Masterbox Lite 3.1 exhaust manufacturing problem!

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RaShayRitto    0

My latest build is a Ryzen gaming/streaming/development build in this little case, the Masterbox Lite 3.1. The case sadly only comes with one case fan so I bought two static pressure fans from a well-known line and put them on my intake end to make the most of the small intake slits on the top and bottom of the front of this case. They worked great! Plenty of cool air quietly trickling in. The problem was the exhaust fan could never get hot air OUT fast enough during high load uses. I chalked this up to the un-identifiable and annoyingly rattly stock fan as just not being up to task and replaced it with an air flow fan from the same series as the intake fans. Slightly better at best! Then I found the real problem: the exhaust grill pattern on the back of the case ends a bit shy of where it should extend to accommodate the perimeter of a 120mm fan. The vast majority of air a fan pushes comes out as a ring at the very edges, and putting my hand on the intake side of the fan revealed that this ring of air was being REFLECTED BACK INTO THE CASE! My solution for now is mounting the fan on the exterior of the case and temps have dropped greatly at the expense of looking pretty weird and sound not being as dampened. 

I just wanted to post this here for potential buyers to know about this issue as it will require some modding to make the air flow work as intended in this case. Alternatively you could buy a smaller fan but all the great quality and selection is firmly in the 120mm range. As you can see in the close-up photo, the perimeter of the fan is mostly blocked on all sides! Mounting the fan outside solves this issue since it can create a vacuum to suck the air out without the ring of exhaust being blocked. I hope CM addresses this issue before manufacturing more of these as I'll be taking a drill to my new case to correct this, most likely.



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Mike    0

Im surprised you got any meaningful airflow from the thin front intakes.

Do you mind posting some pics of the front part of your build to show the intakes?


I too bought a Masterbox Lite 3.1 and installed two 12cm intake fans.

I am using an air cooled cpu heatsink with a fan mounted on one side to blow air thru its fins towards the rear exhaust.

I put the system to test and soon found the small intake opening in the front plate *both top and bottom were way too restrictive.

You can feel it by placing your hand in the back of the case to feel air flowing out of rear exhuast fan.

To test it out, I ran a CPU intensive program to get the system/cpu fans at full speed.

With the front plate installed, I barely feel any air coming out from the rear exhaust, so I removed the front panel while the util is running to expose the two intake fans directly and immediately felt a big increase of air flow coming out of the rear exhaust.

The CPU temperature difference was like 5-8C.


Due to this shortcoming, Im running my pc with the front panel taken off. Hopefully I can find a better solution because my envrironment is dusty.

I would return it and get a new case with front mesh but I cant now as I already installed all the parts.


My theory is that the case is doing such a good job at insulting air from outside, the only way to get air into the case is thru the two front intake holes, so if it cant get enough air into the case then there wont be much air coming out the back. In that event, modding the exhaust fan wouldnt help much because intake is the problem. Either that or my 12cm intake fans are not spining fast enough to get air thru. Any ideas?

Edited by Mike
more info

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