Cooler Master TD500 Mesh Case Review: $100 Airflow Show-Down

by birtanpublished on August 21, 2020

We've reviewed a lot of them over the years we've forged them in the fires we've tried to kill them and they've even tried to kill us they're the 500 the coolermaster cases that use the number 500 more specifically and we have another one

Today the Coolermaster TD 500 mesh is a case that's supposed to sell for about $100 it's got three included front intake fans and it's got a mesh front so that puts it in direct competition with the

Case that we marked as best overall and best air flow for 2019 the fantex P 400 a RGB this case is in about the right spot for the high airflow good value segment of PC cases but one thing Coolermaster has yet to master is it's

Overwhelming instinct of using the number 500 on everything the TD 500 mesh is what we're reviewing today and we benchmarking it for thermals noise and overall build quality before that this video is brought to you by the Corsair

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With Qi charging or it can be used wired learn more at the link in the description below apparently Coolermaster has gotten tired of us constantly drilling holes in its cases to try and fix them so this time

It's decided to just drill them in there for us this case like the P 400 a and like the NR 600 before it uses the ultra fine mesh approach to a front panel and that approach just means that you eliminate the need for a separate

Discreet dust filter in addition to larger holes matched like you'd find in an older case like the 1/2 ax for example so this approach is typically a pretty good one and it's one that achieves very good airflow obviously but

Also good enough dust filtration it's not quite as good as a separate filter plus the wider holes you'd find in more traditional older style mesh implementations but if you just wipe this down once every month it'll be fine

And the airflow is significantly improved as a result of this approach internally the case is pretty simple we've got three front fans in the stock configuration they're mounted outside of the

Elayne and we'll go over that in the build section written by Patrick in a moment the back can have an exhaust fan the one that's in here right now is one that we included for a separate test so that is not included stock and then the

Top you've got options as well obviously with just a large magnetic standard dust filter very simple stuff for that so appearance is with this design where a top priority for cooler master and for that reason we're going to be going

Through areas where pennies have been pinched and a few have been saved and reinvested elsewhere in the case so the chassis itself the tooling is designed with the intent of future reused you'll see this a lot in case manufacturing

Where tooling so the physical tools required to make the case cost hundreds of thousands of dollars for one version of a case and that means that companies try to reuse that toy in for years and years the p400 a is a great example that

Internal setup for the people are today feels ancient because it is they've been using that for years now and the same is true for a lot of the other cases on the market like many of ncx eh series cases where they reuse twin which isn't bad or

Evil it's just a good way to get some extra mileage out of the internals and then the paneling the fans all that stuff changes later on so this one actually is built in a way where if you look at it internally it's got the it's

Got the vestige of a five and a quarter inch Bay for an optical drive but it's not fully implemented so you can't put one in there and obviously the front doesn't support it anyway but Coolermaster is allowing for a

Future where that may be a possibility especially for the Japanese market where Coolermaster sells a lot of cases that have five and a quarter drive support specifically for that market because the demand is higher and so that's in here

As an option for the feature but it's not an option for this version of the case let's go through the good and the bad areas where pennies have been saved and reinvested and then we'll talk about thermals after that tune up for a fully

New case is a huge expense and we've shown factories of tooling back when we toured deep cools facilities in 2019 and cooler masters case manufacturing facilities around the same time it's not cheap to do designing a chassis to be

Reusable then is a way to offset that expense just ask DIY PC and there's an – OH which is a recurring many times used chassis coolermaster has plans to make this one last a long time

As well but looking and closer at it a few things that we noticed right away one side of the hard drive cage underneath the power supply shroud is removable to make room for power cables if no three and a half inch drives are

Needed but the other less important side of the cage is riveted there are no USB C ports built into the case the bottom power supply filter is just a square mesh clipped into the case with no frame or handle and none of the features are

Really all that fancy by modern marketing check box standards for marketing a case on nuoc but they're also not deal-breakers although the power supply filter isn't good but they're just indicators of the effort

That it took to hit a one hundred dollar price point money saved elsewhere in the case went towards things like appearances starting with the front panel the fine metal mesh of the panel is shaped into facets similar to

Fractals mattify cases but they're symmetrical rather than random it's clearly inspired in the very least by fractals design if not just straight up lifted from it the mesh has painted a light gray and it blocks different

Amounts of light from the three argb front fans at different angles creating an interesting effect the top filter is the same shade of grey but it doesn't always look like it since the large holes in the filter leave the

