Introducing The Maker 5t
The Cooler Master MasterCase Maker 5t brings tempered glass to the Maker subseries of the MasterCase series from Cooler Master. Got it? Putting aside my disdain for names that are built up over generations of product until they resemble entire sentences, all of this makes perfect sense. One look at the result might even make me want to forgive the mouthful of a name, although I will need to shorten it to fit the product label area of our performance charts. Wish me luck.
Unlike some recent competing glass-sided premium cases, Cooler Master forwent the floating panel look. The firm even dodged the fiddly damped screws used to secure the glass of competing cases by adding metal rails to the top and bottom of its 5t side panels. The top rail includes a keyed cam lock, while the bottom rail hooks over the lower lip of the side opening. Turning a key in the cam lock allows the side to tilt open slightly, whereupon it can be lifted off the lower rail’s seat. While it lacks the panache of an all-glass floating panel, this framed-in design is both more convenient and less likely to be dropped.
The front panel port section is angled towards the top panel, easing access for both above-desk and below-desk case placement. Abreast the four USB 3.0 ports are buttons for the Maker 5t’s three-mode LED and two-speed fan controller. The power button is centrally placed beneath those ports, with a tiny reset button to the left and headphone/microphone jacks to the right.
The Maker 5t’s sturdy handle is both integral and mandatory, as the top panel that surrounds it and hangs past the rear edge is magnetically mounted. Picking up this case the old-fashioned way, by the front bottom and upper rear corners, could be disastrous.
The Maker 5t includes a wide slide-out dust filter for the power supply inlet below a removable power supply bracket. The bracket allows power supplies to slide in from the back of the case, which is important on a case that has too little space above the power supply for drop-in installation. The wide dust filter design should improve airflow and reduce mandatory cleaning frequency.
The Maker 5t’s right side panel is identical to its left. Behind it, a 140mm exhaust fan is screwed to slots that provide the height adjustment needed for various rear-mounted radiators. Screw slots are also provided at 120mm fan spacing. And speaking of slots, the Maker 5t has only the mandatory seven expansion card slots, which prevents it from holding a double-slot graphics card in the bottom slot of an ATX motherboard.
The Maker 5t’s aesthetic front cover is actually a door that hides two 5.25” drive bays. The bays are removable to allow more fans and longer radiators to be installed. Inside, a white-covered red LED light bar is magnetically applicable to nearly any interior surface, and taped in place to keep it from being knocked loose during shipping.
Tilting the door open allows it to be lifted from the remaining parts of the face panel, giving builders a closer look at its noise-damping foam lining. The fan grills are also removable from the front panel frame, and feature a dust screen between the outer mesh and inner plastic grid. The face panel frame is secured to the Maker 5t chassis with flat barbs, and flat barbs also secure the fan grills within the face panel frame.
With the 5.25” bays removed, the Maker 5t supports up to three 140mm front and two 140mm top fans. While the top can also hold up to 2x 140mm radiators, limited space above and below the front fans limit maximum radiator length (including end caps) to 17”. In other words, the need for end caps on radiators limits the front panel maximum height to radiators designed for 3x 120mm fans.
The Maker 5t supports up to four 2.5” drives, or two 2.5” and two 3.5” drives in its standard configuration. The lower 2.5” tray can be moved rearward by 3.4” for additional radiator space, or upward onto various modular mounting positions in front of the motherboard. It can even be used in place of the 5.25” bays.
A row of mounting points on a raised portion of the motherboard tray are designed to hold various accessories, including the factory-installed expansion card support bracket.
Two lips at the mid-panel to motherboard tray union support alternative mounting for 2.5” trays, which makes sense in a case designed with 35mm of space behind the motherboard tray. Some of that space is already consumed by the fan and LED combination controller. You can also see from this angle two rubberized pins on the back of the 3.5" drive cage. These are designed to engage the same modular mounting holes used by the card support bracket, if the builder chooses to mount the 3.5” cage above the mid-panel. Builders who want to add more drives than the case currently supports will be pleased to find 3.5” drive cages and 2.5” trays in Cooler Master’s accessory shop.
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