Thermaltake The Tower 500 Review (Page 3 of 4)

Page 3 - Physical Look - Inside

Unlike the smaller The Tower 100, taking off the side panels on The Tower 500 is a tool-less process. The first step is to pull off the entire top plastic frame, which is held on with just plastic clips. Afterwards, all of the side glass panels can slide off the top. The back and bottom panels are all held on with thumbscrews, although I found all of these screws were still overtightened. From this photo, you can see I only half removed the top panels, which was pretty easy to do so. All of the glass panels are held on with a metal frame so that you can hold onto the panel without leaving fingerprints. The glass panels are slightly tinted.

After you remove the panels, you can see we have a pretty open concept. With the chimney effect for cooling, air can enter in at the bottom, be pulled through the case, and come out at the top. The Thermaltake The Tower 500 has a divided basement for the power supply to hide unsightly cables. Otherwise, the main compartment holds motherboards up to the E-ATX form factor. The motherboard is mounted sideways, so the motherboard I/O is pointed to the top.

At the main area here, you can see this part looks very similar to any other computer case, with a large hole behind the motherboard for easy access to the backside. This should make installing third-party coolers easier, as you can swap out the backplate without needing to take the motherboard out. You can see motherboard standoffs are installed here for ATX motherboards, although you can move them around for other sizes. The left side of the photo is actually the top of the Thermaltake The Tower 500, so there are also many holes at the top. You can install cooling fans or radiators here, with support for up to two 120mm or 140mm fans, or up to a single 240mm or 280mm radiator.

On the flip side, you can see all of the expansion slots, which totals at nine. Down the back and bottom of the motherboard area, there are many holes here to allow for ventilation and cabling through here, assuming it does not get covered up by your motherboard. Routing holes can be found down the side and bottom, and are fully rubber grommeted to hide any unsightly cables. You can also see the front I/O cables sneaking through at the top, as they are all bundled here out of the box. All of these cables are sleeved in black, with the USB Type-C connection with a flat sleeve cable for easy handling and routing.

Facing the bottom of the Thermaltake The Tower 500, there does not seem to be a lot to look at, but there are a lot of important routing holes and things to point out. For one, this is one area where you can mount drives with screws. This includes a total of four 2.5" SSDs or two 3.5" HDDs. I wish there were included brackets here, but those primarily exist on the back. There are also holes to mount two more brackets, which is for radiators or cooling fans. With so much internal space, users can mount an additional 360mm radiator or three 120mm fans here. By reorienting the side panels, this should allow air to also move in and out of the sides of the case. Otherwise, the power supply dividers are removable with two screws at the front and split into two sections. This might be useful if you have a longer graphics card that requires a bit more space.

At the back of the Thermaltake The Tower 500, we have a look at the amount of cabling space behind the motherboard tray and into the power supply area. Many cables will be running from the basement to the top, so Thermaltake has provided quite a lot of cabling space around the power supply into the back area to make it easier. There is a large amount of space between the back of the motherboard tray and the back panel, with an excess of 80mm in some areas. Users will probably be more concerned with having long enough cables to use here rather than having enough space for their cables. There are quite a few anchor points for cabling all around which is great to see, and they are oriented in a cross-like pattern so that cables can be anchored in a horizontal or vertical direction.

Part of the reason for so much cabling space is because there is another bracket on the backside to hold more cooling or drives. Out of the box, Thermaltake includes two 120mm fans. These are marked with Thermaltake logos, and seem to be the exact same model as the ones included with the Tower 100 Snow. As such, they are 3-pin voltage-controlled fans. I would prefer PWM fans here, especially as this would allow for better control of the fan speeds. I do find the location of these fans to be a bit strange, especially as a motherboard cover this area directly. I ended up moving the fans, as you will see later in our review. The main purpose of this bracket is really to hold even more drives, with a maximum of four 2.5" or 3.5" drives, and two more if you remove the aforementioned fans. In total, the Thermaltake The Tower 500 can hold up to eight 2.5" drives or eight 3.5" drives at one time, making for a large amount of storage. Even as storage is moving to M.2 slots directly on the motherboard, I am still happy to see such support for the older form factors.

Finally, at the bottom is an opening for a power supply. This supports a full-sized ATX power supply with a lot of room in the basement area for extra cabling. Users can also install two 120mm front facing fans or a 240mm radiator in the basement for even more cooling.

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