Description

With the release of Coffee Lake, there is finally a CPU worth upgrading to from my aging i7 2600K. Ryzen wasn't an option as Ryzen loses to Intel, significantly, in gaming. As I don't do any sort of production workload, Ryzen isn't a good choice.

The Coffee Lake rumors started to drop during Computex, and that's right when the H500P was announced. I've been acquiring parts for this system since then. Though I am extremely upset about how terrible the H500P is, and recommend no one buy it. Not at least until CM takes the time to fix it.

Beyond it's airflow issue, and thus poor thermal performance, it has numerous other issues. The front and top panels pop off if you look at them funny, the acrylic on those panels also scratches if you look at them funny. There is literally no method you can use to clean dust off those panels that doesn't scratch them. Even using the included cloth damages the acrylic panels. The case also has manufacturing defects, such as the "optional" bracket to mount triple 120/140 fans in the front can not be mounted due to the screw holes in the chassis being misaligned. The bracket , and the rest of the rail, also have different pieces of metal sticking out from them that either prevent fans from being mounted completely or will get hit by the fan blades as they spin.

I made a couple of modifications to the case to try and compensate for the air flow issues. I mounted a 140mm high SP fan in the front, behind the 200mm fans, to help push air towards the GPU. Which is significantly starved of airflow in this case. Beneath the GPU I also mounted an 80mm fan (it's from BeQuiet so it's not loud) to remove hot air that gets trapped beneath the GPU

The rad for my CLC 280, mounted in the top, is mounted as intake. I did this to try and create as much positive pressure in the case. With just the normal rear exhaust fan, and the 80mm fan I added beneth the GPU, there should be more fresh air coming into the case, specifically through the dust filters than is being exhausted.

That's important because this case has numerous gaps for air, and therefore dust, to be sucked into the case if there is a negative pressure environment in the case. The entire TG side panel just rests against the side of the chassis, and not even flush, which means the entire edge of that panel creates a gap to let dust in. On a good case the TG side panel sits recessed into the chassis to prevent such a gap. They also normally mount with thumb screws instead of a cheap lock that doesn't hold the panel flush to the case.

The parts list only includes things purchased specifically for this build. It does not include an additional SSD and some HDDs that were transfered over from my old case. Speaking of drives, the SSD sleds that normally sit on the PSU shroud can either be moved to the back chamber of the case. or you can mount one of them on top the 3.5" drive cage. It's a really snug fit, especially the cables, but is doable. CM doesn't advertise it that way, but the cage is a reused part from the MasterCase series which allows stacking of cages and sleds like that.

Per Gamers Nexus, CM is allegedly going to be releasing replacement top and front panels that have mesh instead of acrylic. Sadly they will likely just sell those as an additional purchase item. People who already have the case likely won't be given a set, as they should, and it's unlikely they will sell the case with those panels as a default option. That's keeping with their entire MasterCase series, where all the good accessories are never included. (Such as the H500P supporting vertical GPU mounting out of the box, but CM does not even offer a stand alone riser cable. Though the temps when using the vertical GPU mount are terrible anyways)

Comments

  • 23 months ago
  • 11 points

[ Looks over at current build - ponders the aging 2600K within ]

"I feel like I need a coffee"

Nice build

  • 23 months ago
  • 3 points

+1 for Akhmed !! Clean build !! Do you find the front and top panels a bit flimsy in the H500P ?

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes, the front and top panels, in addition to popping off easy and being poorly designed for "high airflow", are very cheap/flimsy. It's apparent they took an existing chassis, this one has mounts and screw holes it's parts can't use, and Frankenstiened these other parts onto it just to trade on the HAF name.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

Yep. I was really looking forward to a good HAF case. Was a fan of the 912 and HAF X back in the day. This just looks a bit rushed.

  • 23 months ago
  • 3 points

I was somewhat interested in this case but your review has put me off Cooler Master products for good. Think I'll stick with Phanteks, Corsair and Fractal Design.

You should review the case and give it a rating, that way it would be more visible when people are researching parts for their build.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

Hmmm, I reviewed on Newegg where I bought it. I don't see where I can review it here. Checking those reviews on Newegg, and it's funny how many clueless people there are out there. Either bashing Gamers Nexus, going as far as to claim GN was lying in their review. Or complaining about a lack of RGB controller, even though Cooler Master is the only RGB fan manufacture to design fans that don't require a controller.

