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Cooler Master MasterCase H500P (2017 HAF) Case Review

Rating: 8.5.

Yes – HAF is back! After a long period in the metaphorical case wilderness, Cooler Master’s fan-favourite High Air Flow (HAF) series makes a dramatic return in the form of the H500P. Considering the bold design – complete with tempered glass, RGB fans and modular elements – it seems the H500P is just as much about form as it is function. Could this be the defining case of 2017?

With the recent release of the C700P – Cooler Master’s Cosmos refresh – and now the return of the HAF series, Cooler Master is definitely looking to breathe new life into old favourites. With the H500P coming in significantly cheaper, at £134.99, than the C700P, it is also likely to have much wider appeal, so just how good is it?

Watch via our Vimeo Channel (Below) or over on YouTube at 2160p HERE


Specification

  • Materials: Outlook – Plastic, Steel, Mesh. Body – Steel. Side panel – Tempered Glass, Steel.
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 544x 242 x 542mm / 21.4 x 9.5 x 21.3 inch
  • Motherboard Support: Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, E-ATX (support up to 12″ x 10.7″)
  • Expansion Slots: 7 + 2 (Support vertical graphics card installation)
  • Drive Bays, 5.25″: 0 (2 optional via bracket). 2.5/3.5: 2. 2.5 SSD: 2
  • I/O: Port USB 3.0 x 2, USB 2.0 x 2, Audio In & Out (supports HD Audio)
  • Pre -installed Fan(s): Front 200 x 25mm RGB fan x 2, 800RPM. Rear 140 x 25mm fan x 1, 1200RPM
  • Fan Support: Top – 120/140mm fan x 3 or 200mm fan x 2. Front – 120/140mm fan x 3 or 200mm fan x 2. Rear – 120/140mm fan x 1
  • Liquid Cooling Support: Top – 120mm, 140mm, 240mm, 280mm, 360mm (maximum thickness clearance 55mm). Front – 120mm, 140mm 240mm, 280mm, 360mm. Rear – 120mm, 140mm
  • CPU Cooler Clearance: 190mm/7.5 inch
  • GPU Clearance : 412mm/16.2 inch
  • Power Supply Support: Bottom Mount, ATX PS2

At its core, the H500P is a very user-friendly chassis thanks to the sheer amount of features put in place. Both front and top panels are removable, the tempered glass side panel attaches via a single latch mechanism, it has a two-piece power supply shroud that is also removable, a large cable management plate is included and let’s not forget about those two huge RGB fans.

Such an array of features – some new, some we’ve seen before – make building in the H500P very satisfying. My favourite feature is undoubtedly the cable management plate at the rear of the case – it is simply a slab of metal which covers up the cable mess, but it makes the overall build look so much cleaner. No more faffing around with cable ties or anything like that – just stick a sheet of metal over the rat’s nest and call it job done.

One feature that I didn’t mention in the video is vertical GPU mounting. The H500P has two vertically oriented PCIe slots, so there is clearly scope to add a GPU in that way. However, there does not seem to be any way of actually supporting the card once its installed, and a PCIe riser card is not included anyway, so I was not able to put this feature to the test.

Moving on, and as I mention in the video, I can only find one real issue with the H500P, and that is its use of plastic panels and acrylic windows. For a case of this price I wouldn’t expect an all-aluminium frame without any plastic – it is just the plastic used is quite flimsy and creaky. It looks perfectly fine from an aesthetic point of view, I just don’t think the plastic could withstand much force. For instance, if you were to try and pick the case up by the plastic panels, I am sure you would end up in a very sticky situation.

There are other minor annoyances – such as the need for a 4-pin RGB header to enable the RGB fans to light up, when I would’ve preferred an integrated case controller – but by and large the H500P is a pleasure to build in. It looks great and has definitely brought the HAF family right into 2017.

Testing

To test the H500P, I installed the following components:

  • Ryzen 7 1700
  • Gigabyte AX370-Gaming 5
  • Cooler Master MasterLiquid 120
  • Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti
  • 16GB Geil Super Luce DDR4
  • Sandisk SSD PLUS 120GB
  • Seasonic PRIME 650W Platinum

Thermal dynamics

Ambient: 21C

As you can see, thermal performance of the H500P is excellent. The two 200mm fans clearly deliver excellent airflow to all areas of the internal chassis and our core components definitely demonstrate that.

