Cooler Master N400 Review (Page 4 of 4)

Page 4 – Installation and Conclusion

Following APH Networks standards, the first component to install is the power supply. I had no issues with this, as the bottom of the case is without other obstacles preinstalled into the case. I also have no worries in putting a larger power supply like the Cooler Master V1000 1000W, and thinking whether or not it would actually fit. The next step is placing the motherboard in. The motherboard I placed in the case is an ATX sized motherboard; namely the Intel Desktop Board DZ77GA-70K. Both the mATX and the ATX holes have labels corresponding to where the risers and screws are to be placed. At first, it was actually quite difficult to put in the risers, as they require a bit more twist than I can give using my fingers, and the riser itself has no place to wedge a screwdriver in. However, Cooler Master provides the user with a small tool that fit over the riser, and has a Phillips-head slot to put the screwdriver in on the other side. This makes installing the risers much faster and soon the motherboard was screwed in place.

Before I actually mounted the motherboard, I pre-routed the power cables to ensure for a better cabling job. Because of the chassis' small size, cable management was accomplished by throwing majority of the cables behind the internal hard drive rack, while keeping them together with the included zip ties. It was not until the installation did I just realize that all the edges inside the chassis are actually rounded off. This ensures that cables will not weaken after wear from rubbing against the sides. I should also mention that I avoided any aftermarket cooling, as the case is a bit too small for anything other than stock fans. For reference's sake, the maximum height of the CPU cooler is 164mm.

The next task is to place the hard drives in. The HDD itself is easy to slot in, especially with the tool-free bracket. After a quick mount and turn of the switch on the bracket, it was put in place. SSDs also extremely easy to put in, as the 2.5” quick mount proves to be quite useful. For demonstration purposes, I have used the OCZ Vertex 3.20 240GB. The mount is secured by a single plastic tab that keeps the SSD/laptop drive from sliding about. I would say that the tab feels secure, but over time, the tab may weaken, and may even snap off.

Finally the last thing: The graphics card. The expansion slot covers are easy to snap off, and the graphics card slots in without a hitch. The chassis, while small in size, offers quite a bit of room as it is evident that more expansion cards can be fitted with ease. Again, like the CPU cooler size, it should be noted that the length of the GPU should not exceed 320mm in length, unless you would want to do some remodeling of the chassis. All in all, wiring and mounting was a straightforward process without many problems.

After connecting all the power cables and plugging everything in, I pressed the small circular power button, and the system came alive. The power button lit up and the fans started to whir around. The fans are not adjustable and stay at a constant rotational speed. According to the standard APH Networks sound scale, where 0 is silent and 10 is the loudest, the Cooler Master N400 would come in around 3.5/10 in my personal opinion. This is with the two stock fans going. I must say, sometimes my laptop makes louder sounds than what I heard from the tower. These numbers are a bit better than some other budget cases, which is another deserving feather in Cooler Master’s cap. If you are interested in quieter fans, the stock 120mm can be easily swapped out with third party ones, but be warned -- you might spend more money on them than your entire case.


In the end, the Cooler Master N400 hits all the right notes, even with a compact size. Like I have said before, my first impression of this case would have been much like any other budget-oriented product. I would view it as boring and without inspiration or refinement. But after going through all the gritty details and taking time with the chassis, I see there is more than I would imagine. The exterior of the case has definitely impressed me. The subtle, different mesh design and gloss rim of the front panel are positive aesthetic points for me. Internally, Cooler Master should also be proud of their refinements to what would be a standard layout. Rather than doing a straight copy and paste, Cooler Master fixed up on small details, including things like rounded edges, 2.5” SSD mounts, and rubber placements for the power supply. While these may be standard with more expensive or enthusiast cases, it is pleasantly surprising to see these features find a home in something as humble as the N400. With more small refinements, Cooler Master can make this experience even better. On the outside, Cooler Master should utilize rubberized feet and filter all the vents. Internally, Cooler Master should add more mount brackets, as well as widen up the backside to allow for more room in hiding cables. For everything that the N400 has, it far surpasses many other cases in its class, making this chassis a solid buy to satisfy the essentials.

Cooler Master provided this product to APH Networks for the purpose of evaluation.

APH Review Focus Summary:
8/10 means Definitely a very good product with drawbacks that aren't likely going to matter to the end user.
7/10 means Great product with many advantages and certain insignificant drawbacks; but should be considered before purchasing.
-- Final APH Numeric Rating is 7.2/10
Please note that the APH Numeric Rating system is based off our proprietary guidelines in the Review Focus, and should not be compared to other sites.

It is quite easy to see that the N400 is fully capable of any basic computing needs and is worth every penny of the current retail price of $59.99; possibly even more.

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Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Installation and Conclusion