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Today we are going to be reviewing the CoolerMaster H500M PC case. This chassis was showcased way back at CES 2018, following on from the H500P mesh and is one of the brand’s high-end solutions. This is mostly a refresh with the odd extra touch, it essentially sits in between the H500P and the H500P Mesh, with RGB looking like one of the main focuses.
This is CoolerMaster’s third take on the H500, however, this model comes in at a much higher price. Old issues appear to have been fixed with this latest update, as many will know build quality and air intake was in question with the older H500P, which was later fixed by the mesh version. With a similar interior and a more visually appealing look, let’s see what the CoolerMaster H500M brings to the table, shall we?
This is one hefty mid-tower and the first thing you notice is how great the H500M looks. The full mesh-covered front with the huge 200mm fans behind it is a superb visual touch and obviously works wonders for airflow and interior temps.
The front panel is split into three sections, with mesh on all sides. However, with this model, you can swap out the mesh middle for the included tempered glass panel. The tempered glass front panel is more or less a waste of time but it’s good to have options like this, as not everyone will prefer the mesh front like me.
Another reason to not swap out the front is from the lessons we learned (and assumed CoolerMaster had learned) with the H500P. That model had issues with air intake so when the “mesh” version was later released, it was quite literally a breath of fresh air.
At the front, we see those pre-installed fans that run at a speed of 800 RPM and, as you can imagine, are quiet while pumping in vast amounts of fresh air to the system.
Towards the top of the front panel sits the familiar-looking ports and power button. The first thing to note about the front panel is that it is fully kitted out with USB 3.0 Gen1 (four ports) and a single USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C, giving you all the modern connectivity you could ever need. Do bear in mind that you will need to make sure your motherboard has the relevant parts for this.
There is the classic illuminated CoolerMaster logo power button, plus headphone and microphone jacks, however, the reset button has now been repurposed as an RGB mode button. Strange that they wouldn’t just add some extra controls but, hey, there we go.
Overall, the front looks excellent, there is a great amount of connectivity and most importantly of all, the panel doesn’t fall off in your arms.
At the rear, we see the third, and final, pre-installed 140mm fan, which is as big as you can get at the back. We see a thumbscrew towards the top which keeps the top panel firmly in place and lastly, you get your standard seven expansion slots and two vertical slots.
The H500M features a PSU bracket with some rather beefy thumbscrews to go with it. Attaching this bracket was a bit fiddly and it seemed to be a snug fit around those screws that fix the shroud in place, but I’m not sure if this was just my model.
One of the main changes in this refresh is the inclusion of two tempered glass side panels. Like many aspects of this case, there are some good points overshadowed with a lot of questions. The tempered glass on the interior side is something I am always a fan of but for the love of god CoolerMaster why do I need to use an extra tool just to get into the case?
Carrying on with this trend, the back panel now also features a tempered glass panel with the same locking mechanism. Now, you can get over the tool requirement as you aren’t going to be inside the case that often, it’s a minor gripe. What isn’t minor is the design at the back, which I will touch upon shortly!
The top at first glance is great, it follows the design of the case well, with a combination of mesh and tempered glass. Hang on though, the glass panel is glued on? So, it feels a bit cheaper than you’d like but how often are you going to be fondling your top panel?
Regardless, the top panel no longer comes off with the slightest touch and now looks great from above, especially with an RGB filled interior.
The interior to the H500M is much like its predecessor, spacious. This is on the larger side of mid-towers and you certainly notice that inside. This was obviously very easy to build in and even those lunatics that install a GPU and AIO before wiring anything shouldn’t have a hard time here.
The case features rubber grommets at the back, but they are not as user friendly as Fractal Design’s Define range and I found it a bit of a nuisance getting thick cables through. There is a lot of clearance at the top, obviously, as this is going to be the main spot to mount a radiator for an AIO or water-cooling rad, so kudos there. The case can fit three 120mm or two 140/200mm fans at the top and can accommodate a radiator up to 360mm.
