Cooler Master CM Force 500 - The First of Its Kind

Launch SRP: S$65

Interior Design (Part I)

Interior Design

The steel side panels are held in place with thumbscrews that are easily removed without the need for any tools. Inside, you'll note that there are no removable drive bays for the CM Force 500; fortunately, the installation of the drives is tool-free.

The interior of the CM Force 500 is roomy and is touted by Cooler Master to be able to accommodate high-end graphics cards like the AMD Radeon HD 7990-based ones. (Of course, if you can afford that class of graphics cards, you would get yourself a high-end chassis and not an entry-level one such as this.)

After the removal of the right steel panel (as seen below), we were able to see a single large cut-out on the motherboard tray that will allow us to mount customized CPU coolers. There's also a single cable management cut-out near the top of the CM Force 500. To the left of the large cut-out, there are options for mounting up to two 120mm cooling fans that correspond to the intake vents found on the side panel. This should be ideal to cool your storage array, but do note that it will impede direct access to service those drives; you'll have to remove the fans to gain access again.

We can see the two mounting options on the side for a pair of 120mm cooling fans - ideal to cool your hard drives. Beyond them, we can see the vertical structure that holds all the drive bays in place.

Delving deeper into the chassis, we see the bundled 120m cooling fan that sits above the two punch-out holes for water cooling tubes and seven expansion-slot covers. As mentioned earlier, there are no options to mount any cooling fans at the bottom of the casing.

A closer look at the interior of the case and note that there are are no bottom-mounted cooling options.

The CM Force 500 boasts of a tool-free installation experience and there are two types of retaining clips for the 3.5- and 5.25-inch drives that would be installed in the chassis. Both types of clips are similar in design but they are not identical. Supplied with the case are two pairs of 3.5-inch retaining clips, and one pair for the 5.25-inch bay variety. There is also a single pair of retaining clips for the external-facing 3.5-inch drive bay.

The retaining clip for installing drives at the 3.5-inch drive bay.

The retaining clip for securing devices at the external-facing 3.5-inch drive bay.

The front panel is easily removed from the chassis with a quick tug at the bottom of the panel. The plastic drive bay covers can be easily removed by pulling at their retaining tabs; even the wire-mesh, at each side of the panel, can be removed.

The black wire mesh can be removed by bending its retaining stubs; however, we see no point in their removal unless they need to be cleaned of dust and debris.

After removing the front panel, we can see the cooling options at the front of the CM Force 500; it can support a single 140mm cooling fan or a pair of 120mm ones. This means, you can opt to install front intake fans either in front of the storage bays, or at the side. However, it's probably not a good idea to use them both concurrently at the same height level.

We removed the front panel cover and we can see more options for mounting cooling fans.

The Good
Relatively inexpensive
Numerous cooling options, especially at its flanks
The Bad
Flimsy steel construct at expansion-slot area
Only a lone bundled rear 120mm cooling fan

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