Cooler Master Centurion 531 (RC 531) Case ReviewFormer staff writer -
The exterior of cases have obviously changed throughout the years, from beige boxes to� enough designs to leave you lost in a whirlwind of choices. Despite this, the majority of case interiors have not faced major modifications. Yes, it is true that removable motherboard trays, toolless designs, removable drive bays, etc have been introduced, but typically these features will not be found in an affordable case. The Centurion 531, an affordable case, is almost completely toolless, and has a removable drive bay. These high end features in such an affordable case is defiantly a plus.
Airflow is another very important aspect of a case�s interior. Ideally, the air drawn from the intake rises as it warms up, thus cooling off the components. Eventually, the air exits through the upper rear end of the case. To further enhance airflow, there are several newer variables, such as wind tunnels, air ducts (which are present within this case) and blowholes.
A major problem I noticed was the hard drive rack placement which significantly reduces airflow. Unlike a standard hard drive rack (which is rotated 90 degrees) the air pushed by the intake has to be squeezed through the holes in the side and because the majority of the hard drive rack is covered a lot of airflow is disrupted.
The adjustable air duct on the left side panel is a great addition to this case �if your CPU heatsink is positioned in front of it. Whether the fan on your heatsink is pushing air or pulling air, the duct will reduce the amount of hot air that is recycled through the case. If the duct is not in position of being used, it can be removed by loosening the four screws holding it in place.
The Centurion 531 allows for a 120mm intake (which is supplied) and a 120mm exhaust, but the provided 120mm LED fan used for the intake is extremely weak. Also high performance fans such as a Vantec Tornado or Delta will not fit in the small gap provided for the intake. Now, enough about cooling, how about the rest of the case?