January 18, 2019 | 13:00
The side panels are hefty but do at least lift off, and unlike some cases we've seen over the years, the hinge pins are different heights, allowing you to fit one before the other. This is a really nice yet subtle touch and makes reinstalling them that much easier. They also lock closed using two large nuts that rotate locking arms. These along with the small indentations to release the additional magnetic mounts for the panels weren't particularly easy to use, though, and lacked the refinement we've seen elsewhere.
The case offers excellent cable routing options both in the motherboard tray and under PSU cover, and the main chamber is roomy and logically laid out. However, it's not quite as refined as we'd expect on a Phanteks case at this price, for example, and there are few standout or unique features, with only a vertical GPU stand (no riser cable included) to shout about. The rest looks and feels very much like a standard chassis and isn't particularly exciting.
Once removed, the front and roof sections give you good access to the fan mounts beneath, either to install your own fans, clean the filters in the panels, or install liquid-cooling radiators. Again, though, while you might expect a removable fan tray with other cases, here you're left with fixed fan mounts. The case's size means that if liquid-cooling is on the cards, up to 360mm or 420mm radiators can be installed in the front of the case while the roof is limited to 360mm and 280mm radiators. There are limited built-in options for installing other liquid cooling hardware like pumps and radiators, though.
Air cooling support isn't perfect,either. You get a trio of 120mm fans in the case as standard and plenty of expansion possibilities, but CPU coolers are only supported up to 160mm, which is a tad restrictive, as it rules out several popular large air coolers. To fit any radiators in the front you'll also need to remove the drive cages located here too. Speaking of, when it comes to storage options you get six 3.5" hard disk mounts, each of which also caters for 2.5" SSDs, plus a dedicated 2.5" mount on the back of the motherboard tray.
Should you want to ditch the drive cages in the main chamber to make way for a radiator, then two of the six bays are located in a separate cage in front of the PSU, meaning that there's still space for an SSD and pair of hard disks, although to fully kit the front of the case out with the largest supported radiators, you'll need to remove the second hard disk cage too. For a more typical system with a large AIO liquid cooler stowed in the roof, the A500 Aluminum Tempered Glass Edition is certainly very capable when it comes to storage, but how frequently such systems will be paired with a £240 case is questionable.
Cable management is generally very good, and you get long Velcro ties that handle a typical system's worth of spaghetti easily. Again, though, we've seen plenty of innovation here from other manufacturers with covers and more elaborate features on their £200+ cases.
July 1 2020 | 17:34