Cooler Master's MasterBox Lite 5 is attractive and affordable

Cooler Master's latest entry in its MasterBox series of cases is the MasterBox Lite 5. Like other cases in the MasterBox series, this ATX model has a wide-open interior to provide lots of room for big components and water-cooling hardware, or just to keep the path of airflow clear. The MasterBox Lite 5 also comes with a clear acrylic side panel that is attached with thumbscrews, much like many recent cases with tempered glass side panels.

Unlike the MasterBox 5, the Lite version only comes in a "DarkMirror" finish. That means that the front panel is a translucent plastic fascia with a high-gloss finish. Cooler Master offers swappable trim components in three colors—black, white, and red—and also has schematics for download so that you can 3D print your own. Between the trim and the transparent side panel, it's clear that Cooler Master intends the MasterBox 5 Lite for case modding aficionados.

Behind the DarkMirror front panel, you can mount three 120-mm or 140-mm fans. The case includes a 120-mm fan in the rear. Liquid-cooling proponents will be able to mount a single radiator up to 360 mm in length in the front, and a 120-mm unit in the back. The top panel is solid, so the only possible path for airflow in this case is front-to-back.

Despite being a budget case, the MasterBox Lite includes a non-removable partition that separates the power supply and storage bays from the rest of the case. Underneath the plastic shroud, you can mount two 3.5" or 2.5" drives. There's additional space to mount another 2.5" SSD as well. Regardless of what else is in it, the case will accept graphics cards up to 16" (40 cm) in length and CPU coolers up to 6.3" (16 cm) in height. 

Steel and plastic aren't our favorite materials for cases, but they have their advantages. The MasterBox 5 Lite should be fairly sturdy, and it's cheap: pre-orders are already up on Newegg for just $50. The case releases on May 19.

Tip: You can use the A/Z keys to walk threads.
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