I don’t know about our readers, but personally I was very sorry that the Cooler Master HAF case series was discontinued. And for a long time, nothing similar to HAF appeared in the company’s assortment, even remotely. A ray of hope dawned when the MasterCase H500P shone on the horizon, shimmering with rays of the RGB spectrum, but even there everything was not very clear with ventilation due to the acrylic front panel. Many other reviewers have noted the same point, and CM listened to the consensus, first releasing models with a classic front mesh, and then completely redesigned in terms of chassis design. And six months later, the MasterCase H500 went on sale, which, a little looking ahead, can no doubt be considered the revival of the HAF line, albeit under a different name. Probably, no one has any doubts that it is this chassis that is the main subject of this review.
|Model||Сooler Мaster MasterCase H500|
|Type of shell||Midi-Tower|
|Dimensions, mm||502 (H) x 228 (W) x 525 (D)|
|Material||Steel, glass, plastic, acrylic|
|Form Factor||ATX, MicroATX, Mini-ITX|
|Devices 3.5″ external||–|
|Devices 3.5″ / 2.5″ internal||2 / 2 (2.5″ drives can be installed instead of 3.5″)|
|Supported number of expansion slots||7|
|Fans||front — 3 x 120mm or 2 x 200/140mm (2 x 200mm installed)
upper — 2 x 120 / 140 mm or 1 x 200 mm (optional)
rear — 1 x 120 mm (installed)
|Interface connectors||2 x USB 2.0, 2 x USB 3.0, mic in and headphone out|
|Other||4mm tempered glass side panel, RGB lighting with 2 front 200mm fans, RGB lighting controller included, Dust filters front and bottom, magnetic dust filter on top, replaceable acrylic front panel|
|Recommended cost, $||100|
Packing and scope of delivery
The chassis comes in a simple cardboard box with monochrome printing on the sides. It has all the necessary information and images of the product. Internal protection against damage is the usual — foam dampers and a plastic bag. Carrying handles are included.
The set of spare parts includes:
- PC assembly instructions;
- a sheet with information about the guarantee;
- flannel cloth for wiping the side glass;
- RGB backlight control panel;
- metal adapter for a Phillips screwdriver for mounting motherboard racks;
- an adapter from Molex to a three-pin connector for connecting a fan;
- ten disposable plastic cable ties;
- replaceable acrylic overlay of the front panel (it can be put instead of a metal mesh);
- 10 motherboard racks;
- eight screws for fans;
- eight screw studs for mounting SSD;
- 16 screws for motherboard, power supply or expansion cards;
- eight screws for fixing 3.5″ hard drives;
- eight screws for fixing 2.5″ drives.
The design of the Cooler Master MasterCase H500 is rather strict and discreet in appearance. The coloring is dominated by black, and the most prominent externally front panel is made of plastic, painted in gunmetal gray. Most of the front is occupied by a black metal ventilation grill with small honeycombs, behind which two huge fans are visible. The company logo is pasted exactly opposite the central part of the lower propeller rotor.
External connectors are located at the top of the inclined panel. There are two USB 3.0 ports and two more USB 2.0 ports, located in one line and separated by a sufficient distance from each other. In the center is a hexagonal system start button, with a white power indicator built into the perimeter. To the left of it are two 3.5 mm audio jacks for a microphone and headphones. And on the right, there is a miniature PC restart button, under which there is the same small white drive activity indicator.
The left side panel is completely made of tempered glass. It is held by a glued metal guide on the bottom and two flat screws on top. There are additional ventilation openings on the sides of the front panel, covered with a black fine mesh, diluted with a decorative plastic «snake» that divides the grille into trapezoidal segments.
The glass fixing screws are not high and it is not very convenient to unscrew them with your fingers. It is advisable to have a flat screwdriver or at least a large coin on hand.
The thickness of the glass is standard 4 mm. A wide black stripe runs along its perimeter. The window itself is slightly tinted. There are rubber pads under the screws on both sides of the panel, so you don’t have to worry about scratches.
The right side panel is flat, solid, and metal, held on by two thumb screws, and has a stamped handle on the back. There is also a ventilation grill in the front panel on this side.
Powerful stiffening ribs are built in on the right side door inside. The panel is removed by sliding back and to the side.
Most of the top bezel is metal, but there is a plastic «growth» on the front that houses the external ports.
The ventilation grill at the back is covered with a metal magnetic dust filter. Judging by the configuration of the mounting holes, one 200mm fan or two 120mm or 140mm fans can be installed here. Moreover, the landing of the last two is shifted towards the left panel, away from the motherboard. This is necessary so that the CBO heatsinks do not touch the RAM or other components on the board during installation.
The plastic trim on the front is more than just a design element. At the back, a metal-reinforced handle is built into it, by which the case can be safely lifted even with the system assembled inside. Very comfortably.
The back panel is designed quite standard. One seat for a 120mm exhaust fan, seven horizontal PCI expansion slots covered with reusable ventilated blanks. On the right there is a blank for a vertical slot, there is already a disposable plug.
Mounting holes for the power supply located at the bottom allow you to orient it both with the fan up and down. The PSU is protected from dust by a high-quality removable dust filter.
There is nothing interesting at the bottom of the case. A few holes where, in theory, a hard drive could be mounted are just atavisms from other chassis models built on this platform.
The legs of the case are made in the form of inverted arches, 30 mm high. Small rubber stickers are on them only in the corners, and not along the entire length.
Let’s look at how the interior of this building is arranged.