PC enthusiasts associate Cooler Master HAF series as tough and rugged case that offers exceptional cooling performance. The HAF 500 departs the lineage in terms of looks as it is less aggressive and more muted than what we typically saw with HAF series. Personally, I like the more subdued and inconspicuous looks on the HAF 500 that has just enough flare with the included LED fan yet not overly flashy.
Despite lacks in the looks department, the HAF 500 proudly wears the HAF badge when comes to the cooling performance. The case with the included fans does a great job cooling the components while keeping the noise level down. The noise level at 1000 RPM is barely noticeable; however, it is a little louder under full load. The good news is that the chassis is doing a good job of moving the air at low speed that most users would probably be fine running at lower RPM and fine with the noise level.
Our biggest complaint with the case is probably the dedicated GPU fan. While the fan helps to cool the GPU by one degree, it also poses clearance issue and also reduces the usable space. With ATX motherboard, the fan pose a minor inconvenience when access the front panel headers; however, it may be a bigger issue with EATX board. The good news is that it is removable so users have a choice here. We also have a few minor complaints. We found the plastic shroud for the PSU and the drive bay a little flimsy. We would also love to see the thumbscrew being attached to the glass panel like it is on the metal side panel, and would also love to see a couple more USB ports.
Don’t get us wrong, despite our complaints, we still feel that HAF 500 is a well-built case. It is definitely an improvement over the MasterCase H500. It has ample of space to work with thanks to the removable top. It has a great cable management, excellent airflow, and much welcomed inclusion of the USB-C connector. The inclusion of the RGB hub is also a nice touch especially for user that may have a motherboard without ARGB support. Retailed at $149, the HAF 500 is priced very competitively and it is definitely worth your attention when you are shopping for a mid-ATX case.