Cooler Master@Computex 2016: making PC mastery easier

— 3:49 AM on June 3, 2016

Cooler Master first gave us a taste of its "Make It Yours" initiative with the MasterCase 5. Over the intervening year, the company has expanded its Master branding to its air and liquid CPU coolers, power supplies, and keyboards. At Computex this year, we got a VIP tour of Cooler Master's booth and a firsthand account of its plans to make life easier for PC builders of all stripes and skill levels.

Cooler Master had a dizzying array of cases on display at Computex for mild and wild systems alike, starting with its upcoming MasterBox series. The company will be making microATX and ATX MasterBoxes in a variety of color scemes to suit every taste.

These entry-level cases may not be as fancy as Cooler Master's MasterCases, but they still look quite solid for the first-time system builder or the budget boxes of the world.

Speaking of the MasterCase line, CM is scaling that concept up and down this year. The MasterCase 3 above is a microATX version of the MasterCase 5. 

The MasterCase 7 full tower introduces an all-new internal frame design that's meant to make the case even more adjustable and modular than its predecessors.

Builders who prioritize silence will soon have some new choices in the MasterCase lineup. CM previewed two concept versions of a silent MasterCase with nifty pop-out panels that can be repositioned on the fly for airflow or sound-deadening as needed.

In a callback to its CM Storm series, CM will be offering a version of the MasterCase Maker called the Maker 5 T (for Turbo). This case adds a two-tone interior finish and an aggressive top panel with a carry handle to the recently-introduced Maker 5.

CM's heatsink lineup will be getting a newer, simpler naming scheme soon. In place of its complicated Hyper branding, future Cooler Master air coolers will all carry the MasterAir brand. The entry-level MasterAir 2 clearly communicates its position as a two-heatpipe tower cooler with a 92-mm fan, for example, while the triple-heatpipe MasterAir 3 and quad-heatpipe, 120-mm MasterAir 4 add more cooling capacity for more demanding systems. The MasterAir Pro 3 and Pro 4 add larger fin arrays to the mix. I'm a big fan of this naming scheme. Today's Hyper coolers are almost impossible to cross-shop without careful research of each product in the lineup.

That same Master branding will soon show up on Cooler Master's power supplies, too. The company first introduced its MasterWatt branding on its MasterWatt Maker 1200 PSU. As with its heatsinks, CM is doing away with its rather arcane power supply naming system. The V-series will be called the MasterWatt Pro series in the future, while the company's lower-end units will be called the MasterWatt and the MasterWatt Lite.

MasterWatt Maker 1200 on the left, analog MasterWatt Maker on the right

The MasterWatt Maker 1200—an all-digital PSU—will soon be getting an entirely analog counterpart, as well. Cooler Master is staying largely mum about the specifications of this unit for now, but we do know it'll be entirely made in Japan with all-Japanese components. The company suggests this unit is for builders who want a PSU that's really special inside and out. We do have to concede that there's a certain beauty to the layout and components of this PSU, and it'll be interesting to see what makes this upcoming MasterWatt unit unique when it launches.

Despite its huge array of products for the system builder, Cooler Master's naming scheme and design philosophy were among the clearest and most coherent of the companies we visited this year. We're excited to see where the company's "Make It Yours" philosophy takes it in the near future.

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