The CM Force 500 is the first from Cooler Master's new CM Force series that was just launched a few weeks ago. We did a quick check on Cooler Master's global site and found the details for the casing, somewhat ignominiously, buried deep in the "Others" section for mid-range chassis offerings; while the Eilte-, Silent- and even Centurion-series, each has a fleshed-out product range. This appears to make the CM Force 500's existence, a sublimation of some product designer's afterthoughts. However, with that said, Cooler Master is indeed one of the biggest manufacturers of computer chassis and they often update their products with timely refreshes.
At first glance, we felt that the CM Force 500 bears a slight resemblance to the Elite 431 Plus and this can be attributed to their dark, classy facades. Read on to find out if their resemblances are merely skin-deep or there are more differences to set these two casings apart.
According to its manual, the CM Force 500 is made up of black steel and plastic, and it tipped the scales with its empty weight at 5.23kg. That's very light case for a steel case, but that also revels that the metal used is relatively thin to achieve this. The next immediate feature that struck us after un-boxing is the presence of a pair of air vents on both its flanks. The vent on each side supports either a 120- or 140mm cooling fan; its larger vent supports up to two 120mm cooling fans.
The smooth facade of its front panel is broken by a pair of subtle folds that each end in a thin sliver of black wire mesh. The I/O ports occupy the top of its front panel, which comprises a single USB 3.0 port and a pair of USB 2.0 ones. For audio, there is a microphone jack and another for earphones.
At its rear, we can see that the chassis supports a top-mounted standard ATX PS2 power supply unit (PSU). Having reviewed a slew of mid-tower casings that support bottom-mounted PSUs, this is a hark back to the past where such a configuration was common - even for an entry-level chassis. We also noted that the metal plate that cover the expansion slots of the CM Force 500, need to be bashed out when installing an expansion card. Even the holes meant for accommodating the tubes of a liquid cooling system are given the same treatment as they need to be bashed out when the need arises (and as can be expected, no rubber grommets). Also, the CM Force 500 doesn't have any options for bottom-mounted cooling fans.