When I first saw the S500 chassis, I was interested as the rounded edges of the exterior is a fresh looking aesthetic. As I dug into the S500 TG, I found it wanting in some respects but overall, a very stout and rigid foundation for a build.
During testing, we observed an ambient of 21.9C with an RH of 43%. The CPU showed an average delta over ambient of 56.2C, which is weaker than several options we have seen to date. This could be due to the single intake fan, as the single 140mm fan can only do so much, so I assume that with a proper fan setup, the S500 TG will prove to be a stout contender. The GPU also showed about 1C higher than average for most chassis, and this once again can be attributed to the weak single fan inclusion.
What we like
The S500 TG has some notable features that cannot be ignored. The first would be the overall stout nature of the steel chassis, I am quite sure I could stand on this base chassis with the reasonable assurance it would hold me, and I'm a big guy. The ability to rotate the entire expansion slot array is fantastic, although the cost for several riser cables is less awesome. The multitude of cooling mounting options means you can make the S500 TG yours and build it how you want as much of the chassis can be moved or removed to accommodate your needs. The massive space for cable management offers a great build experience. The gap at the top of the chassis for radiator mounting means that there are no issues for even larger AIO coolers to be placed in the roof.
What do we think could be better?
What goes up must come down, and this applies to experience with chassis as well. We had a lot to like about the S500 TG, and the things we didn't like, ranging from minor annoyances to complete oversight. Firstly, the elephant in the room with the S500 TG is the fact that the front panel side mounted inlet filters are more of a wish than a feature. The fact that the lower grab area on the panel completely bypasses filtering means that the filters may as well not be there at all since their usefulness is limited if existent at all.
The difficulty in removing the filters for cleaning is another demerit here. The large window in the PSU shroud is weird and does less to hide the PSU and cabling, which is the sole purpose for a PSU shroud. The lack of access form the cable management area to the PSU chamber is awkward and takes the build experience from super simple to much more challenging.
At the price point demanded from the S500 TG, I do think there's a market for it. Based on the styling alone, it is unique enough to require attention, and while my gripes are notable, I feel that they can be worked around. You may end up clean the interior more often, overall the chassis does what you would expect.
Thermaltake made a valiant attempt and came across with a competent and stout chassis with some nice and sleek styling. I look forward to seeing how Thermaltake improves its chassis offerings at this price level.
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)
Last updated: Apr 7, 2020 at 12:34 pm CDT
The Bottom Line
Thermaltake has created a stout and stylish option with the S500 TG. A little care and attention to detail while planning your build can net a competent and powerfully stout system.