Cooler Master HAF 500 Black Case Review

LazyGamer

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Introduction



Introducing the Cooler Master HAF 500 mid-tower case, Cooler Master’s latest entry marks the return of the classic HAF (High Air Flow) series case. The HAF 500 is typified by a pair of 200mm ARGB intake fans, support for dual 360mm radiators, a 120mm GPU fan that can be tilted to account for various length GPUs and will be available in black and white. It features elements aimed to streamline the user experience and is designed for maximum airflow and peak performance.



The Cooler Master HAF 500 will have an MSRP of $149, making it not cheap, but also not the most expensive, it’s geared for the enthusiast market. It will have a 2-year warranty. There is even a flagship HAF product in the works called the Masterbox 500, price is to be determined on that one. Today we will be reviewing the Cooler Master HAF 500 black case...

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Good review, thanks!

I like this, I wonder if CM would introduce a non-rgb / non-glass version at some point.

But if I was really into a blingy Diarrhea Christmas Lights sort of case, this would be it.
 
I like this, I wonder if CM would introduce a non-rgb / non-glass version at some point.
They certainly could - they do have non-RGB versions of all of the fans used, and I'm sure a steel panel would be cheaper than the tempered glass.

But if I was really into a blingy Diarrhea Christmas Lights sort of case, this would be it.
You can just turn the lights off :)

Sort of defeats the purpose, but since the case actually does have pretty good airflow, that's the real reason to pick it up. There's no shortage of hyper-blinged cases on the market!
 
I have always liked Cooler Masters stuff. My TR is stuffed into a HAF 932, my Regression build is in a NR200P. The NR200P is a very nice case, the 932 is just large, but it fits anything.

Everything else I have is Antec or Corsair. The Corsair Carbide 240 is probably going to get liberated from storage for a cheap Intel build. I'd like to redo my Plex box.

I'm in agreement about the RGB. The Regression box already looks like a poster PC for LGBQTSPlunge parade. It's a simple thing to swap fans.
Nice review
 
The HAF cases were always great budget offerings in my opinion. Reasonable quality, good layouts and solid cooling performance. They aren't my favorite in the looks department and aren't as nice as more expensive options out there, but they fill a niche and do so very well.
 
The NR200P is a very nice case
Wouldn't mind reviewing one of these, but I'd actually considered it for my wife's system.

Main complaint?

They don't have matching panels all around on the pink version :cool:

It's a simple thing to swap fans.
Definitely. Personally - and this is personal, so I didn't put it in the review - I'd be moving the 200mm fans to the top and putting in a 360mm AIO in the front.

Nice review
Thanks!

The HAF cases were always great budget offerings in my opinion. Reasonable quality, good layouts and solid cooling performance. They aren't my favorite in the looks department and aren't as nice as more expensive options out there, but they fill a niche and do so very well.
I'll say that I was somewhat surprised at just how solid the case felt, including the plastic - it really is built better than it looks. I also noted in Wendell's review at Level1Techs that they found the motherboard tray to be a bit flexible. I didn't notice that, but I also didn't try pulling on it - and once the motherboard was in, whatever issue it could be, it no longer was.

The fans are also pretty nice. I called them 'above average', and I think fan manufacturers are really paying attention to folks not wanting objectionably loud or annoying fans regardless of target RPM. The RGB on the fans isn't the best, but they do move air relatively quietly.

Along with the removable top... for an inexpensive case with great out of the box airflow - our Lian Li O11 Dynamic XLs were over US$200 and came with no fans! - that's this easy to work in, it's a pretty straightforward recommendation.

...if you can get past all the shiny :cool:
 
Wouldn't mind reviewing one of these, but I'd actually considered it for my wife's system.

Main complaint?

They don't have matching panels all around on the pink version :cool:


Definitely. Personally - and this is personal, so I didn't put it in the review - I'd be moving the 200mm fans to the top and putting in a 360mm AIO in the front.


Thanks!
Not a lot to complain about, but.... It requires a small SFX or SFX-L power supply. I had a 650 watt Corsair already, second thing is, there is not a lot of "Drive Bays" space. One could use some ingenuity and get an SSD or two in there easy enough. HD though? It'd look ugly to me if it's 3.5".
2.5" HD is doable.

I like the options for mounting the GPU, however if you do mount it vertically you are restricted on a heatsink fan combo. You do have to really dissect it to install the mobo and such as well, but that isn't a biggie.

It's a sturdy case. There are certain Matx boards that fit in it as well. Which I thought was a plus.
The Asus ROG Strix RX 480 is a fair sized GPU. It fits with no issue. I got both the glass and vented side panel with mine. I was unsure of the glass side, but it stays cool enough, and isn't that horrible as a fingerprint magnet.

The GPU has RGB, the ram is RGB, and it has the AMD Wraith Prism on a Gigabyte B450 with RGB. I had to go glass side to be LGBQT parade like.
Not good for sleeping around tho... Bright.

