Description Cooler master a7015-45rb-3an-c1
Conditions: The original authentic fan, not OEM
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Cooler master a7015-45rb-3an-c1 Review: Both the Best & Worst in Cooling
The Cooler master a7015-45rb-3an-c1 was one of the most promising cases we saw at Computex 2018, using CM’s now-familiar 200mm fans in a bottom-to-top airflow configuration. Although the “chimney effect” and “stack effect” are genuine insofar as their physical existence, the usefulness of natural convection processes fades when confronted with high CFM, directional fans.
Hot air does rise, of course, but air blasted through a fan goes wherever you want it. In this regard, we are not firm believers in the “chimney effect” as a marketing characteristic for computer cases — not unless those are passively cooled, anyway — even still, the last case we tested with a similar configuration was the RV02, which remains one of the best cases we’ve tested thermally.
These improvements are for other reasons, not because the heat is rising. It’s because the air path is superior, and placing several large fans at the bottom of a case (given sufficient distance from the table) can cool parts faster. The path to the GPU is shorter, and so cooler air is hitting the video card fans faster.
Cooler Master’s SL600M ends up at around $200, and enters a market with more competitors at its price class than is typical: The NZXT H700i, Cooler Master’s own H500M (or H500P Mesh), and the Phanteks Evolv X are all relatively recent contenders in this arena.
Today, we’re reviewing the Cooler Master SL600M for thermals, acoustics, build quality, and value.
Cooler master a7015-45rb-3an-c1 Build
The interior of the Cooler master a7015-45rb-3an-c1 is as bare as possible to allow air to travel upwards.
Both the bottom and top of the case have removable fan mounts, although the bottom mount is larger and a bit more difficult to remove. The manual depicts installing a radiator and intake fans on top of this mount and just leaving the two 200mm bottom intake fans in place, which is possible, but we’d consider moving the large fans to the top of the case in such a configuration to better allow for high pressure on the radiator.
The case legs are extra long to allow clearance for bottom intake, and the bottom of the chassis is lifted 5.5cm off of the table surface. There’s support for 360mm radiators at the top or bottom, but installing a full-length radiator means that the PSU cover can’t be extended to its full length, which in turn means more restricted cable management.
The front panel USB ports illuminate with white LEDs when a proximity sensor is tripped. It’s definitely overkill, but it could still be helpful for finding the ports in a dark room. We were able to activate the sensor from nearly 30 inches away, so there’s a good chance the LEDs will just stay on during normal use.
The normal SSD mounts behind the motherboard work fine, but the combination 3.5”/2.5” mounts could clutter the interior depending on where they’re installed. Sticking them on the inside of the front or back panels are good options, but putting them on the bottom of the case and obstructing the intake fans is not.
The metal plate on the top of the case is pressed into place with metal pins inserted into rubber washers. The plate can be lifted out and then rested on the posts so that there’s some extra room for airflow while preserving the overall look of the case, or taken off completely. It’s nice to see Cooler Master offering an option (again) for better cooling, even if strictly looks-focused users may not take advantage of it.
The front of the case is dedicated to housing the PSU and is unventilated. The back of the case is also sealed as tightly as possible, and both decisions are intentional: CM wants air to enter the bottom of the case and exit the top with as few complications as possible.
The aluminum front plate is secured to the underlying frame with screws, but unfortunately a couple of these screws didn’t make contact in our sample and the plate was loose. There was also a small piece of plastic broken off from the inside of the panel, so it’s possible this was shipping damage.
The floor is lava in the Cooler master a7015-45rb-3an-c1: there’s no PSU shroud at the bottom, which would be the usual spot to hide extra cables, and there are 400mm of spinning fan blades instead. The PSU is housed in a two-part cover at the front of the case which can be adjusted to take up more or less space.
We have a lot of loose cables in our case review system, so we set it to the maximum possible size and still found it a little cramped. Cooler Master did a good job of providing plenty of tie points along the front and bottom edges of the case, but this case still requires more care than usual in strapping down every loose end to get the side panel on.
One very minor point related to the PSU placement is that there is no easily accessible power switch on the case. The SL600M uses an internal extension cable to reach the PSU like the Dark Base Pro 900 did, but the DBP added a secondary power switch to the rear of the case since the real PSU switch was inaccessible.
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