Introduction

When it comes to PC Cooling and Chassis, Cooler Master needs no introduction. Ever since its foundation in 1992, the company rolled out their first CPU Cooler in 1993 with major breakthrough coming in 1999 when their first all-aluminum based handmade chassis was launched. There was no stopping to the continuous innovation that took the company to the new frontiers of introducing liquid cooling solutions, power supply units, gaming peripherals, etc. Cooler Master is making strong come back in recent times with their cooling solutions and chassis.

When Cooler Master launched their H500P, its design alone got highly popular among the PC enthusiasts. Unfortunately, a few design shortcomings almost resulted in the users’ complaints and more feedback for the company. The company was listening and they came up with the modified version called H500P Mesh. The Mesh version has mesh upfront to ensure optimal airflow which lacked in the original H500P. Similarly, the front panel opening was adjusted and made more robust. The top panel’s fragility was addressed using a thumbscrew to hold it tight on the chassis though it is still flimsy and Cooler Master in their documentation has recommended not handling the chassis from the top panel. The H500P Mesh has retained the killer looks of the original version but has improved several weak spots around. The chassis has two 200mm RGB fans upfront. There is a single 140mm black color non-RGB fan at the rear. The chassis has support for up to 360mm radiator on the front and at the top. The rear can accommodate a 120 or 140mm radiator. Up to E-ATX size motherboard is supported. The cable management covers are the same as were in the original design. The PSU shroud and the storage area shroud are still present. The CPU cutout area still has the same plastic made stylish back cover. The chassis features 7+2 PCIe slots. There is no 5.25” drive support. In the storage department this chassis can support up to 4 2.5” SATA drives or 2 2.5” SATA and 2 3.5” SATA drives or a combination but 3.5” SATA drives can’t exceed two. The drive cage has two caddys and two 2.5” SATA brackets are provided. The user can mount the graphics card in the vertical layout though it sits way closer to the tempered glass side panel to my comfort. For more details, check the closer look section.

  • Item:                 MasterCase H500P Mesh
  • Manufacturer:   Cooler Master
  • Category:          Chassis
  • Price:                PKR 24,500/- [At the time of the review]

Specifications

Packaging and Unboxing

The chassis is shipped inside a cardboard box of the brown color.

This side has the Cooler Master brand logo printed on the top left. A fragile printout is on the top right cautioning to handle the box with care. There is a picture of the chassis in the main section. The model of the chassis is printed in the bottom left.

This side has the Cooler Master brand logo printed on the top left. There is a picture of the chassis printed on the right side. Salient features of the chassis are printed in 9 languages.

This side has the picture of the chassis front panel printed.

This side has the Cooler Master brand logo printed on the top left followed by the model of the chassis. Specifications are printed in the tabular format below the handle cutout. There is a white color sticker pasted at the bottom with the EAN, UPC, and Serial no information.

This side of the box has the Cooler Master brand logo printed on the top side. The model of the chassis is printed on the bottom side.

Open the box and you will be surprised. The contents are placed inside a gray color cloth bag printed with cooler master brand logo. The top Styrofoam has the accessories box placed in the middle. The user manual and warranty information booklet are placed on the left side.

Contents

Following is included:

  • 1x Chassis
  • 1x Molex to 2-pin power cable
  • 1x RGB LED hub
  • 1x Fan bracket
  • Different types of screws
  • 7x Standoffs and socket
  • Black color cable ties
  • Microfiber cloth
  • User Manual and Warranty Guide

Closer Look

The H500P Mesh is in the footprint of the H500P but several shortcomings of the H500P removed. This is a mid-tower yet it supports E-ATX size motherboards. It is from MasterCase series. The dimension of the chassis is 544x288x546mm. It comes in two colors: White and Gun Metal. The chassis is made of steel structure, acrylic top cover, TG side panel, and steel mesh front cover. The chassis has bit more width to it which is smart thinking to create a spacious enough chassis to house your PC build and it is water cooling supportive though there is no pump mount holes at the bottom side. This is due to the design restriction as there is a shroud over the HDD cage though the shroud could have the holes. The only option to mount the reservoir/pump is by using the ring coupling on the front side or in the horizontal orientation. It is time to take a look at the chassis design.