Black and white interior of the case visible unless viewed at a steep angle even the power supply filter we criticized earlier is made of white mesh to match the chassis the faceted design extends to the white plastic frame of

The panel which in turn lines up with a pattern pressed into the tempered glass side panel Coolermaster continues to pioneer new ways to work with tempered glass a material that's notoriously difficult to work with for its

Propensity to shatter we showed some of these efforts when we toured cooler masters third-party glass supplier a company which allowed us to fill nearly every single process in the factory except those related to custom glass

Bending and other such specialized techniques the TD 500 glass panel and design on it must be significant as a part of the cost of the case at least this part of the case so it's a pity that the design doesn't quite line up as

It should with the front panel the front panel is like that of fantex p400 a in that it has no additional filter layer just mesh and nothing else this if executed properly is the approach that we prefer one layer

Of ultrafine filtration will inevitably let more dust through than two layers but doing normal system maintenance is a small price to pay for good cooling wipe the front down once you start seeing dust buildup and it'll be fine the panel

Itself is lightweight and thin to the point of being almost fragile it's easy enough to take off so that's another trade-off you get here it takes a little more care to line it up and snap it back into place without any unwanted warping

The way the plastic frame appears to wrap around the mesh like a loose hood is an intentional illusion and the mesh is in fact flush with the frame around the edges leaving no air gaps side panel mounting is adequate but again

Indicative of cost savings the steel side panel is the same age-old design that hooks on with metal tabs and takes forearms to keep all the edges pressed down while sliding it into place at least the thumb screws are captive the

Two thumb screws on the glass panel are captive as well which is a neat trick to pull off with the screw that goes through glass at the bottom edge the panel is held into place with a metal strip adhered to the glass which allows

The panel to hinge out a little from the body of the case without falling off it's a good balance between inexpensive and still functional one aesthetic choice that we're conflicted on is the use of classic pins rather than normal

Fan screws to hold the bottom most front fan in the fans are all attached to the outside of the metal chassis meaning that the fans are screwed into place from the inside meaning that it's difficult to screw the lowest fan into

Place without a very short screwdriver that can clear the power supply shroud as an alternative to this problem coolermaster chose to attach the bottom fans with pins inserted from the outside of the case the major advantage of using

Pins instead of long radiator screws as they've done in the past with H 500 cases is that the pins can be colored white and can be blended in with the white chassis and the white fan making them effectively invisible through the

Front panel this is a good detail and we can appreciate the that Coolermaster has put into this very fine aspect in its catalogue of attention to detail items for the case unfortunately there are disadvantages as

Well firstly the plastic pins are tricky to put back into place and are not quite as tight as normal screws would be secondly the pins coolermaster uses are slightly smaller in diameter than fan screws so they're mounting holes are

Also small meaning that some of the holes in the front panel are just slightly too small for actual fan screws despite being used to screw in fans there are correctly sized holes right next to them but come on now RGB and a

RGB are very low on our list of priorities for PC cases but we've become intimately familiar with some of the frustrations of a RGB as a result of our recent cyberpunk 2077 case much cooler masters 3 pin a RGB headers may be

Physically the same as the 3 pin headers that Asus MSI asrock and other companies have settled on but they're not electrically compatible core serious should be at least as far as we can tell but they use a proprietary connector

Just to annoy advert when Alice and NZXT cease 4 pin a RGB headers are another frustration entirely the one uniting factor I'm on all competing RGB systems is that the software sucks it's garbage and z-axes cam is one of the most usable

Interfaces and given our opinions on cam that's saying something we mentioned this because Coolermaster has gone out of its way to make BTD 500 meshes lighting effects widely compatible the control cables include a converter

Module that takes two common types of a RGB headers and splits them into three cooler master headers for the three front fans there's also an optional dongle with baked in lighting patterns that can be hooked up to the reset

Button for lighting effects completely independent of software we received one of these with an in win case some time ago and it's been extraordinarily useful for controlling a RGB lighting effects without building an entire PC and

Installing terrible bloatware the included fans aren't particularly fast for 120ml topping out at 1200 rpm to about 1300 rpm there's always a plus or minus 10% but they are argb for us the most

Important feature is that coolermaster separates out the fan headers into a normal three pin header and a separate led connector rather than mashing them together into some unusable proprietary mess