If you use things like Corsair or NZXT RGB fans, they require their special RGB controller of the same brand. Some of them will work with one specific type of motherboard software, usually ASUS. But Cooler Master designed their RGB fans to work with nearly every major motherboard manufacture's built in RGB software. Gigabyte, ASUS, ASRock, MSI, it works with all of them.

Including an RGB controller just drives up the cost of the case. If the fans work without one, it's a waste of money to force everyone person who buys a case to pay for one. The included 200mm RGB fans even come attached to a 3 way splitter, which allows you to connect a 3rd RGB device without having to buy you're own splitter.

CM does sell their own RGB controller, and it's the least expensive RGB controller on the market too. Corsiar and NZXT controller are both far more expensive. RGB is the one thing CM has done right, and they've done it better than any other brand. Some people may like the looks of the RGB implementation on other fans, but CM has the best and least expensive execution out of any of them.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

I think you need to edit your completed build and add reviews there.

Its just disappointing a case that looked like it had good airflow coupled with a sleek/minimalist design actually has poor airflow.

  • 23 months ago
  • 2 points

Shame about the case. Sweet build otherwise, how's the Colombian Roast processor treating you?

  • 23 months ago
  • 2 points

Yknow the case at first was something I thought I would want to get but after hearing all this stuff about it being kinda bad, it’s not even worth that premium price for it, I would prefer getting something from Corsair again if anything.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

The case is always the most difficult part of any build ;) I feel ya!

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

Isn't that motherboard excessive? I'm just curious, getting parts together for when 8700k becomes readily available again.

  • 23 months ago
  • 2 points

I bought the board for the extra features I wanted, and the looks. Yes a cheaper Gaming Ultra board will perform just as well, but this is what I wanted.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, trying to cut some costs where it won't affect function due to the cost of a scalped i7-8700k right now! Weighing waiting vs. impulse-buying immediately.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

Very nice. Sucks that it scratches so easily, because it looks great.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

Have you considered meshifying the case so it is actual a high airflow case (If you don't know what I am talking about, check out Gamer's Nexus' review).

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes, I exchanged some Tweets with GN about the exact dimensions and the filter he used. Sadly he's never named the exact filter and all the ones I've found are the wrong size. The front needs a 16x7 inch filter, but the closest I've found is 18x7. Not sure how well modding the filter will work to keep the edges clean.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

Damn! I am proud that you know this! Good to hear about an informed consumer.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

So much hype around this case and suddenly booohhhhh..... I think I will keep my Define R5 a little bit longer.

Btw, how is the Gigabyte Z370 Gaming 7 behaving? I am between that one and the Maximus X Hero.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

I absolutely love the Gaming 7. Unless you need built in wifi, and I feel sorry if you do, you're better off saving the $30 with the Gaming 7 over the Maximus X Hero. The boards are comparable in most of their features, and benchmark wise their only differences came down to the ASUS boards enabling Intel MCE under the auto/default settings without telling the user.

Which was wrong of them and several reviewers called them out for it. Reviewers raised enough of a stink over it that ASUS is changing their BIOS because of it. Jayztwocents also posted a rant about how terrible the ASUS Aura Sync software is. It nearly bricked his system it's so bad.

The only minor complaint I have about the Gigabyte board is it has USB power saving disabled by default. While that doesn't sound bad, it meant that my keyboard or mouse would power themselves up, including their lights, if I accidentally pressed one of their keys while the system was fully shut down. It didn't boot the whole system up, it's not power on by keyboard or anything like that, but the system would keep the full voltage running to all the USB ports, even with the system off.

It's useful if you're someone who uses something like a wireless mouse that you want to charge while the system is off. But with all my devices being wired, it was just annoying to have to unplug my keyboard if I touched it wrong while the system was off. But it's an easy setting in the BIOS to change.

The gaming 7 also has 5 USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports on the back, compared to the Maximus X Hero which has just 4, but has 2 USB 2.0 ports instead of that 5th 3.1 port. Both have a single 3.1 Gen 2 and USB type C port on them.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

I forgot to mention that the on board AMP for the Gaming 7 absolutely works. I don't have a overly difficult headset to drive, an original HyperX Cloud, but it's certainly not the easiest. I can definitely hear a difference compared to my 6+ year old ASUS board. Several companies boast offering on board AMPs and DACs these days, but I can say first hand the Gigabyte one works.