Exterior

It is time to take a look at the exterior of the chassis.

FRONT SIDE

The front side of the MasterCase H500P Mesh bears an aggressive and beautiful design. It has a three-sided steel meshed panel. The panel’s frame is made of the plastic. The gun metal color outstands the design. I am sure the white color will do the same. There is a Cooler Master badge pasted above the bottom section. The two 200mm RGB fans are visible. There is a bit of depth from the front mesh to the actual placement of the fans. This is done to ensure that the fans always draw on fresh air. The curved angled, lining on the structure of the panel really add to the overall looks of the case.

The above picture shows the filtered or steel meshed sides of the front panel.

There is a gap between the top-mounted I/O panel and the front panel towards the top side. This is where the user is supposed to hold the hand on the front panel and pull it out a bit.

Pulling out the front panel will not fully remove it but will make it remain intact from the bottom side. This design will help in ensuring more airflow if needed without removing the front panel completely. If I remember correctly this is another improvement over the initial H500P design where the panel will come off freely. In order to pull the panel out from the top, press the middle portion of the inner section and pull it out. The middle section has a latch that secures the panel to the frame.

The above picture shows the front inner side after removing the panel. Two MF200R RGB fans are pre-installed. The front-mounted radiator bracket is permanently fixed and can’t be removed. Thankfully, it is designed to be more inwards as there is a gap between the bracket depth and the front-mounted fans. The user can install up to 27mm thick radiator and still use the pre-installed 200mm fans.

There is meshed steel at the bottom of the case on the front side. It is locked using two screws on the under-bottom side.

The above picture shows the inner side of the front panel. There is a thin fine layered mesh on the vented steel.

I took out one of the fans on the front side. The bracket supports up to 3 120mm or 140mm fans and up to 360mm radiator. The fan mounts are visible and 120mm mounts are adjustable. There are cutouts on the inner side of the bracket from the fan cables are routed.

Let’s take a look at the MasterFan MF200R RGB fan. It has a diffused 9 blades and there is an inner diffused plate across the frame of the fan. The center of the fan house 8 RGB LEDs. The double-layer and diffused blades create one cool looking lighting effects. The frame of the fan is black. There is no anti-vibration pad on the mounting corners. Each mounting corner has two holes to install the fan as per the requirement. The fan is rated at 800 RPM with 90 CFM and 0.88 mmH₂O.

The backside of the fan shows the 4-arm assembly. The fan is rated at 12V DC using 0.30A. It is made in China. The MTTF of the fan is 175,000 hours. The cables are flat. The fan has a 3-pin power cable and 4-pin LED cable.

REAR SIDE

Let’s take a look at the rear side of the chassis.

Starting from the top, we have a large cutout on the left side for the I/O shield of the motherboard. On its right side, there is a mounting for 120/140mm fans with height adjustment which is good. The midsection has 7 PCIe slot covers in horizontal layout and 2 in a vertical layout. There is a standard ATX PSU mounting provision at the bottom. The good part here is that there is a PSU cover which is installed on the PSU first and then the PSU is slided in from the rear side and the captive thumbscrews are used to lock the PSU with the chassis. Reminds me of NZXT chassis design.

The top panel is secured and locked using a thumb screw from the rear side. This is not a captive screw which it should have been. This is another improvement over the H500P where the top panel comes off freely without a force. Now, it is locked using a screw though there is no other improvement done on the top panel.

The above picture shows the close up of the two vertical mounted PCIe slot covers. There are locked using M3 screws. The user can remove the screws to take off the covers and install the graphics card vertically. Please, note that there is no vertical stand to provide extra durability and strength for the vertically mounted graphics card. The card’s complete weight is born on the two slots and the PCB itself.

