I’ve been a fan of Cooler Master’s case designs for almost a decade now. It started with the Stacker 830, a case so unwieldy and heavy that it could be used for light bench press exercises. Then the company started to push out meshed front panels and LED-lit fans, and eventually launched my favourite chassis of all time – the Elite 344. In recent years they’ve been trying different things and revisiting old popular ideas, and the company has just launched the MasterCase SL600M in South Africa. There’s a lot that’s familiar about it, and a lot that’s new.
The SL600M costs over three grand and is arguably in the same good-looks range as the SL300 Gullwing from Mercedes-Benz (of which just 29 were made with all-aluminium bodies). It’s a full ATX tower chassis with aluminium paneling and rounded corners. It has its own spoiler of sorts, an adjustable top panel that can be opened to one of three positions to optimise airflow coming out from the case.
Cooler Master seems to have made the MasterCase SL600M into a concept case of sorts. It offers a lot of features not found on their other products, so it could be considered a skunkworks sort of project. The USB ports are lit with white LEDs just like the Antec P101.
Like InWin’s recent designs, and some older rotated motherboard cases like the Bitfenix Comrade, it has two bottom-mounted 200mm fans where the floor of the chassis should be, pushing air up into the GPU and pushing warmer air to the top of the chassis (Cooler Master calls this the “chimney effect”). Only the bottom and top of the case has any ventilation – the front and rear panels are completely closed off.
There isn’t even an exhaust fan where you’d expect it nearby the CPU socket. It doesn’t really use convection to remove heat, as Cooler Master implies. In tests by Gamers Nexus on their review unit, the pressure from the two 200mm fans pushes air to the front panel no matter if the case is properly oriented or rotated to sit on its face, so the chimney effect never comes into force, as it would in a rotated case design. Perhaps Cooler Master’s planning a skunkworks project with that in mind in the future?
The PSU is mounted to the front panel and uses an extension cable to allow a plug to be accessed at the rear of the chassis, just like the Elite 360. The tempered glass panel is held in place by screws at the rear of the case, not the side. The PCI slots (all eleven of them!) can be completely rotated, and in a nod to the beige cases of the late 90’s you could could set up your system with a PCIe riser board to complete the ISA expansion slot look. Because the PCI slots rotate, the chassis is also incredibly deep – the SL600M supports coolers up to 191mm in height, making it one of the deepest cases in the market.
If you’re interested in picking up this shiny piece of kit, it can be yours for around R3400, and is currently available for purchase from Rebel Tech.
Last Updated: March 6, 2019