Whilst testing the performance of the new Intel Haswell processors the inadequacies of the current CCL test bench became apparent very quickly. Previously what were just two strips of foam meant that in order to change processors or boards we had to dissect a way through a thicket of cables to disconnect the item wanted, bridging pins on motherboards to get them going and the occasional plugging in of the only power supply that was not connected to the mains.
This had to change and this is where the item we are looking at today comes in, taking the form of the Coolermaster Test Bench V1.0; it looked to make all of our problems disappear, offering easy access to fit and change hard drives, graphics cards, memory and really anything else you might want to, it also looks quite nice.
Now let’s take a more detailed look:
Coolermaster Work Bench V1.0
Coolermaster Test Bench V1.0
Often times the most useful items are the simplest, just looking at the design you can tell Coolermaster thought the same with the design of this test bench. Being made out of steel the general construction of the unit means that it feels very durable which is what you want if you are going to be swapping and changing components frequently.
There is not really a limit on the configurations that can be fitted, as the standoffs support everything from the smallest Nano-ITX boards to ATX sized boards, with the ability to fit one or two optical drives as well as a solid state drive or standard mechanical drive. The inclusion of a reset and power switches into a little panel are again simple yet effective, removing the sometimes awkwardness of trying to use something metallic to short the pins to breathe life into the motherboard - that is if you are unlucky enough to have a board with a built in power switch.
CCL's Coolermaster Work Bench - In Practice
One issue I ran into whilst putting together this unit was the combination of power supply and hard drives meant that I had to fit the hard drives outside of the case, as the orientation of the SATA power cables meant they would not fit easily, depending if you choose a non-modular unit means that you may have a messy rear end…
- Easy to build into
- Easy to remove things from
- Sturdy and durable frame
I am looking forward to using this chassis, due to it being extremely useful. Whilst there are features I would have liked to have seen, such as a bracket to hold graphics cards more securely and the addition of a cage for hard drives, these are minor gripes and don’t impede the way I will be using the bench
With the price of the item at £45.77 at the time of this review it could be seen as expensive, however if you are testing lots of boards, overclocking to extremes where quick board replacement would be useful or just looking to have a funky open air case you cannot look further than the Coolermaster Test Bench.