Thermaltake Ceres 500 TG ARGB Snow Review (Page 3 of 4)

Page 3 - Physical Look - Inside

Taking off the panels of the Thermaltake Ceres 500 TG ARGB Snow is a straightforward process. The tempered glass side panel is removed by turning the black knob at the front to unlock the swinging door. I did find the knob to be a bit too tight. Thankfully, you can loosen it from the other side by loosening its screw. The glass is clear with no tint and has white borders on the two edges to give users a place to hold it. I would have liked to see this border extend all around the window. There are some rubber pads on the side to prevent it from banging against the steel frame. The clear panel swings on a hinge and it can also be removed altogether for easier access inside. Overall, this is functional, but there are a couple of things that I would want improved. For one, there is a notable gap above and below the window and the rest of the case. This should have been better fitted or sealed off. Secondly, there is nothing stopping the glass panel from swinging all the way around and hitting the back of the case, which happened to me once. It did not damage the panel visually, but it definitely gave me a scare.

The other side, top, and power supply area can also be removed by loosening the captive thumbscrews at the back and sliding it off. Once you do that, you can see all of the mesh filters that are available here. These attach to the sides via magnets and tabs. However, these are quite flimsy and the magnets are very weak. As such, the plastic frame curves away from the metal panel and does not easily stay in place. This really took away from the overall impression of these otherwise functionally-capable mesh filters.

The front panel can also pop off as it is held on with a total of four metal ball-and-socket joints. Pulling from the top, this will come off with a tug and release itself from tabs at the bottom. Behind it is yet another filter panel that also can easily fall off. Next, we have three CT140 ARGB Sync fans, measuring 140mm in size. They feature full addressable RGB LED lighting with nine LEDs inside the impeller and rubber in the mounting holes to reduce vibration. They are 4-pin PWM controlled and have both male and female connectors so you can daisy chain them. This is same for their standard 3-pin ARGB connector, which can then be plugged into a controller or directly into your motherboard. As for specifications, they have hydraulic bearings internally with a maximum speed of 1500RPM, maximum air pressure of 2.3mm H2O, and maximum airflow of 77.37CFM. It also has a rated noise of 30.5dBA and an estimated life of 40,000 hours. This translates into over four and a half years of continuous operation.

Once inside, you can see a typical open-concept design, with one primary division inside the Ceres 500 TG ARGB Snow for the power supply. Everything inside is white with the exception of some screws, rubber grommets, and expansion slot covers. The white paint on the steel is good and does not scratch easily. The Thermaltake Ceres 500 TG ARGB Snow can handle up to E-ATX motherboards, although the motherboards may hang over the routing holes. Here you can see the large cutout located behind the motherboard, where users can access the backside of the motherboard. This is particularly useful when installing third-party coolers, as you can change the mounting mechanism while keeping the motherboard mounted. Some motherboards also have M.2 drives on the back, so users can swap out their SSDs here easily. There is also one more large routing hole above the motherboard to lead other power cables to the top. At the top of the case, you can see more mounting rails for cooling options. Thermaltake has included enough space so users can mount up to three 120mm or 140mm fans, or radiators of up to 360mm or 280mm in size. At the back, we have one more CT140 ARGB fan, although you could place a single 140mm or 120mm radiator here too. Interestingly enough, this one CT140 fan has a notably shorter cable for both its connections, which could be limiting for some users.

Moving down the back and to the bottom, we can see the expansion slot covers. A total of seven slots are here, which is standard for a mid-tower case. One thing that is interesting is that you can actually rotate all of the slots to support vertical GPU mounting. As you can see, Thermaltake has included a white vertical mount where you can install a PCIe riser cable. It attaches to the rest of the case via a thumbscrew, so you can remove it altogether if you do not need it. At the very bottom of the case, you can see the aforementioned metal division, which has many holes to allow for air to pass through the different sections of the Ceres 500.

At the front of the Thermaltake Ceres 500 TG ARGB Snow, you can see a sled to install two 2.5" drives. Conversely, there is space to install a single 3.5" drive here, but I do not think Thermaltake designed it this way, as there is no direct cable routing area for the larger form factor. It is not particularly obvious where you would then route the necessary SATA power and data cables to, but you probably use the grommeted holes on the side. These side routes are the only ones with rubber grommets and I would have liked to see a few more concealed in a similar fashion, especially at the top and bottom. Otherwise, all of the cutouts are folded over and smoothed to prevent users from accidentally cutting their cables or fingers upon these edges.

Once again, the front rails hold three CT140 ARGB fans, but users can also install other cooling options here. The front has mounting support for up to three 120mm or 140mm fans, as well as radiators as large as 360mm or 420mm. You should be aware of how thick your radiator is, as longer ones will be restricted by the opening at the front. Based on my measurements, you should be able to fit radiators that are 35mm or less in thickness.

On the back, the Thermaltake Ceres 500 TG ARGB Snow has several aspects here to really help with cable management. For one, you can see black plastic clips on the front and top edges of the Ceres 500. They are pre-populated with the cables from the front fans, but you can route other wires here, if you so desire. The top clip near the back is particularly helpful to keep the CPU power cable in place. Down the middle, we have three more plastic valleys with Velcro straps to hold cables. Thermaltake has led the black-sleeved front I/O cables through here, but there is enough space to hold power and SATA cables too. We do have less cable anchor points, but I think the included plastic clips and Velcro straps make up for this omission. Finally, we have around 25mm of space all around the back here to manage your cables, which is generally sufficient for even the bulkier cables. Unfortunately, we also do not have any ARGB or fan controllers included here, which is commonly found on cases of this caliber and price point.

Around the back, we have even more mounting options for storage. There are two more drive sleds here, mounted to the back with a captive thumbscrew. Once again, you could mount a single 3.5" drive on each, but cabling might get tricky. At the bottom, we have a drive cage with two plastic sleds to hold two 2.5" or 3.5" options. You can see the accessories box can be found here with all of the necessary mounting screws and more. This cage is held in with more screws and can be fully removed if you want. This makes for a total of up to two 3.5" and six 2.5" drives, or eight 2.5" drives. Those looking for using the Thermaltake Ceres 500 TG ARGB as a home server may want to look for more native 3.5" drive bays, but this should be enough for most users.

Speaking of the basement, the power supply sits at the bottom of the Thermaltake Ceres 500 TG ARGB Snow. It slides in from the back and sits on top of two plastic stands. I would have liked to see some sort of rubber or foam padding here for the power supply, but there is enough clearance here to ensure the fan of the power supply has intake breathing room.

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