Cooler Master Centurion 531 (RC 531) Case ReviewFormer staff writer - July 21, 2005
When looking at the exterior of a case a good looking bezel is very important. The Centurion 531 has a rather unique bezel design and no case on the market today has a design even similar to this � yet. It seems that Coolermaster has gone with a more modern/ futuristic look with this case and I must say it looks very good! The exterior of the bezel is composed of 2 finishes: brushed aluminum and flat aluminum. Personally, I would much rather a completely brushed aluminum bezel, but that�s personal taste. The Centurion 531 supports five external 5.25� drives which should be plenty for the everyday user and one 3.5� drive bay. The bezel design allows for great intake, but is restricted by the filter and mesh which will be discussed in more detail later on when we look at the internals.
Moving onto the top of the case we find two USB ports, an IEEE 1394 (firewire) port, audio input and output. It would have been better if Coolermaster built an enclosure for these ports to prevent small objects such as staples from falling in, and causing a short circuit.
In order to remove the drive covers, one must bend the tabs holding it in place. The problem with this is that the tabs are made of aluminum and eventually with time and use, the tabs will snap off, leaving the drive bay cover useless.
On the left side panel we find two mesh grills, one for the duct and one as a vent. Also, there is an indent on the left and right panels to allow for easy removal.
In the rear, there are seven expansion slots, an 80/120mm fan grill, motherboard shield, vents and a hole for the power supply.
Usually, the bottom of a case is not important, but the bottom of the Centurion 531 is different from other cases. One would expect to find rubber/non slide feet to prevent sliding (this is especially important for those who put their computers on top of tables. However, on the Centurion 531 there are hard plastic feet which allow the case to slide quite easily, a rather scary thought.