RSS Feed

HCW Tech Blog

For the latest info on computer hardware, tech, news, video games, software tips, and Linux, check out our new improved front page: HCW Tech Blog

Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [07.19.04]
Manufactured by: Cooler Master 

Price at $113 (incl. 350W PSU)
Find other versions of this case here!

Discuss this article in the forum!
Registration NOT Required!



In fact, after installing a system in this case, I have come to the conclusion that in terms of fit and finish, it's tough to beat Cooler Master. Even with a steel case (albeit an expensive one), Cooler Master did not skimp at all on the refinement from inside and out. You'd have to try VERY hard to cut yourself inside this case, with all its rolled edges.

Another thing Cooler Master seems to never fail on is design. As usual, I like to leave the looks of a case up to each reader to decide themselves, but you have to say that the Cavalier is the perfect blend of Cooler Master's clean look of their original aluminum cases, and a more exciting look many people are going for.

Unfortunately, the Cavalier isn't without its drawbacks. As expected from any brand new product, it is currently at its apex in price. $113 for a steel case is asking a bit much, even if it does have some aluminum on it (PSU notwithstanding, since most of our readers will junk it or at the most use it to build their mom's computer).

There are also some flaws in design, such as the inside of the case having support for two exposed 3.5" bays, but only one slot on the front bezel.

Overall, I would have to say that the Cavalier would make an absolute superb buy if it stood in the $80-90 price range (and I expect it to hit that price eventually). I don't think there is much in that price range that could compete with the Cavalier. Should you find it for under $90, take my final score and tack on 3 or so ;)

Right now however, it is hard to justify this purchase when you can get the similar Wave Master for just $140 (just around $25 more than the Cavalier). The Wave Master looks better, and is full aluminum.

Hell, I think I'll go buy one right now!


UPDATE - What a nice coincedence! NewEgg has just placed the Wave Master on sale for $125! Now there is no reason not to buy it! That's an absolute steal for this case!

  • Looks spectacular for a midrange steel case
  • Door opens both ways!
  • USB and FireWire headers handled very well
  • 120mm rear exhaust fan
  • Drive bay installation is absolutely 100% tool-free, with no parts to lose
  • VERY well put-together, rounded corners, perfect fit & finish

  • Currently very expensive for a midrange steel case
  • Oddly missing a 3.5" exposed bay (1 isn't enough anyway)
  • No motherboard tray, or tool-free motherboard pegs
  • Fans use 4 pin molex connectors instead of motherboard plugs

Final Score: 87%