- Two mounts for triple-fan radiators
- Flip-up top panel
- Updated to include Type-C USB
- Glass panel features drop-reducing hardware
- Supports motherboards up to 10.7 inches deep
- Mesh filler panels act as front dust filters
- Only two total USB ports
COOLER MASTER MASTERBOX 520 MESH SPECS
|Motherboard Form Factors Supported||ATX, MicroATX, Mini-ITX|
|External 5.25-Inch Bays||0|
|Internal 3.5-Inch Bays||2|
|External 3.5-Inch Bays||0|
|Internal 2.5-Inch Bays||3|
|Front Panel Ports||USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A, HD Audio|
|Side Window(s)?||Yes (Tempered Glass)|
|PCI Expansion Slot Positions||7|
|120mm or 140mm Fan Positions||7|
|120mm/140mm/200mm Fans Included||3|
|Is a fan Controller Included?||No|
|Maximum GPU Length||410 mm|
|Maximum CPU Cooler Height||165 mm|
|Power Supply Maximum Length||235 mm|
|Power Supply Form Factor Supported||ATX|
|Power Supply Mounting Location||Bottom|
|Internal Chassis Lighting Color||None|
|Included Fan Lighting Color||Addressable RGB|
|Dimensions (HWD)||15.4 by 8.5 by 17.1 inches|
Cooler Master has a long history of producing high-quality PC cases, and their latest offering is the MasterBox 520 Mesh. Smooth edges, tight gaps, and exceptional finishes are all present in this model, making it ideal for builders who value aesthetics over ruggedness. In addition to updated features like a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C front-panel port and ARGB fans (which can be controlled via an integrated ARGB controller), the mesh face panel allows enthusiasts to show off their colorful hardware with ease. This quality chassis is perfect for users who prioritize airflow efficiency and RGB glow in their builds.
The Design: Air Through and Through
The MasterBox 520 Mesh’s attempt to compete with high-end case brands by offering a premium design and feature set may be hampered by its lack of ports. Still, another potential issue for buyers is that the dust filter does not work well in all environments. This can make cleaning a frequent and time-consuming task (depending on your situation).
While this problem is not specific to the MasterBox 520 Mesh case, it becomes more notable when considering an older case market that used to reward cases with a non-wipeable filter hidden behind an opaque front panel. Attached to a painted frame, the vents on the MasterBox 520 Mesh should only be cleaned using compressed air. However, as seen in Cooler Master’s response to ARGB fans, they have decided against including washable dust filters on their power supply filter – something that was obviously requested by those interested in maintaining cleanliness and aesthetics within their builds.
Ports on computer systems are in short supply, which points to a design update that involved replacing one Type-A port with a smaller Type-C connector. The result is that the singleType-A port occupies an area intended for two ports, leading to incompatibilities among competing cases.
The sheet of magnetic material covering the top of the case can be removed to reveal a matching front panel that includes three 120mm fan mounts or two 140mm ones. In addition, there are 360 and 280-mm radiator/fan combos available as well.
The MasterBox 520 Mesh’s lid can be flipped up and lifted off, making it easier to access cable-access holes at the top of a motherboard tray. This space is rated as supporting radiators up to 55mm thick. Still, most builders will be better off considering that measurement is the maximum thickness for their entire cooler, including the radiator and fans. We measured a horizontal clearance of 35mm between a 120mm fan and a motherboard surface when measuring from below (the front side). Advanced users who want to hang their fans beneath the motherboard will find less than ideal spacing because Cooler Master rates this area as accommodating only models with upwards of 55 mm height without considering how much room there is on each side for such an accessory.
The seven expansion slots on the back of the chassis allow show-builders to fit vertical expansion adapters without having to cut into the casing. The extra-long slots on both sides of the empty rear fan mount make it easy to adjust any added part vertically.
