Cooler Master Sileo 500 Review
Written by: Leon Hyman
There was a time when I would use hotkeys to adjust the fan speed on my video card to maximum, just so I could “rev up” my computer and show off a sense of power to my friends. Times have really changed. Nowadays, I prefer to keep things quiet for the most part. If I really want to show off, I’ll do so by the sheer styling of my chassis and any other accessories I see fit to use. I would also let the performance speak for itself and just fire up one of the latest games, with the greatest graphics.
There comes a time in everyone’s life where they simply just want peace and quiet both for work and play. If that is the ‘case’ with you, then Cooler Master has just the right case for you…
…The Cooler Master Sileo 500.
Specifications & Features
The specifications of the Sileo 500 are shown in the table below.
Features of the case include:
- Sound-proof design for a quiet computing experience
- Subtle ventilation holes located between side and front panels
- Easy access front I/O panel with support for e-SATA
- 5.25” and 3.5” tool-free design for easy installation and upgrade
- Aluminum bezel with elegant design
- Detachable anti-vibration HDD pads for noise reduction
- Stylish front LED
Let us now take a look at the case itself.
The exterior of the Sileo 500 is smooth and really easy on the eyes. The case is made from steel with a few plastic parts and has a brushed aluminium front bezel. The physical appearance of the chassis comes with the normalcy of most cases nowadays. There is nothing spectacular about the design but it remains very functional.
There is no side window but that would not be practical anyway because the acoustic foam sound insulation is installed on the sides as well as the top and bottom of the chassis. So that is not a con in this ‘case’. The front of the case features a comprehensive I/O panel. It includes two USB ports, audio, microphone and an external SATA (e-SATA) port.
Below the front I/O panel, there are three LEDs. The top two double as the Power and Reset buttons respectively. The third one is the hard drive activity LED.
There are thumb screws on the left side panel but there are regular screws on the right panel. It is understandable because the left side is the one that is removed most of the time anyway but I think that Cooler Master should have just used thumb screws on both side panels.
Although this part is internal…we can see it from the outside because the case is empty…
It is nice to see anti-vibration pads for the power supply unit. It is good to see that Cooler Master did not overlook this very practical piece of the silent puzzle. Here is a shot of the PSU installed.
The plastic feet are okay and are pretty much standard on most cases. However for silence, rubber feet may have been a better choice.
The first thing you will notice after opening this case is the black acoustic foam used for sound dampening. This is located on the left and right side panels as well as the roof and floor of the case.
The optical drive blinds that come with the case are removed by releasing a small tension latch from the inside. This can be done with a long screwdriver but the blind does not seem to be removable from the inside of the case. Therefore, I found it slightly annoying that I had to remove the front bezel to take out the blind, just so that I could install the optical drive.
However, the drive bays are all tool-less and the optical drives and hard drives are a cinch to install. For the optical drives, you simply insert the drive, line up the hole, slide the latch forward (you should now see both holes lined up) and lock the clip downwards.
For the hard drives, it is even easier. You simply put the plastic rails on the hard drive and slide it until it clicks into place.
The expansion slots also carry a tool-less design that makes it easy to install various cards into their expansion slots.
This case was not designed for gamers but specifically for those a bit more laid back and contemplative. Although adequate, it does sacrifice some cooling capability to provide the quiet computing environment that its users seek. Both 120mm fans (intake and exhaust) are quiet, running at 800rpm and move a fair amount of air.
It would be unfair to rate a case based on what you like personally and not what the case was designed for. With that said I will hasten to add that this case is surprisingly quiet, fairly roomy and possesses a solid construction while maintaining a stylish design that is pleasing to the eye. It was also easy to work with and made building a new system quite enjoyable.
- Solid construction
- Acoustic insulation
- Silent operation
- Anti-vibration design
- Tool-free design
- Lots of drive bays
- e-SATA on the front I/O panel
- Stylish design
- No dust filter on intake fan
- Motherboard tray is not removable
When all is said and done, this case still manages to shine above many others. If silent computing is what you are after, you really can’t go wrong with the Sileo 500. While using the computer, with the case sitting right on the desk, there was no sound being heard from inside the case. There was however, a very slight hum from the rear exhaust fan but nothing to really detract from the whole silent computing experience.
The Cooler Master Sileo 500 does indeed bring to the table what was described and touted by its makers. After proving that it can live up to such exaltation, the Sileo 500 receives the Alien Babel Tech Recommended award with an overall score of 9/10.
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