Acoustics

The noise levels of the case fans are similarly impressive. While thrashing the system with Prime95 and Fire Strike stress test, the loudest component (by quite a distance) was the graphics card – the two front fans spin at a mere 800rpm so emit very little noise. Great airflow + very low noise levels = one very happy reviewer.

Closing Thoughts

On the whole, the H500P is an excellent case from Cooler Master. It brings the HAF series right into 2017, with tempered glass, RGB fans and even some modular elements about the case.

Its looks and features are definitely its two strongest suits, with the cable management vanity plate being a very simple yet effective way to achieve a clean PC build.

The plastic panels are disappointing and let the case down, though, as the overall premium feel is lessened somewhat by the creaky and relatively flimsy top and front panels. If Cooler Master released, say, the H600P with aluminium and glass panels we would be all for it.

As it is, I still thoroughly recommend the Cooler Master H500P. It looks great and is a pleasure to build in – just don’t try and pick it up by its plastic panels.

You can buy one from Overclockers UK for £139.99 HERE.

Pros

  • Looks great.
  • Two 200mm RGB fans deliver excellent air flow and lighting.
  • Lots of nifty features in all departments.
  • Nice and quiet.

Cons

  • Plastic front and top panels are a disappointment.

KitGuru says: The H500P heralds the return of a forgotten hero – HAF is well and truly back.

Rating: 8.5.

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  • WashingtonPunk

    First!

    Thanks for the speedy review. I don’t know how hot the 1080ti runs but those numbers aren’t inspiring for an air cooler only build (GPU). Shame the plastic trim is crap. I like the look. Do those acrylic covers block much airflow? Thanks again!

  • Damien

    They are running a FE 1080ti Fe cards are allways warm I suggest getting a stir or MSI gaming x if you want good temp to noise ratio

  • WashingtonPunk

    I am eyeing a 1070. I gravitate towards EVGA cards. How are they? I hear mixed reviews on MSI cards, but they go on sale for good prices more often than others it seems.

  • Damien

    Evgas cooling to noise ratio is not the best. But on a 1070 it is less of an issue . Evga’s warranty are second to none though. If you are going to use a verticle mount gpu in this case pick the card you like the look of as performance will all be very close. Also it may be worth waiting to see if the 1070ti really comes out

  • Damien

    are there two spots to also put hhds that you didnt show? all i see are 2 ssd mounts but it should have 2ssd and 2 hhd

  • Hammer299

    No, they did not. The controller wasn’t even a thing yet. CM said from day one that they built their fans to specifically be compatible with the RGB software for most major MOBO manufactures. It wasn’t until months later that the controller debuted.

    Also, it’s a VERY good thing it’s NOT included. Extras like that drive up cost. May 1 out of 100 people will need the controller, because you’ll be hard pressed to find a MOBO that doesn’t have RGB headers. Especially when looking at the market of people who will drop $149 on a case in the first place.

    Including the controller would just drive up the cost for tons of people who don’t need it. For the people that do, they can spend the money on getting one.

    Not only that, but they’ve had a difficult time keeping the controllers in stock. Being the least expensive RGB controller on the market, it’s been crazy popular. Including them with the case, while not only inflating the price for no valid reason, would affect their ability to sell those controllers to.people who need them AND affect the stock availability of the case.

  • mattias pettersson

    Get the 1070 Ti … almost same price and 1080 like performance… 😉 have an Asus blower style 1070 and its 50-57c full load 😉

  • A Vong

    Yeah nah, don’t think this case is worth 8.5/10 stars. I’ve been putting off buying a new case for months because I’ve been waiting on a review of this case and what a let down. Looks like I’m gonna get the Phanteks Enthoo Pro M.

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  • Damien

    How did they not jump NDA? Nda is not set at your home towns time zone it gets set at a pre set time and was probably 10/10 12:01 pt time or something like that or even a diffrent time.

  • random

    Can we get thermals with air cooling? How many people really spend money on radiators? I’m sure the majority of systems still use HSF for cpu cooling.