The sheet metal on the right side of the motherboard tray opens to reveal two 2.5-inch drive mounts and a 3.5-inch drive cage, all hidden within the power supply tunnel underneath. The drive cages sit close to 235mm from the power supply’s mounting surface, but Cooler Master still rates this space as being able to fit only power supplies up to 200mm long. There is also a large gap between the front panel of the drive cage and where it sits in relation to any radiators or additional fan units that may be installed nearby.
The MasterBox 520 Mesh ARGB controller features an integrated fan hub that supports up to four fans and five devices connected via a color-coded port on the front of the case. The SATA drive power connector is located on the rear of the unit, and it has both fan control functionality and optional motherboard control for connecting additional lights.
Building Inside The MasterBox 520 Mesh
The installation kit includes screws, standoffs, and mounting rails for drives of 2.5 inches and 3.5 inches in size. The rail system engages the drive cage directly like a traditional drive mount, but special grommet holes need to be drilled before the pins attached to the rail can be inserted into them.
The cables included with the ARGB gaming laptop include a power button and LED indicator group, an HD Audio jack for use with a front-panel headset (headphone/microphone combo), two USB 3. x Gen 1 ports, a single Type-A port for connecting external devices, a Type-C port to connect additional devices or transfer data quickly between computers, along with room on the motherboard for an RGB controller and fan hub feature; as well as cable connections to allow keyboard and mouse control of that function from within Windows 10.
The MasterCase 580X can accept most standard motherboards. However, if the motherboard is deeper than 10.7 inches max, it could restrict the space for larger holes and cause ripples in the motherboard’s circuit board. Corsair rates this case as supporting motherboard depths up to 10.7 inches. Our standard 9.6-inch wide motherboard fits very well without any restrictions.
As for any minor variations in the lighting of the components in MasterBox 520, Mesh PC, one can see clearly the glossy competition of the cooling surface; it is full of the line of the reflection of the light.
Testing the MasterBox 520 Mesh
Here’s a recap of our test build’s component loadout…
|CPU||Intel Core i5-9600K at 4.80GHz/1.25V Fixed|
|Cooling||Corsair iCue H100i RGB PRO XT|
|Graphics||Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2070 Gaming OC 8G|
|Motherboard||Asus ROG Maximus XI Hero (WI-FI)|
|Memory||G.Skill F4-3600C16D-16GTZR 16GB DDR4-3600|
|Storage||MSI Spatium M470 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD|
|Power||FSP Dagger Pro 850W (SDA2-850)|
|CPU Load||Prime95 Version 30.7 Torture Test, Small FFTs|
|GPU Load||Furmark 1.29 GPU Stress Test defaults|
|Monitoring||HWiNFO version 7.16|
When avoiding heat, better is good when the exposed cooling unit is smaller than a larger case. As such, the MasterBox 520 mesh takes second place behind the NZXT H7 in cooling computers.
The MasterBox 520 Mesh is designed to match the hardware specifications of our CPU cooler, NZXT H7 Flow. This combination provides optimum performance for both devices.
There is no question that the H7 Flow outperformed the MasterBox 520 Mesh regarding GPU temperature. Though this may be partly due to the cooler air near the graphics card, I think it’s important for our customers to know about our findings so they can decide if this case would be a good fit for them. Feel free to leave any comments you might have on this topic; we would love to hear what you think.
The MasterBox 520 Mesh handily outperforms the NZXT H7 Flow regarding noise level. This difference is relatively minor but shows how closely matched these two devices are in terms of performance.
Verdict: All Aglow, With Competitive Performance
The performance match is a great feature since the NZXT H7 Flow, which is available in white and costs the same as the MasterBox 520 Mesh, features triple ARGB fans while the Mesh offers its own controller. As there are no clear leaders at this point, it’s up to you to choose which model appeals more to you based on whichever feature seems most compelling…and which looks better to you. In other words: How much RGB can you handle?
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Title: Fans of the Cooler Master MasterBox 520 Mesh Review highlight its airy tower chassis as a notable feature