Cooler Master’s H500P chassis resurges their HAF line-up, and has been arguably more anticipated than the likes of VEGA or CoffeeLake. At a reasonable $150 RRP the case is also pretty affordable, especialyl given it’s additions of tempered glass, 200mm RGB fans and EATX motherbaord support.
It’s finally here …
This case is certainly striking, and the first thing that stands out is the huge RGB intake fans, 200mm in size each, they look insane.
It’s not just the fans that look incredible, the case dominates your attention with a striking and industrial looking aesthetic, to, rugged scaffold-like, airflow accent strips down the side as well as the spanning, tempered glass down the left side of the chassis. So much about this case just seems different, and more exciting than previous cases from Cooler Master.
Cooler Masters own RGB fans are really nice with the whole fan lighting up, as a pose to a fan’s outer ring. One of the great advantages of the HP500’s RGB support is Cooler Master’s’ native support for both MSI mystic light and ASUS Aura Sync through a standard, non-proprietary connector. Due to the use of a standard 4pin RGB header, any other motherboards boasting the 4pin RGB header should also be compatible, which is a real positive, especially given no in build RGB controller is provided.
Not only will ASUS aura sync, for example, let you control the RGB fans on the case, but also ASUS peripherals, graphics cards, motherboards and even other compatible RGB hardware like the recently featured video for ADATA’s RGB RAM. You can sync all of these bits of hardware for a more cohesive colour scheme, in one simple UI, or run system spanning effects. You can use this ASUS or MSI software to sync all of this hardware for a more cohesive colour scheme, in one simple UI, or run system spanning effects.
What Fits… And What Doesn’t!
The Cooler Master H500P chassis supports upto E-ATX motherboards, power supplies upto 41.2cm in length, GPU’s also upto 41.2cm in length and air coolers upto 19cm in height from the CPU plate to the top, so anything big will probably fit.
This H500P, resurges Cooler Master’s infamous HAF, High Air Flow line of cases, with a great deal of fan mounting options, all over the place, for maximum possible airflow. By populating all of these spaces you can run all your fans super slowly for a whisper quiet case.
Value for Money?
Upfront the two 200mm RGB fans come included with the H500P, which is pretty astounding when given this case’s competitive retail price. You can then also mount up to a 280mm or 360mm radiator here, whilst keeping the front two 200mm fans installed which is really cool and even mount some more fans here, behind the 200mm fans.
In the rear comes an included non-RGB 140mm fan, with support for 140mm radiators in the back, on a cool rail system, as well as mounting support for 200mm RGB fans at the top of the case. I tried an existing Phanteks 200mm fan I had and the mounting holes don’t quite line up, so it may be worth sticking with these Cooler Master ones, for both compatibility and aesthetics. Radiator support up top is also good with a further 280m or 360mm unit and upto 55mm of clearance supported, with the array or mounting options making this case not only superb for airflow, but also for watercooling, once again a tinted plastic here makes RGB fans the perfect option.
For watercoolers, whilst this isn’t the biggest water cooling case, you can mount a pump and reservoir separately in the bottom and if you’d like with no real issues, but a potential sacrifice for hard drive mounting.
Other things of note….
Other great features on this case include it’s tall feet, for good airflow from the bottom vents, even on some carpeted surfaces, a strong IO with 2 USB 2 and 2 USB 3 ports and HD Audio, but sadly no Generation 2 USB 3.1 Type C port. I imagine this is because:
a) The USB 3.1 standard isn’t that widespread and adopted yet,
b) Because this case has been in the works and on display at events for some time now, prior to its release,
c) The case’s more affordable price tag (especially when compared to other cases, which feature USB C
Dual Slot Vertical GPU Option
Another feature which is possibly my favourite is the dual slot verticle GPU option. There is, however, one big caveat. Its looks great, works fine for airflow and has decent clearance for 2.5 slot cards, although cooler master sells the necessary riser and bracket SEPARATELY. What this basically means is a lot of people probably won’t end up taking advantage of this great feature. I can see the business logic behind it. The case already comes in at a great price, and the mark up on, essentially, some steel is gonna be pretty large, but a little irritating none the less.
Like Cooler Master’s other recent releases this case does support some modularity, practically the entire case innards can be removed with just a Phillip head screwdriver. The power supply cover, for example, can split into two separate sections allowing you to retain some PSU covering, in place of some front mounted radiator support. You can also use Cooler Master’s brand new rear and front cable shrouding as much or as little as you like. These will allow you to cover the rear CPU backplate or messy cables on the left hand side of the case and hide cables nicely. This seems a tad pointless if you’re gonna put the opaque rear side panel on anyways, but could look pretty great if you left the rear panel off, or mounted a glass panel back here.
You can also use Cooler Master’s brand new rear and front cable shrouding as much or as little as you like. These will allow you to cover the rear CPU backplate or messy cables on the left-hand side of the case and hide cables nicely. This seems a tad pointless if you’re going put the opaque rear side panel on anyways, but could look pretty great if you left the rear panel off, or mounted a glass panel back here.
This modularity somewhat continues through the case, you get the cooler master modular rail down the right-hand side, but it appears you can’t use some existing accessories, such as extra hard drive bays, as these require a secondary mounting bracket at the back. You do get enough drive mounting options
You do get enough drive mounting options out of the box though, for this to not be so much of an issue, with 2 3.5” bays at the bottom and 2 SSD bays on top of the PSU shroud. It’s worth noting with the vertical GPU installation these will be rendered useless, and you’ll have to move your SSDs, with these being a flash storage medium tho, some sticky tape by the PSU should work fine tbh. You can also mount one of these SSD bays on top if the hard drive cage, under the PSU shield with no clearance issues too, although only 2 brackets do come included. In terms of 5.25” optical drive mounting the option is once again, surprisingly there, but its a case of another bracket, which you’ll have to buy from cooler master, which is fine by me, because it isn’t 2012 anymore. If you do go down this route you are able to tilt out the front clear panel, to access these drives, and this feature can also be used for further airflow to those front huge fans as if air wasn’t of enough abundance!
One slight niggle in terms of modularity here, is the slight lack of thumb screws, at the top, for example, you can remove the fan bracket for easy installation outside the case, but you have to use a screwdriver, captive thumb screws would be nice.
Niggles aside there are simply too many positives. From a superb, striking, aesthetic that will please gamers and enthusiasts equally. Could this be the next NZXT H440 and gain somewhat cult status, appearing in an endless number of builds? This is surely Cooler Master’s best case yet.