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Cooler Master MasterBox Lite 3.1 mATX Case Review

Cooler Master MasterBox Lite 3.1: A Budget-Friendly mATX Case

Cooler Master MasterBox Lite 3.1If you’re looking for a budget-friendly micro-ATX or mini-ITX case, you might want to check out the Cooler Master MasterBox Lite 3.1.

It isn’t quite as cheap as some of the ultra budget-friendly cases out there, but it does have a few more features, as well as more room, and, in my opinion, a better design than some of its competitors.

The case comes with a large transparent side window and the ability to fit the longest and tallest graphics cards and heatsinks on the market.

So, if you want to build a high-end system inside of this case (or work your way up to one through upgrades) you can definitely do so.

Overall, I would say that this is probably a case that would work well for someone who has a budget of about ~$500 or more to build their computer with. Of course, choosing a case is different for every individual, as a lot of your choice comes down to aesthetics.

In my opinion, the MasterBox Lite 3.1 is a nice looking case and if you think so as well by looking at the pictures, be sure to read the rest of this review (or just check it out on Amazon) to get a better idea of what you can expect out of it.

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Cooler Master MasterBox Lite 3.1 Tech Specs

Motherboard micro-ATX, mini-ITX
USB 3.0 Yes
VGA Max ~380mm
Heatsink Max ~158mm
PSU Mount Bottom
Build Material Steel, Plastic
Dimensions 456mm x 208mm x 381mm
Weight ~8.7 LBS.

MasterBox Lite 3.1 Packaging

MasterBox Lite 3.1 Packaging
The MasterBox Lite 3.1 comes in a standard box. There’s not flashy design, just an outline sketch of the case, a brief description of what it offers on the back of the box, and the general tech specs on the side of the case.

The box does have handles on the sides which does make it a bit easier transporting it to wherever it is you are going to open it. This is pretty much standard with all case boxes these days, but still nice to have nonetheless.

MasterBox Lite 3 Box Top

I didn’t take any pictures of the top of the box open to show what the support material on the inside is like (you can check the video up top to see me unbox it), but there are two styrofoam supports formed to fit the case on both sides, which makes it fit snug in the box.

And, the case itself is covered in a plastic covering for further protection.

All of the hardware, screws, and accessories that come with the case are located inside of it.

Ultimately, if you love when your products come in fancy packaging, you probably won’t be wowed with what Cooler Master has done here.

But if you’re like me, you don’t really care about that kind of stuff (especially if the price of the packaging gets priced into the cost of the product), and the bare minimum in packaging that will keep the product safe while it is being delivered to you is more than enough.

A Look at the MasterBox Lite 3.1

MasterBox Lite 3.1 Front AngleThe thing I love about the design and look of the MasterBox Lite 3.1 is that, for starters, it doesn’t try to do too much. It’s got a nice sleek design, with just a little bit of accent color (red, white, and black available.)

And, rather than making you choose the color scheme of the case at the time of purchase, Cooler Master throws in all three of the available trim colors. So, depending on your mood (or the color scheme of your build), you can change the accent colors to your liking.

The transparent windows is also a nice feature for a budget-friendly case. And, this isn’t just a small little window that you can catch a glimpse through…

The entire side panel is a transparent window. So, if you don’t want anyone to know how lousy your cable management is, this probably isn’t the case for you. But, if you are meticulous with your cable management, this is the perfect case to show off your skills.

Lite 3.1 Transparent WindowDespite the MasterBox Lite 3.1 being a smaller form-factor case, there is actually quite a lot of room on the inside of it. This is mostly thanks to the move away from drive bays for optical drives.

However, the case is fairly deep for a mATX case. It’s deep enough to fit even the tallest CPU heatsinks out there (like the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO).

Lite 3.1 Inside

The all-black finish on the inside of the Lite 3.1 brings the aesthetics together and really gives you the ability to build a nice-looking system inside of this case.

In the end, in terms of aesthetic and design, there is a lot to like here for such an affordable case.

What the MasterBox Lite 3.1 Brings to the Table

There is a lot to like about the MasterBox Lite 3.1. It’s a very affordable case (priced at about ~$40) that has a ton of room inside of it.

It can fit GPUs as long as 380mm and heatsinks/CPU coolers as tall as 158mm. Or, in other words, it can fit just about any graphics card and heatsink inside of it.

That means you can build just about as powerful of a single-GPU system as possible inside of this case.

So, for performance purposes, this case will not hinder your ability to fit a high-end system inside of it.

You can use either a micro-ATX or a mini-ITX motherboard inside of it. It’s dimensions are 456mm x 208mm x 381mm. And, the case weighs approximately ~9 pounds. With a full system inside of it, it would come in at well under 15 pounds, which makes it plenty light enough to use as a LAN case.

The case also supports up to four fans (it only comes with one installed) and has space for a liquid cooling radiator on the front of the case (240mm) and the back of the case (120mm).

Also, another nice feature that smaller budget-friendly cases don’t often come with is that the PSU is mounted on the bottom, rather than the top. This is a plus because bottom-mounted PSUs are ideal for cooling purposes.

Overall, for the price, this is a feature-rich case that has plenty of room for just about any type of build you might want to do. It’s not a high-end case by any means, but it will be more than enough for most user’s needs.

Our Final Thoughts: A Solid mATX Case That Won’t Break the Bank

I’ll start by saying that there are some trade-offs with the MasterBox Lite 3.1. On the one hand, the Lite 3.1 is a budget-friendly small form-factor case.

On the other hand, if you are looking to use a standard ATX motherboard, you won’t be able to fit one inside of the Lite 3.1.

At just over $40 on Amazon, though, the MasterBox Lite 3.1 is a phenomenal value considering what you get for the price.

The Lite 3.1 has a lot more wow-factor going for it than some of the competitors in this price range. And, it can essentially hold as powerful of a single-GPU system as you can possibly build.

This is because it has plenty of space for even the biggest graphics cards on the market and it can fit the tallest heatsinks as well.

Overall, if you’re looking to build a budget-friendly gaming PC and you want to keep your system in a smaller case, the MasterBox Lite 3.1 is a really solid case and it is one that you should probably at least consider.

Cooler Master MasterBox Lite 3.1 Front Angle

MasterBox Lite 3.1 Review

Nice, sleek design

Can fit large GPUs

Large transparent side window

Pricier than other budget cases

Our rating: 8.3/10

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Hey, I’m Brent. I’ve been building computers and writing about building computers for a long time. I’m an avid gamer and tech enthusiast, too. On YouTube, I build PCs, review laptops, components, and peripherals, and hold giveaways.

2 thoughts on “Cooler Master MasterBox Lite 3.1 mATX Case Review”

  1. I dont think you guys tried to build a system in the case? 🙂 cable management is a nightmare! I’d love to know how they expect you to run the secondary motherboard power supply cable (4pin or 6pin that usually goes up near the top left corner of most motherboards) there is nowhere at the top of the case to run it through from the back, so it ends up just running up the front, for all to see.

    Cable management limitations ruin what is otherwise a nice looking case.

    Reply
    • I did a build in this case recently:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zWC7b1fit8

      I ended up running the CPU power cable through the highest slot to the right of the motherboard. It looks okay, I guess. It was a scrap build—so not the prettiest system I’ve ever put together.

      But, yeah, the case isn’t perfect for cable management, obviously, but in the ~$40 price range there really aren’t a lot of options that do offer ideal cable management.

      Reply

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