Coolermaster Centurion 534+ Author: itsjustacompaq -- Posted: 2007-04-24Introduction
About two months ago, I received a Coolermaster Centurion 534+ that I ordered from Newegg.com. I chose this case for my new rig based upon its clean, upscale look as well as what I have heard about Coolermaster\'s reputation for good quality cases. Upon receiving the case, I removed it from it's remarkably well packed box, and just looked at the case. I then took it as much apart as I could without removing and analyzed the design and makeup of the case.
the day i got it and put it together.
The whole front bezel is mounted on a backing plate made of high-quality plastic, but nearly all of the outside surfaces are metal. The front bezel features a brushed and clear-anodized aluminum face with a very clean design. There are five external 5 1/4" bays along with one 3 1/2\" bay. Below these are the textured plastic power and reset buttons. Below these is an aluminum I/O panel of the same finish as the rest of the face. On the sides of the face are two quarter-round black mesh panels. The plastic behind these panels is almost completely solid black, save for two 5" rows of square holes on each side that let the light from two blue LED's through the mesh. The whole thing is held to the chassis by 6 1/2" circular plastic clips.
I find that the whole front bezel has a well-built, high-end feel to it. The clips hold very tight to the chassis and almost have to be pried off the case. This is a good thing in my opinion, and, with a little practice, can easily be pulled off the case. I only have two quarrels with the entire case, and the front bezel has both of them, though. One of these problems is the buttons. The power button is a little wobbly and the reset button comes off occasionally. The other problem I have is with the way the metal lower face is secured to the bezel. There are eight very thin aluminum tabs that break off very easily. Currently, there are only three tabs remaining. This is the only reliability problem I have found with the case.
This case is not a "pre-mod" so the side-panels feature no windows. The left side panel, however, does have a small recessed handle, a 120mm fan port with louvers stamped in, and an 80mm fan port with a domed out grill. The 80mm port is directly above the processor on most new motherboards and has an extendable intake duct that retracts from about 3 1/2 inches down to just over two. The other panel is just a blank panel with only a recessed handle stamped into it. Both panels will fit on both sides of the case. Initially, I would have preferred that both panels were blank, with no vents, louvers, or handles, but I can appreciate some people's need for extra fans in these locations. Had I designed the vented panels, the CPU port would also be a 120mm as opposed to the nearly obsolete 80mm, and both would have the same style vent.
The chassis has a very simple and pretty standard design. Everything is in its normal spot: the PSU is in the top-rear, the expansion slots are in the lower-rear, and the drive-bays are right up front. Everything that is used by a "normal user" (AKA a non-modder) is of a tool-less design. The front and rear both have spots for one 120mm fan each. The front fan requires you to remove the lower, removable drive bay. The bay can be reinstalled with the fan in place, or it can be left out for better airflow and a cleaner look. The motherboard tray is off-set from the side panel by about 1/4 inch and has a small hole at the bottom for case wires. There is a large amount of these wires, but they are long and flexible enough to hide behind everything. Only the audio cable would not fit through the hole, as it has many different connections on the end of it. I never use the front audio ports, so I removed this wire to make the bottom of the case look much cleaner. The top of the motherboard tray also has a small support tab to hold the power supply.
There is five external 5 1/4\" bays, and five 3 1/2\" bays, the top of which is an external, and the lower three are removable with two screws. The removable drive bays use small, slide-in holders that are pressed into the screw-holes in the sides of the drives then pushed into the bay. All the other bays use a sliding lever to push two small pins into the mounting holes. An advantage of this system is that if you want to change the positioning of the drive/accessory, you can just press the pins into the side of it rather than the holes. It is a very quick and easy, as well as secure, procedure to swap out drives.
I was very impressed with this case. For only $50, I got an exceptionally well built steel case. The features on this case are better, in my humble opinion, exceed those of cases double the price. Virtually everything on this case is made from fairly heavy gauge steel, with the only plastic or aluminum being on the bezel. My greatest annoyance with many cases is a plastic I/O port. I almost never use anything on these panels and often remove them. Many cases that cost more than triple the cost of this one have cheesy ports that are obviously just a cost-cutting measure. This case appears to have no cost spared at a price point that makes it accessible to virtually anyone.
Coolermaster has made a longtime customer with this case. I am a very thrifty person who still likes to have nice things. I believe this is a good balance between those two. The only item that I feel reflects this price is those pesky tabs on the back of the face plate. If there were a more effective means of attaching this trim piece, I believe this would be a nearly perfect box for the discerning quality connoisseur who is on a tight budget.
I hope this review was helpful, and I hope you understand that I have no affiliation with Coolermaster other than being a (now faithful) customer.