- About the Cooler Master Mastercase Pro 3
- Overall Impressions
- Installation Experience and Conclusion
- Online Purchase Links
- View All
Disclosure: The Mastercase Pro 3 is provided by Cooler Master
About the Mastercase Pro 3…
Just what difference does an ATX and mATX apart from lesser PCIe slots? Would you use all seven (or most) slots in a typical ATX form factor?
That’s the sentence you’ll probably use if you seriously plan on a mATX case. But the question is: Just how many mATX cases are out there! And if it is justified? A lot depends on the user, his build, and future plans. In most cases, we wouldn’t need an ATX form factor but we still get it. Mostly it is because of the commonly available set of motherboards and cases.
When I look at the Mastercase Pro 3, it is very difficult for me not to mistake it as an ATX form factor case. The height of the case itself makes that impression. So you’ll imagine that it will have a good deal of expansion options. Cooler Master also will require sticking to its “Mastercase” theme. While I am not too sold on the idea that its modularity is geared towards modders, the quality of the Mastercase is rock solid. Even among the modders I know locally, they admit that Mastercase is so strong that it is difficult to cut and mod. In a way, it speaks of its build quality. That was never a problem with most Cooler Master mid-end steel cases.
Packaging, Contents and Specifications
The packaging for this case is no different from Mastercase Pro 5 which was reviewed earlier.
The accessories box is no different, except 5 version came with a radiator support for the front panel.
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||467 x 235 x 505 mm|
|Net Weight||9.1 Kg / 20.1 lbs|
|M/B Type||microATX, mini-ITX|
|Drive Bays||5.25″ x 0
3.5″ x 2
2.5″ x 2
|I/O Port||USB 3.0 x 2, Audio In & Out (supports HD Audio)|
140 x 25mm fan x 1, 1200RPM (pre-Installed)
140 x 25mm fan x 1 (optional)Rear
140 x 25mm fan x 1, 1200RPM (pre-Installed)
120mm fan x 1 (optional)Top
120 / 140mm x 2 (optional)
120mm, 140mm, 240mm, 280mm
(max length supported is 297mm)Rear
120mm, 140mm, 240mm
|Power Supply||Bottom Mount, ATX PS2
(maximum length: 200mm)
|Compatibility (Maximum)||370mm / 14.57″ (without 3.5″ HDD cage)
258mm / 10.16″ (with 3.5″ HDD cage)
CPU cooler height: 190mm / 7.48″
If it wasn’t for the five slots, you could have easily mistaken it for a full ATX case. The left side panel has a smoked plexiglass while the rest of the design is no different from its Mastercase theme. Since its a Pro variant, the case has the top panel for the 240mm radiator with a lid. The front panel has a mesh which can be removed for easy cleaning. There is a 5.25” mesh panel but no internal support. Cooler master does provide a small attachment for 5.25” fan controller bays.
Top Panel Area
While the top panel lid sits well on the frame, the frame isn’t secured properly on the case. The radiator support frame is removable.
Front Panel Options
The Mastercase Pro 3 has two USB 3.0, audio jacks, a rest, an activity LED and a power button with an inbuilt power indicator. With newer motherboard we get to see two USB 3.0 front panel ports, PC case makers should facilitate the future-readiness.
There are two 120mm fans preinstalled- one for the front and the rear. The 2x HDD/SSD bays are kept on the lower section with a plate separating the motherboard area and the PSU area. On top of the plate, there are two 2.5 casings. The fifth PCIe slot as a cable loop lock.
True to its design foundation, the Mastercase Pro 3 has many cable management access, Velcro straps and cable tie loops. Additionally, the cable routing holes towards the top are good enough for ATX 12v cables and fan cables.
PSU Area and HDD Cage
The part of the 240mm mount is towards the lower side. The plate has a cut out to install the 240mm radiator through. You can shift the HDD cage and its base, moving it closer towards the power supply. Though the PSU area is large enough for up to 200mm, I would recommend sticking to a semi-modular or modular power supply, depending on your choice of components.
The PSU mounting uses a frame with attached thumb screws. The removable base filter is good for long power supply units.
The rear allows a single 140mm fan installation with vents above and below it. All the PCIe slots covers are vented and removable. The fifth one is a cable loop to secure any peripheral cable on it.
The PSU frame needs to be removed and installed on the power supply, then install it back in. Sliding a power supply from the outside is a much better installation method.
The SSD mounting could have improved keeping the right-angled SATA connectors in mind. Due to the support on the plate which secures itself in the case, the mould of the right-angled SATA cable obstructs the installation. It is best to stick with SATA which use straight connectors.
HDD Cage Placement
If you move the HDD bays, you’ll need to unscrew the thumbscrews that keep it secured against the case. Once you move it, you’ll need to put two screws on each side to secure the HDD cage on the baseplate. Moving the HDD case blocks the cable management hole on the divider.
The Mastercase Pro 3 with a semi-modular power supply (at least) ensures well-maintained case to store away cables at the rear. The cable tie loops are put up in the required places. I did not have a graphics card during the time of this review, but as the front panel area is clear it shouldn’t have any clearance issue at all. Since the base is steel, you could also buy CM’s GPU support stand with a magnetic base.
Apart from the top panel shroud and the right-angled SATA cable installation issue, the case is very well built. I would have liked to see a tempered glass as the default option, seeing as how many would like that. It also needs to be future-ready as newer motherboards from Intel and AMD beginning to have dual USB 3.0 front panel ports.
Cooler Master Mastercase Pro 3 is a solid steel case. The built quality is excellent. But it looks like a smaller ATX case than a mATX case. The Mastercase Pro 3’s height is 505 mm, while Pro 5 is 548 mm and the Lite 3 is 378mm.
If you compare it with the Masterbox Lite 3 you get a lot more support, including dual 240mm towards the top and the front. Mastercase Lite 3 might hinder cable management once you start filling the case to its fullest potential. If CM could have made MP3 smaller if they could, but they couldn’t without removing some expansion support.
Some may argue that it is expensive for a mATX, seeing that it will support only two motherboard form factors. When you choose a mATX case like a Mastercase Pro 3, it’s a commitment towards future builds as well. While it might not be as restricted as a Mini-ITX form factor, mATX choice of motherboards is conservative compared to the amount of ATX form factor in every type of chipset, set of functions and costing. It’s not possible to say that Mastercase Pro 3 is small. But it’s feature packed!
- Excellent Quality
- Cable Management
- Two 240mm radiator installation option
- Top Panel Shroud
- Only two USB 3.0 FP ports
- Could have provided Tempered glass to justify pricing
- No space on the 2.5″ tray for right angled connectors
— Hardware BBQ (@HardwareBBQ) April 30, 2017