Despite the narrow appearance of the front panel it does actually support 140 ml fans even mounted to the outside of the chassis inside the front panel for better or worse coolermaster has gone to lengths to minimize the holes and the

Black marks that might be visible through the front panel the cutouts in the front of the chassis are three 120 mil circles and there are exactly two sets of mounting holes for 140 ml high fans one is in the middle of the panel

And one is at the bottom of the panel it's unlikely users will want to replace or move the stock argb fans but it could easily be more flexible claimed rated air support for the front of the case is up to 360 millimeters but we'd say it's

More like 240 ml max since both 360 and 280 radiators would fall below the levels of power splash shroud and make tube routing difficult remember closed loop liquid cooler radiators should be oriented with tubes down to prevent

Serious pump line issues later and to prevent dry out of the pump radiator support at the top of the case is better with 120 ml and 140 ml mounts extending the whole length of the case clearance from the top edge of the motherboard to

The top of the case is just 3 centimeters but the radiator and fan mounts are offset a bit towards the side of the case away from the motherboard the distance from the motherboard tray to the 140 ml mounting location is

Approximately 4 centimeters and that makes the distance to the 120 ml mounting location approximately 6 centimeters cooler master says the motherboard support goes up to 12 inches by ten

Point seven inches and quote will limit cable management features if you're using a board that size it also uses the mostly entirely meaningless term EA TX which you can watch a different video on but they heads this by using the more

Specific term SSI CEB as well which we're fine with in fact there's nothing to stop much wider boards from being installed other than a lack of cable cutouts and threaded holes for standoffs the motherboard tray is flat and open

Across the whole 13 inch width of the true motherboard sizing and this case could support one was some modding kale management space is tight behind the motherboard trick

Cooler master lists clearance as one point nine millimeters but that's the maximum depth and in some locations clearance shrinks towards one point five millimeters the tie points next to the cable cut outs and the space under the

Power supply shroud make management possible but the small amount of clearance combined with the already difficult to wrangle steel side panel aren't fun to deal with the listed specs for drive mounting are somewhat

Misleading for 2.5 inch drives Coolermaster has included a set of rubber stoppers and metal posts that allow the drives to be pressed into place without being screwed down we've seen this system in past cases and we

Like it the misleading part though is that the spec sheet implies that there are only two 2.5 inch mounting locations outside of the hard drive cage but what it actually means is that there are only two sets of stoppers and posts there are

Four mounting locations two on top of the shroud and two behind the motherboard tray we did our standard test suite for the TD 500 match which has grown to include a 100% load torture test one CPU exclusive blender render

Test one GPU accelerated one a fire strike extreme stress test to stand in for gaming workloads and three further torture tests including now an extra one test with the front panel removed one with the stock fans normalized to 36 DBA

For the noise threshold and one using a standardized set of fans to replace the stock fence this time we did one extra torture test as well with the stock layout of the case plus a cheap 120 mil fan added to the rear exhaust for amount

In an air-cooled configuration for the standardized fans has to be mounted the two 140 mm intake fans the inside of the chassis as dictated in the manual in contrast to the stock fans which are mounted to the outside of the chassis

Well start the case torture thermals with just the cooler master TD 500 match and some other immediately relevant comparisons like some Mesha phi cases baseline CPU temperature in the torture test was 51 degrees Celsius delta T over

Ambient promising ly close to the average CPU DT of 40 60 with no front panel adding an extra exhaust fan behind the CPU cooler may have helped a little bit with the resulting CPU the 50 degrees Celsius again over ambience

But the unrounded temperature averages are within one degree of each other which at that point we generally consider that to be margin of error or test variance this is a good start for the TD 500 match though if adding an

Exhaust fan doesn't really help this configuration and if even taking the front panel off only reduces temperatures by four to five degrees it indicates that the stock fan configuration is close to optimal for an

Air cooler setup for reference the mattify see really needs some fans to be any good it's capable as illustrated by the configuration with two 140 ml Noctua front fans but it's stock performance at 54 c drags behind as a result of the

Bare-bones approach that's fine as long as the buyer is aware that just mesh isn't good enough alone compared to the rest of our chart of 51 degrees Celsius over ambient results for stock positions the TD 500 mesh where it should be

Alongside the 1/2 X the define as to mesh Phi and the 220 T airflow our most exceptional cases usually score in the 47 to 48 degrees Celsius delta T over ambient range so this falls just short of that that range of exceptional

