CoolerMaster Centurion 530 (cont'd)

Inside the Centurion 530 is room for five 5¼” drives, something that none of the other cases in our roundup offer. Optical drives simply screw in, but the easily removable side panels make this a very minor complaint. The interior is nice and roomy, and the case seems sturdy enough to keep itself and the parts that it's holding in good shape throughout several years of use.

Click to enlarge.

While the case's drive cages aren't removable, the fact that up to three HDDs can be side-loaded is a major plus. Two more internal 3½” bays sit above the side-loading cage, allowing for a total of five HDDs and one floppy, or just six hard drives.

To use the side-loading drives, plastic rails are simply pushed onto the sides of the disk and then it slides in and locks in place. This is one of our favorite tool-less designs as it's a quick, simple, and secure method.

Another tool-less design can be found on the expansion slots, where CoolerMaster has chosen to use plastic locks that push out the back of the case in a rotary fashion, then push back in against expansion cards to hold them in place.

Click to enlarge.

It's a bit of a shame that the CoolerMaster only comes with one 120mm fan, but if one already has any sized case fan on hand, they can use it to improve the rather poor, out-of-the-box cooling offered by this case.

Fully installed, this is what the chassis looks like with our test bed placed inside. The cases that leave even a tiny amount of space between the power supply and motherboard are always easier to work in, and that extra space was easily appreciated, considering the placement of the main power connector on our motherboard.

One last shot showing off the included blue LED 120mm fan lit up - a perfect amount of "bling" for someone not quite willing to get a case with a full-fledged window.

CoolerMaster Centurion 530 Antec Sonata II


View All Comments

  • Abecedaria - Sunday, September 11, 2005 - link

    What was the criteria for choosing these cases? Most of them look nasty-plasticy and even the Antec P-180, although it looks good, has a veery plasticy feel.

    Where was Silverstone in your review? They have some of the best cases available:">
    and from their new subsidiary:">

    These things rock.

  • unclebud - Monday, September 12, 2005 - link

    please consider reviewing the performance 640 next time?
    it currently includes a smartpower v2 400w, for $129
    thanks in advance
  • Rudee - Saturday, September 10, 2005 - link

    There is an error in the article. The Sonata II does indeed have a removable air filter in the front of the case, thus should not be given a score of "0" for this catagory. Reply
  • Tamale - Saturday, September 10, 2005 - link

    The filter is removable from the bottom of the case only.. while this certainly is 'removable', it is nowhere near as accessible as the other cases which I gave this point to. I struggled with the idea of giving the case .5 for this category, but it wouldn't have made a difference in the end, and I really don't feel that most users would go through the trouble of tipping the case over just to clean the filter, so no points were awarded.

    Thanks for pointing out the detail though.
  • Rudee - Saturday, September 10, 2005 - link

    The Sonata II case is great. I was able to overclock a AMD 64 3700 to 2700mhz using the stock AMD heatsink and fan with one Panaflo 92mm fan in the duct over the CPU. Temps are great and I ended up returning my Zalman 7700 as I didn't need it. Reply
  • dgkulzer - Friday, September 9, 2005 - link

    After 1 month of use I am very happy with my P180. Assembly does take a bit longer than a standard case if you are trying to hide your cables but that isnt much of an issue to me. I put a Phantom 500 PSU in it and because its longer than most other PSU's I had to replace the lower fan with a thinner model (Nexus 120). I have 4 hard drives in the lower chamber and the Nexus at 5 volts keeps them very cool - I havent had the Phantom fan kick on yet either.

    This is one case that looks better in person than it does in pictures, the pictures make it look like a little fridge or something but it looks pretty sweet on your desk :)
  • mschira - Friday, September 9, 2005 - link

    I guess the two compartment design is great for watercooling. You could put the pump reservoir etc in the lower compartment. If something leaks, the electronic is save.
    I think that's great thing...
    P.S. onla trouble is where to put the power suply...
  • Griswold - Friday, September 9, 2005 - link

    Kids, having a flashy computer under your desk doesnt make the chicks like you more. Say no to stupid side windows! Reply
  • Tamale - Friday, September 9, 2005 - link

    you seem to forget that most kids who think it would look cool to have the window in the first place probably don't care about girls anyway ;)

    p.s. - most people (girls included) seem to think my all-acrylic case is pretty cool
  • Griswold - Sunday, September 11, 2005 - link


    p.s. - most people (girls included) seem to think my all-acrylic case is pretty cool

    Besides the total lack of EM shielding (which is enough reason to not do what you did, not only because it's not allowed in many countries (I know, I know, US is different, there, the cops wont stop you if your car has only 3 wheels..)), a full acrylic case is a nice show thingie. I just find side windows embarrassing, especially when the rest of the case looks like Optimus Prime's chest armor.

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