Cooler Master MasterCase H500P Mid-Tower Chassis Review

Cooler Master's MasterCase H500P mid-tower computer cases launches today and here's our full look into it.

Manufacturer: Cooler Master
17 minutes & 13 seconds read time
TweakTown's Rating: 98%
TweakTown award

The Bottom Line

Cooler Master strikes gold twice in one month! The MasterCase H500P is the best of the series, and every bit of the case is designed to be modular now or in the future, and delivers a mid-tower chassis anyone would be proud to own and display their parts inside of!

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

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Cooler Master is a company that should be no stranger to anyone who has been around a PC, even for a limited amount of time. It is highly likely that in some form of a product, has graced a pre-built PC, or you have gone out and gotten your hands-on one of their aftermarket products. The reason behind this is that Cooler Master has a full range of products which cover the entry-level consumers, all the way through the enthusiast level of user, and come with varying feature sets, price ranges, and of course, aesthetic appeal. In the instance of cases, it does not matter if you want a tiny, plain looking box to hold your gear, or of something as extravagant as the new Cosmos, Cooler Master covers the gamut and is here today to offer something which falls in the middle of both extremes.

The chassis in question is a blend of two, where Cooler Master revisits an older series of cases, yet is placing it in with the MasterCase line that has become so popular. For those old enough to remember, Cooler Master had huge success with the HAF Series. All of the cases in this line were designed for High Air Flow, hence the name, but looking back on them today, we can see why Cooler Master chose to blend a couple of designs rather than to rehash something that by today's standards might appear old-school and chunky. However, the main idea is not lost in the latest chassis to visit the lab, yet at the same time, developing this idea within the confines of the MasterCase Series has delivered a chassis which is both practical and sexy all at the same time.

As you read this, the MasterCase H500P is publicly launching to the world. Being part of the MasterCase series, we come to expect an angled front bezel, an open interior, a PSU cover, hidden bays, modular parts, and the potential for additional gear to arrive in the Cooler Master Store shortly after its release. What we have includes all of this, yet can take things even further in a few aspects, with us about to look at what we consider to be the best-looking chassis to leave Cooler Master under the MasterCase name. If what we have mentioned has piqued your interest, please continue, as we are sure this chassis will not disappoint. In our opinion, the MasterCase H500P is the best of the line and is something many will end up using.

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The MasterCase H500P, also known as the MCM-H500P-MGNN-S00 to Cooler Master is a gunmetal and black chassis from the MasterCase Series. The exterior of the chassis is made of plastic, steel, and steel mesh, but the entire frame of this chassis is made of steel, which is painted black as well. The left side panel is made of 5mm thick tempered glass, while the right side of the chassis is covered with steel. Dimensionally, the H500P is 544mm long, it is 242mm wide, it is 542mm tall, and the shipping label shows the entire case and packaging weighs in at thirty-two pounds. Also found on the exterior is the front I/O panel, which offers a pair of USB 3.0 ports, a pair of USB 2.0 ports, and a pair of 3.5mm ports for HD Audio connectivity.

Internally, this chassis can house a Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, and even some E-ATX motherboards. Out of the box, there are no 5.25" bays, but there are plans to offer them as optional equipment later. There is a dual position HDD cage inside of the chassis, and this will house either a pair of 3.5" or 2.5" drives. Beyond that, there are also two 2.5" drive trays which are set atop the PSU cover. At the back of the chassis, there are the standard seven expansion slots we are used to seeing, but there are also two vertically aligned slots as well. To use these slots, Cooler Master recommends purchasing the GPU support tray, as well as a PCI-e extension cable to allow the card to connect to the motherboard.

When the MasterCase H500P arrives at your door, it had three fans pre-installed in it. The front of the chassis has a pair of 200mm RGB fans which work with any motherboard or controller with the standard 4-pin layout. The third fan is black, it has no LEDs, and is a 140mm fan attached to the back. Optionally, there is room for a trio of 120mm or 140mm fans in the front of the case. As for the rear, you can opt for a smaller 120mm fan. The top of the chassis mimics the fronts fan compatibility, but for 120 and 140mm fans you are using a plate which is raised from the top panel of the chassis. When it comes to 200mm fan installation, the plate must be removed. Water cooling support is also on point. The top can house a 280mm or 360mm radiator as its maximum size, and the front matches the tops capability. The back of the chassis can also be used for a single 120 or 140mm radiator, and the only limitation is the 55mm thickness shown with the top of the case. Speaking of limitations, near the bottom of the chart we do see that CPU coolers can be 190mm tall, and video cards can be 412mm long.

