Cooler Master Centurion 5 II Review

Compxpert - 2011-04-28 22:47:31 in Cases
Category: Cases
Reviewed by: Compxpert   
Reviewed on: May 18, 2011
Price: $50

Introduction:

The computer case's choice is a major concern when building a computer. The one you choose can be based on many factors including price, features, and looks. A case is a necessary component in any build as it provides a shelter for your Motherboard, CPU, and GPU in addition to many other I/O devices. Not only is it a shelter, it also provides a means to keep heat producing components cool. Cooler Master has been a long time manufacturer of many fine cases such as the Centurion and HAF. Today we will look at the Centurion 5 II. It comes in a few varieties, but this one in particular features a red and black design. That's right; it's red on the inside and black on the outside, which will be the first time that I've seen this done on a case. The case also features two red LED fans in the front and rear and offers the ability to expand to add on two more fans. So just what else does this case have to offer? Well, you won't know if you don't continue reading.

 

Closer Look:

Just one look at the front of the box and we already have a glimpse of what is inside. The Centurion 5 II comes in a few colors: black on black or black with silver accents. The sticker on the front of this box reads red and black attack - a prelude to what is coming - red interior!  Most cases, even if they are painted on the inside are usually only black.   This is very different in a very good way. On the right side of the box we are given some specifics for the particular case we have which is the black on black case. The back of the box gives further description of some of the features this case has, such as 2.5" drive support. Finally, on the left side of the box, we have a specifications table.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once opened, we are face to face with the case, which is sandwiched between two pieces of Styrofoam and wrapped in a plastic bag for protection during shipment.

 

 

 

Just from first impressions, this case seems to have the looks down and it is absolutely unique.  Let's get a better look at it!

Closer Look:

Here is our first look at the red interior of the case and other features, such as the included side panel window. The side panel window is capable of mounting a 120mm intake fan. Moving on the the front of the case we have our front panel I/O module. The module can be removed if desired or relocated to suit your needs. The front panel I/O includes two USB ports, MIC and Headset connections, and eSATA.  Depending on what version of the Centurion 5 II you purchase, you could also have an included IEEE 1394; however, this sample does not include it. Last, but not least, we have a picture of the right side panel of the case.

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While looking at the back, one notices the red interior color, which is also present on the rear around the Motherboard I/O and expansion slots. Like many case manufacturers are doing now, CoolerMaster also chose to mount the PSU at the bottom of the case. The top panel of the case features the ability to accept either a 120mm or 140mm fan. The bottom of the case includes a fan hole if you choose to mount your PSU so the fan is facing downward and the case does include a fan filter for this application. The bottom also features round rubber feet to resist slipping.

 

 

 

So far, so good; I'm really digging the red interior but we've only had a small peek at the inside thus far. So what is really there on the inside?

Closer Look:

The inside looks a lot better with the side panel removed. A quick glance shows this case features many tool-less solutions.  However, there seem to be few holes to use for wire management. Included on this case, as with many new cases, is a large hole in the motherboard tray. This hole makes it simple to swap out your heat sink or water block by eliminating the need to remove the motherboard. The first tool-less solution that I'll be taking a closer look at is the 5.25" tool-less sliders. To install your 5.25" device, simply pull off the front panel and insert your device into the bay. Locking it in place is as simple as sliding the slider forward and moving the lock switch down to lock your device into place. The tool-less solution for hard drives use sliders that, once attached to the side of the drives, allow you to simply slide the drive in and lock it into place. If you happen to need space for a few HDDs this case provides the capacity with up to five 3.5" drive bays.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The final included tool-less solution uses feet to apply pressure to expansion devices in order to secure them in place. Here we have a picture of the interior of the 5.25" bays. Five bays are available if you remove the I/O module. The rear of the case has plenty of room for wires to run behind it. Finally, we have the front of the case with the front panel removed. The front includes a 140mm red led fan to go with the red interior.

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The front panel features foam mesh on the 5.25" punch outs, as well as much on the area where the fan is present to filter incoming air into the case.  Next, there is a picture of the side panels of the case shot from the rear. In case you were wondering, the side panel window also includes a fan filter. Lastly, we have the front I/O module connections.

