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           Cooler Master Wave Master TAC-T01-E1C

Product :


Manufacturer :

  Cooler Master

Reviewed by :

 Wayne Brooker

Price :

 £91.49 + VAT

Date :

  16th February, 2004


   Page No:   2
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External Features:::...

The Box:

I know it's a trivial feature for some of you but for me nothing says "my creators really cared about my appearance" more than well presented packaging, and that's what the WaveMaster comes wrapped in.

Not that you'll be stood admiring the box for too long before the urge to rip it open and get to the contents overwhelms you. And there, nestled snugly between two slabs of Polystyrene lies the Wave Master, in my particular case the all aluminium TAC-TO1- E1C, though it also comes in a superbly finished black too.

Now I'm guessing here but I'd imagine the kind of minimalist design of the Wave Master isn't going to appeal to those who like their cases, well, Xaser-ish.

The exterior finish is actually brush finished, anodised and chemically polished, so there!

Swinging the magnetically secured door open reveals four 5.25" external bays and just a single 3.5" bay. The inclusion of just a single 3.5" bay wouldn't have been an issue until fairly recently when the sudden swarm of multi-format memory card readers made it to the market, most of which seem to be designed specifically for a 3.5 bay. Still, I think most users would be quite happy to demote their floppy drive to the drawer at a push.

The door can't be reversed to open the opposite way which is a bit of a shame.

Each of the bay blanks are secured internally using two screws, a real pain when you need to remove one but far better than them being spring mounted and vibrating every time you power up.


With a gentle push the flap covering the top mounted connectors springs open revealing the two USB ports, Fire Wire port and a mic and headphone jack.


From the back things look equally well planned. The power supply fits from the outside and you can then fir the required finishing plate depending on whether it a conventional or a redundant unit. Both plates come with the case.

Moving down a bit there sits a single 80mm cooling fan. To all the companies who go to all the trouble of stamping out grills or drilling vent holes please take note, this is how it's done! Cut a big hole and let the air pass through it virtually unhindered. Easy really!

There are ten thumb screws on the rear of the case, six used to retain each of the two side panels and four to secure the removable motherboard tray but we'll get to that in a minute.



The side panels were the first real disappointment of this case. Not because they're thin, I can cope with that, but more because they stick and just don't feel particularly precise or smooth. They have a tendancy to resonate quite a lot too, particularly if the hooked locating tabs that secure them bend open too far, something they have an unfortunate habit of doing unless you're particularly careful when taking them off.

Of course the side panels are strictly a functional thing and not something you'll need to be taking off every day, for most people anyway. It just seems a shame that they felt so unrefined considering the image the case portrays.

Still, they did come off and that's where we're headed next.....inside!



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