Performers includes things like the P 400 a RGB measuring at 48 degrees Celsius over ambient and be quiet 500 DX measured at 49 cooler masters case may not exceed the others in this category but all three cases mentioned are very

Well cooled with stock fans that can take advantage of the panel designs GPU torture results are next again starting with only the TD 500 to end the Metro IC and then adding the others later GPA temperature in the same test as

Previously is 50 degrees Celsius over ambient which dropped to 47 C with front panel removed at an exhaust fan didn't hurt but the average temperature remains within margin of error of the stock result rounding to about 50 C we

Frequently run into scenarios where stock case configurations allow the GPU to pull air in through empty PCIe slots meaning that adding fans to force a more normal airflow pattern often ends up hurting GPU thermals that's not the case

Here though and it wasn't with the P 400 argb either which we'll look at in a moment since both have stock configurations which push air directly from the front of the case to the as for the mesh of I see it's decidedly

Behind in this set of tests because we're looking at a one-off where we added two 140mm fans more fully populating the front of the case would help its performance a bit more we have to truncate our 270 or so rows of data

To fit into a video so this chart is the shorter list 50 degrees Celsius is a more favorable temperature over ambient for the GPU in the comparative sense the tv:500 mesh is still a bit warmer than the P 400 a RGB at 49 degrees Celsius

Over ambient for that but it beats the 500 DX's average of 52 degrees Celsius over ambient in this test there's no secret technique to these temperatures the case has a vent in the front and only one layer and Coolermaster stuck a

Bunch of fans behind that vent sometimes that's all it takes the 220 t it also ends up behind the TD 500 and as for cooler masters other 500 names cases the H 500 playing kamesh the one that launched at about a hundred

Dollars originally is at forty eight point five degrees Celsius so it's ahead of the TD 500 but we wish our editors luck and finding the right 500 to highlight here our first blender test is with a CPU only render this marked CPU

Temperature at 37 degrees Celsius over ambient Thai Anette with the P 400 a RGB and putting it a degree above the 500 DX is 36 degrees Celsius average at this point this result functions mostly as a sanity check for the torture test

Results there are only so many ways we can point out that it's a well ventilated case but this is one where we only have load on the CPU realistically so it gives you a look at a different type of workload and now we can shift it

To the GPU only instead GPU temperature reached 22 degrees over ambient here and this ties it with the SL 600 M and the Leanne Lee 11 XL for best GPU temperature overall on the whole chart both of these were tested with bottom

And take fans pointed directly into the GPU so it makes sense that they would be among the chart leaders and without the full system load of the torture test GPU cooling is especially good which is promising for the fire strike extreme

Result fire strike is next hour gaming standard the TD 500 bash isn't that the absolute top of the chart here but it's pretty close 49 degrees Celsius DT it ties it with the P 4

– and gets it pretty close to the Oh 11 exhale again although the larger temperature range reveals the SL 600 m/s advantage with an average of 46 degrees Celsius over ambient the 500 DX averaged 53 degrees Celsius over ambient of this

Test giving the TD 500 mesh a slightly larger advantage than I had and the torture results the standardized fan test is most useful in cases that only come with a few fans since there it allows us to

See how a case will perform against others when it has a more proper allocation of fans added it's utility is limited here and this is one of the many pitfalls of standardized fan testing that viewers always really want to see

But as we described in our introduction piece of this methodology there are a lot of flaws to it still we added it by popular demand either way it's unlikely people buying that CD 500 batch are doing so with the

Intention of replacing those argb front fans CPU DT averaged 52 degrees Celsius a couple degrees warmer than the stock result which makes sense since the 140 mill in take fans we installed could only be mounted at the bottom of the

Front panel below the CPU level that's a mediocre result on par with the H 710 or the BitFenix anova match which just highlights how important the three stock fans are they aren't the best fans in the world but there's significant part

Of the value of the case and it makes no sense to pay for them and then replace them GPU DT us 47 see a few degrees below baseline again because we were forced to mount the fans as low as possible in the case by the lack of

Mounting locations physically this is a much more competitive result comparable to the Lian Li 11 XL with bottom and take fans and significantly cooler than the 500 DX and p400 argb but our point still stamped the stock

Fans are a large part of the reason for buying this case either use them or find a cheaper case that doesn't come with fans and supply your own you'll save some money with all the stock fans at 100% speed around 1200 to 1300 rpm we

