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Cooler Master WaveMaster Black Aluminum Case Review

Cooler Master WaveMaster Black Aluminum Case Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Cooler Master are showing us that they can design their products not only for appearances, but for functionality as well.
 82% Rating:   
Filed under: Cases Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Coolermaster Feb 26 2004   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Cases > Coolermaster Wavemaster

It's in the details

With all the multimedia devices on the market it only makes sense for case manufacturers to allow you to attach devices without having to reach around to the rear of your PC. Instead of placing the ports on the front bezel, which would definitely take away from the WaveMaster's elegant looks, CoolerMaster hide them on the top of the case, behind a small trap door.

It's different, and in our opinion a clever move. There you'll find a headphone and microphone jack, a lone IEEE 1394 port, as well as two USB ports. When you're not using them, simply press down on the small aluminum flap and it locks right into place hiding everything.

If you'd rather have a fan exhausting hot air out of the case than a bunch of ports, you'll appreciate the fact that Coolermaster include an adaptor so you can do just that.

The rear of the WaveMaster case is pretty busy with all the thumbscrews, but everything is accessible. Almost all the panels are attached to the case with thumbscrews (aside from the drives). The default rear I/O shield is colour coated as well as labelled with pictures so end users shouldn't have any problems installing devices there. If your motherboard requires a custom shield don't worry, the default one pops off quite easily.

As with most other high end cases the WaveMaster does not come with a power supply. And no, I don't think that's a bad thing.

Look at it this way, CoolerMaster allow you to customize the WaveMaster case, and indeed your system, to your needs. It would just be counter productive to buy a nice new case, only to rip out the power supply it comes with and replace it with a higher wattage, or lower noise model that you've already have decided to get. This way, the consumer doesn't get stuck paying for a low wattage power supply they don't want.

Once you get settled with the WaveMaster, the first thing you'll want to do is install a power supply in it. Right now I'd recommend you shoot for a power supply made for low-noise operation rather than one whose only attribute is high watts (300W is really sufficient for almost everyone). This is the trend the market is going towards anyway, and if you decide to specifically buy low noise components (heatsink, videocard, hard drives & fans) in the future, at least you won't be stuck with a loud power supply rattling away in the back. For some help deciding on power supplies, check out the models PCStats has reviewed.

Whether or not you decide on an aluminum power supply or a plain steel one is up to you. Since the WaveMaster appears to have a largely un-anodized internal aluminum frame - the black aluminum sections are obviously anodized or they wouldn't hold the dye. On the inside of the case, its a different situation and the frame will probably create an anodic reaction with steel over time, to some respect. So, don't be too surprised if you notice oxidation of steel components down the road.

To install the power supply you must first attach the small aluminum bracket included with the case to the power supply, then you can slide the power supply & bracket into the WaveMaster chassis and lock it into place with some regular case screws.

The nice thing about this setup is that the power supply goes into the case irregardless of whether the side panels are on. We've seen other aluminum cases where such rear-mounting brackets were under the tabs of the side panels, making for a tedious set of steps any time a power supply was being installed, or replaced.

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Contents of Article: Coolermaster Wavemaster
 Pg 1.  Cooler Master WaveMaster Black Aluminum Case Review
 Pg 2.  — It's in the details
 Pg 3.  Removable Motherboard tray that sticks
 Pg 4.  Looking around inside
 Pg 5.  The CoolerMaster Musketeer
 Pg 6.  A case anyone would be proud to own

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