FSP CMT520 RGB Mid-Tower Chassis Review

The CMT520 RGB delivers aspects of a mid-tower case at a price point others cannot contend with.

Manufacturer: FSP
12 minutes & 59 seconds read time
TweakTown's Rating: 95%
TweakTown award

The Bottom Line

While not perfect in every way, FSP is moving in the right direction. The CMT520 RGB delivers things at a price point others cannot contend with, and do so with style and a sleek black look that many will gravitate to!

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

UPDATE: FSP wanted us to let you know that they recently released the CMT520 Plus. CMT520 Plus has the same body as the CMT520, but the CMT520 Plus version has ARGB fans, and the CMT520 only has the RGB fans.

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The last chassis of the new series from FSP makes it to us for testing. Unlike what we saw in the CMT510, which used to be the top-tier offering, we are about to see something similar, yet at the same time, took advantage of some new things as well. What was a big hit for the CMT510 was the incorporation of both tempered glass and RGB fans. Of course, the internal layout was not bad either, but rather than using the same motherboard tray as the CMT510; this new chassis is borrowing most of its bits from the CMT330 we just saw last.

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Major changes to this latest case are as follows. While still offering tempered glass, some changes are made here. The front glass panel is now part of a plastic bezel, which improves airflow as well as delivering a bit of style to an otherwise cubic design. However, for some reason, FSP felt the glass on the right side was too much and has removed it. While the CMT510 was also RGB capable, it could only produce a select group of colors and patterns via a switch in the I/O panel. This time around, we are given a new RGB fan hub, but FSP also makes sure to include a bit of kit that allows for full motherboard software control of the fans this time.

In the information provided, one might assume there is not much to see here, but FSP has improved upon the original when developing the CMT520 RGB mid-tower chassis we are about to get into. The changes may be subtle, the additions and subtractions to the chassis may seem trivial, but once compared side to side, the CMT520 RGB is the clear winner of the two. Stick it out, and follow us through this review, as what was once the middle-tier CMT330 gets all dressed up for a night on the town and is now delivered as the CMT520 RGB.

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As all of the FSP cases do, the CMT520 RGB comes in only one color, black. Externally, the plastic window is gone, in favor of a tempered glass panel, which also matches the treatment to the front bezel. Most of the chassis is made from steel, and plastic is used for the feet, the bezel, and also for the HDD trays and the PSU cover. All told the chassis weighs in at 8.5Kg with most of the additional weight coming from the use of glass. Dimensionally, the chassis is the same as the CMT330, with a height of 510mm, a depth of 495mm, and a width of 215mm.

Inside of the chassis, there is room for 163mm of CPU air cooling tower, and room for 423mm of video cards. The back of the chassis has eight expansion slots, and the motherboard tray will house a Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, or EATX board. 3.5" drive use is limited to a pair of trays in an HDD cage which is not removable. Using 2.5" drives, you have six locations in total. There are two locations at the right of the motherboard tray, two behind it, and the HDD trays will also accept 2.5" drives.

Cooling this chassis is a set of four RGB LED fans which are all 120mm in size. Three of them are stacked in the front of the chassis and are easily seen through the tempered glass panel in the bezel. The last of the fans are mounted in the back of the chassis as the exhaust and is viewable through the side of the chassis. Optionally, you can use three 120mm fans or a pair of 140mm fans in the top. Radiator support gives us the option for a 360mm radiator at the top or in the front of the CMT520, and you can also use the back of the chassis for a 120mm radiator.

Looking around for the best price, we see that many locations are sticking to the MSRP. What we found, is that to obtain the CMT520 RGB chassis, you will need to spend $109.99. This is only $10 more than the CMT510, and the benefits found inside of the CMT520 RGB makes that small bump in cost worth every penny. You may have seen many cases like what we are about to go over, but many are a harder hit to the bank account, and we do feel that FSP has redeemed themselves, and brought forth a chassis which we did not see coming from them.

Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications


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Just like the rest, the CMT520 RGB chassis ships in a plain cardboard box. The name of the company and the chassis name is off to the left, and in the bottom-right corner, we see mention of USB 3.0. The rendering of the chassis does not do it any justice, and we do like another female character used to flank the chassis.

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The right side of the box shows off the specifications for the CMT520. There must have been a mistake in the original run of boxes, but FSP corrects the measurement by adding a sticker over the CPU cooler height restriction.

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Out back, we find an exploded diagram of the CMT520. Along with the things described at the bottom, like the Halo cover as it's called, the radiator support, use of glass, and that there are four fans, you also get a view inside to get an idea on the lay of the land.