In the review information sent over by Cooler Master, we were informed of the MSRP. In that literature, we were told that the MasterCase H500P would be sold at $149.99. With many mid-tower cases offering quite a bit at the $100 price point, there is a rough road ahead for Cooler Master with the price they have set. Shockingly, while we fully expected to come up empty when looking for this chassis at retail outlets, it appears Newegg already has the H500P available for pre-order. It is there where we could verify the price, as it is indeed listed at $149.99 and will ship on release day to pre-order customers. Typically, we contain our opinion on the value of the case this early in the review, but with what we know, and with what you are about to see, we feel that Cooler Master has come up with a design which will pull at your heartstrings and your wallet. It is just that slick of a design.

Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications


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With the traditional purple accents on a black box, we see that this MasterCase H500P is delivered in the same. A large image of the chassis is present, shifted to the right of center, and there is an RGB icon in the bottom-right corner too. We also see that there is a mention of the 200mm fans used, which you see in the image above it.

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Had FedEx chose another location for the sticker, on this purple panel, we would have seen an unimpeded view of the front of the chassis. With what we can see, we do find many details that fit this case well into the MasterCase lineup.

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With the company name, logo, motto, and the product name at the top, Cooler Master then jumps into why this case was made, and why it should appeal to you. Next to that is a much smaller image of the case than we have seen so far, and the bottom half of the panel is used to display five key features of the H500P and is presented in eight languages.

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The second thin panel is also purple, but this time, it is used to display the specifications. The chart we used from the reviewer's guide has more detail, but the majority of that information discussed earlier is present here as well.

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We normally do not take an image of the initial unboxing, but opening the H500P told us something different was going on. The hardware is presented in a black box, which is easy to locate for later use, and with the gray handles laying across the foam, we had to tug on them to see what happened.

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By lifting up on the cloth handles, the entire chassis, inner packaging and all, come easily out of the box. The gray bag has the cooler master logo on it and does make a convenient way to travel with the chassis after it is built as well.

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Inside of the bag, we find the chassis has plastic clinging to the front and the top of the case, and at that point, the entire chassis is surrounded with a plastic liner. To take the shock of bumps along the way to your door, thick Styrofoam caps are used. Attention to detail is key with packaging, and in no way was our MasterCase H500P deformed or distressed in any form.

Cooler Master MasterCase H500P Mid-Tower Chassis

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Even with an image of this view on the box, the view in real life is so much better. Gunmetal gray os used on the plastic which surrounds the clear window, which is made of plastic. The black strip at the top of the window is the indicator to pull on, and the window will tilt out for optional 5.25" bays, and will also come off the case completely.

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The front I/O panel is on an angled section of gunmetal gray plastic, and is laid out well and is easily accessed. In the panel, we find a pair of USB 3.0 ports and a pair of USB 2.0 ports in line at the top. Below, we see the HD Audio jacks, a backlit power button, an extremely small reset switch, and the HDD activity LED just below that.

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The top of the chassis also has a clear plastic section that runs from the front I/O panel to the back of the case. On either side of it are thick plastic sections, which angle down to the sides of the chassis, and incorporate angled supports and steel mesh for air flow to exit the top.

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The left side of the H500P shows that the sides of the front bezel are much like the top panel, as this is where air flows into the chassis, currently being sucked in by a pair of 200mm fans. We can also see the same gunmetal gray used on the feet, just below the full-coverage, tempered glass panel, which can be released with a ninety-degree twist of the shiny metal screw at the top.

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The back of the H500P stars out with the rear I/O and the adjustable height exhaust fan. In the middle of the panela re the expansion slots in the 7+2 layout, with the PSU intended to go at the bottom.

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For now, the right side of the MasterCase H500P is covered with a flat steel panel, which has been painted black to contrast the gunmetal gray. Optionally, at some point when Cooler Master releases the panel, you will have the option to buy a second tempered glass panel, and have made adjustments internally so that using it will not have you looking at a mess through it.

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Under the chassis, we find that the feet are very large, and with long strips of runner applied to them, they will grip the surface ensuring the case has solid footing. There is a dust filter under the PSU, which slides out the back of the case, and we can see that many of these parts are screwed into place, like the feet and the tray for fan placement behind the 200mm ones, just behind the front bezel.

Inside the MasterCase H500P

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After first tilting the plastic cover, it is then able to be lifted up and then released from the chassis. The front I/O panel and wires are attached to the frame of the case, and the 200mm fans mount to the face of the front panel of steel. Other fans have a rail system set further back into the case so that fans can stay on this side, with steel between it and a radiator.