I'm not even using the included SoundBlaster software. But the AMP is certainly providing more power, allowing the headset to be even louder than before. I have my volume levels at a fraction of what they were with my old board. It's almost too loud, before I got everything set properly I had the audio from one video produce so much bass that the drivers displaced enough air to lift the cans off my ears slightly.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

I am a little worried after reading your review / build experience since i already bought this case...

Did you mount 3x 140s across the top vehind the AIO?

I have a X62 Kraken for this build and the rad's fan screw holes def won't line up with the 3x 140s at the top.

I like how you moved the AIO closer to the middle though. I gues front mounting will suck with what sounds like already low air flow.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

No, I do not have triple 140's across the top, though I have considered it. I'm still playing around with the optimal airflow set up. You can mount triple 140's up there though, no matter what radiator you use, so long as the fans are mounted above the radiator. The rad then just mounts to the two 140's that are towards the front of the case.. The top of radiators are all designed so there is no obstruction at the top that interferes with additional fans on that side. You just can't mount the rad on the top rear most fan as the rad will hit the rear exhaust fan for the case.

One thing I have changed is I've set the rad to exhaust. While this does result in slightly warmer CPU temps, it does not increase GPU temps at all like setting it to intake did. With how GPU boost works, the GPU will reduce clocks based on temp, basically anything over 50c and the highest boost clock it can achieve will start to decrease. My 1080 FTW2 can hit 2012MHz, but stablizes in the 1970-1987MHz range under load around 60-65c.

By having the CPU rad set to intake, the GPU temps pushed closer to 70c, decreasing my boost clock further. A CPU doesn't ever change it's boosted speed unless you hit the actual thermal limitation of the chip. So a 5c warmer GPU lowers my FPS, but a 5c warmer CPU does not.

I have not gotten it yet, but I will be investing in some black weather stripping to fix the gaps in the case to keep dust out now that pressure in my case is more neutral than it is positive. If I can find the right sized dust filter I will also be doing the mesh mod on the front panel that Gamers Nexus did. He still hasn't said what case he got that filter out of, and all the replacement filters I found online are the wrong size. I can go bigger, but cutting one down to size won't be clean like his mod was.

Lastly, since I do have that rad set exhaust now, it is pushed up to the front to be as close to the front intake as possible.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

What are your thoughts on the Gigabyte BIOS? I've heard a lot of people say that's it's crap, but their new boards look amazing. I'd really like to get one.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

i love this build, but "Ryzen wasn't an option as Ryzen loses to Intel, significantly, in gaming." is ridicoulos

  • 23 months ago
  • 0 points

Cold hard facts are "ridiculous"? The $249 8600K beating the twice as expensive 1800X is "ridiculous"? I paid very close attention to Ryzen prices and performance all those months I was waiting for Coffee Lake to release. I was very close to buying a 1700, but since the current, at the time, 7700K beat it so easily, I held my ground and waited to see Coffee Lake performance and pricing.

Hell, the 8400 outperforms the 1800X across most titles. Ryzen has it's place. Even in the area's Ryzen was previously beating Intel, streaming or production workloads, Coffee Lake has either eliminated that gap or surpassed it. Hardware Canuks recently had a great video on exactly that. Dimitry loved his Ryzen rig that he built for editing, but 8700K was able to beat it in CPU rendering. He does note that the Ryzen machine, while slower in rendering times, is better able to handle him doing something else on the system while the render is running due to the extra cores/threads on Ryzen. But the fact remained the same that the 8700K was faster for the production work loads.

This is just one set of benchmarks specifically comparing Coffee Lake, and the 7700K, to the 1800X. Despite the better chips, Intel, getting held back at the higher end by the worthless Vega 64, the Intel chips still very easily beat the 1800X. https://www.techspot.com/review/1505-intel-core-8th-gen-vs-amd-ryzen/page3.html

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

please, don't say stupid things. in single core intel is better, but how you can say that an i5 8400 is better than a ryzen 7 1800x? it is more cheapier and it offers very good performances, but I would choose the second in every case. Anyway, the h500p is a bad case? how are your temperatures? i heard that it has a lot of problem, but i love it... is better for me than the crystal 570x

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm not the one saying stupid things. Benchmarks don't lie, so you're either refusing to read them or you're the one lying. In addition to the benchmark I linked yesterday, here is another source showing the exact same results.

https://youtu.be/agcwU1ImIqE

The 8400 can beat the 1800X for a very simple reason, you are going to be hard pressed to find games that can actually utilize 16 total threads. The R7 chips literally leave performance sitting on the table because AMD chose super high core counts over frequency. And when it comes to those 16 threads, their IPC is far lower than Intel's. Even at the same frequency. The benchmark I just linked above highlights that IPC issue perfectly. As the all core turbo on the 8400 is only 3.8GHz, yet the 1800X used in the bench marking was clocked at 4GHz.

