Being able to easily access any area inside the case is very important. It simplifies building the computer, speeds up maintenance and significantly improve the ownership experience.
It is also a complex challenge: how can a case be at the same time very open and structurally strong?
Our engineers created a unique frame-type design where every part is precisely shaped and positioned in order to optimally share the heavy load of high performance components.
The result is an exceptionally accessible microATX case. Five of the six faces of the 500M can be easily an quickly removed and the remaining face has a door giving direct access to a modular power supply* connectors.
The L-shaped hinged doors open up to 107 degree and close without screws. They give access to the sides and the front of the 500M for any quick change to the computer. If space around the case is at a premium, or to gain even better access, they can be removed quickly and without tools by simply lifting to unhinge them and pulling them away.
Likewise, access to the top chamber, where most of the storage devices are located, is as simple as removing the top panel. Finally, the slide-out motherboard tray allows the installation of the largest components outside of the 500M.
*Power supply not included
For the first time a small microATX case gives you full control over how powerful your computer can be. The 500M offers an almost complete freedom of choice of high end components.
The 500M welcomes enthusiasts and relishes so-called overkill systems. Downsizing does not equate with low performance any more.
Extra long graphic cards, super-sized CPU heatsinks and large power supplies are not a problem. The 500M also provides a fifth slot at the back, for compatibility with microATX motherboards featuring a second PCIe x16 (or x8) slot located near the edge of the board.
The 500M may save you the cost of a NAS or media server as well. With up to five 3.5" HDD and five 2.5" HDD/SSD the 500M can also be a high capacity file server.
Cables can significantly increase airflow resistance and aerodynamic noise.
Cable management was central to all the critical decisions we made to create the 500M. And designing such a space efficient case without cables interfering with the airflow was a major challenge.
The 500M is the first microATX case to truly tackle cable management. All cables are routed towards the front of the case, away from the airflow path. Most power and data cables for the disk drives as well as the graphic cards power cables run along the front left corner, where cable management hooks can be used with the releasable cable ties provided.
The long power supply cables can be "snaked" between more hooks at the front.
In addition there is a door on the bottom of the case, giving direct access to all the modular connectors of the power supply. Powering a new component becomes very simple and fast, never requires removing anything and the additional cables are easy to manage.
Inside the 500M, cables never interfere with the airflow, significantly increasing airflow speed and lowering noise.
The typical approach to noise attenuation is invariably to cover up all openings to prevent noise from escaping towards the user.
This amounts to treating the symptoms, not the disease. It works when the computer executes non intensive tasks. However, when gaming or executing any high load applications, the fans running at full speed and turbulence created by obstruction to the airflow generate a lot more noise.
The computer becomes noisy and its thermal performance is poor.
We took a very different approach. Instead of trying to cover up the noise, our engineers worked on lowering the air temperature inside the case and removing any resistance to the airflow. Both sides of the case have a large ventilation area, facilitating the exchange of cool air from outside the case and warm air inside it. The airflow path is unobstructed and short, resulting in optimal airflow.
The result is lower fans speed, much less turbulence, and consequently less noise. In addition, the front of the case has no ventilation area in order to prevent noise from directly reaching the user.
As for vibration, in addition to thick custom rubber grommets and special screws, we replaced the usual vibration prone drive cage with two independent parts. To prevent vibration amplification, we made these parts small and we reduced their contact area with the rest of the case. Vibration is significantly reduced resulting in less noise.