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Cooler Master H500P, A View From, Well, ME.

Coolermaster Mastercase H500P

When I saw the Cooler Master H500P displayed at Computex 2017, it got me all excited for a new HAF (High Air Flow) case from Cooler master, already owning a HAF 912 w/ 2 x 200mm fans (front/top), which houses my current media server. I wrote a review of the HAF 912 back in 2014, if you’re interested.

But after reading and watching many reviews of the new HAF case, I found myself disappointed. Cooler Master will tell you that the H500P is not officially a HAF case. But, it has the cues to a HAF case, including the ‘H’ in front of the 500P and the 200mm fans that Cooler Master used in their HAF series of cases.

The biggest issue I have is the lack of airflow, it has a transparent solid plastic front panel which chokes off much of the air, the only air comes from the sides of the front panel, which is restricted by the frame of the 200mm fans. I was considering the H500P as a replacement for the similarly restrictive NZXT H440 used in my current build, but, I’m not spending another $150 to have the same airflow issues.

Airflow is the biggest issue, however, there are also build quality issues, when I spend $150 on a case, I expect it to be solid and for it not to be squeaky. I expect the panels to not come off in my hands when I lift the case in the normal manner of picking it up from under the front panel and rear of the top panel. The tempered glass left side panel not sitting securely when locked and not sitting flush also irks me.

The NZXT H440 does have it’s airflow issues, removing the front and top panels really lower the CPU and GPU temperatures to prove this fact. But at least build quality is top notch, infact, this is the most solid case I have ever owned, I feel like I could drop it off a four story building and it would survive, albeit with some bumps and bruises. The H500P does not give me the impression it’d survive any drop.

I feel that Cooler Master went with the trend of putting glass or clear plastic all over the case, instead of sticking with the tried and tested mesh panels to actually allow air into the case. I feel the 200mm fans are there as eye candy, it does look amazing, rather than a practical device for pushing air. Their whole brand, COOLER MASTER is centered around cooling and airflow, a test that the H500P fails spectacularly.

There’s been a suggestion that there might be replacement panels with mesh available for purchase for extra $$. I refuse to pay $150 for the case, then another $50? for a meshed front panel. Should Cooler Master release a model of the H500P with meshed front and top panels and a better side panel securing system for the same $150 price point, I would take a second look, but as it stands, I’ll look elsewhere.

Afterthought, I believe case manufacturers need to look towards more open designs, there are too many solid paneled cases on the market. This, combined with the new breed of higher core (up to 18 cores, 36 threads) processors, generating more heat is causing a massive problem, extra heat generation and choked off airflow is a disastrous combination for hardware longevity and performance.

Removing the front/top/side panels is not an acceptable solution on a $150 case in my view.

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