When Cooler Master reached out to ask if I could take a look at his upcoming MasterFrame 700 open air chassis/test stand, I scratched my head a bit on how to approach it. I wondered what mainstream appeal there might be in a test bench.
And while ‘mainstream’ is definitely not how I would describe the MasterFrame 700, I was quite impressed. After my experience with it, I can appreciate its appeal as an open-air chassis to showcase nice builds.
It won’t make it onto our list of the best PC cases as it’s not a chassis meant for the masses, but if you’re into this sort of thing it might be worth reading on to learn more about the MasterFrame 700 – if the pictures haven’t convinced you yet.
|Type||Outdoor/test bench chassis|
|Motherboard support||Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, E-ATX|
|Dimensions (HxWxD)||16.1 x 12.1 x 27.6 in (410 x 306 x 702 mm)|
|Maximum GPU Length||17.7 inches (450 mm), up to 12.2 inches (310 mm) for maximum compatibility|
|CPU Cooler Height||6.2 inches (158mm)|
|Maximum PSU Length||8.3 inches (210mm)|
|Internal Bays||4x 3.5 inch|
|7x 2.5 inch|
|Front I/O||2x USB 3.0, USB-C, 3.5mm Headphone/Microphone Combo|
|Other||(Removable) Tempered glass panel|
|Left fans||None (up to 2x 140mm, 3x 120mm)|
|right fans||None (up to 2x 140mm, 3x 120mm)|
|top fans||None (up to 2x 140mm, 3x 120mm in bench mode on a radiator)|
|bottom fans||None (up to 2x 140mm, 3x 120mm in bench mode on a radiator)|
Normally we start case reviews with a tour of the features, build in a standardized system and end with thermal and acoustic tests – but today we are forgoing the usual format. Instead, I’m going to take you down the path I took to familiarize myself with the product, which starts with assembling the MasterFrame 700.
Extract layer by layer
The Cooler Master MasterFrame 700 comes flat packed in a relatively compact briefcase style box. None of the components come assembled, so we have to start assembling the case. I started by attaching the radiator wings of the housing to the main frame, which was easily done by using three countersunk screws per hinge, four of which. I also stood on four rubber feet.
The hinges are beautifully made mirror-smooth. In fact all the parts are very nicely made with a very smooth and even paint job. The panels themselves are also very thick steel and all in all it’s a very heavy chassis that exudes quality – which is no surprise considering it’s partly handcrafted.
However, at this stage I ran into my first problem: with the wings on, the whole chassis was tilted quite far forward, which didn’t seem right.
Since there was no manual to be found (yet), I played around with the wing layout and finally attached the wings correctly – with the text on the user side and the straightedge on the bottom – the tops of the wings are slightly angled for style .
I then proceeded to attach the PCIe bracket, PSU bracket and back cover. The case comes with two PSU covers that you can place on top of each other for extra power. I don’t really see the need for a second PSU, but I suppose the addition of just one bracket wouldn’t do much harm to those that do.
At this point, the chassis was almost assembled and ready for system installation. I also threw in the glass panel holder, a small SSD bracket on the back, a fifth rubber foot on the bottom of the back cover, the IO panel on the top and voila:
The Case of the Hidden Manual
In this montage, however, I had a few moments where I got stuck and wasn’t quite sure how to attach a particular bracket to the mainframe. When everything was ready and built, which took longer than it looks from the pictures, I wondered where the manual was. I had already turned the box over twice to look for it. But in the end I found it hidden under the glass panel.
Yes. I had set the glass panel aside for as I approached the end of build, completely overlooking that the manual could be inside. Oh, we’ve come this far.
Neat little details
The MasterFrame 700 comes with some nice little details that show a thoughtful design. For example, it includes a magnetic rubber pad in the shape of the Cooler Master logo that allows you to track screws, a VESA 100 mount if you want to mount the chassis to the wall, and there are instructions on how to place the standoffs for the motherboard. be placed.
That said, I’m not sure I fully understand the VESA mount. It’s part of the main frame, but behind it is the PSU mount, space for cable management and the rear cover for mounting hard drives. So you would have to make a lot of sacrifices to be able to mount this chassis to the wall if you want it flat against the wall – otherwise you need an arm. And it better be a strong arm because this chassis is very heavy with a system in it.