Case Cooling and Conclusion

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Good airflow through a case is important these days as internal components keep generating more and more heat. Unfortunately it appears the Wave Master has traded some functionality for styling when it comes to case airflow. The relatively small pattern of holes in the front bezel doesn’t allow for much cool air to flow into the case. Another possible oversight is the lack of a filter.

Warm air is removed from the Wave Master case via the rear 80 mm fan, power supply fan(s) and the optional top mounted fan. The only way for cool outside air to enter the case is thru the small holes in the lower front bezel.

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There are five columns of 21 holes each for a total of 105 holes. Each hole is 4 mm in diameter and four of them are blocked by screws or LEDs; leaving 101 holes to let air in. This represents a total open area of 1,269 square mm, which is only 25% of the area of one 80 mm fan. To put this in perspective, there are two or three fans trying to blow air out but only 1/4 of one fan opening letting air in.

To make matters worse, the two 80 mm front fans are mounted on the internal HDD cage and not to the front bezel. This means the two front fans primarily circulate internal case air over the hard drives but do little towards drawing outside air into the case. The exhaust fans draw most of the air into the case by creating a slight negative pressure area inside the case.

I would like to see Cooler Master redesign this area in future Wave Master cases, possibly incorporating a hinged door lower bezel section that would provide easy access to front mounted fans and a removable filter element… 🙂

Here is another shot of the inside with a standard ATX motherboard installed. You can see there is plenty of room above and in front of the board for installing components and routing wires.

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The Wave Master combines elegant modern styling, stealthy looks, and a luxury feel into a beautiful mid-tower aluminum alloy PC enclosure. This new case is solidly built and includes both traditional and new innovative features from Cooler Master. Using the case is a joy as the door and top panel operate with the feel of fine furniture. The form, features and aesthetics are excellent.

My only criticism is the relatively small amount of unfiltered airflow allowed into the case by the small pattern of concealed holes in the front bezel.

A big thanks to our friends at Cooler Master for allowing us to review this great new case! The Wave Master is selling for ~$165 US (street price). Check one out at your favorite Cooler Master reseller.

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