The above picture shows a close up of the captive thumbscrew on the PSU rail/cover. The two M3 screws above PSU shroud are locking the PSU shroud.

BOTTOM SIDE

Let’s take a look at the bottom side of the chassis.

There are 4 feet that are cut to shape to match the overall design symmetry and gives plentiful clearance from the surface for air intake. Each foot has a large size rubber pad pasted on it to avoid scratching the surface. There is a removable dust filter under the PSU area.

The above picture shows the vented PSU area with dust filter removed.

TOP SIDE

Let’s take a look at the top side of the chassis.

The top panel is made of the plastic and there is a transparent acrylic on it to see under the hood. This panel is exactly the same as is in the H500P with only one change which is mentioned above that it is now locked using a thumbscrew. Its sides resemble the sides of the front panel. The sides have meshed steel. This design reminds me of the top panel of the Phanteks Evolv ATX which saw too many complaints regarding the restrictive air outflow. Though the sides of this panel have more height to them, the very nature of the design is still the same. I would not have minded the steel mesh on the top side for better air exhaust or intake. There is a protective sheet on the acrylic part.

The above picture shows the front I/O panel which is designed in an angled slope going downwards from the top to the front. Following options are present:

  • 2x USB 3.0
  • 2x USB 2.0
  • 2x Audio Jacks
  • Cooler Master logo designed power button with a nice feel to it on when pressed.
  • Reset button
  • LED Indicator

There is no dedicated RGB control button here and I think this was addressed in the H500M version which is the most advanced of all in this series.

Removing the top panel off will show a radiator bracket. This bracket is secured using 4 screws. Removing these screws will allow the user to take off the bracket. The good part is, the user can take it off, install the radiator/fans and put the bracket back on and secure it. The user can install up to 3 120mm/140mm fans or 2 200mm fans and up to 360mm radiator on this bracket. The height of the bracket is approximately 27.2mm.

The above picture shows the top of the chassis with everything removed.

The I/O panel is installed using two screws on the top side. Removing these will allow the user to take the I/O panel off. I appreciate this design where the I/O panel is done independent of the front and top panels.

The above picture shows the inner side of the top panel.

The above picture shows the radiator bracket from the top side. The fans’ position can be adjusted as this is a rail design.

SIDES

Let’s take a look at the left and right sides (exterior) of the chassis.

The MasterCase H500P Mesh features a light gray tinted 4mm Tempered Glass panel on the left side. It has a fragile sticker pasted on the bottom right side. Minimal lighting will be needed to properly show off the cool build inside this chassis. The cool part of the design is how the panel is locked to the chassis frame. The border sides of the panel are dark black lined. Though they are not that apparent in the Gun Metal version, they would be more in the white version.

There is a large size screw on the top of the TG panel. Rotating it counter-clockwise will release the panel’s lock and it will slide open but will not fall as can be seen in the above picture. Kudos to the Cooler Master design team to cover this aspect.

The above picture shows the inner side of the TG panel. The bottom side of the panel has raised edged surface in an angular manner which sits over the chassis frame.

The above picture shows the locking mechanism of the TG panel. The hook is rotated to lock/unlock the panel from the chassis frame.

The above picture shows the backside of the MasterCase H500P Mesh. It has a solid steel panel which is locked to the chassis frame using two captive thumbscrews from the rear. Look at the overall symmetry and coherence in the design of the chassis even from the backside. Loving it!

Interior

Now that, we have taken a look at the exterior of the Chassis, it is time to take a peek at the interior.

The MasterCase H500P Mesh has a spacious layout which is seconded by the openness look coming from the right side. This is the place where there are storage drives options etc. Here, we have a metallic cable cover only. We have metallic PSU shroud and a metallic storage drive shroud on the base. This will help the user in making cleaner build without showing cable clutter and unnecessary items.

There is one 140mm black color fan pre-installed on the rear having a rated speed of 1200 RPM and has a 3-pin flat power cable. From its design, it seems like it designed for the airflow than the static pressure.