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On this panel, we find the names at the top. Followed by a list of eight features which we have covered in some way up to this point. At the bottom, there is all the company information you could ever want, and the site address is also offered there.

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The same internal packaging, used with the other three cases, is also used here. With substantially more weight this time, we would have liked to see more foam used. The finishes on the case were well protected, but even though the box shows no serious damage, the chassis is slightly bent at the back.

FSP CMT520 RGB Mid-Tower Chassis

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The front of the CMT520 is sleek with the use of dark tinted tempered glass. We also like that it is installed on a bezel, which allows FSP to add style with the angles and use of color-matched plastic.

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Just above the tempered glass, as part of the front bezel. We find the front I/O panel. On the left are a pair of USB 2.0 ports, HD audio jacks, and the power button in the middle. To the right is an HDD activity LED, and LED selector button, followed by a pair of USB 3.00 ports.

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The top of the chassis is the same as the CMT330 in every way. Steel is used for the panel, but the bulk of it has been opened up for optional cooling support. Currently, this area is covered with a plastic dust filter with tiny holes, and it kept in place with magnetic strips.

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Like the CMT510, the left side of the chassis gets a tempered glass panel to look through. However, the interior is different, and for some reason, they did not paint the edges of the glass to block the view of the frame.

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At the back, the top of the chassis is forced inward, from shipping we assume, above where the fan and rear I/O are. The cover plate for the eight expansion slots is askew, and at the bottom, we find a mounting plate to allow the PSU to slide in from the back.

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Unlike the CMT510, the CMT520 does not come with tempered glass on the right side of the chassis. Just as well though, as glass allows a view of what most try to hide anyways.

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The view of the underside of the CMT520 is identical to what we saw in the CMT330. An easier to remove dust filer at the back, an HDD cage that is riveted to the chassis, and large feat utilizing soft foam for solid footing.

Inside the CMT520

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One bad thing about adding the bezel is that FSP left the wires connected to the panel. Air flows through the small slits on either side and up from the bottom, to provide the three 120mm RGB fans hanging in the chassis with fresh air.

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If there were an optical bay bracket hanging from the front and one less fan installed, we would be looking into the CMT330. The CMT 520 uses an identical layout, with the two changes mentioned.

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The front of the chassis is used to support the trio of fans but also has room for a radiator down its entire height. To the left of the fans, we find two of the locations to mount 2.5" drives, with large holes to get wires to them.

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Once the dust filter is removed, you gain access to the optional cooling at the top of the CMT520. There are two sets of slots, one allowing three 120mm fans or a 360mm radiator, while the other set is for two 140mm fans or a 280mm radiator.

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The motherboard tray has a large access hole and eight decent sized holes for wires, but not s single grommet to be seen. There are plenty of places to tie wires to, and again, FSP does not install all of the standoffs.

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The PSU cover is the same as what is seen in the CMT330 as well. It is a good design, but we do feel a removable HDD cage is expected in this model. FSP is inset into the steel at the right, while at the left steel is removed to see the sticker on the PSU.

Inside the CM520 Continued

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Hanging in the back of the chassis is the last of the four fans, and each is pre-wired, and have lost the Molex power connection. All of the slot covers are replaceable, and since the cover plate is slightly off, we can see the hex head screws used to secure cards and covers.

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Behind the motherboard tray, we find the same space for wires and all of the same SSD mounts we found in the CMT330. However, this time around, unlike the pain mounted fan hub in the CMT510, the CMT offers a magnetically attached hub so it can be easily moved as needed.

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The HDD cage has rivet at the top, through the floor, and also to the motherboard tray, which could have easily used screws instead. Each of the plastic trays can be locked into the cage; the spread open to wrap around an HDD, but also have holes to secure a 2.5" drive.

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The PSU slides in through the back and rests upon the four rubber pads to either side of the honeycomb mesh. With limited room for the PSU and wires, if modular, connect the cables to the PSU before sliding it in and mounting it.

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All of the cables are long enough to get where they are intended to reach, and all of them are black. Along with the native USB 3.0, USB 2.0, and the HD audio connections, we can also see the thin wires for the lights and buttons. The 4-pin Molex connector seen here is what is used to power the magnetic fan hub.

Hardware & Documentation

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To finish the build, you will need many of these bits to get it done. There is a socket for the three standoffs not already installed, there are four screws to lock down the HDD trays, and six hex head screws to mount the PSU with. Along the bottom, we are offered a way to securely mount the front bezel, along with 6/32 screws we don't need, and a handful of M3 screws for motherboard and 2.5" drive mounting.

