their case rather than replace it entirely. Through the unique Clip-and-Click panel, FreeForm allows users to adjust vertically or entirely remove their drive cages. This example of flexibility means users can choose whether they want a home server, water-cooled workstation or a dual GPU gaming computer. Personally I’m not entirely moved by the assertion that simply moving hard drive cages around constitutes enough configurability to turn a PC Chassis into either a home server or a gaming rig, but modularity is always applauded.
Since this is the pinnacle of the MasterCase series, Cooler Master have spruced up their case (as well as added a gigantic $189 price tag). The MasterCase Maker 5 comes with an upgraded I/O panel that provides 4 USB ports, including USB 3.0 Type C, and extra buttons for LED strip and fan speed control. For those who abhor screws or clips, know that the top and front door panels fir onto the case using magnetic grips. The top panel also comes with closed panelling, which allows the user to choose to cover the top for noise or open it up to allow airflow through the top mesh. The Front panels are padded to supress sound and aim to deliver the right balance between noise and airflow.
Now that the PR is over with, my thoughts and feelings towards the case are a mixture of positive and hesitant, the main reason being the extreme pricing for this top of the line MasterCase Maker. $189 equates to roughly R3000 without even taking into account the extra 20% mark-up we South Africans pay. For the features and extras over the base model, I don’t think the case offers the best price to performance ratio.
The extra expandability offered by the CM Store and overall look of the chassis does present one with options for the future to “make it yours”, and I believe that one of the reason for the higher than usual price (compared to their mid size chassis competitors) is that this case series is ideally meant to serve people for many years and synergise with their CM Store, and by extension, the “makers” creating new parts and accessories for the chassis. Although the price is steep, the case does seem to be made for longevity, so for those who want to participate in this modular expandability experiment, Rectron will be bringing in the chassis as well as the CM Store Maker accessories.
Last Updated: May 16, 2016