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Even with both side panels removed, we cannot see through the interior as of yet. However, the H500P is open from front to back, with only the PSU cover at the bottom putting a hard barrier into the vast open space. We also find that the wires are run through the grommet, and are bundled together and tied off to help prevent damage.

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Inside of the front panel of the case, we can see the inset between where the 200mm fans are, and where optional cooling can be installed. As it sits now, there is no support for the third 120 or 140mm fan, but this is included in the hardware.

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The top cover must be lifted up at the back to release a series of tabs, and then it can be pulled away from the front I/O panel to remove it. Under the cover, we find a removable raised section of steel, which supplies room for fans and or radiators. It is removable to make installation easier, sure but is also removable if you want to use 200mm fans, with the holes marked 20F.

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The motherboard tray offers seven holes to manage wires, the larger three of which have grommets. There are eleven tie points in view at this time, the standoff locations are all marked for compatibility, and on the right, there is a plate to cover wires and also can be used instead of the grommets for wire management, as you will see later.

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The PSU cover is a two-piece design and is made this way so that the front part of the cover can be slid back to make room for thicker cooling options in the front. On top of the back section, there are two 2.5" drive trays mounted to it, while the side of it displays the Cooler Master logo.

Inside the MasterCase H500P Continued

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The 3-pin powered fan at the back of the H500P is black, although an RGB fan put here instead would have been nice. All of the expansion slot covers are held in place with hex-head screws, and if you plan to use the vertical slots, Cooler Master advises to do so with the support of a bracket, which is optional. As is the extender cable to connect it.

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Behind the motherboard tray, we find that the left third has been covered with a removable steel panel, which will block the view of the front I/O, fan, and any optional wires you see fit to run there. We also see that the back of the motherboard socket is blocked from view, which is the finest details we have seen in a case with the option to have a glass panel on this side too. All of the ugly is hidden.

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Removing the panels, we find that to the left of the motherboard tray is left wide open. This means that anywhere wires need to go, they can, and you have much less to worry about with wire management, as you can tuck gobs of wires between the two panels which cover this area. On the right, we find a large CPU cooler access hole and is wide enough to accommodate E-ATX motherboard too.

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As the case is shipped, the HDD cage is accessible from the left side, and you need to remove the PSU cover to remove either of the two 2.5" or 3.5" drive trays. However, there is a second option, and by flipping the side rails, you can access the drives from the back.

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The PSU goes in the back of the chassis and rests on four rubber pads on top of steel bumps shaped into the floor. There is hexagonal mesh for the PSU to draw through, and to install the PSU, the cover has to be removed to do so as the height left here will not allow the PSU to slide in from the back.

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There is a lot of wires coming from the fans and the front I/O panel. We find 3-pin female plugs to power the fans, and 3-pin male plus to attach three fans. One 4-pin RGB connection hits a splitter and allows three devices to be connected to it, and that is one beyond the two used by the fans. We also see the native USB 3.0 connection, one for USB 2.0, and one for HD Audio. At the top, we find the leads from the buttons and LEDs, and all of the wires are black, so they blend in.

Hardware & Documentation

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Cooler Master is sure to provide you with all of the screws and such to allow the H500P to be filled completely. There are long fan screws to use with optional 200mm fans at the top of the case, a socket and seven standoffs, and a set of eight screws for standard fan installation. At the bottom, the hex-head screws are used to mount the PSU and the motherboard, the smaller M3 screws are for 2.5" drive mounting, and the two longer 6-32 screws lock the HDD trays into the cage.

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If you want to remove the front fans in favor of three 120mm or 140mm fans, you will need the bracket seen here. This can be screwed into the chassis with the extra hex-head screws, allowing the third fan to fit securely without vibration. There are ten zip-ties to help with wire management, and Cooler Master also supplied a 4-pin PATA connector to power the front fans with if motherboard fan headers are in short supply.

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More to clean the tempered glass panel than for anything else, Cooler Master supplied a microfiber cloth with their logo on it. We would not advise using this on the plastic unless it has been rinsed off first and let to dry. The muck from the air could be picked up by this cloth and eventually lead to scratches on the front and top panels.

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The H500P user manual is not as involved as we have seen in previously submitted Cooler Master Cases. There is a parts list, which is good, and there are renderings for the build process; great. There is very little text to explain the images, and there are no images of fan placement or radiator compatibility. The warranty information discusses what Cooler Master will cover for the term of two-years from the date of purchase.

