At full speed, the case fans lean on the loud side, but they clearly deliver some stellar cooling performance when combined with the high airflow design of this rather porous chassis. In fact, airflow is so good that temperatures for the CPU and GPU in our rig were below what we'd see on an open test bench. The MasterCase Pro 3 tops both charts, cementing its place as the best small form factor case with support for tower coolers – admittedly, it's up against a relatively narrow range of cases, but it's an impressive set of results nonetheless
Click to enlarge
The results mean that you can easily reign in the fan speeds and still maintain very healthy temperatures along with noise levels more suited to everyday use. As such, it's a shame there's no built-in fan controller, although this isn't a case designed for low noise, so we shan't be too critical. Also, modern motherboards now have really rather excellent fan control suites that can control 3-pin fans like these; there's little excuse for not taking advantage of them.
Click to enlarge - Please note: White LED mid-plate is sold separately
The MasterCase Pro 3 is something of an odd proposition. Users may look to the micro-ATX form factor as a means of saving space, but this case has dimensions that are on par with many smaller ATX mid-towers, so that hardly applies. Even compared to the MasterCase 5 series, you're only saving 43mm on height and 45mm on depth.
Even so, if saving space is your real priority, you'll probably go mini-ITX. A powerful single-GPU build can be handled by mini-ITX given the quality of onboard sound and prominence of M.2 slots, so micro-ATX is more about giving you further options like adding in a high-end sound card, a second GPU, or an add-in card SSD.
Click to enlarge - Please note: Blue LED mid-plate and red LED mid-plate are sold separately
Anyway, we're not here to debate form factors. If you're settled on micro-ATX and are happy with a tower design, the MasterCase Pro 3 has plenty to offer and should be top of your shopping list. In fact, it has pretty much everything its ATX brother, the Pro 5, has but at a lower price on account of it using less materials – it's available for just over £80 if you shop around. The build quality is very good, it has five expansion slots to support all dual-GPU rigs, the mid-plate and excellent cable routing options keep things looking tidy, and Cooler Master's Make It Yours concept is finally starting to bare some fruit and give users some decent accessories, even if they are a bit pricey. Out-of-box cooling is also first class, and there's a healthy amount of flexibility for expanding this with either air or liquid solutions. The Fractal Design Define Mini C and Phanteks Enthoo Evolv are both worthy micro-ATX tower competitors, but after leaving us with very little to complain about the MasterCase Pro 3 snags our top award.