Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
Thermaltake is no stranger to PC chassis as they have been making them for DIY for close to as long as I can remember. With the introduction of the Core V71 and Urban T81, Thermaltake saw a defined shift to more liquid cooling friendly and DIY modular approaches to chassis design. Now today, we have the new S500 TG, which looks to continue this enthusiast-focused design approach while adding some sleek styling and elegance to their lineup.
The S500 looks to be a lower-cost version of what Thermaltake made in the A700 chassis, which was a massive round-cornered chassis wrapped in thick aluminum and offering enormous modularity. The S500 is omitting some of the higher-end materials such as aluminum opting for SPCC (steel), which can lower cost quite a lot. The other thing we will check out is what modular features are carried form the A700 and other series to the S500.
Key features from the Thermaltake press release materials for the S500 TG are as follows:
- Sleek Steel Design
- Patented Rotational PCI-E 8 Slots Design
- Handy I/O Ports
- DMD: Dismantlable Modular Design
The DMD modular designing is the Thermaltake marketing term for their chassis offering removable parts that can be more easily modded or components built on then assembling. However, looking at the breakout images from Thermaltake, I do think that being a lower-cost model, we will not have as much modularity here. The rotatable PCIe slot arrangement is fantastic, though, and something I am surprised nobody else has tried to pull off uniquely.
The S500 TG comes to the market with a part number of CA-1O3-00M1WN-01, and while the packaging and website show -00 suffix, the retail sales of the MPN are -01. This sort of thing can be somewhat confusing for iterations of a chassis to a consumer. This is why I note the part number as tested and shown on retail sites at the time of writing to ensure everyone knows what they are getting since sometimes that number could be an entirely different model.
Motherboard fitment for the S500 TG is ITX up to ATX. EATX is not listed, and from looking at images early on, it seems like it would be a bridge too far, and I do not expect the larger board to fit well, although it may work somewhat. 3.5" drive fitment is up to three if you use the rear motherboard tray mounted bracket. 2.5" fitment can be up to six if you use the HDD cage trays, along with the PSU shroud and top of cage mounted trays, and the motherboard tray mounted bracket. The two top of PSU shroud and top of HDD cage mounted trays are the only 2.5" exclusive mounting though, as the others mentioned can fit both 3.5" or 2.5". The PSU shroud is partial length with an HDD cage directly next to it. There is also a considerable view window in the PSU shroud, making it less of an actual shroud but more a moderate cover.
Fan fitment is quite vast, with options up front being 120mm, 140mm, and 200mm based. The front can accommodate up to triple 120mm and 140mm, or dual 200mm. The top can fit up to triple 120mm or dual 140mm and 200mm. The rear is a static 120mm mount. Radiator fitment is like the fan fitment but minus the 200mm fitment. There is also a vertical radiator mount that runs parallel to the motherboard and can fit up to a 360mm radiator in place if you remove the HDD cage. Air cooler height is limited to 172mm, which is more than enough for most modern performance coolers. The S500 TG comes out of the box with two preinstalled fans, one 140mm in the front mid-height for intake and a 120mm in the rear for exhaust. The fans are 3-pin DC, so keep that in mind if you plan to use them in your finished build.
The S500TG is available at $119.99 at the time of writing, and this places it in an interesting area of the market. Some competitors at this price and feature level are the PC011 Dynamic from Lian Li at 9 dollars more ($128.99), the H700 from NZXT at $109, and the Masterbox MB530P at $126.99. The S500 TG will have to do a lot right to earn a recommendation over some of these stout options on the market.
Shannon's Chassis Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi) Z390 (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: Intel Core i7 8700K (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair Hydro Series H60 (buy from Amazon)
- Memory: Corsair Vengeance Pro RGB CMW32GX4M4C3000C15 (buy from Amazon)
- Video Card: MSI GeForce RTX 2060 Gaming Z (buy from Amazon)
- Storage: SanDisk M.2 256GB
- Power Supply: SilverStone Strider Platinum 1000W (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit (buy from Amazon)