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For those who have motherboards that can control the RGB lighting of other devices, FSP included this cable. Rather than having to use the provided hub, you can connect the fans to this adapter, plug it into the power supply, and attach the 4-pin RGB connection to the board so that all of the lights in the build perform the same.

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Eight zip-ties are what you get to tend to any of the wiring needs behind the motherboard tray, and should be an ample amount for conventional builds. We also found some Velcro, which can be used to more permanently mount the included RGB fan hub.

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What we have here is the underside of the darkened PSU cover. The top of the cover is as dark and shiny, but we figured we would show the magnetic strips that allow the cover to stay securely in the chassis once the build is finished.

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The manual has all of the information you need to complete the build process. Once unfolded, it starts with a list of all of the hardware we covered, and explains what it is intended to be used with, and is followed by a step-by-step process of installing components. There is even a small section showing what cooling options you have, which should allow anyone, no matter the skill level, to install their bits into the chassis.

Case Build & Finished Product

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Not a single thing on the front of the chassis has changed. With a lack of optical bays at the top, and glass flowing from top to bottom, there is little which can make a difference. However, once powered, the CMT520 looks even better than it does now.

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On the inside, there is ample room for our needs. Even with the radiator above, we still have room in the front for additional cooling, and all of the components, including the PSU cover, went in without much effort involved.

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We did push the back of the chassis out at the top, which made installing the dust shield much simpler. The video card has the same issue as the others, where we feel the opening to the right of the slots could be wider, but when it comes to the PSU, it slid right into place.

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Wire management was not tough to do in the CMT520, even with the additional hub and fan cables. The area to the right for 2.5" drive mounting is wide open for use, and the ones on the left are accessible to mount through the back as well. Since the hub is magnetic, we just slid it up and out of the way, but it can be placed anywhere you see fit.

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Looking at the CMT520 RGB as we have it here, is likely the view most will see. We like that the level of tint to the glass is not so deep as to impede the view of the interior, and the use of a bezel for added styling is something we like as well.

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Once powered, and using the included fan hub, you have eight choices of color to use for the four fans. At this time we chose red to display the chassis as it matches the RAM LEDs, and gives the chassis a sinister look. Keep in mind though, with the included adapter cable and compatible motherboard; all lights can be shown in modes or changing colors dependent on what the software has to offer.

Final Thoughts

Comparing the CMT520 RGB to the CMT330, which shares many of the same ideas and components, hands down the CMT520 RGB wins. Even when looking back at the original tempered glass case from FSP, the CMT510, we feel that the better chassis is the CMT520 again. FSP did away with the restrictions the earlier chassis had and has made this chassis much easier to work with, it can be argued it is more feature rich, and even though we lost the glass panel on the right, we never liked looking at wires anyways. Cooling is finally to a point we can accept, with the three cases we have seen as of late, because not only can it take air in from the sides and the bottom, but the gap between the glass and the bezel is another opportunity to draw in fresh air. We like that are components were at an average level for a mid-tower chassis, and we also like the new implementation of RGB control, whether via the hub or the adapter cable.

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We did run across a few things though, some of which we do not mind, some of which can be a deal killer. The one thing that sticks out the most is a complete lack of dust filtration at the front. Yes, it may look ugly to have it, but many buyers will not look at a chassis with no intake filter. We still find that the expansion cards are tough to install. We did not care for the fact that the chassis was slightly damaged, but FSP would have sent another to us, and we would expect they would do the same for anyone. We do feel it brings up the level of protection though, as it apparently wasn't enough. Anything else we ran across we explained in the CMT330 review, but hey, at least the cooling is sufficient while not raising the level of noise past 30 dB in the CMT520 RGB.

We feel, that for those not out to spend a ton on something to house your components you are a perfect candidate for FSP. In the CMT520 RGB, they can deliver, style, elegance, sleekness, low noise, roominess, RGB fans, and tempered glass where it mattered most. FSP can do all of this while breaking just beyond the $100 mark, and we cannot fault them for the $109.99 price point either. The chassis is up to the task at hand; it offers compatibility with newer motherboard RGB headers for custom LED options the chassis does not deliver with the included RGB fan hub and does pack in a lot of bang for the buck. While there is a long line of cases similar to what the CMT520 RGB has brought forward, many are much more expensive, and do not deliver in features to overwhelm us to shy away from this FSP chassis.

Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications

TweakTown award
Performance 97%
Quality 94%
Features 94%
Value 95%
Overall 95%

The Bottom Line: While not perfect in every way, FSP is moving in the right direction. The CMT520 RGB delivers things at a price point others cannot contend with, and do so with style and a sleek black look that many will gravitate to!

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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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