Cooler Master has sent us the MasterBox 520 Mesh, a mid-tower ATX case for review. As the name suggests, it is an airflow-focused variant of the original MasterBox 520.
Retailing for an MSRP of RM389, the MasterBox 520 Mesh sits squarely between entry level and mid-tier cases in the market. So what do you get over basic PC cases, and what are the drawbacks?
Do read on to learn more about our thoughts on this case, and whether it is right for your next PC build.
Cooler Master MasterBox 520 Mesh Specifications
|Available Colours||Black, White|
|Motherboard Support||Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, and EATX (up to 12″ x 10.7″)|
|Dimensions||502 x 210 x 498mm (Including Protrusions)|
|Clearance||CPU Cooler: 165mm|
|Front I/O Ports||1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A|
1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C
1x 3.5mm Headset Jack (Audio+Mic)
1x Reset/ARGB button
|Radiator Support||Top: 120mm, 140mm, 240mm, 280mm, 360mm|
Front: 120mm, 140mm, 240mm, 280mm, 360mm
|Fan Support||Top: 3x 120mm, 2x 140mm|
Front: 3x 120mm, 2x 140mm
Rear: 1x 120mm
|Included Accessories||3x CF120 ARGB Fans|
ARGB Fans Hub
The MasterBox 520 Mesh’s design can only be described as run-of-the-mill. It looks like a retrofit of a typical Cooler Master design rather and built from the ground up.
At the front, you are greeted by a front mesh intake panel, followed by perforated side slits which was supposed to be air intake for the standard variant. The top air intake vents are covered by a magnetic mesh filter, which can be removed for fan or radiator installation. At the bottom, there is a air intake vent for the PSU with a removable dust filter.
On the side, you will find a large tool-less tempered glass window with grey borders, showcasing your components inside. A PSU shroud extends to the front fan mount. However, the cut-out for radiators is too large for my liking as it exposes the hard drive cage and cable management.
The front I/O is nothing to shout about. You get a USB Type-A port, a USB Type-C port, a mic/ headphone combo jack, power button and reset/ARGB switch. My gripe with this is the USB Type-C port, it is just fitted to a Type-A cutout with grey plastic.
The MasterBox 520 Mesh includes three 120mm 3-pin ARGB fans that are already pre-installed and connected to the fans hub. You won’t get any PWM controls there, so remember to set them to DC mode in the motherboard BIOS.
In terms of drive bays, you get three 2.5″ and two 3.5″ bays. The 2.5″ bays are attached via quick release grommets, while the 3.5″ drive bays are tool-less and removable for more room at the back.
How Does It Feel To Build In?
The MasterBox 520 Mesh is a roomy case to build in. Fans and radiator installation is easy thanks to the removable top and front panel. With everything installed, I could even fit in a HG gunpla for display purposes. If you have the latest GPUs, you will find tons of horizontal space here, up to 410mm to be precise.
Cable management on the other hand is where I struggle the most while building in the MasterBox 520 Mesh. Granted, I am not the best in clean cable management, but the room at the back is narrow at only about 10mm wide. The similarly priced NZXT H5 Flow has almost double the room at the back, albeit being a smaller case overall.
In addition, you only get loops and cable ties to help you clean up your cable management. No cable channels and velcro tiedowns here. Due to the large radiator opening, your best option to hide your cables from sight would be the space between the drive cage and PSU. Since most builds nowadays use NVME drives, you can remove the drive cage entirely to shove your cables in.
The airflow focused design of the MasterBox 520 Mesh performed well in the thermals department. Under HeavyLoad stress test, my Ryzen 7 5700G system manages to stay under 70°C, with an overall system temperature of 42°C. The GPU manages to get lots of fresh air as well, hovering at 68°C.
ARGB Fans & Hub
The included Cooler Master CF120 ARGB fans worked well for a case in this price point, despite the 3-pin design. Out of the box, the reset switch is connected to the hub and acts as an RGB controller. You can connect the RGB header to the motherboard, allowing you to control their RGB settings with the Cooler Master MasterPlus software. This frees up the reset switch to be connected to the motherboard reset pin.
For RM389, the Cooler Master MasterBox 520 Mesh sits in a competitive sub-RM400 case market. While it does not have the best design and cable management features, the ARGB fans make up for the asking price, and presents a decent value for beginner PC builds.
For more information about the Cooler Master MasterBox 520 Mesh, please visit Cooler Master’s official website here.