There are two beautifully designed metallic shrouds on the base of the MasterCase H500P Mesh. They are two in number. The PSU shroud has a Cooler Master logo on it whereas the other shroud does not have any branding. The PSU shroud has two 2.5” SATA drive brackets pre-installed on its top using two captive thumbscrews.

The above picture shows the 2.5” SATA drive brackets up close.

The above picture shows one 2.5” SATA SSD installed in a bracket.

Removing these two brackets will show the cutouts available on the PSU shroud. There is one large size cutout at the bottom end of the shroud with a ribbed border and there are 2 small size cutouts before it. This is where I have a complain as the PSU shroud is the one which will be facing the bulk of the motherboard’s bottom connectivity options and the restriction of using the bottom cutout is coming right from the very design. As the shroud snuggles using two latches to the structure and then using 4 screws, there is not enough space to route the cables as the other shroud has no exposed cutout at its bottom left side.

The above pictures show that both shrouds are secured using one M3 screw on the inner side. The PSU shroud is secured using 4 screws and the storage drive shroud is secured using two screws.

The encircled screws on the backside of the motherboard tray are securing the shrouds to the motherboard tray. They need to be removed as well before taking out the shrouds.

The storage cage shroud can be slided towards the PSU shroud as the hard drive cage can be installed on two pre-determined positions. The user will need to remove the two screws before sliding the shroud.

The above picture shows the second shroud removed. In the default position, the hard drive cage is located closer to the front side. In this layout, there is approximately 292mm of space available for the PSU and the cables.

The above picture shows the drive cage moved towards the second mounting position. This would clear up space from the front side up to 59mm but reduce the spacing for the PSU and cables to be 250mm approximately.

The above picture shows both caddies of the drive cage. There is one serious design limitation when it comes to the hard drive cage. The hard drive cage can only be operated from the front side. That would mean, in order to change or replace the hard drive from the functional PC build in this chassis, the user will have to remove both the side panels. The backside panel needs to be removed to unscrew the back of the shroud covering the hard drive cage. The TG panel needs to be removed to access the shroud and the hard drive. The shroud will have to be removed to access the cage.

The above picture shows the base of the MasterCase H500P Mesh with everything removed.

Let’s take a look at the motherboard tray area. The Cooler Master MasterCase H500P Meshh supports motherboard in sizing:

  • Mini-ITX
  • microATX
  • ATX
  • E-ATX

Each mounting hole has been coded with the alphabets for ease of identification with regard to motherboard sizing. There is a large size CPU cutout up top which has a plastic cover from the backside. There are two cutouts on the top side. There is a displacement of 55mm from the top bracket to the motherboard’s topside with 16mm of displacement coming from the side as the radiator brackets sit at the 16mm from the side of the motherboard tray. There are three main cutouts on the right side with stylish rubber grommets. Installing an E-ATX size motherboard will cover the certain portion of these cutouts making the cable routing difficult. The vented PCIe slot covers can be seen clearly. The area next to the rubber grommets is fully exposed and has a metallic cover attached to it. The idea is to route the cables through this cover towards the motherboard but going that route will expose more length of the cables and non-flat cables will pose a hefty challenge in cable management. I ended up not using this cover for cable routing.

The above picture shows the inner side of the front bracket to which the radiator and fans can be installed. There is a large opened space up top. The Cooler Master has provided a fan bracket in the accessory which is installed up top.

Let’s take a look at the backside of the chassis which has a similar appearance as is on the H500P. As can be seen in the above picture, there are covers. The bulk of the portion where the cables are routed has a cable cover. The idea is to present clean and sleek looks even on the back and I must say I like this approach. There is a plastic made stylish CPU cutout cover with rounded edges. The only exposed area is the PSU one at the bottom.

The above picture shows the skeleton of the chassis from the backside with covers removed. There are 15 cable tie dots or points. Unfortunately, there is no cable tie point on the left side of the frame which in my opinion should have been presented. There is like 20mm or so spacing on the borders for the cable management.

