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Cooler Master MasterCase H500M Review – Addressable RGB!

Rating: 8.0.

Cooler Master has released a third version of its H500 case, this time called the MasterCase H500M, where the M implies it is a high end ‘Maker'.

The original H500P suffered in various respects, including problems breathing through the front panel. These issues were pretty much fixed with the H500P Mesh, and now we have the H500M with glass on four sides along with ARGB (Addressable RGB) lighting in the two 200mm fans in the front. It is worth noting the H500M is an additional model to the range and does not replace the existing models.

If you stand back a short distance the H500M looks fairly similar to the H500P Mesh, however a closer look reveals a list of changes that add extra bling and pizzazz. The most obvious differences are the extra glass panels and the revisions to the power supply cover. You will not, of course, appreciate the new ARGB lighting in the two 200mm fans at the front until the PC is built and ready to run, however that is a treat that is worth waiting for.

Watch the video via our VIMEO Channel (Below) or over on YouTube at 2160p HERE

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Motherboard support: E-ATX (up to 305mm x 272mm), ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX.
Expansion slots: 7+2.
Included fans: 2x 200mm ARGB 800rpm front intake, 1x 140mm 1,200rpm rear exhaust.
Fan mounts: 3x 120mm/140mm or 2x 200mm front, 3x 120mm/140mm or 2x 200mm roof, 1x 120mm/140mm rear.
120mm radiator mounts: 120mm/240mm/360mm front, 120mm/240mm/360mm roof, 120mm rear.
140mm radiator mounts: 140mm/280mm front, 140mm/280mm roof, 140mm rear.
5.25-inch drive bays: None.
Internal drive bays: 2x 3.5-inch/2.5-inch, 2x 2.5-inch.
CPU cooler clearance: 190mm
Graphics card maximum length: 412mm
Dimensions: 542mm (H) x 544mm (L) x 242mm (W)

Building our test PC took longer than we expected for a couple of reasons, and they both relate to the new lighting controller. The first delay was a simple matter of cable management as it takes a bit of work to install the power supply and then route the cables through the available gaps and behind the covers. The first time we got it wrong and half the cables were on show, so we went again and the video above is the result of that. If we use the Cooler Master MasterCase H500M again we would probably route the 8-pin EPS connector behind the motherboard to ensure every last cable was out of sight.

As we discuss in our video the whole principle of glass panels that potentially show off cable mess is a vexed question. Cooler Master has employed three separate steel covers with the result that the right hand glass panel shows nothing of any interest. The result of a fair amount of work, money, time and development is that you now have glass on all sides, but cannot necessarily see anything through the glass.

The second delay came about when we burned out the RGB controller.

This is a real puzzle as it seems we connected the ARGB connector to a regular RGB socket. The Asus ROG Crosshair VII Hero Wi-Fi motherboard we used has both types of RGB connector, however they look different and we know that plugging the wrong thing in the wrong place is a bad idea. Nonetheless it seems that is what we did, and after the chip burned out we had to wait a couple of days for Cooler Master to send a replacement part.

Connecting it up highlighted a couple of points about the circuitry. You can use this case without an ARGB connection and simply cycle through the lighting options by using the Reset button on the I/O panel. While Cooler Master has rejigged the I/O panel to include 4x USB 3.0 Type A and 1x USB 3.1 Type C, they didn’t get as far as labelling the button that controls the RGB and as a result it still says ‘Reset’ both on the button and also on the header that connects to the ARGB control board.

Furthermore there is a USB connection at the ARGB board however the user guide says it is ‘for firmware update only.’ Our understanding is that Cooler Master is developing RGB control software that will presumably use the USB connection. Right now you can either select a lighting function with the button or you can rely on your motherboard’s RGB software. In future you should have software control of the RGB, even if your motherboard does not have an ARGB header.

These points suggest that Cooler Master has rushed to deliver the H500M before a Computex deadline and that it is not yet entirely finished.

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