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gulf_porsche_1b_cooler_master_mastercase

 

Finally, I get to build something for myself :D The opportunity presented itself after Cooler Master sent me their new Mastercase 5 ($109.99) to evaluate and brainstorm retail accessories / bolt-on custom parts as part of their "Make it Yours" campaign. The Mastercase Pro is the same chassis as mastercase 5, but includes window panel and top cover for $139.99. If I kept waiting for personal time to build a PC for myself, it would have never happened due to lack of free time. I have to admit, I didn't like the Mastercase at first. I captured my mod zoo staff/friends
. I feel Cooler Master missed a lot of details that could have made the case even better. Especially since CM marketed it as "modular" and designed for DIY liquid cooling. It falls 40% from it's marketing pitch, but the overall build quality and finish is outstanding and eventually won me over after dismantling and re-assembling the case. Here is my final thoughts about the Mastercase, keeping in mind that I look at cases from perspective as PC Customizer and Case Modder.

 

RAVES:

*Overall Build Quality, Fit & finish.

*Top panel / cover design options are nice.

*Modular HD/SSD tray design and mounting options are best to date.

*240/360/280 radiator option for front is nice.

 

My suggestions REVISIONS:

*Top radiator mounting location should be offset, to clear DDR slots on some motherboards 

*100% Riveted chassis?! I understand using rivets over screws to save time in manufacturing, but at minimum, the mid section floor should be removable for better access. 

*Lack of Water pump and reservoir mounting. CM's competitors started embracing DIY cooling market over year ago, by including mounting options for reservoirs and water pumps.

*Mastercase 5/ Pro window panel is very flimsy. The "smoked" poly window is bluish/purple and has very poor clarity for viewing inside the case.

 

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gulf_porsche_1c_cooler_master_mastercase

Inspiration for the custom painted exterior will be the 1970 Porsche 917 from Steve McQueen's "Le Mans" movie. His 917 from the movie was chassis #022 and purchased in 1970 from Porsche by Steve McQueen's movie production company, Solar Productions. It was also the company that would bring the movie "Le Mans" to the big screen. This is the car that McQueen's character, Michael Delaney, starts the race in, and "crashes" late in the race, "writing the car off." The car that was crashed was really a Lola T-70, painted and rebodied, to look like a 917. Many innovations in cinematography, were first tried in this movie. They even went so far, as to weld brackets to the front frame work of the 917, so they could mount a camera to shoot Steve, and the other drivers, in the cockpit.

 

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I'll replacing the Mastercase 5 steel side panel with this clear side panel window, 

 

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I'll replacing the Mastercase top grill panel with this clear "moon roof" style top window,  http://mnpctech.com/cooler-master-mastercase/mastercase-top-window-panel-clear.html

 

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Cooler Master Mastercase 5 Chassis assembled with final coat of Gulf Racing Blue paint from 1970 Porsche 917 race car

 

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Porsche 917 inspired graphics are finished on the Cooler Master Mastercase 5 / Pro. Next stage is clearcoating everything.

 

gulf_porsche_9y_cooler_master_mastercase

 

gulf_porsche_9z_cooler_master_mastercase

Edited by mnpctech

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Is that powder or paint? Looks amazing either way! Love the Gulf colors, especially on the GT40!

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@CAIN, PPG Automotive paint, mixed to factory spec from 1970 for GULF Racing Blue & Orange 

 

@feetfats, the fins were masked off. Some people paint their radiators, I don't. Paint can insulate and hurt your radiator's performance

 

@ccokeman, I'm eager to get it finished, I need a new PC badly and rare to find time for my own needs.

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gulf_porsche_7_cooler_master_mastercase_

 

The front I/O panel on the Cooler Master Mastercase 5 / Pro is a bit bland for this theme. I decided to modify it with something that looks more race car appropriate. l'll start with steel face plate and chose some switches and controls from Mnpctech that include a red Fighter Pilot with momentary toggle for Main Power. The reset will be blue anodized vandal resistant push. I also found a VDO brand 12 volt gauge from the center console of a Volkswagen Rabbit GTI. I'd love to find some mounting bezels for 5mm LEDs for Power & HD activity.

 

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gulf_porsche_9h_cooler_master_mastercase

 

gulf_porsche_9i_cooler_master_mastercase

Edited by mnpctech

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The fans I'm using in this Cooler Master Mastercase 5 / Pro case mod are 120mm PROLIMATECH Ultra Sleek Vortex. Here is their product page, http://www.prolimatech.com/en/products/detail.asp?id=2722

 

This is 2nd time I've used these fans in custom build and love them. They're 15mm thick, so they can help you save space. Especially when mounting a radiator in the top panel which can block space to accessing DDR slots. I've painted the fan blades on these fans "GULF orange" to match our color theme.

 

By request last year I created this DIY video guide to painting PC cooling fans, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqIURuIeqjU and understand the thought of painting the blades on PC fans will raise concern with some people. I've done it on misc commissioned and personal builds for over decade and have yet to see any of those painted fans fail. I refrain from applying heavy coats which could throw off the balance of the blades, causing the fan bearings prematurely.

 

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You can remove the fan blade hub by using a flat head screw driver to pop off the white retaining ring.

 

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Next step is prepping the surface of the blades for primer base coat before we can apply the color coat.

 

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gulf_porsche_6b_cooler_master_mastercase

 

The blades were topped off with gloss enamel clear coat.

 

gulf_porsche_6c_cooler_master_mastercase

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For anyone who either already owns or considering buying the Cooler Master Mastercase 5 / Pro, and also DIY liquid cools, you may have pondered about the maximum radiator thickness allowed? Mounting a radiator inside the chassis you're only limited by how much you're willing to enlarge the factory radiator cut-out. I prefer to buy more internal space and mount my radiator between the chassis and the front bezel, I've outfitted mine with EK's XTX 360 that measures 64mm thick, but not without two compromises. You'll need to create a custom front grill for the bezel, as factory one will no longer fit. You also need trim the backside of the upper horizontal brace under the 5.25 bay location.

 

Dimensions (LxWxH): 400x130x64mm

Weight: Approx. 1496g

Liquid Capacity: Approx. 510 ml (17,25 fl oz)

FPI: 11

Fan installation: 12 x M3 threads on both sides each (for 3x120mm fan each)

Pressure tested: 1bar

 

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gulf_porsche_9z9h_EK_XTX_360_radiator_co

 

gulf_porsche_9z9i_EK_XTX_360_radiator_co

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