When I talk about a case being “traditional” I am speaking based on the evolution of the standard ATX computer case. Standard cases had the motherboard towards the left so expansion cards could exit out the back, exhaust fans were located above the expansion slots and the intake fan was located under the drive cages. Considering that external 5.25” and 3.5” drive bays occupied most of the space to the right of the motherboard the number of fans that could be installed were limited along with the size of the motherboard.
As computers have evolved the reliance on external drive bays diminished allowing case makers to replace the external drive bays with cooling fans or simply started to block the area off. Modern case designs typically reclaim this extra space in an attempt to make the case smaller and also save some money in the process.
Traditional case designs rarely deviate from what has worked for years and while the external bays might be gone the space remains allowing modders and system builder’s the room needed to install the gear to makes every build special.
The Cooler Master TD500 Mesh featured in this review keeps with tradition allowing system builders room to install a wide variety of motherboards from Mini ITX to CEB and E-ATX while still offering a full set of 7 expansion slots, dual 360mm radiator support and Addressable RGB fans. From a design perspective the TD500 Mesh is done extremely well with tempered glass crystalline facets lining up perfectly with the diamond cuts in the front bezel.
As an off the shelf case the TD500 Mesh is quite good and at a decent price. The three included 120mm ARGB fans can offer adequate cooling for both the chassis and any radiator you happen to install. The lack of additional fans is a little bothersome and likely made as an attempt to keep costs down over the actual need for additional fans.
I did find the metal used in the TD500 construction to be quite thin and easy to deform though still created a strong base chassis. Metal selection has typically been a cost savings measure and while the chassis as a whole seems strong I wouldn’t suggest buying this case if you are planning any metal modifications.
Overall I am still rather impressed with the TD500. The case features everything a builder could want while removing some of the gimmicky items that not only add cost but tend to do little more than create confusion. I would have liked to see actual trays for the 2.5” SSDs instead of removing the entire panel and the plastic 3.5” drive trays appear to be purposefully bad as if they were only included because it made the spec sheet look good. The case does support ARGB system installs with the three factory fans and cables to supporting the four major motherboard RGB control systems. Of course if your system lacks any RGB control Cooler Master has included a mini controller allowing you to run the fans in a limited number of configurations.
Dual 360mm Radiator Support
Triple Radiator Support
ARGB Fans Included
Traditional Case with Extra Room to Grow
Plenty of Fan Locations
Basement Panel to Hide Wires
Excellent Style and Design
Limited USB support
Thin metal construction
Vertical GPU requires additional brackets