Cooler Master MasterBox 520 & 520 Mesh Review
Published: 1st September 2022 | Source: Cooler Master | Price: |
Inside the MasterBox 520 and 520 Mesh
Starting from the front, we can see that the front I/O of the Masterbox 520 is on the basic side, offering users a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A port, a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port, a 3.5mm audio headset jack (audio + mic), and a set of power/reset switches. To be honest, most users do not need anything ore than this, and if you are planning to use more USB devices, they should either be plugged into some kind of hub ore plugged directly into your motherboard though your case's rear I/O. That way you can cut down on unwanted cable clutter.
Overall the MasterBox 520 and its mesh counterpart has a simple and user friendly design, the internal layout is strong with the case's support for up to a 360mm radiator at the front and top of the chassis, and its support EATX motherboards (up to 12-inch by 10.7 inches).
To simplify the PC building process, MasterBox 520's top panel can be removed to make motherboard installation, fan installation, and radiator installation easier. Removing this panel gives users more space to install or uninstall components, and can be added/removed using a few screws. More cases should have this feature.
Overall, the Masterbox 520's design is similar to many other ATX cases today, with two 2.5-inch SSD mounting slots behind the case's motherboard tray, a power supply shroud that covers two 3.5-inch HDD mounting locations, and an integrated fan controller/RGB hub for the chassis' front mounted RGB fans. The case contains multiple cable grommets for easy cable management, and had enough space behind the case's motherboard tray to allow users to effectively manage their cables.
Front Panel Design
For the standard MasterBox 520, we can see that the chassis have very little room to breathe. The case's tempered glass front panel is close to the system's 120mm RGB fans and the air flow vents beside the case's tempered glass front panel is not enough for three fans to breathe through.
With the MasterBox 520 Mesh, Cooler Master has given their front mounted fans for room to breathe though the system's front mesh. That said, the design of this front panel slims at the top of the chassis, giving the case's top fan less room to breathe than the case's bottom fan. The mesh used for this case is also quite fine, which may limit how much air can get through its pores. This may explain our poorer than expected CPU thermals on page 3 of this review.
Internally, Cooler Master's design for their MasterBox 520 gives us very little to complain about. It's only the case's front panel that gives us pause. As well designed as the MasterBox 520's internals are, poor airflow can make or break a good case design, and it looks like the MasterBox 520 has been designed with look in mind and little else.