A Closer Look
The case’s top section features two reinforced handles, and 140mm fan mounting options. Additionally, the top cover utilizes a honeycomb structure to help improve the system’s airflow. As a you can see, Chillblast has installed a single fan in the roof and only slightly altered the default cooling configuration.
Moving onto the rear, we can see the radiator fan, IO shield, power supply and PCI expansion slots. Notice how durable and thick the power supply fixing screws are which adds a sense of premium build quality compared to other systems. On another note, the IO shield is perfectly flush without any indents which would have pinpointed to poor workmanship. Another benefit from the MasterCase 5 is the generous supply of ventilation holes to transfer heat in a more efficient manner.The bottom side has two reinforced metal feet and large rubber pads which keeps the case firmly in position even if you apply sudden pressure on a desk. Also, there is a removable dust filter which clips into place and protects the power supply from an unwanted dust build-up. In theory, this should prolong the PSUs lifespan and make cleaning a very quick and simple process.
The front opts for a mesh panel and accommodates up to three 140mm fans. By default, Cooler Master only includes a single front fan, but Chillblast has upgraded this to two 120mm fans which help cool the Nepton 240L’s radiator. From an aesthetic standpoint, the front portion looks professional and I’m quite fond of the understated Chillblast logo near the bottom.
The front IO includes two USB 3.0 ports, a tiny reset switch, microphone/headphone ports, activity indicator and power button. This is a well thought out arrangement as the reset button requires some effort to press and a significant distance from the main power switch. My only complaint is the black plastic accumulates dust rather rapidly.
Here we can see the fully-assembled system which adopts a predominately black colour scheme and the large selection of Cooler Master products add a sense of synergy throughout the entire build. Chillblast engineered a clean and classy design which looks the part without being too ostentatious.
The Cooler Master pump, stealth black RAM, and corrugated tubing works rather well and compliments the black theme. Also, the 24-pin connector and 8-pin EPS connect via tight cable runs and becomes fairly difficult to spot even in an open-case environment. Chillblast fitted the pump without over-tightening the screws and routed the CPU power cable in a logical way.
To inject a bit of colour into the build, Chillblast selected the aftermarket Zotac GTX 980. This is a fairly large card due to the 3-fan design but remains remarkably quiet and looks phenomenal. I’m a huge fan of the orange blades and sturdy metal backplate. Another benefit is all Zotac GPUs come with a 5-year warranty compared to the industry standard which usually hovers between 2-3.
The M.2 Samsung SSD might be small in stature but provides stonking read and write speeds while connecting to the motherboard’s on-board slot. This means, there are less SATA cables and the rubber grommets aren’t as cluttered. On another note, the motherboard’s unique styling on the heatsink adds some flair and emphasizes the gaming-features throughout this system.
Chillblast installed the Nepton 240M in a perfectly flush finish and ensured the tubing didn’t have any kinks or uneven runs to the pump. As a result, the water-cooling setup really improves the overall look of the system. While I would prefer the closed-loop-cooler in the roof, this wasn’t possible due to the case’s technical limitations.
Moving onto the 2TB Seagate SSHD which slides into place and didn’t appear to unevenly distribute the weight to one side. However, when the system arrived, the mounting screw was slightly bent to the right and I had to reattached the fitting. In my opinion, this probably occurred during delivery instead of an engineer fitting the screw at the wrong angle.
Here we can see the GPU cable management which utilizes a zip-tie. The finish looks pretty good and stops the PCIe cables from moving around. Although, the trailing connector is fairly irksome and I wish this had been obscured in one way or another.
The SATA data and power cables fit neatly into the hard drive tray and provides ample room for cable management. Furthermore, the SATA power cable feeds upwards alongside the 24-pin connector and held together with numerous zip-ties. The final result is impressive makes it easy to shut the side-panel door.
The power supply cabling is impressive when you consider its semi-modular design which can make routing a little awkward.
A wider shot of the entire system shows how the case’s integrated Velcro clips and zip-ties have allowed for a splendid finish. The CPU cut-out remains virtually untouched and there’s loads of room around the back to feed cables, and expand on the default setup.
The USB 3.0 connector, and power cabling are tightly packed together and easily slot through the chassis’ rubber grommets. Of course, a modular PSU could make for easier cable runs, but Chillblast has done a wonderful job given the hardware selection. Even the spare connectors are perfectly hidden and not protruding from outside the case.
An extreme close-up demonstrates how tight the cabling is and the thoughtful planning required to create such a clean build.