The Tower 500’s dimensions are designed with a greater emphasis on component visibility than component count. It is twice as broad as the typical Extended ATX (EATX) full tower but maintains the same height. There is no room, for instance, for a second power supply or any other unusual redundancies; rather, the room that it does have is used to provide a full-frontal view of a single motherboard that is up to 13 by 13 inches in size. This is because the space that it does have is devoted to this purpose. PC cases that give that amount of component visibility typically come at a luxury price, but The Tower 500 has a list price of only $169.99, which places it on a level that is more in line with the price of the typical enthusiast chassis.
- Room for motherboards and power supplies of a larger size
- Large clear-front space for the greatest possible impact on display
- Includes a kit for mounting on the side for large radiators
- cheaper than the showcase instances offered by competitive businesses
- Lower chamber covers will not be accessible due to certain hardware
- Lower chamber covers must be placed before the 360mm bracket set may be used
- Only two front intake fans can be supported
THERMALTAKE THE TOWER 500 SPECS
|Motherboard Form Factors Supported||ATX, Mini-ITX, E-ATX|
|External 5.25-Inch Bays||0|
|Internal 3.5-Inch Bays||8|
|External 3.5-Inch Bays||0|
|Internal 2.5-Inch Bays||8|
|Front Panel Ports||USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, USB 3.2 (4), HD Audio|
|Side Window(s)?||Yes (Tempered Glass)|
|PCI Expansion Slot Positions||9|
|120mm or 140mm Fan Positions||9|
|120mm/140mm/200mm Fans Included||2|
|Fan Controller Included?||No|
|Maximum GPU Length||325 mm|
|Maximum CPU Cooler Height||285 mm|
|Power Supply Maximum Length||330 mm|
|Power Supply Form Factor Supported||ATX|
|Power Supply Mounting Location||Bottom|
|Internal Chassis Lighting Color||None|
|Included Fan Lighting Color||None|
|Dimensions (HWD)||24.0 by 15.3 by 15.7 inches|
The Concept: There Are Times When More Is Better
A large magnetic filter sheet covers an enormous rear panel vent, there is a full ATX power supply bay with dual mounting patterns that allow the power supply to be flipped if desired, and there is a slide-out dust filter for the air inlet of the power supply bay. All of these features can be found around the back of the case. It is possible to remove the rear panel by first releasing two screws that are located on it, and then using the space that is created above it, remove the top panel. The slot in the top panel serves as more than just a handhold; it also allows cables to exit the enclosure.
The front-panel connectors consist of a single USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port, four USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, and a pair of standard audio jacks for a microphone and headphones. The power button is almost completely encircled by a power-on indicator ring that glows blue. The only exception is a small section near the top of the button that flashes red to signal that the hard drive is working.
Internal access is achieved by sliding the upper panels of the front and sides upward from their mounting slots. These panels are held in place by the top panel. Ventilation holes can be positioned at either the front or the back of the motherboard chamber by rotating the sides, which are interchangeable and can be used in either location.
When these thumbscrews are removed, the three sides of the power supply chamber are exposed. The lower front and side panels are held in place by the thumbscrews that are located under the edge.
After removing the complete outer shell, the proportional viewpoint is improved as follows: The motherboard is installed a few inches lower than the top of the case, with the component facing the opposite direction. This places the motherboard in the middle of the finished build.
Each of the two detachable panels that act as a partition between the power supply chambers and the motherboard can accommodate either a single 3.5-inch drive, two 2.5-inch drives, a single 120mm fan, or the two ends of a radiator bracket that comes with a triple-fan configuration. Each cover plate is attached to the front radiator bracket and the motherboard tray, respectively, by a pair of screws on the front and two tabs on the rear of each cover plate.
Removing a cover plate gives users access to a multi-pattern water-pump mounting point, which makes the options a little less definitive as we explore the possibilities. This is because the cover plate was removed. Pumps that have integrated reservoirs will prohibit the correct cover plate from being installed since they will protrude through the location where it is supposed to be. If you remove the right cover plate, you won’t be able to install a radiator on the right side of the case since these cover plates serve as the bottom mounting point for the accompanying triple-fan radiator bracket.
Turning the radiator bracket on the front panel so that it faces the bottom panel allows it to draw air from that vent rather of the one on the front panel. It also prevents the reinstallation of power-chamber cover plates, as the top of the bracket was formerly the forward mounting point for those, and it obscures the water-pump mounting point to some degree, despite the fact that enough of it is still exposed that it will probably still fit most pump brackets.
Two 120mm exhaust fans are held in place by a drive tray that can be removed from below the motherboard tray, and a power supply bracket can be removed from behind it. Since the default configuration of the case leaves 13 inches of space between the mounting flange on the motherboard tray and the front radiator support, full-size power supplies of virtually any length will be able to fit.
