★★★★★ £138 • From www.ebuyer.com
Cooler Master’s MasterCase H500P Mesh White is a great case for PC builds that need an abundance of cooling
This redesign improves the cooling from last year’s H500P, while keeping its neat-freak tendencies
IT WASN’T TOO long ago that the original gun-metal grey MasterCase H500P first went on sale, but Cooler Master has been quick to release an updated version that fixes some of the earlier version’s foibles.
As the name implies, the MasterCase H500P Mesh’s most significant change is greater use of mesh panelling. If this doesn’t sound like much of an upgrade, consider that the H500P had a solid piece of acrylic running right down its front, so while its dual 200mm intake fans were capable of sucking in huge amounts of fresh, cooling air, they could only gasp for small breaths through relatively slim lines of mesh down either side. Now the entire front panel is perforated metal, allowing for much better airflow.
To our eyes, it also makes the H500P Mesh White look a little better, and this is a strongly attention-grabbing PC case in general. Bright and chunky, with a full-size, tempered glass side window, almost nothing about the exterior design is subtle or understated. Much of it is built from plastic, but the whole thing feels sturdy and heavy, save for a surviving piece of acrylic on top, which provides a secondary window but feels flimsy next to the thickset side panel.
BLOW WITH THE FLOW
It’s also a mighty big case by mid-tower standards, at 542mm tall and 242mm wide. The upside of this is the vast amount of space inside: there’s acres of room for both the
largest of hands and some bulky components. Motherboard support scales from Mini-ITX all the way up to EATX; the CPU clearance of 190mm is more than enough for any respectable tower-style air cooler; and you’d actively struggle to find a graphics card that fills the 412mm of GPU clearance.
As well as the seven horizontal PCI-E slots at the rear, the H500P Mesh throws in two vertical slots, so you can mount a graphics card sideways (holding it up for you to admire its cooler design through the side window). Sadly, this requires the additional purchase of a £45 bracket and riser cable kit.
Much more generous are those two 200mm fans, which together with a 140mm exhaust deliver the exact kind of high-capacity, in-and-out airflow a spacious case needs. The H500P Mesh is also compatible with an excellent range of fan and radiator sizes: both the top and front of the case will fit radiators up to 360mm long, as well as multiple 120mm or 140mm fans, while the rear fan mount can take both 120mm and 140mm radiators.
For even more pizzazz, the front fans are equipped with RGB lighting, something that’s well supported on the accessories front. A three-way splitter cable is included, for group control over multiple fans, and a simple, single-button control switch helps compensate for motherboards without dedicated RGB headers. The latter can toggle the lighting for up to four fans, if you’re making full
use of the splitter as well.
Another, less obvious improvement over the original H500P is how the PSU can now simply slide in through the back; previously, you had to remove the shroud and slot it in front-to-back. On the Mesh White, all you need to remove and replace is a small bracket and some thumbscrews.
This change shows the H500P Mesh White’s wider approach of making PC building as straightforward as possible, while retaining a certain sophistication and tidiness. This can also be seen in touches such as the shroud, which can be half-removed if you only want to access the 3.5in drive cage underneath, or the large, grommet-fitted routing holes. These make it easy to thread cables through while holding them securely in place.
On that note, this case is fantastic at keeping cables and wires hidden away. Besides the shroud and the metal cable management bar inside the main chamber, even on the other side there are removable plastic covers for the PSU and front I/O cables, as well as any CPU cooler mounting brackets. Opening and closing these might add a few seconds to your building or stripping time, but the results look immaculate.
One of the few missed opportunities is storage capacity. It’s not that what you get is insufficient: there are two quick-release 3.5in trays, which can fit 2.5in drives as well, plus two dedicated 2.5in brackets. You can even move the latter around to your choosing, attaching them to the shroud, on top of the 3.5in cage or on the rear of the motherboard bay. It’s just there’s little reason why there couldn’t be brackets for each mounting point to begin with, which would have upped the total drive capacity from four to seven.
Otherwise, however, there’s an awful lot of PC case here, even for nearly £140. Its big, brash exterior belies a chassis that’s clearly been designed with a keen attention to detail and a quiet acknowledgement of the first H500P’s flaws. It’s a great pick for high-end builds that demand powerful cooling, such as those with dual GPUs.