Cooler Master USP 100
The Cooler Master UPS 100 is a sturdy, well-built chassis that has many features for almost anyone who is building a rig could ask for. It has the ability to hold up to five fans for cooling, four of which are optional. It also has a tool-less retention system in place that does work well, though it can break if you are not gentle enough. Cooler Master has also included a 550W PSU in this package which really does sweeten the deal.
Aesthetically, the UPS 100 does have some appeal to it, with the black and crimson on the exterior, it makes a more subdued style of case have a greater flair.
That being said, there are a few niggles here that give pause. First and foremost was the cable management for the build. There was more than enough room behind the motherboard tray to hide all of the wires for the PSU and all your other hardware, but the tray itself was lacking the cutouts through which the user can run wires, which would seem a little more prudent when the bundled power supply has next to no sleeving. If the plastic cable holders were to be removed, you could easily punch two or three more holes to increase the cable management potential instead of keeping all the wires in a position which restricts airflow.
Secondly, when it comes to classifying or branding something with a label such as "Enthusiast", the components of the build should reflect the label. When someone says enthusiast in reference to a part, the first thing that comes to mind in reference to a PC is, the cream of the crop, the top of the line, and the best of the best components. Now I’m not saying Cooler Master should have included a 1200W PSU, especially at the price point of the UPS 100, but I think the bare minimum should have been at least a 80+ bronze certified unit and then adjust the price to fit.
Finally, with ATI’s current lineup of video cards ranging from 11" to 12.2" I’m not sure why these cards were not taken in to consideration when designing this chassis, and with NVIDIA soon to release the FERMI 400 series cards, who knows how big these monsters are going to be. So the question remains: why build a chassis with only 10.5" of clearance when today’s cards are much larger? An enthusiast is surely going to have one or more of these top cards in their system.
All that said, this case did perform very well. Installation was very easy, the case did fill up fast, but this comes without surprise in a mid-tower chassis. There is some great potential for air-cooling this case with all the optional fans, however there is no room for a water cooling loop. The UPS 100 has plenty of room for hard drive expandability, but lacks an adapter bracket for an SSD. The Cooler Master UPS 100 does retain some positives at its current price point of only $99 US, but it falls short of what we’d expect to be enthusiast hardware. Perhaps most interesting of all, however, is that the Cooler Master 690 II Advanced is an outstanding and sublime mid-tower value case for not much more money. The USP 100, however is a good case, and with an included power supply it is indeed a good value for someone looking for a solid all-around case setup.
Cooler Master USP 100
Our thanks go to Cooler Master for providing the USP 100 for this review.