Recorded a noise level of 39.7 DBA this isn't audibly louder than the P 480 Nords level of the 38.6 DBA result at 20 inches distance but that's enough of a difference that the TD 500 mash may need a steeper fan speed

Reduction to hit our noise normalized threshold we noise normalize the stock fans to a three of 36 DBA for this test which for the TD 500 mesh meant setting the case fence to 75% speed for a reported speed of just

Over 1,000 rpm which works out to basically the same percent or rpm reduction as the P 400 a required CPU temperature with this fan speed rounded to 56 degrees Celsius definitely warmer than baseline but still under control

This puts it between the NR 600 and the mesh YC in performance but while behind the P 400 a is at 51 degrees Celsius average this is still good performance slightly cooler than the mesh pices average but it seems that the

Coolermaster case doesn't excel with CPU temperatures at this noise level in the same way that the 500 DX and at P 482 and that comes down mostly to a question of static pressure performance here's the same chart except sorted by GPU

Temperature the GPU averaged 52 degrees Celsius in this test with the TD 500 mesh keeping with the trend of more favorable GPU temperatures than CPU temperatures here the TD 500 beats everything except the Lian Li 11 Excel

And Zonda o both of which have direct GPU cooling and it ties the P 400 argb the 500 DX falls behind with an average of 54 degrees Celsius over ambient given that cooler masters case ties the P 400 a for GPU thermals and was beaten by it

For CPU thermals in this test the P 400 a technically wins in a sense but the TD 500 measures overall performance is strong here and ultimately that level of difference doesn't really matter all that much this confirms the idea that a

Sealed-off case will be outperformed by a mesh front case if you didn't already know that with the fans turned down to reach the same noise level the TD 500 is one of the better cases in this price point and this price point actually is

Starting to get really exciting right now because there's finally a lot of good cases where they're all plus or minus about ten dollars from each other fan tax be 400 a we've mentioned a lot at this point because it's been a chart

Leader especially at the price and it's also been rarely in stock a lot of people are buying it the be quiet 500 DX the new one with the sort of Lian Leal and cool inspired front that's another case that performed very well at this

Price point it's not quite as competitive thermally as some cases but be quiet took a different approach design and still managed to execute well thermally which is uncommon to find unfortunately so you have a lot of

Really good choices in this price category we'd be completely fine if we were in the market for $100 case personally I'd be fine buying the P 400 a the TD 500 the be quiet 500 DX or if you stretch the budget a bit you can

Maybe Gillian Lee 11 but now you're talking about buying fans as well so plenty of good options there's not necessarily a right choice most of these do have some sort of looks flare to them so they're it's it's exciting because

The approach is these three different companies have taken coolermaster be quiet on fan tax show is that it's possible to make a mesh fronted fairly well – very well depending on which ventilated case that is capable of

Breathing but also having some visual flair to it so you don't have to have just a flat mesh panel a bunch of holes in the front of every case they don't all have to be rectangles with holes in the front there's obviously other ways

To do it the 11 dynamic has example the side Entei it performs very well if you have good fans in there and this one does well the be quiet gives you a different look so what we'd say is if you're looking for a straight

Performance per dollar competition a showdown in Thurl performance only especially with an air-cooled system obviously if they're almost changed a little bit but they the hierarchy mostly remains the same if you change the

Coolers if you're looking at a showdown head-to-head the fans XP 400 a technically has a victory it wins in terms of best thermals just straight up versus the TD 500 and the P 408 and it be specifically P 408 – d the AR 2b1

That you'd want to buy in that instance and that's $90 right now so it also has a bit of a financial advantage too but ultimately you're talking differences at this point that are mostly margin of error and then you should just buy

Whatever you think looks best for your bills the other key difference we'd point out is that the P 400 is a very old chassis it's been around a long time the tooling is ancient and it feels pretty old to

Build in this one is in terms of build quality personally I drank it a bit higher than the P 400 a is internal build quality the ease of installation but they're not that different so by whichever one you think looks best

TD 500 match did well overall it is within margin for the most part of some of the other performers on the top and it's price category so that's it for this one job well-done Coolermaster for putting out a case that yet again

Performs well thermally they've really turned it around over the last few years so we are happy to see them continue to do that go that direction with their cases as always you can support us directly at store documents nexus net by

Picking up things like a mouse mat or a mod mat or you can go to patreon.com/scishow and access to get access to our new behind the scenes video we posted one last week we're posting one again in a few days thanks

For watching subscribe for more we'll see you all next time

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