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Cooler Master Sileo 500 Mid Tower Case

Looking for silence? Cooler Master has a solution with the Sileo 500 mid tower chassis that is sure to please.
@chad_sebring
Chad Sebring
Published Wed, Jul 29 2009 10:23 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Apr 7 2020 12:28 PM CDT
Rating: 92%Manufacturer: Cooler Master

Introduction

Cooler Master Sileo 500
IntroductionThere seems to be a remarkable trend for the quest of silent computing lately. A lot of the major brands seem to be adding lower CFM fans to bring down the "roar" associated with the typical gaming chassis. Some manufacturers take this even further with various anti-vibration mounting systems, and some even come with sound proofing materials already applied to the door panels, such as the Lian Li I just recently reviewed. Cooler Master has seen the new opening in the market and is taking a leap into silent chassis' as well. Cooler Master has been in the silence game for quite some time, most notably was the Hyper Z600R that was a great success at passively cooling processors. With the lack of a CPU cooler fan the audible levels were coming solely from my GPU when I had one installed in my chassis. The chassis in question at the time was an Antec 900, one of the louder cases on the market, so the passive silence was wasted due to the "roar" of the chassis.This time around Cooler Master has submitted the Sileo 500, a silent, mid tower chassis that includes a power supply with the purchase. So far I'm impressed with the idea of a silent chassis and have only seen one to date, but I am eager to see what Cooler Master has come up with to accomplish this quest. Let's get through the specifics of what the Sileo 500 has to offer which may well persuade you to look to Cooler Master on your next purchase.

Specifications, Availability and Pricing

Specifications, Availability and Pricing
Cooler Master Sileo 500
Cooler Master brings us a chassis with the pursuit of silence behind the thoughts and designing of this case. The Sileo 500, which comes with an all black exterior and the typical coated, exposed steel interior is appealing and roomy for its size. The front of the Sileo gets the special treatment with a brushed aluminum finish atop the plastic bezel. Through the front panel you can use up to five 5.25" drives and Cooler Master has also not left out the space for a floppy drive for all the "old school" BIOS flashers. Inside the chassis there is a rack to house four 3.5" drives.The Sileo 500 will accept both mATX and full ATX motherboards and has quite a bit of room to house some of the larger coolers on the market. Now, to the pursuit of silence part, Cooler Master uses lower CFM fans with little acoustic emission to allow for good chassis airflow, but still keeps things to a slight hum during operation. Taking it a step further, they have also coated the top and bottom of the inside of the chassis, as well as both door panels with an "egg crate" style, noise absorbing foam. Lastly, the Sileo 500 has the option to come with a Cooler Master 500 watt power supply unit upon purchase, but can also be bought without it. The Sileo 500 is very easy to find. Taking a quick look at Google Shopping only proves this with over ten pages of shops to find this chassis. Just as there are many, many shops carrying this Sileo 500, both with and without the power supply, the prices are as varied as the stores carrying the case. Getting one of these Cooler Master Sileo 500 cases isn't the quest, getting it for a good deal seems to be the task at hand.With the little bit of time I spent shopping for the chassis online, I saw the Sileo listed for as low as $55 USD without the PSU included and in excess of $140 USD from a few places that have the version with the power supply. Looking where I buy 95% of my equipment, Newegg, I was able to locate both versions in stock and ready for you to buy now. Let's start with the Sileo 500 by itself; without the power supply it lists for 54.99 plus shipping at Newegg. With the power supply included it lists at $99.99, again plus shipping charges. That in mind, this is a relatively cheaply priced chassis, considering the time and effort that goes into the design and build of the Sileo 500 over the average $50 mid tower.

Packaging

The Package
Cooler Master Sileo 500

(Click the above image for the large version)
Cooler Master sticks with the typical colour scheme on the Sileo 500 packaging that matches a lot of previously released products from Cooler Master. Recognition is the key when you need your product off the shelves; there should be no issues realizing who makes the Sileo 500.
Cooler Master Sileo 500

(Click the above image for the large version)
The right side continues the pink/purple on white coloration. Cooler Master really doesn't show much else on this panel other than the specifics of what this box includes.
Cooler Master Sileo 500

(Click the above image for the large version)
Turning the box around 180°, we get to see some of the features I already covered. There's screw-less drive rails for easy assembly, a foam lined interior and an overall nice looking chassis, just to cover a few.
Cooler Master Sileo 500

(Click the above image for the large version)
This side has the list of specifications, so you know exactly what you are getting. Below that is a sticker that indicates the optional equipment included with the chassis. There are a few PSU choices and also it seems a windowed option. This sample comes with the 500W PSU choice and does not have a window.
Cooler Master Sileo 500

(Click the above image for the large version)
Cutting the tape on the bottom and lifting off the box leaves me with this. Cooler Master used styrofoam end caps and a plastic bag to protect the Sileo 500 during its journey through the "grinder" that is our shipping system.

