Cooler Master Centurion 5 II

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Posted by on Sunday, November 7, 2010 - 5:07pm

coolermaster centurion 5 ii

The newly released Centurion 5 II  by Cooler Master, is a perfect example of trying to put all the functionality that one needs into a case, without ending up with something you'll having to spend your entire budget on in order to purchase. And yet even with the inclusion of all that functionality you are not losing out on any styling or grace. The Centurion 5 II is a very handsome case that will blend right in no matter what you are looking to build, be that a moderate gaming rig or just a simple office machine.

Introduction to the Cooler Master Centurion 5 II

In today’s PC market there are three trends when it comes to computer cases. The first would be the simplistic look that we are seeing from many manufacturers like Lian Li, Silverstone Cooler Master ATCS, Corsair and so one. Then there is the gaming series of cases that are very popular and hit the market like a thunderstorm. Some prime examples would be Cooler Master HAF series, Antec Performance line-up and the Thermaltake Armor class. The last sort fall under what what I call the 'budget-yet-functional' class. This last class generally retails for less than $100, but offers a lot of the features of a top dollar enclosure. Our latest test subject just so happens to be one of these models.

The newly released Centurion 5 II  by Cooler Master, is a perfect example of trying to put all the functionality that one needs into a case, without ending up with something you'll having to spend your entire budget on in order to purchase. And yet even with the inclusion of all that functionality you are not losing out on any styling or grace. The Centurion 5 II is a very handsome case that will blend right in no matter what you are looking to build, be that a moderate gaming rig or just a simple office machine.

Cooler Master's take on the Centurion 5 II

The all new Centurion 5 II has been vastly improved from the inside. This mid-tower chassis is designed with increased drive bay capacity, more airflow thanks to the enhanced ventilation and fan options and easy-to-install features. This is a multi-purpose chassis that you cannot go wrong with.


Specifications

Models:
  RC-502-SKN1 (silver, no windowed side panel)
  RC-502-KKN1 (black, no windowed side panel)
  RC-502-SWN1 (silver, with windowed side panel)
  RC-502-KWN1 (black, with windowed 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

Motherboards: Micro-ATX / ATX

Power Supply: Standard ATX PS2 / EPS 12V (optional)

Weight: Net Weight: 7.5 kg / 16.5 lbs Gross Weight: 9.2 kg / 20.28 lbs

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 x H x 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


Closer look at the outside

We all have our different taste on what makes a good looking case as it’s all very subjective. Still, the Centurion 5 II you'll have to admit is a pretty good looking case. The styling is pure and clean, no signs of it being aimed at any one particular crowd.

The full length of the front is composed of mesh, including all of the drive bays. This will allow air to penetrate from various points for on overall cooler inside. To help eliminate copious amounts of dust getting sucked, in the entire front's mesh is backed by dust filter lining.

The front looks to be composed of five 5.25” bays, but only four are usable with the top most being converted to the I/O panel. The I/O bay is comprised of dual USB 2.0 and a solitary eSATA port. On the far right there is also a knockout plate for a Firewire connection, but that is optional. The front's midsection has an LED switch in which to control the blue illumination, as welll as your typical power and reset buttons.

The top of the Centurion is pretty bland with the exception of the opening where a 120mm fan can be install if you so choose (as one is not included).

The left side panel on our review sample is windowed, which the style is nothing fancy, just your classic rectangle. The window is fitted for the additional 120/140mm cooling fan. In the non-windowed models two fans can be placed in the side panel.

The right side panel only consists of a small indention to aid in it's removal.

The only feature in the rear of the Centurion 5 II that is of any real excitement is the 120mm cooling fan. If you for whatever reason feel so inclined, it also has provisions for either a 92mm or 80mm fan.   


Closer look at the inside

There are some pretty obvious features when comparing internally the current Centurion to the previous models. The first few would be the addition of cable management openings, a cut-out for changing of motherboard backplates and the bottom mount PSU option.

Cooler Master added a single inlet opening at the bottom for the routing of cables, and another small one near the top behind the first 5.25" bay, which the rear eSATA cable is already strung through. To secure any leftover cables Cooler Master has incorporated the simple zip-tie loops. We may not get the cable management as that in the CM 690, but this is decent.

Here we have a shot of the five bays at the top of the case. When installing an optical drive they are secured using these black plastic mechanisms.

In the older model Centurions the 3.5" drives were held in the bays using the same type of mechanisms like the ones above. That has changed now: two plastic bars are attached to the drive, then installed in the cage (demonstrated later). And a shot of the front 140mm cooling fan as well.

The power supply can be installed either fan down or up in the Centurion 5 II. In the case of facing the fan towards the bottom, CM has included a dust guard over the vent to help from clogging up the PSU internals, which can lead to the overheating of its components

To secure expansion cards in their slots a simple plastic lock is provided on each.


Installation

We took a few minutes to place a few components inside the Centurion 5 II to give you some idea of the amount of room inside. On the most part we found that the case has plenty of room to house anything a budget build would take. The card used in the build was a Radeon HD 5750 as our Radeon HD 5870 was too long and hit the 3.5" cage.


Conclusion

One of the reasons why I like this case so much is the front bezel. Cooler Master decided to keep a classic a classic. The mixture of plastic, aluminum side trim and mesh center is absolutely handsome in every way. The use of steel to make up the frame offers a very sturdy and well balanced case. The use of aluminum throughout would appeal to a few more individuals but would have elevated the price well above the $55 we saw on several retailer sites.

The time to install a rig in this case will be very short thanks to the tool-less features that Cooler Master implemented in the Centurion 5 II. The only things requiring a tool is the mounting of the motherboard and PSU.

The cooling is not so bad either. Of the four possible fan mount locations, Cooler Master fills two of them with included fans for intake and exhaust. Two more can be place on the side panel and top of the case for addition ventilation help.

The Centurion 5 II is large enough to house a very large PSU like the 1200 watt unit we stuck in. However, the chances of using such a PSU is kind of slim, as the case is not able to house any of the larger graphic cards like the Radeon HD 5870 attempted to install.

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