Case Build & Finished Product

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For us, the front of the chassis does not change in appearance. However, if you do wish to get the optional optical bays, you will have to remove the top 200mm fan to do so. Also, you will see bay reservoirs and optical drive face places through the ever so slightly tinted plastic window.

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We like that the radiator is hidden in the space above, and we like the super clean look of all of the components as well as the wires running to them. We did not even use the normal holes on the right of the motherboard; instead, we used the steel covers to house wires and keep nearly everything out of view.

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Everything went as expected at the back of the H500P. The dust shield snapped right into place; we raised the fan without any hassle, the video card slides right in and is easily mounted, and putting in the PSU and replacing the PSU covers are simple to accomplish as well.

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Behind the scenes, the H500P has the most hidden wire management we have ever seen to date. Only the 8-pin and the Kraken cables are exposed to view, where all of the rest, as well as the view of the back of the motherboard, has been blocked. This lends itself very well to purchasing the optional tempered glass side panel, and the view is as tidy behind the glass as it can get.

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Even though the tempered glass is tinted, it is done only slightly. Even without looking dead into the window, we can see all of the components inside, well before the lights show begins.

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With the H550P connected to the motherboard, and enabling the RGB illumination to match the board through Aura Sync software in this instance, all of the RGB LEDs match to the tee. Keep in mind, you can pick any color on the scale, or control the fans illumination with modes offered by motherboard software, or that from any hub based RGB systems.

Final Thoughts

Hitting on all of the good things about the MasterCase H500P is a long list, but here goes. The appearance is the first thing that strikes you, and why some may not like it, we find it very aesthetically pleasing. The mix of gunmetal grey with black, the clear windows at the top and the front, side panel made of tempered glass that is easy to use, and an option to get a second one later; it ticks all the boxes. Internally, there is just enough room for drives for many users, but if you do find a need for more drive bays, the 2.5" drive trays will be available to get, just like the glass panel. If you are looking for 5.2" drive bays, there are none offered out of the box, but again, Cooler Master intends to offer those too.

The roomy interior allows for a ton of airflow through the case, and it can be felt and seen in our better than usual thermal results we got while inside of this case. Of course, there is the dual-part PSU cover which has its tricks, but what takes the cake for us are the two covers used to hide all of the wiring. With a steel panel in place, it is overkill, but if you like glass on both sides, that is when the panels make their biggest mark. We also like that with the fans at full power, from a meter away, it is nearly inaudible, and we have to get closer than a foot from the chassis to cross the 30dB barrier. With all of that being said, we are surely leaving things out, but we feel you get the points that Cooler Master has upped the MasterCase lineup, and this H500P is the best of them all.

With all of the layers of fan support brackets, covers, windows, bits of mesh, and with our components installed, we were a little taken back that not a single thing rattles. The components of the front bezel lock into place well and do not feel loose in any way. However, rather than straight alignment tabs, we do wish the top panel has clips of some sort too. When it came to moving the case, any time we touched the top panel, it came loose and was constantly needed to be reattached. The reality of it all is that the top panel's fitment is our only complaint. With everything stripped from the chassis, it is strong and ready for any twists and turns, and in no way feels cheap or flimsy. There is much to take in, as the MasterCase H500P offers a ton of features, modularity, and options to enhance it down the line. It is rare that a company can build one great chassis a year, but after seeing the Cosmos, and now this, we feel Cooler Master has upped their game and intended to change the way we see the chassis market.

Some could argue that Cooler Master should have included USB 3.1 Type-C for this price and that it is the future, but we say with all the adapters available, we feel that many can get by without it. What Cooler Master can deliver does explain much of the price tag, and to us, we do not feel they are out of line near the $150 mark for a mid-tower chassis. You are going to see one of the most well build designs with options you never knew you needed until you had them.

The MasterCase H500P is a chassis that many will soon replicate is some form or fashion, and we know the wire management plates will start to show in many tempered glass cases. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, which means that the MasterCase H500P is that damn good. All other case makers should pay attention, as the H500P is the new bar to hit in any form factor chassis design.

Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications

TweakTown award
Performance 100%
Quality 95%
Features 98%
Value 98%
Overall 98%

The Bottom Line: Cooler Master strikes gold twice in one month! The MasterCase H500P is the best of the series, and every bit of the case is designed to be modular now or in the future, and delivers a mid-tower chassis anyone would be proud to own and display their parts inside of!

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Chad joined the TweakTown team in 2009 and has since reviewed 100s of new techy items. 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 and coolers.

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