The Cooler Maser Sileo 500 Mid Tower Case

The Cooler Master Sileo 500 Mid Tower Case
Cooler Master Sileo 500

(Click the above image for the large version)
Clean and simple lines and a brushed aluminum face makes the Sileo 500 an attractive option for mid tower purchases. The edges of the front panel are plastic and the body and door panels are steel with the exterior being obviously painted black.
Cooler Master Sileo 500

(Click the above image for the large version)
Cooler Master simply places their name at the top left of the plastic based brushed aluminum covered front bezel. In it there are a total of six exposed drive bays; five are 5.25" and the bottom one is a 3.5" drive opening. The front I/O is located toward the bottom just above the power and reset switches and the HDD activity LED. All three; the power switch, reset switch and HDD activity are backed with blue LED's, which makes for a little stripe of blue at the bottom of the Sileo 500 under power.
Cooler Master Sileo 500

(Click the above image for the large version)
While the side panel is sort of plain, there's a "finger hold" indent at the back to allow for easier gripping to remove the panel once the two thumbscrews are removed. This angle does, however, show the intake for the Sileo 500. The plastic sides are slit to allow air to slip in through the sides and provide the intake fan with plenty of ambient airflow. The opposing side is identical to this.
Cooler Master Sileo 500

(Click the above image for the large version)
The southbound side of the northbound Sileo 500 leaves little doubt if there is a power supply included. Under the PSU is the hole for the rear I/O plate next to the rear exhaust fan, which is pre-drilled to fit 80mm, 92mm, and 120mm which is included and installed. Below these are the seven expansion slots, equipped with screw-less locks to hold the PCI cards in place. Lastly, even though the holes are really small, Cooler Master makes an attempt to ventilate this chassis as best as they could.

Inside the Cooler Master Sileo 500 Mid Tower Case

Inside the Cooler Master Sileo 500 Mid Tower Case
Cooler Master Sileo 500

(Click the above image for the large version)
After unscrewing the thumbscrews and sliding the door to the rear of the chassis, I flipped it around to get a look at what Cooler Master chose to use for sound deadening material. This "egg crate" style foam is a fair bit better at absorbing noise than say the flatter materials on the market. Cooler Master applies this foam to both panels everywhere it didn't get in the way of function or fit, aside from the inner front and rear panels.
Cooler Master Sileo 500

(Click the above image for the large version)
With the panel out of the way, the Sileo 500 can show what the interior offers. With all the paperwork and miscellaneous hardware strewn about the interior looks a bit cramped, but everything inside shipped well and there were no casualties to any of the parts.
Cooler Master Sileo 500

(Click the above image for the large version)
Once all the materials were removed the Sileo 500 opens right up, accepting both mATX and full ATX motherboards. All of the interior steel is chemically treated and left at that. This goes for the drive racks as well, of which both the 5.25" and the 3.5" drive racks use screw-less latches to mount all of your drives. The 5.25" bays use a mounted slide and lock type mechanism, while the 3.5" bays use rails that align in the side of the hard drive and then slide into the rack and lock into position.
Cooler Master Sileo 500

(Click the above image for the large version)
Looking at the inside of the front from this angle gives a much better perspective on a few things. First, starting at the top and working my way down is the ventilated bay covers. These will allow for a bit of air to naturally pass through them. Removing them is the best option for maximum airflow. Dropping down to the 3.5" bays in the middle, there are two slots, but only one can be used as the other is used up by the front I/O panel's position in the front. Lastly, just to the left is where the wires pass from the LED and switch area. This placement helps to keep things tidy looking, as you will see soon.
Cooler Master Sileo 500

(Click the above image for the large version)
Inside of the rear of the Sileo 500 there is the equipped power supply pre-installed with foam pads both on the support under the power supply and against the rear panel. Under the PSU is the 120mm rear exhaust fan that uses a unique mounting system which I will show more on in the hardware section. At the bottom are the seven clip-in expansion slot covers that are locked into place with a plastic screw-less clip. There is a tab on the side that when pressed allows the release of the covers so you may install your video, sound or tuner cards.
Cooler Master Sileo 500

(Click the above image for the large version)
Laying the chassis on its back, I can show both the rubber feet on the bottom of the Sileo as well as the use of more sound deadening material in the top of the chassis.
Cooler Master Sileo 500

(Click the above image for the large version)
Removing the rear panel of the Sileo 500 reveals, well, not much really. There isn't a hole for CPU back plates in the motherboard tray, nor is it removable, but this is a budget priced chassis so keep in mind; some customization may be needed. As far as hiding wiring, the tray is really close to the panel to maximize interior space, which leaves little room to run wires behind the tray. Creativity is the key to managing wires in this case.

