10 months ago
I just want to put my story out there in hopes that someone can learn from my experience and avoid the same fate.
Back in May I decided my Mac Mini was no longer sufficient as a Plex server, and that it was time to build a new one. I had been reading about the awesomeness that is used LGA1366 Xeon cpus, and decided to take that route. I bought a used SuperMicro X8DTi-F board on eBay as well as 2 x5650 processors, a pair of cpu coolers, a 120gb SSD for the OS and 12 4gb sticks of ECC DDR3. I figured I’d throw my current HDDs in there for storage until I was ready to start adding more drives and finally go RAID5. It was going to be a sweet 12 core beast for pretty cheap.
Unless you’re super into server boards, you may not be aware that the X8DTi-F is an E-ATX Mobo. We’re talking full the 12x13” standard size, not the 12x10.7” size that Asus and Gigabyte use for some of their gaming boards. I knew I was going to need a big case, since I’d have to house not only the board, but a bunch of drives, too. After browsing Newegg for far too long at work, I found the CoolerMaster Master Box 5. It was advertised as supporting full size E-ATX boards, and had the option to add additional hard drive cages (up to 4 for a total of 8 mechanical drives). So, I ordered the case, and planned to buy the additional cases once I was ready to expand (read: Once the wife would let me by more drives).
That point came just after Christmas. I picked up a few 8tb easystores to shuck while they were on sale and quickly realized I had an issue. I didn’t notice until that point, but the motherboard hangs about an inch over where the HDD cages would mount. ****. I reached out to @Coolermaster on twitter in hopes they could point me in the right direction and I was just overlooking something obvious.
“Sorry, but that case is not meant to support eATX.” -@coolermaster
Do what now? I quickly checked the listing on NewEgg. Motherboard Compatibility: Micro ATX / ATX / Mini-ITX / E-ATX. Ok, maybe they were mistaken. I responded with a screenshot of their marketing materials showing it clearly printed as supporting up to E-ATX.
“Ok. I asked around. And from what I understand e-ATX is unofficially supported. However, if you want to fit e-ATX then you cannot also fit a 3rd HDD. There's no space. You may want to consider getting a 2nd SSD bracket and mount it on the back…” -@coolermaster
Yes, Coolermaster support suggested I shove an 3.5” HDD into an SSD bracket. *facepalm*
I questioned how it could be unofficial when it was printed all over the marketing material on every Master Box 5 listing on NewEgg and Microcenter, and discussed in several reviews. After several days without a reply, and a few friendly reminders that my issue was still outstanding, they finally responded that they were forwarding my issue to management, and that I should hear something soon. I got a response a couple days later stating that they weren’t responsible because I purchased the case through a 3rd party. This was an interesting response considering I had already provided them a copy of my order summary from Newegg showing that the case was shipped and sold directly by Newegg, which I reminded them of at this point.
At this point, NewEgg reached out to volunteer to help, but since they weren’t directly responsible the most they were willing to do was provide an out of warranty return without a restocking fee. While generous, this would still leave me paying more for something my current case should already do. I will say, the Newegg reps were wonderful to work with and really sympathetic to my situation. They reached out to Coolermaster on my behalf and confirmed that Coolermaster removed E-ATX support at some point after my purchase and never bothered to notify them. On 1/16/19, they went ahead and updated their product listing to prevent this issue from recurring. (screenshot) SIDE NOTE: Microcenter still shows the original marketing material with full E-ATX support (screenshot).
So, on my way home from work that evening, I decided to call Coolermaster support and see if I could explain myself and get a response in a reasonable timeframe. I talk to a rep named “Stephen” who seems super understanding. I give him the whole story and advised that he would talk to his manager and see what they could do. I ask for an ETA and am told that “everyone’s in a meeting right now, and all day tomorrow, and we’re only working a half day on Friday, and... (I zoned out at this point) …on Monday, so probably Tuesday I’ll have an update for you.” Sure, whatever, it may be a week away, but it will be an answer. An end to my story. A resolution.
Unofficially the case does support an E-ATX, but it would require losing some hard drive options in order to do this. Much like the ability to add on more HDD cages to the case. Since customers would want all options available to them, we removed all content stating the support on our product page a long time ago to avoid any confusion that this might have made regarding the E-ATX support. We do apologize for any inconvenience that this may have for you. Thank you.”
That was sent Friday (SWEET! 4 DAYS EARLY!) at 12:30pm, probably on his way out of the office for his half day. FUN! I quickly responded by reminding him that it was still plastered all over Newegg’s product pages until I brought it to their attention 2 days prior, and reminded them that it’s still on Microcenter’s product page.
I’ve still yet to receive a response to my email. I tried to reach out to support by phone on Monday, but the number rings into full voicemail box for “Michael Cohen” and immediately disconnects. I finally gave up and contacted sales, where a rep answered immediately and greeted me with “Coolermaster Support.” I explained my situation and was advised that he didn’t have the ability to do anything to help, I asked to speak with someone above him who may be able to help and was transferred to another person who never provided his name. He explained that when Coolermaster was designing my case, they never actually thought anyone would try to install a 12x13” eATX case, even though they advertised that they supported it. He then tried to tell me that Newegg hasn’t carried the case in years, so I must have bought it from a third party. I tried to explain that I had sent screenshots of my order summary showing that it was sold direct by Newegg, but was interrupted and told it had to be a marketplace sale. I asked him to talk to the previous rep and look at the screenshots I had sent, but was ignored. I tried to again state my case, but the employee slammed the phone down, hanging up the line.
So, at this point, I’ve given up on trying to get Coolermaster to stand behind their products and marketing materials and do anything to resolve my issue and will probably end up returning the case to Newegg and buying a Phanteks Enthoo Lux. I just wanted to share this story in hopes of saving even just one person from buying from Coolermaster and getting screwed over by them and their terrible customer support. BTW, props to you for reading this whole thing.
TL;DR: Bought a Coolermaster case based on advertised features. Case doesn’t actually support advertised features. Coolermaster doesn’t care, lied to me, then ghosted me. Don’t buy **** from Coolermaster.