So even with a 200MHz advantage, the 1800X could not outperform the IPC of the 8400. Sure the 1800X kicks the snot out of the 8400 in synthetics like Fire Strike, but all that does is show how unreliable those synthetics are as a measurement against real world performance. Those synthetic tests are optimized like crazy to max out every possible resource available. So while Fire Strike can use all 16 threads, they're is not currently any games I know of that can do the same.

Even games that have been "optimized" for Ryzen don't seem to benefit from all the possible threads Ryzen can offer. 6-8 total cores/threads seems to be the sweet spot currently, and games that received those Ryzen optimizations saw Intel performance increase at the same time. Because they had not even been fully utilizing the 8 total threads of chips like the 7700K.

So you can claim I'm saying stupid things, but I'm the one actually backing up what I say with facts and hard data. Speaking of data and facts, here is yet another set of 8400 benchmarks. While GN doesn't compare it against the 1800X, it does show the 8400 easily beating the 6c/12t 1600X. Which once again highlights the fact that going for thread count over IPC isn't good for gaming.

https://www.gamersnexus.net/hwreviews/3086-intel-i5-8400-cpu-review-2666mhz-vs-3200mhz-gaming/page-4

It's also why the 8600K can often outperform the 8700K in benchmarks. The extra 6 threads on the 8700K aren't helping in games all the time, but due to the lack of those 6 extra threads, the 8600K can achieve higher OC speeds than the 8700K with less effort. Pushing an 8600K to 5.2GHz, and keeping it there, is actually feasible without delidding. The 8700K either needs to be delidded or requires significant cooling, and will still run warmer than what's safe to maintain that clock all the time.

Will all of that change? Will games start putting core/thread count ahead of IPC and Clock Speed? No, they won't. Sure we're likely to see more optimization for those increased core/thread counts, especially now that Intel is offering 6/12 chips on the mainstream platform. (And is rumored to be increasing that to 8/16 on Z390) But as that support increases, the benefit for IPC and Clock Speeds will remain the same. And Intel is currently better at both IPC and Clock Speeds. Though AMD claims they will address both those things with their first set of refresh chips scheduled for next year.

You're also a complete fool if you EVER pick ANY Ryzen chip for pure gaming. Not saying I'd recommend the 8400, other than for budget reasons, but the 8400 beats every single Ryzen chip within it's budget category too. As an 8700K owner I would actually recommend the 8600K to literally everyone that can afford more than the 8400. Based on performance, the 8700K isn't a great buy either. I have one because I was one of the people who caught Newegg's screw up when they listed the chips a day early. Not wanting to risk getting shut out by the stock issues, I bought my chip before the official reviews came out. I still love the chip, but the 8600K is definitely the better option for pure gaming.

As for the H500P, yes it is a bad case. Gorgeous, but terrible. It has extremely poor airflow due to absolutely stupid design choices. Again I will refer you to GN, Steve does an excellent job of breaking down those issues. Along with other design problems. Relating what my temps are doesn't help because I don't have a normalized testing environment. The GN article is a much better source for that type of information, as they can provide temperature data that can be compared directly to their testing of other cases. They have a set testing build that they use to measure case temperatures, along with the controlled environment conditions in their studio.

https://www.gamersnexus.net/hwreviews/3081-cooler-master-master-case-h500p-review-poor-quality-and-airflow?showall=1

One thing I will say is you can expect your system temps to be even higher than their testing if you are using your system confined in a small room like the vast majority of gamers do. My system heats up the ambient temp in my room, which in turn increases system temps even further. I can't afford to run my AC at a low enough temp during warm days that it keeps my room from heating up. I'd have a $1000 electric bill if I did, and I'd freeze out the rest of the house. The AC is kept at 72f (22.2c) but my room easily hits 82f (27.7c) when I'm gaming for more than 10 minutes.