The Included Power Supply

The Included Power Supply
Cooler Master Sileo 500

(Click the above image for the large version)
As I mentioned, the Sileo 500 can be purchased with or without the power supply. Our sample came with this one; the Cooler Master RS-500-PCAR-A3 eXtreme Power Plus 500 watt power supply. This PSU boasts an over 70% efficiency which isn't great, but is much better than the "standard included" power supplies that typically accompany budget priced chassis'.
I took this chart directly from Cooler Masters site as I felt it answered most of the questions about the capabilities and finer points of the PSU.
Cooler Master Sileo 500

(Click the above image for the large version)
Getting a closer view of the label shows this PSU is capable of driving most systems. As you will see in a bit, the connections limit you from overloading the 36 amps this power supply is rated to push.
Cooler Master Sileo 500

(Click the above image for the large version)
Connectivity to optical drives and multiple hard drives is not an issue; the only limit to the RS-500 is the solo 6-pin PCI-e power lead. Again, this keeps one from attempting to overload this power supply with say a GTX 280. Going clockwise, there is the 20+4-pin and the 4+4-pin CPU power leads. Just below those is the single 6-pin PCI-e power lead. From about 3:30 to 5:30 on the dial is one lead that includes two SATA power connectors and is terminated with a 4-pin molex connection. The same set up can be found on the lead in the six o'clock position. That leaves the last lead of connections which includes three 4-pin molex connections that terminate with a 3-pin FDD connector.
Cooler Master Sileo 500

(Click the above image for the large version)
One last look at this black beauty of a power supply, this time to get a good look at the intake. There's a 120mm fan powering the airflow to the well ventilated rear panel. The fan is pushing and removing what heat may arise during full on gaming sessions.

Accessories and Documentation

Accessories and Documentation
Cooler Master Sileo 500

(Click the above image for the large version)
Cooler Master includes everything you will need to get the Sileo 500 up and running. At the left is a bag with extra risers, screws, wire management goodies and miscellaneous do dads. Centred is the power supply power cord and the six side mounting hard drive rails that slide into the lowest cage. On the right is two bags; the top one is the risers needed to get underway and the bottom bag includes the motherboard screws and the optical drive screws for the backside of this chassis.
Cooler Master Sileo 500

(Click the above image for the large version)
I wanted to showcase a couple things I found in the mounting hardware. First are the motherboard risers. The ones positioned north and south are the typical risers found in any chassis build, but the ones running east and west are adapted to hold the motherboard in place on two risers. This allows for easier installation as the holes always stay aligned. If used in opposing corners, these two risers can almost hold the board in place by themselves, not that I am suggesting you should. Then there is the fan mounting mechanisms. These are a two piece system where the outer sleeve is slid through the case and the fan until it protrudes from the other side. Once the sleeve is in position, just slide the pin all the way in and the four tabs then securely, and without vibration, hold the fan in place.
Cooler Master Sileo 500

(Click the above image for the large version)
Inside of their own separate bags are both the build guide and the warranty and product information for the power supply. The build guide is pretty basic, but it does show what you need to accomplish building the chassis, including a pretty thorough schematic for the wiring.

The Build

The Build
Cooler Master Sileo 500

(Click the above image for the large version)
This seems as good of a time as any to get a good look at the inside of the front bezel of the Sileo 500. It is held into the chassis with three round clips on each side; squeezing them together releases the bezel and reveals this. The drive bay covers are held into place with a clip on one end to release it from the bezel and a tab that holds the opposing end. Keeping with the new trends in chassis development as of late, Cooler Master also goes wireless with this front panel.
Cooler Master Sileo 500

(Click the above image for the large version)
Looking under what the front bezel was hiding, we get another look at the ventilated drive bay covers that also add structural support to the Sileo. Below these is the floppy drive slot, with the front I/O panel placed just below. Lastly, centered in the intake fan is the reason the front bezel is wireless. This little black box houses the system switches and activity LED's.
Cooler Master Sileo 500