The above picture shows the raised feet with anti-vibration pads on their top. The PSU is placed on top of these feet.

The above picture shows the backside of the hard drive cage.

The above picture shows the front panel cables. We have standard Power, Reset, HDD LED, and Power LED cables here.

The above picture shows the front panel HD Audio, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 cables.

As the chassis has two RGB fans on the front, the Cooler Master has provided LED splitter cable to connect both fans to a single cable. They have left a space for one more RGB LED (12V) on the splitter cable. The other end of the splitter cable is either connected to the 12V lighting header of the motherboard or to the LED hub bundled in the accessory.

The hub has two ports on one end. One port is for the SATA cable to power it up. The other end has a 4-pin port to which the splitter cable is connected. The hub can be connected to the chassis front panel Reset switch but going that route will remove the reset functionality of the chassis.

The front-mounted MF200R RGB fans have 2-pin power connectors and they are daisy-chained. One 2-pin header and a 3-pin connector are available for further connectivity.

The Cooler Master has provided a Molex to fan power cable in case the user wants to connect both the front fans directly with the PSU.

The above is a picture of the Cooler Master MasterCase H500P Mesh with almost everything removed except the fans.

Experience

My overall building experience in the MasterCase H500P Mesh has been satisfactory. Here are some pointers for consideration:

  • Start with the motherboard.
  • You will need to install the standoffs using the provided socket.
  • Remove both shrouds
  • Install the PSU.
  • Pass and connect the EPS cable before installing the CPU Cooler.
  • Decide upon the cable routing as per your convenience.
  • The bottom cables connectivity will pose a challenge due to non-availability of enough cutouts and partially because the right side shroud has no cutout as well which is understandable as this shroud can be slided.
  • Spend time with the cables as if you will be putting clutter in a hope to cover the mess behind the cable cover, you will face a tough time closing the cover. The cover should have thumbscrews instead of the M3 screws.

Here are some build pictures:

The backside, if done properly, will give you a satisfying feeling for sure.

Here are some pictures of the chassis light up:

 

Thermal Performance

Following test build was done to test the thermal performance of the Cooler Master MasterCase H500P Mesh:

The AID64 5.99 was used to stress test the CPU, RAM and GPU including FPU and Cache. Each stress test was run for 30 minutes followed by 15 minutes of idling time. The testing was done with the following configuration:

  • The front panel only removed
  • The top panel only removed
  • Both panels removed
  • Both panels on

All the fans and pump were set to run at their 100% speed. Actual temperatures are reported on the graphs. The ambient temperature was 33.2°C. Average of all cores temperature is reported whereas the maximum temperature of the graphics card is reported.

Here is the result:

There is a difference of 2.34°C with both panels on and off. This is a marginal difference.

Not much of a variation for the graphics card thermals.

Conclusion

The Cooler Master MasterCase H500P Mesh is a mid-tower chassis based on the footprint of the H500P but with several shortcomings of H500P addressed in this revision. The chassis is available in two colors: white and gunmetal. They have released the Phantom Gaming edition of this chassis as well. When H500P was released it took over the market by a storm but that storm turned another way around quickly due to several shortcomings. Not to mention the acrylic front panel impeding the airflow, flimsy top, and front panels. Cooler Master was quick on that and came out with the H500P Mesh to cover the basic design flaws in the first version.

The Cooler Master MasterCase H500P Mesh has a bold, aggressive but beautiful design to it to my personal liking and with many flaws addressed I can see this chassis be my daily driver for a personal build. The dimension of the chassis is 544x288x546mm. The chassis can support motherboard up to E-ATX size. The chassis is made of the steel, meshed steel, and plastic. The side panel features a 4mm light gray tinted tempered glass which does not fall off by unlocking the top screw which is a plus side of the design. The front panel is made of the plastic and meshed steel. Its three sides have steel mesh ensuring that air intake should not be an issue. There is a bit of gap now between the front mesh and the pre-installed fans.