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

damn,i like h500p... i think i will go on the phanteks or the graphite 780t. thanks. for the cpu, i think i will go on the 8700k. i liked the 1800x, but i think is better to wait the ryzen 2 series, and i don't want to wait the q2 2018. on the ipc, frequencies etc etc you are right, but for me the story that if you only play is better an intel is no sense

  • 22 months ago
  • 2 points

You can say it makes no sense all you want, and you'd be wrong. Benchmarks and other hard numbers don't lie. Intel is far better for gaming than anything AMD has to offer at the moment. Even in rendering Intel has started to take the lead with certain chips on the mainstream. The ONLY thing Ryzen does better is being able to render while doing other work on the same system at the same time. And that's a very niche market.

If you're someone who streams a lot, I wouldn't recommend an 8400. But an 8600K or 8700K can perform equal to or better any Ryzen chip, up to and including the 18700X. Ryzen chips remain a valid option for streamers, but they are no longer the best option. But for pure gaming, for someone who doesn't stream or perform CPU rendering, Intel's Coffee Lake chips are literally the best on the market at any price point.

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

How is EVGA CLC 280 performing so far? What's your temp idle/under load?

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

It's performing well, IMO. Idle/Load temps are subjective. I have a 5GHz OC on my 8700K, but it does not seem to be a very good chip lottery wise. The voltage I need for that 5GHz is higher than what I've seen other people reporting. But that could also be due to something I don't have dialed in correctly with my OC.

I also don't disable speed stepping, keep my CPU at it's full clock speed 24/7 is not something I've ever felt the need to do. Generates too much heat, and I have a high ambient temp already of around 27c. That ambient temp will get better as winter rolls in, but it's impact is limited by the poor airflow on the H500P.

On the subject of that poor airflow, I have finally found the correct mesh filter to perform the "meshify" mode that Gamers Nexus performed. It's the top dust filter for a Fractal Define S. It's the perfect 16x7 to replace the current center acrylic pane on the front panel.

All that said, true idle temps, if I walk away and allow it to stabilize is 30-35c depending on the room ambient. Under load, and these are gaming numbers as stress test or rendering numbers don't matter as I don't run them every day, are in the 55-68c range depending on what game I'm playing and the ambient temp. If I'm running my local 7 Days to Die server, I can hit 73c after a while.

But that's a poorly optimized game with the additional load of running the server I'm playing on at the same time. If I'm underground, without a lot of objects to render off in the distance, it drops drastically.

For reference I allow the EVGA Flow Control to do it's thing and adjust the pump and fan speeds based on the default curve. Which is fairly aggressive. I also replaced the stock thermal paste on the CLC 280 with some Arctic MX-4. That absolutely helped, not much but it does perform better.

This is unrelated to temps, but I am also playing with different weather stripping around TG panel to seal the gap there.

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

9/10 for the defective case

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

Not the prettiest job in the world, but my H500P has been "meshified". https://imgur.com/h2EnOYq Filter used: https://www.demcifilter.com/fractal-design-define-s-top-dust-filter

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

And my system was just featured on the EVGA Facebook page!!! https://www.facebook.com/TEAMEVGA/posts/10155862922967838

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

How do you like the EVGA CLC 280? Trying to choose between that and the Corsair H115i. Having a hard time deciding. How you like temps with it? Any issues?

  • 22 months ago
  • 2 points

I don't like to make recommendations base on my personal temps, because my temps aren't tested in a controlled manner like a professional reviewer like Gamers Nexus does. I will say it has performed well with my 8700K clocked at 5Ghz, and performing the mesh mod on my H500P helped with that even more.

If you look at the GN review, the CLC 280 out performed the H115i at both max fan speed and at lower noise normalized fan speeds like 1500rpm. Not by much but there was a performance different. That likely comes down to different fan design. While the EVGA fans are odd with their scooped out walls, they do seem to be higher quality fans than what Corsair includes with their H115i.

The H115i is cheaper at the moment, but the CLC 280 goes on sale all the time. I got mine for under $100. The main reason I went with the CLC 280 is I already owned my 1080 FTW2 and wanted to be able to sync the RGB lighting.

But when it comes down to it, all of these AiOs perform similar enough that the 1-3c difference at equal fans speeds won't actually matter in the end. It comes down to aesthetics, extra features like RGB, and brand loyalty.

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

One thing I would add as an evga clc owner, you can set the fan curve etc, and then remove the usb 2 internal cable, unlike some other aio's.

  • 21 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the first hand account of the case. Your words mirror other 'first hand' accounts I have seen, so you are not alone. I hope the Cooler Master does the right thing and provides new top and front panels at no cost to at least those who ask.

Still a beautiful build and a nice system. If nothing else those big RGB fans looks spectacular up front...truly a striking build.