 

 

 

The fans that are included with the case are two red LED fans: 120mm and 140mm. The rear 120mm appears to be constructed from a translucent black while the 140mm is clear. Each of these fans produces a unique look when observed with the red LEDs on. The included accessories are a 2.5" to 3.5" bay adapter, tool-less brackets for 3.5" bays, fan filters, hardware, and 3.5" drive sliders. The case looks absolutely stunning with the red interior and the hardware components. The build went very smoothly with no problems, but I did have to consult the online manual to figure out how the tool-less solutions for the 5.25" bays work. The overall wire management was easy but it could have been better if there were a few more holes in the motherboard tray. The tool-less solutions for expansions slots were a little hard to work with; when installing my video card and sound card I had to tuck a portion under each of cards outer cover just so I could close them down. However once under each of the covers they easily locked in place.

 

 

Installation was fairly painless and it looks nice to boot. Looks aren't everything though, let's see how well this one performs.

Specifications:

Model
RC-502-SKN1 (silver with no window side panel)
RC-502-KKN1 (black with no window side panel)
RC-502-SWN1 (silver with window side panel)
RC-502-KWN1 (black with window side panel)
Expansion Slots
7
I/O Panel
USB 2.0 x 2 , eSATA x 1 , MIC x 1 , Audio x 1 (supports HD / AC97 audio)
Material
Body: Steel
Bezel: Aluminum, Mesh and Plastic
Power Supply
Micro-ATX / ATX
Weight
Standard ATX PS2 / EPS 12V (optional)
Available Color
Silver
Cooling System
Front: 140 x 25 mm Blue LED on /off fan x 1 / 1200 RPM / 19 dBA
Rear: 120 mm fan x 1 / 1200 RPM / 17 dBA
Top: 120 / 140 mm fan x 1 (optional)
Side: 120 / 140 mm fan x 2 (optional)
Dimension (W / H /D)
202 x 440 x 485 mm
8.0 x 17.3 x 19.1 inch
Warranty
2 Years
UPC Code
RC-502-SKN1: 884102007828
RC-502-KKN1: 884102007835
RC-502-SWN1: 884102008054
RC-502-KWN1: 884102008061

 

Features:


 

All information courtesy of CoolerMaster @ http://www.coolermaster-usa.com/product.php?category_id=19&product_id=2985

Testing:

Testing is always the simplest part of a case review. This testing begins with the computer idling for an entire hour, after which the temperature is measured with a using a combination of HwMonitor and RealTemp.  The components involved are the CPU, GPU, Chipset, and Hard Disk drives. The same components then have a load applied using Prime 95 for the CPU/Chipset and Folding@Home GPU client for the GPU. Hard Disk drive testing is done using HDTune. After running these tests for a hour, I record temperatures with the previously mentioned utilities.  Lower temperatures are better for computer hardware.  Let's see where this case stands with the competition!

 

Testing System:

 

Comparison Cases:


 

   

   

   

   

 

The Centurion 5 II did comparatively well, beating a few of the other cases in some of the tests.

Conclusion:

Overall, the Centurion 5 II is a great case from CoolerMaster. It packs many great features into one neat box. The case brings in visual variety through the red interior, which adds a nice touch not seen in many (if any) other cases. It also comes with two LED fans that aren't blue for once.  The features include certain common items regularly seen on other cases - a heatsink hole in the motherboard tray and a bottom mounted PSU. The Centurion 5 II does include other nice features like the tool-less solutions, which require literally no tools for installation unlike some others. The rear expansion tool-less solution is slightly cumbersome with expansion devices that have covers and the case's wire management capacity wasn't as good as it could have been.  A few more holes in the motherboard tray would have gone a long way.  This case definitely delivers when it comes to hard drive capacity.  It supports up to five hard drives -  a plus for those of us with many drives. So with all these great features, what does the case retail for? Well, a Centurion 5 II black with side panel windows (if you can find it) retails for around $50, which definitely isn't bad.  However, if you're looking for this awesome red interior it is appears to not be available yet.  If you're interested in the red or otherwise just love the case, you should definitely go hunt for the CoolerMaster Centurion 5 II when this model hits the market!

 

Pros:

 

Cons: