Our Sponsors at Cooler Master sent us the latest in their Mini tower range to review:
The Cooler Master Masterbox Q300P.
This small case packs some pretty amazing features. Smaller cases really are making a comeback, but dont be deceived by size, the Q300P is capable of holding all the elements of a super powerful gaming rig! So we were keen not only to have a look at it, but to also build in it to see exactly how it performs.
Here is a short video we produced to show off the case before it was built into:
So first of all, lets have a look at the specs for the Q300P, and go from there:
Cooler Master Masterbox Q300P Specs:
So probably the first thing you notice about this case is the four large handles. They are great for making a LAN party ready Rig, which is super easy to transport and carry, but they also work to increase the airflow all around the case.
Good news, if your not a fan of the handles, you can remove some or all of them and just have a plain case. For example, removing just the upper handles would leave the Q300P with HEAPS of airflow underneath the case, but reduce the “handled” look. Or you could just remove them all, it is designed to work without the handles too.
Speaking of Airflow, the Q300P has ventilation like no other case! Just about every panel is made from perforated steel, which is covered by mesh, to allow for the best airflow (minus the dust) possible:
This image shows the base of the case, so you can see how good the ventilation is. The rectangular foam pads are for the PSU to sit on, reducing vibrations on the frame. Nice touch! The images below show how well the ventilation is done on this case, and how every surface is covered with mesh. This is a great feature, as dust does horrible things to computer components.
In regards to components, even though this is a small case, the space available for parts is optimised by not having areas sectioned off within the Q300P. If you do not like seeing the power supply, then this may not be for you, but lets face it, there are some pretty cool looking PSUs coming out right now, which you wouldn’t WANT to hide! PSU size is limited to 160mm, but again there are plenty to choose from in this range, including modular and fully modular models.
The Motherboard is limited to a Micro-ATX, or a Mini-ITX, which really isn’t a problem, there are some pretty awesome ones out there!
There is room for a radiator in the front panel up to 240mm, or up to 120mm at the rear. This will provide more than adequate AIO liquid cooling, or if Air cooling is more your style, then you have up to 157mm in CPU cooler height to play with. A cooler such as Cooler master’s MasterAir G100M would be absolutely perfect.
Not only would it add next level RGB to this case, but its low profile just fits in so well! The only thing you would need to consider would be the RAM clearance, as pictured below. There are plenty of low profile RAM options which would fit with this cooler, but it needs to be taken into account. Please note, the only reason we did not choose to use the MasterAir G100M cooler is that the client specifically requested a non-RGB PC! Otherwise this would have been a fantastic edition to this build!
Cooling definitely will not be a concern in this case, with the ability to include a full size radiator, there are also spaces for up to 6 120mm fans (if you go for air cooling) or either 4 or 5 120mm fans if going with a radiator. The Cooler Master Masterbox Q300P also comes with 2 120mm, pre-installed RGB fans at the front, plus one 120mm pre-installed non RGB fan at the rear.
The next most important element to consider would be the GPU. Since this case is compact, the maximum length for your GPU is 360mm. This is a very generous GPU length. As an example, if your looking at a NVIDIA Geforce GTX 1080, they are right on 260mm so would fit perfectly. This is great news, because you will not be sacrificing any performance with this case! There is space for 1x 3.5″ HDD and 2x 2.5″ SSD drive bays.
With all the components in this small case there needs to be some cable management, or things are going to get messy! Cooler Master thought about this, there are already cables for RGB, I/O panel, HD audio, USB 3.0, Molex power and 3-pin case fans built in. Behind the motherboard tray there is 28mm of space for cable management.
One thing which makes the Q300P stand apart, is the I/O panel. This can be moved to 6 different locations around the frame of the case. Wherever is most convenient for you! It can be put on the front, top or bottom panel of either side of the frame, but keep in mind, if you are locating it behind the motherboard tray (where your cable management is, normally considered the “back”) then the acrylic panel also has to go where the I/O panel is, so you will be looking at cables, and the front (which would normally have the “window” will have the metal panel. Regardless of this, the movable I/O panel is great. As you can see in the photos, the I/O panel consists of 2x USB 3 and Audio In/Out, as well as a power button.
As I mentioned, the side panel is acrylic. As are the front and top panels. This will not appeal to everyone, and for me, I would prefer tempered glass. Would this design be able to be made in tempered glass..doubtful, as the moulded front and top panels would be tricky and expensive to make. But acrylic has its drawbacks. We have all witnessed the scratching that occurs to acrylic panels. It happens, no matter how careful you are. Simply wiping dust from the surface can scratch it. But if you know this, and are happy to have some scratches for the convenience of a portable LAN party or compact rig, then this will probably not concern you. The smokey coloured acrylic panels are great, giving a high-end look to this case. But don’t fear, this will not stop the glory of your RGB from shining through!
So this case seems pretty versatile right? well we aren’t done yet. The case can also be laid flat, as the thumb-screws also double as rubber feet on the solid back panel. So if its a media computer you need, or you just prefer the low-line size of a horizontal case, then go for it!
So I think we have covered all of the necessary elements of the Q300P. If you love RGB, you will not be disappointed, as there are unlimited opportunities to showcase your RGB, and the best part is that this case even comes with an RGB controller (shown below). The details of this can be found on the Cooler Master website here. This will allow you to easily swap and change between the 16.7 million colour choices you have to pick from!
So this is our final build Pictures. I will include the specs for the parts we included so you can get an idea of how it all fitted together.
The parts we included in this build are as follows:
And here are some images :
It was a great build, and its a powerful little computer, so don’t let size worry you when it comes to power. For portability this is a great little case, and would be fantastic for carrying around to LAN parties or for those who just have less space.
So, to sum it all up:
The cost of the Cooler Master Master box Q300P is: approx AUD $109 (price correct at time of publishing)
- Solid construction
- Fantastic ventilation
- RGB lighting with 16.7 million colours, with a RGB controller for ease of use.
- 4 handles for easy transport and the ability to remove them if you wish!
- the ability to use the case horizontally or vertically
- small design, but maximum space
- great high-end look
- dust filters
- Clean routing space for hidden cable management
- 6 different locations for your modular I/O panel
- 2 years warranty
- Parts will have to be considered carefully to ensure they fit.
- Handles will not be everyone’s taste, but this is not really an issue as they can be removed
- the acrylic panels.
- Small top rear air-vent is difficult to replace after removing the top acrylic panel.
- The small front air-vent located at the bottom of the case is also difficult to replace after removing the front acrylic panel.
So would I recommend this case? ABSOLUTELY!