Case is solid, cool and easy to install stuff in. When completed it's a decent looker, Watch the fan speeds. It can get noisy.
 
They certainly could - they do have non-RGB versions of all of the fans used, and I'm sure a steel panel would be cheaper than the tempered glass.


You can just turn the lights off :)

Sort of defeats the purpose, but since the case actually does have pretty good airflow, that's the real reason to pick it up. There's no shortage of hyper-blinged cases on the market!

Yeah I mean we are paying for the RGB fans and the glass. Why pay extra for stuff I don't want. My tower sits under my desk and is rarely seen (Antec P100, one of the last great big black boxes with good airflow, silent running, and not an RGB to be found. Oh, and an optical bay).

If it was sitting on my desk, and I was into the light show, this would be cool. But glass irks me, fingerprint magnets. And I'm lucky to take my rig apart and blow it out once a year (I do clean the filters fairly regular)... can you imagine what kind of dust storm the HAF 500 would be like with those 2 giant 200mm fans sucking in dust and cat hair... all for the world to see bc of glass panel.
 
Nice review. I find that fan above the hard drive cage a bit odd/gimmicky, but other than that it looks like a solid case.
 
Nice review. I find that fan above the hard drive cage a bit odd/gimmicky, but other than that it looks like a solid case.
It's not going to help every GPU, but it did seem to help the ASUS 5700XT we're using. Main advantage where it helps isn't so much in terms of temperatures, but rather in relieving some of the cooling that the louder GPU fans have to do. As I noted in the review, the GPU fans are by far the loudest component of our test system, so anything that lets them spin a bit slower generally also lowers the noise ceiling.
 
Thanks for the awesome review. I've been a fan of HAF cases for roughly a decade now. My first Intel Gen 2 build(2600K/Z68) was in a HAF 932. Later I did another Intel build with a 4930K/X79 and then got a HAF X that eventually became the home for my 3700X/X570. These days I've actually mix-matched some parts from the 932 onto the X. I swapped out the side panel with the one from the 932 because it had mounts for 4x 120mm fans. Pretty sure I used something else as well but can remember what at the moment.

The gigantic size of these things has given me so many options throughout the years with so many configurations, upgrades, and new builds. I have to admit I was shocked when I recently got a SUPRIM 3090 and that thing barely fit in it. Seriously it presses right against the drive cage but there's enough play I'm not worried about damage to either board and the snugness prevents any potential of sag.

I've heard them jokingly referred to as fans that come with a case. I've gone off the deep end with mine by maxing out how many fans I've set up but they've allowed me to often overclock my equipment to speeds just below what I've seen done on liquid-cooled solutions but I know those days are coming to an end with the power hungry monsters that keep popping up these days. Not to mention it can get loud and there's lots of wiring for all those fans.

However, the cases do continue to prove themselves worthy since when I don't overlock things I can keep all the fans at around 60-70% and they're fairly quiet while allowing the 3700X to still boost to ~4100-4350 MHz while still under 70c. Meanwhile, I've really come to respect the cooling solution MSI has used on the SUPRIM, and even at stock settings, its boost clock will hang just above 1900 MHz and under 70c most of the time for demanding games at 4K/60 FPS.

Glad to hear that Cooler Master has continued to treat the line with respect with the addition of this new smaller one. A well-designed case can really make a difference in the enjoyment of both building and using one's rigs over the course of many years.
 
,,, (Antec P100, one of the last great big black boxes with good airflow, silent running, and not an RGB to be found. Oh, and an optical bay).

My daily driver is in a P180 and I wish they made this exact same case but with updated USB front ports. My box sits on a high shelf above my monitors, so modern cases with the ports and buttons on top are not accessible. I like the front ports and buttons on the P180, and I love the silence plus airflow plus bays behind the door (currently occupied by a DVD-RW and a 4-port SSD hot-swap bay). I replaced the already quiet fans with even quieter fans. And it has zero point no RGB bling. It's my ideal case, but unfortunately obsolete in today's standards.
 
My daily driver is in a P180 and I wish they made this exact same case but with updated USB front ports.

If you're handy with a hot glue gun.... I swapped out the front usb 2 ports for usb 3 ports on my Antec 300 (scavenged from another case I was trashing) and hot glued those suckers in there. That's fine bc it's a like for like swap, if you want usb C that could be more tricky. I suppose one could rig up an external usb hub and get creative with wiring, mount the ports somewhere creatively you can hide but still reach.

I love these big old Antec cases but the lack of modern ports is kind of a bummer. Antec could sell a lot of port upgrades for older cases if they wanted, but then that would demotivate people from buying their new cases. Their current gen big black boxes like the P10 Flux have the ports on the top, which I don't like... but has become popular. I don't like it bc under my desk they would be hard to access.
 
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