(Click the above image for the large version)
The front I/O contains, from the left, a USB 2.0 port, microphone and audio 3.5mm jacks, followed by another USB 2.0 port and concludes with an eSATA port on the right. It's a nice touch that the I/O panel is also finished in brushed aluminum to match the rest of the front.
Cooler Master Sileo 500

(Click the above image for the large version)
Fast forward through some riser placement, screwing in the motherboard and some very basic wire management, this is what I was left with. With everything in place it is easy to see the Sileo 500 can house a pretty mean build. With the right PSU choice the possibilities for mATX and ATX builds are endless. I chose a passive card to allow for the silence of the Sileo 500 to have a good chance at being quiet, but I have also been able to fit my GTX 280 carefully into this chassis.
Cooler Master Sileo 500

(Click the above image for the large version)
Once the optical drive is in position, the locking mechanism slides forward. Then gently slide the lock down until it clicks into position. There are holes for screws through the clips on this side, whereas on the rear you just screw through the steel cage.
Cooler Master Sileo 500

(Click the above image for the large version)
The hard drive bays at the bottom only allow the drives to be installed with the connections facing out. I was able to wire it with no real issues and as you can see, I was even able to route the IDE cable cleanly around the rear, so multiple SATA cables should go easy as well.
Cooler Master Sileo 500

(Click the above image for the large version)
The rear view of the Sileo 500 again, this time with everything just about ready to power up. I have just one thing to point out here. The PCI clips aren't the best. You can see the HD 2600 is sitting to the right a bit. This is easily remedied by placing a supplied screw into the card while the tool-less clip is in place, especially with heavier cards.
Cooler Master Sileo 500

(Click the above image for the large version)
As I mentioned earlier, there wasn't much room to hide any wiring back here, but I did attempt to clean up the wiring that does pass through this side. Most of the PSU wiring was hidden in the 5.25" drive bays.
Cooler Master Sileo 500

(Click the above image for the large version)
Once I got everything inside secure and was ready to attempt to boot up for the first time, I removed the drive bay cover and snapped it into place. It's a nice overall look with the drive exposed and everything is still flush and simple.

Fit and Finish

Fit and Finish
Cooler Master Sileo 500

(Click the above image for the large version)
Powering up the Sileo 500, I was taken by surprise. I actually had to look for the LED indicator at the bottom to see if the chassis had turned on the system. After turning off the radio that plays in the background during most of my builds, at about eight feet away I still couldn't hear it. If the light wasn't on I would have thought my assembly went bad, somewhere.
Cooler Master Sileo 500

(Click the above image for the large version)
I took a big step back for this image, so you can absorb the Sileo 500 with its simple lines and the appeal of the brushed aluminum front. Quite a nice looking chassis, in my opinion!

Final Thoughts

Final ThoughtsCooler Master has accomplished exactly what they have set out to do with the release of the Sileo 500 chassis. Whether or not your choice is to go with or without the PSU, the chassis alone is worth every penny of the asking price. With cases such as the NZXT Beta, or one of many others for $50, none offer the comfort to your ears that the Cooler Master Sileo 500 does. This is by far the most silent build I have done yet. As I alluded to, it took me getting within three feet of the Sileo 500 before I could actually hear any audible noise. Complaints, well I can't honestly think of any. Due to the design of the Sileo 500, wire management holes are pretty useless even if they were there. I would have liked to have seen a cut out for access to CPU back plates; I mean they followed so many up and coming trends, I think this may have gotten overlooked. Other than that, I think a window may be needed as a requirement of some buyers, but just be aware that a window doesn't block noise half as well as steel and sound proofing material. You will lose some of the silent properties if you opted for a windowed version, or modded it yourself to have one.What I am left with is a budget priced chassis without the power supply. This chassis does offer a lot for its 54.99 USD, Newegg asking price and makes me advise this chassis above all others for its price when you are searching for a silent build. If you are looking for a good deal on both the power supply and the chassis, I can't come up with any reason other than GPU power requirements to go another route than the $99.99 version at Newegg. All things considered, the Sileo 500 is the way to go if you need a silent gamer, or a sleek larger HTPC that sits in an open area.
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After a year of gaming, Chad caught the OC bug. With overclocking comes the need for better cooling, and Chad has had many air and water setups. With a few years of abusing computer parts, he decided to take his chances and try to get a review job. As an avid overclocker, Chad is always looking for the next leg up in RAM, cooling, as well as peripherals.

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