Cooler Master MasterCase MC500M Review (Page 2 of 4)

Page 2 - Physical Look - Outside

Since our review of the MasterCase 5 from over two years back, Cooler Master has stuck to the design language, and today's MasterCase MC500M is not too far off. Even so, the case is pretty stylish. It also mixes a lot of form and function together when you realize the different design choices. This includes the opening at the top to allow air into the front panel and the cover at the top panel to allow for top mounted cooling components. Case handles are integrated well in the case to give users a grip onto the MC500M when in transit. While it may not necessarily be a huge design language shift from previous Cooler Master cases, I really like what they have done with the MC500M, and it pretty much says Cooler Master in a nutshell.

The front panel features a plastic covering with an exposed top to allow air to pass through the front panel. It is removable as you will see soon enough. The right panel is a standard steel side held on with captive thumbscrews. Otherwise, the Cooler Master MasterCase MC500M is classified as a mid-tower ATX case, though its physical dimensions are a bit bigger than what we have seen recently. At a height of 548mm, a depth of 528.6mm, and a width of 235mm, this case is larger than my previous case, the SilverStone Primera PM02. With this extra height, width, and depth, you will see there are very few issues when it comes to compatibility of components in the MC500M. This case is also not exactly the lightest of cases, as it weighs just over 13kg. Carrying this unit is made easier with the integrated handles, but it still is a hefty unit nonetheless. Build quality is top notch with a good blend of steel, tempered glass, and plastic elements. The case overall feels sturdy and well built.

Popping off the front requires a few steps. For one, you need to first swing the front panel down and unhook it from the front. This plastic piece is held to the front with magnets and is lined with soundproofing material to dampen as much noise as possible from escaping your machine. This is a pretty nice touch, as this is not the most common feature in today's cases. Behind this area is a mesh grid to filter dust from entering at the front while allowing air through. The top slots here support two 5.25" drives in this case. Even though optical drives are going the way of the Dodo bird, it is nice to see Cooler Master allow for users to still install them in their system. As Cooler Master would say, this is one way they are allowing users to make it their own. Behind the front grid are two Cooler Master fans, measuring 140mm in diameter. It is a bit disappointing these fans are not their MasterFan Pro series of fans, but rather they are some unknown Cooler Master ones. Otherwise, with the optical drive support removed, you can install up to three 120mm or 140mm fans or up to a 360mm radiator at the front. This is pretty much the maximum capacity for larger mid-tower cases, so it is impressive to say the least.

The front inputs and outputs are shown on a slant between the front and top panel. From here, you can see a whole whack of different things, but I will go through each of them. Starting with the buttons, we have four of them in total. On the top row, the left most one is a button for toggling between low and high fan speeds. As the Cooler Master MasterCase MC500M comes with a fan controller inside, this allows users to manually change the speed of the fans. On the right side, we have a button to adjust the RGB lighting of the power supply shroud, but we will explore this feature later on. On the bottom row, we have a small square reset button, followed by a rectangular power button. Underneath this power switch is a thin white LED for power and hard drive activity indication. As for the I/O, we have a single USB Type-C running at USB 3.1 speeds, followed by three full-sized USB 3.0 ports. Finally, we have the two 3.5mm jacks for headphone and audio. I should also note, there are backlights behind all of the top row buttons and inputs to indicate their current status, as we will see later on.

From the back, we have the standard layout for the most part. Starting at the bottom of the Cooler Master MasterCase MC500M, we have an opening for an ATX power supply. This is a removable bracket which attaches to the case via four captive thumbscrews. Moving up, we have seven expansion card slots, which is pretty standard for this case form factor. Above this is an opening for the motherboard, and a rear exhaust area. Cooler Master has included one more 140mm fan here, but you can also mount the smaller 120mm too. At the very top of the case, you can see a removable plate, which allows users to either expose this area for top mounted cooling or hide it to prevent dust from entering into the case. Interestingly, there is no vertical GPU mount, though I am not necessarily the biggest fan of this feature. Finally, the last side you can see here is the tempered glass panel. Yet again, we have a different way of mounting the side glass, but we will explore this on the next page. The glass is framed by a black edge to hide the corners and sides of the glass from handling marks. It is also slightly tinted grey.

At the bottom, the Cooler Master MasterCase MC500M is raised up by two metal brackets, with one on each end. The metal bars have long rubber pads on each side to prevent any vibration between the case and the floor. An opening beneath the power supply chamber is visible here, with a removable PSU filter mounted in front. This prevents dust from entering your power supply and clogging things up. The plastic filter can be easily removed from the back of the case, allowing you to clean it out easily.

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