Cooler Master MasterBox Q500L Review

👤by David Mitchelson Comments 📅06-05-19

Well, it was only a matter of time that we saw a larger version of the popular MasterBox Q300L and there actually isnt a lot to separate this new Q500L from its smaller brother.

Casting an eye over this case and youd probably expect it to house a Micro-ATX system due to its size. Cooler Master has done an excellent job in condensing the chassis to squeeze in the ATX form factor while also allowing support for high-performance kit like big CPU cooler and graphics cards.

There is however a trade-off, or more accurately, a number of them. Since were dealing with very tight dimensions the installation process can be finicky and extra time needs to be allocated for such a build. With components being so packed in, cooling is absolutely essential and unfortunately Q500L has some major drawbacks in this department. Cooler Master has fitted just one cooling fan within the chassis and furthermore its been configured as an exhaust. Its understandable that having the PSU mounted at the front alters the ability to pre-install fans at the front but including a bottom-mounted intake would have been a better option pair that with an exhaust at the top and we have a push-pull design which takes cool air across the system.

The design of Q500L does bring in some benefits though if youre wanting to keep things compact, then this case definitely ticks that box. Its also lightweight too, coming in at just 5KG. If cable management is your forte, Q500L also does this very well by offering ample clearance behind the motherboard tray for organising cabling as well as hosting 2.5 and 3.5 drives.

Like the Q300L before it, the Q500L arrives with a very attractive price-tag firmly placing it into the great value for money department. This case costs just 50 GBP - $59 USD and $100 AUD. It may not have an ideal cooling arrangement but this could easily be adjusted and improved.

The Q500L may have a few drawbacks but its low-price tag is hard to ignore. For an entry-level offering this case has a lot to offer!

+ Unique visual appearance
+ Compact design
+ Lightweight (Just 5KG)
+ No disposable PCI Express covers
+ Multiple storage options
+ Can house high-end kit
+ Great for cable management
+ Affordable

- Cooling is mediocre
- Limited water cooling support
- PSU noise can be heard from front of case
- Cost

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