Review Index:

Wave Master TAC-T01 Aluminum Mid-tower Case

Author: Lee Garbutt
Manufacturer: Cooler Master

Taking a Look Around

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The curved front bezel is one of the Wave Master’s most striking features and obviously where the name comes from. The front bezel is made from clear anodized, extruded aluminum pieces, that split the front into two sections. The upper section is a hinged door that when closed hides the five exposed drive bays. The fit, finish and feel of the front bezel components are excellent.

The lower section of the front bezel utilizes modern styling to conceal several innovative features. The left side contains the Power On and Reset swtiches along with the HDD activity light. On the right is a sculptured aluminum piece that conceals the Power-On lights and case air intake holes. The Power-On lights are not directly viewable but instead illuminate some of the lower bezel’s reflective surfaces with a blue glow.

Four exposed 5.25” drive bays and one exposed 3.5” drive bay are provided to accommodate your optical drive and accessory mounting needs. All five bays come with aluminum drive covers. Behind the lower section of the front panel is a HDD cage that will accept up to four 3.5” drives. There are two 80 mm fans mounted on the front of the HDD cage to blow air over the drives and keep them nice and cool.

Both removable side pannels are smooth brushed aluminum with no indentations or holes. Three thumbscrews hold the panels in place and preformed handles on the back edge allow easily gripping the panels to slide them back and lift off.

Moving around to the rear of the case we see a pretty standard layout, typical of most mid-tower cases. There are seven available PCI expansion slots, each fitted with an aluminum cover and thumbscrew. The Wave Master ships with a cardboard box of accessory pieces fitted snuggly into the power supply bay.

Inside the box are two different styles of power supply mounting brackets, a bag of fasteners, an optional top fan housing, and a printed User’s Manual.

The rear 80 mm Cooler Master fan comes mounted with a nice wire fan guard – no need to cut out restrictive stamped grills back here!

On top of the case is a concealed I/O expansion panel. A light push causes the door to pop up and exposes two USB ports, a Firewire port and Mic IN and Headphones Out ports. This may be a great feature for those who locate their PC on the floor beside a desk.

I have to admit - the first thing that went through my mind as I opened the Wave Master box and lifted the new case out was, “no, that little panel won’t work for me – I wonder if I can cut a top fan hole in there instead”. To my great surprise, Cooler Master had already thought of the idea and included a fan mounting bracket that can be installed into the top opening instead of the I/O panel. Now I’m really impressed!

If for some reason you don’t like the front bezel door, it can be easily removed by temporarily taking off the aluminum trim strip (4 screws) that goes across the top of the bezel.

One word of caution regarding the front door – the hinges can be damaged if the door is forced open beyond its normal range of travel. I don’t recommend swinging on the door.

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