The top panel has the same design except that this time around, it has been locked to the chassis frame using a thumbscrew on the rear side. I wish they had done it with captive thumbscrew! The top side of the top panel is made of transparent acrylic. If the chassis is placed on the table then I wonder what good this idea is! I would have preferred a steel mesh on the top as well. There are vented sides with steel mesh on the top panel. This is where the air intake or exhaust is done. There is like 10mm or so gap between the radiator bracket up top and the top panel. If you are mounting fans on the top then I would suggest running them relatively slowly so as less hot air bounces back inside the chassis.

The chassis has 7+2 PCIe slot covers with 2 in the vertical orientation. Mounting a 2-slot graphics card should not pose any thermal challenge but anything above would see higher temps as the card gets closer to the tempered glass and there is no place for air intake here. The chassis has a clearance of 190mm for the CPU Cooler height and 412mm for the graphics card length. The Cooler Master MasterCase H500P Mesh has two 2.5” SATA brackets mounted on the PSU shroud. There are two caddies in the drive cage with support for up to two 2.5” or 3.5” SATA drives. In terms of the cooling department, the Cooler Master MasterCase H500P Mesh has support for up to 3x 120/140mm and 2x 200mm fans on the front and the top side. The maximum supported radiator on the front and the top side is 360mm. the rear side can house either a 120 or 140mm fan/radiator. The Cooler Master MasterCase H500P Mesh has two 20mm MasterFan MF200R RGB fans on the front and a 140mm all black fan on the rear. The maximum thickness clearance for the radiator is 55mm.

The Cooler Master MasterCase H500P Mesh has cable covers on both sides to hide the cable clutter for cleaner looks. There are shrouds covering the PSU and the drive cage. There is a back cover on the motherboard tray for the CPU cutout. Hard drive cage has two predefined positions where it can be adjusted for mounting. This is done to make room on the front for thick radiators. The Cooler Master MasterCase H500P Mesh has standard ATX PSU mounting with a removable dust filter underneath. There is a PSU cover/rail to which the PSU is mounted and slided in. The Cooler Master has bundled an RGB hub to sync the lighting to the Reset switch of the chassis as well there is a LED splitter cable that will allow the user to connect the RGB LED cables of the front panel to a single 12V lighting header of the motherboard. The MasterFan MF200R RGB is compatible with Asus AURA Sync, ASRock Polychrome Sync, Gigabyte RGB Fusion Sync, and MSI Mystic Lighting Sync. There is no dedicated lighting controller in-built.

A few issues that I have observed are as follow. Accessing the hard drive after building a PC inside this chassis is cumbersome as the user is supposed to remove both side panels, backside cable cover and the shroud of the storage drive. Adjusting the hard drive to the second mounting position will leave less room for the PSU and the cables. Not enough provision at the bottom of the motherboard to pass the cables. The side cable cover on the front side is located far from the standard ATX size motherboards which will expose the cables and will make it cumbersome to do cable management. I did not use this provision. E-ATX size motherboard will cover most of the cutouts (with rubber grommets). The back cable cover could have used longer screws for ease of installing once the cables are routed. The displacement from the top is 55mm for any radiator and fans combined. Keep that in mind. the ribbed design on the front radiator/fan mounting bracket would need longer screws if the fans and the radiator are to be installed upfront with the bracket in between. The front cable cover could have provided a reservoir mounting provision. Similarly, there are no holes at the base which the user can use to install pump or pump bracket. the only option is to use the ring bracket to install the reservoir on the front side. These were a few of my observations, overall, my experience with this chassis has been satisfactory and I am enjoying how good the backside comes out with all those covers. The front side is also looking clean in the test build.

The Cooler Master MasterCase H500P Mesh is listed at Rs.24,500 at the time of the review. A high price tag for being a mid-tower but can run away given the plenty of features and building capability. The chassis comes in 3 years of limited and Conditional warranty through the Shing.

I am thankful to the Cooler Master for giving us the opportunity to review their Cooler Master MasterCase H500P Mesh chassis.

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