On the drive tray, there are two 120mm/140mm mounts, each of which can be repurposed to hold a single 3.5-inch drive; two lower cages, each of which holds a 3.5-inch drive; and two removable upper cages, each of which holds up to two 2.5-inch drives. All of these cages hold a combined total of four drives. Behind the motherboard, it is possible to install a total of six 3.5-inch drives, or four 3.5-inch drives and four 2.5-inch drives, or two 3.5-inch drives plus four 2.5-inch drives and two fans. The upper cages can also be replaced with 3.5-inch drives.
The Installation of the Hardware
However, if we use our simplified component set, we will at least be able to compare the performance of the Tower 500 to that of other case models that are less well equipped. The Tower 500 provides its builders a significantly more versatile configuration than most other cases. Two of our components were made available to us by their respective manufacturers in order to facilitate these tests: Because of its close proximity to the voltage regulator, the iCue H100i RGB PRO XT CPU cooler from Corsair serves both the CPU and its voltage regulator. On the other hand, the long cables and PS2 adapter plate of FSP’s SFX-based Dagger Pro 850W power supply (model SDA2-850) allow us to use the same component inside of different sized cases. The following is an exhaustive list of all of the hardware and software that we employed…
The Tower 500 comes with a beep-code speaker for motherboard headers, a radiator bracket set designed to hold three 120mm fans (or a so-called 360mm radiator), a bag of #6-32 (UNC) screws for 3.5-inch drives and various devices, a bag of M3 screws for 2.5-inch drives and motherboard standoffs, a set of four screws for installing a power supply, three additional standoffs to support the leading edge of 13-inch-deep full-spec
The factory will bundle the front-panel cables into two parts so that they can fit through the motherboard hole…
The cable group located on the right side of the Tower 500 includes a USB 3 Gen 1 that supplies power to two Type-A ports as well as an HD Audio cable that links the connectors for the headphones and the microphone.
Now that the connections are connected, we are finally in a position to evaluate how our ATX components look within the limits of the Tower 500: There is sufficient room beneath the leading edge of our motherboard for us to have fitted a 12.8-inch motherboard, but installing a 13-inch-deep motherboard would have forced us to remove the bay covers from the power supply, so we opted for the smaller of the two options. In the meanwhile, there is sufficient room to the left of the board for a vintage XL-ATX motherboard to fit, but installing such a motherboard there would make cable management more difficult.
Now, keep in mind that if the components of our test build were RGB lighted, it would more accurately reflect the use case of The Tower 500. The Tower 500 was created to display components, but we could have done a much better job of showcasing those components if we had just used components that had more LEDs. The test gear, however, is still the test gear!
A Stand-Up Guy Puts the Thermaltake Tower 500 Through Its Paces
We anticipate that the Tower 500 will perform in a manner that is somewhat comparable to that of Lian Li’s O11 Dynamic EVO, based on both the design and the implementation of the product. Although there is only about two degrees of difference between these two, the Fractal Design Pop XL Silent places itself in the middle of the temperature spectrum for the CPU. Even though it has gone through this minor setback, the temperature in the Tower 500 has been kept at an acceptable level.
The Tower 500 lags even farther behind in terms of voltage regulator temperature, and we believe that this is most likely due to the fact that the fans on our AIO CPU cooler are located at a rather considerable distance from it. Taking this into consideration, even its temperature dropping would be perfectly safe in conditions that are significantly hotter than ours.
Regarding the cooling of the video card, what the Tower 500 most certainly requires in order to become competitive is a pair of intake fans at the bottom, but at least our GPU was never hot. Although the difference of 1.6 decibels between the Tower 500 and the Pop XL Silent will be difficult for the majority of people to detect, our SPL meter revealed that the Tower 500 was the second noisiest case in today’s comparison group. In point of fact, although the as-delivered performance wasn’t particularly thrilling, it was unremarkable enough that we would likely just add a couple of quiet fans to the intake of any later construction in order to improve the overall equilibrium.
Conclusion: Is It Exclusively for Showoffs?
In spite of all the performance discussion, the question that needs to be asked is whether or not The Tower 500 would even be suitable for any kind of typical PC build. Because showing off is the Tower 500’s raison d’être, we won’t be constructing a show system in the near future with the same components that we use in our test build. Instead, those components will be packed with RGB lighting and selected for their good looks in addition to their excellent thermal performance.
Show-system builders are more likely to do far more than install a pair of intake fans, and they are more likely to see this sample build from Thermaltake as the lowest effort for what this case is supposed to do. This case is built to house show systems. As examples of the genuine nature of this market’s products, we are thinking of custom liquid-cooling loops, custom-bent hardline tubing, and pumps with massive top reservoirs. However, even if all you want to do is maximize the number of pre-lit RGB bits, such as at the link, The Tower 500 provides an excellent ready-to-go palette for your creative PC work.
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