The CoolerMaster H500M has the room for motherboards up to and including E-ATX. An E-ATX board will compromise the use of the cutout holes but the reservoir mounting bracket does a great job of hiding cables too. You could install a board all the way down to mini-ITX but ATX is definitely optimal, for a clean looking interior.
The backplate inside features the reservoir bracket as mentioned above. This bracket, of course, has other uses and can be used to mount a couple of extra 2.5” SSDs. The bracket also includes the GPU support arm, which I used and I’m still not convinced it did anything, but better to be safe than sorry.
At the bottom, we see one of those PSU/HDD shrouds that are very ugly looking chunks of plastic. Regardless it’s better than no shroud and here we see two more mounting spots for 2.5” SSDs. The best thing about the shroud is the dedicated water pump bracket, further adding to this case’s water-cooling potential. There is also a radiator lid on the shroud to accommodate the bigger radiators out there.
The biggest issue with the interior is accessing the HDD cage beneath the shroud. You need to mess around removing the shroud in order to install the HDD drives, so bear that in mind if you go for the H500M.
There isn’t usually a lot to chat about in regards to the back panel of a PC case, but CoolerMaster has managed to buck that trend. The back is solid with two extra 2.5” SSD mounting spots and enough tie spots for cable management. Unfortunately, they have included these steel plates to then cover the cables. If you are wondering why this is a big deal, it isn’t, but remember the fact there is a glass panel going on top of there, so what was the point?
You can obviously leave these off after you’ve unscrewed everything and let that cable management shine through the glass panel but it’s just sloppy design choices again, in my opinion. There is plenty of room for cables when you ditch the steel covers, if not things get a little bit tight back there.
Towards the bottom, we see the included ARGB controller where the reset button has been repurposed and routed. I don’t mind that it sits awkwardly on the back of one of these steel panels but why the one that gets in the way the most? Did CoolerMaster build in this before manufacturing? Whichever way you have this setup it looks great but it just seems silly.
The MasterCase H500M comes packed with premium features and delivers in thermal performance as expected. If you can get past a few of the design choices that seem to make little sense, there is still a lot on offer here from CoolerMaster. For a moment, let’s take the price out of the equation and go over the main features to this mid-tower.
Airflow – The cooling performance from this is comparable to its older “Mesh” brother, the H500P. Temperature performance was also close to the heavy Thermaltake View 71 and Fractal Design Define R6, so you can’t knock CoolerMaster’s ability in the temp department. Obviously, those 200mm fans have a big say in the matter and aren’t just a pair of pretty lights plus they run at a low speed with a high CfM, so the acoustics aren’t deafening.
Aesthetics – This is designed to look fantastic and it does a great job of that. The materials may not be the best but the mesh front and glass panels go a long way to making anything you put inside this look visually epic.
Water-cooling support – Plenty of water-cooling support is always nice to see, giving even novice modders excellent options. The included res and pump brackets aren’t something you see a lot of from other manufacturers, cheers CoolerMaster.
Overall, the CoolerMaster H500M is packed head to toe with features and you can’t help wonder that if they executed these with a bit more thought, it may have been worth the high price tag.
If you like the design but don’t fancy the price tag, then check out the H500P, at least with that model you are getting a better price to performance. On performance, let’s get one thing straight: this is superb with the temps, but I can’t see where the extra cost is coming from.
The H500M brings modern connectivity and a lot of it, enough features to satisfy almost anyone, and it looks amazing, so why can’t I recommend this? The price. One more thing to note, this isn’t the most user-friendly experience I’ve had and when you consider the more premium-feel materials in NZXT’s H-series, Phanteks P-series, and Fractal Design Define-series, you should probably spend elsewhere.
Shaun is a gaming enthusiast and computer science graduate who has been working with computers for the last 15 years. He took a shine to competitive FPS back in the mid-2000s and hasn't looked back since.