As I watch on my desk a pre-production sample of the 500M, I ponder the amazing journey and the achievement that this case represent. I remember the hours discussing every millimetre, every details leading to this final prototype.
In August 2011, we started working on the design of an impossibly ambitious computer case. The goal was to build the absolute best microATX case on the planet.
We chose to design our first case in this form factor because it is probably the best balanced of them all. The vast majority of computers, even enthusiasts computers, never see more than 2 extension cards. In addition there are some truly excellent microATX motherboards able to overclock just as much as larger ones.
What was missing was a great case.
The ultimate microATX case would fit any length graphic cards, any size CPU heatsink and a powerful power supply. But that wasn't enough, what was to become the 500M needed to provide a lot of storage options. So we agreed on five 3.5" hard drives plus some SSDs. Some very high specifications for a large case, let alone a microATX one. The case would be very easy to access, have great cable management and high airflow to cool an ultra high-end computer. And the size? Smaller than the very popular V351 from Lian-Li or less than 27.3 litres.
Many mid-towers can't even do that!
With such ambitious goals we quickly realised that we had to start with a clean sheet of paper. And so we did. We worked crazy hours, fuelled by caffeine and take-away food, to create a case unlike any other. We designed it from the inside-out, starting with all the components and building the case around them. Every part, every bend, every cut has a purpose.
Although the forms of 500M definitely follow functions, the L-shape doors contribute to a very distinctive yet understated design. But the key words to describe the 500M are "no compromise": exceptional expandability, amazing performance, with all areas of the case remarkably easy to access. This is a case where you don't sacrifice one attribute for any other. All of this in a volume of only 25.9 litres.
After many working prototypes, hundreds of mechanical and airflow tests, and 18 months of hard work, what seemed like a crazy dream is right in front of me.