Customer Reviews: Cooler Master Elite V2

Cooler Master"s Elite 500 ODD case plays in the budget ballpark, at $80, while touching on most necessary traits a mid-tower needs, like up lớn ATX motherboard support, SSD mounting points, a hard drive cage, PSU shroud, and more. But while affordable cases are always welcome, the budget chassis market is extremely competitive. There are quite a few affordable cases that outperform more-expensive options, including our current best PC case for those on a budget, the Phanteks Eclipse P360A, which delivers better airflow, an extra fan, & RGB, for the same $80.

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Arguably the Elite 500 ODD"s stand-out feature, especially here in late 2021, is the option to add an optical drive or any 5.25-inch cất cánh accessory in the included single front bay. Besides that, is there anything else that separates the Cooler Master Elite 500 ODD from any budget mid-tower? Let"s dig in và find out.


TypeATX Mid-Tower
Motherboard SupportMini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX
Dimensions (HxWxD)17.9 x 8.03 x 16.10 inches
Max GPU Length15.7 inches
CPU Cooler Height6.33 inches
External BaysX
Internal Bays5x 2.5-inch và 2x 3.5-inch
Expansion Slots7
Front I/O2x USB 3.2 gen 1 Type-A 3.5mm headset jack
OtherTempered Glass Side Panel
Front FansNone
Rear Fans1x 120mm
Top FansNone
Bottom FansNone
Weight13.2 pounds
Warranty2 years

At 17.9 x 8.03 x 16.10 inches, the Elite 500 ODD is a relatively small mid-tower, putting it around the same form size as the NZXT H510. Even though the Elite 500 ODD is compact compared lớn most mid-towers, you can still fit up khổng lồ an ATX motherboard inside, and bigger graphics cards (up lớn 15.7 inches).

I was able to fit a triple-slot EVGA RTX 2080 TI XC Ultra in the case without any issues, but if you"re planning to lớn use one of today"s truly massive RTX 3080 Tis, you might want lớn double-check GPU dimensions before buying this case. But the vast majority of cards, particularly those you"re likely lớn install in a budget case, should fit just fine in this case.

Cooler Master was pretty generous with the cable cut-outs in this case, allowing for cleaner cable routing. I was able to lớn get all of the cables tied up neatly enough that I didn’t have any issues when closing the right side panel.


The Elite 500 ODD is a simple mid-tower chassis. It doesn’t feature any RGB or sound-dampening foam, but it does have a tempered glass side panel khổng lồ show off your system"s internals.

The first thing that caught my eye when I unboxed the case is the fact that it features a 5.25-inch drive bay. Personally, I was very happy to see this because I still lượt thích to watch Blu-ray DVDs on my PC.

While the case looks like it’s made of brushed aluminum, the front panel is plastic & in general, the build quality is about what you"d expect from a modern budget mid-tower case. Although there was an issue with the front ports, which I"ll touch on shortly.

Generally, for the best airflow possible, you’re better off getting a case with a mesh front panel like the Phanteks P360A, or at least one with better ventilation than what"s here. Even though the Elite 500 does have ventilation in the front, it’s not the best. The kiến thiết of the front panel makes it look like there"s plenty of ventilation, but the plastic lines are wider than they look, limiting the volume of fresh air can come in from the front.

(Image credit: Tom"s Hardware)

This potential airflow issue is exacerbated by the fact that the case comes with just one fan, a 120 mm spinner mounted at the back for exhaust. If you plan on loading this case up with powerful components, at the very least you"ll want lớn spring for a couple of intake fans.

One of the biggest gripes I have with this case is the PCIe slot covers. They don’t screw in lượt thích 99.9% of modern cases do. These are cheap metal tabs that you break off and once you vày that, you cannot put them back on. This isn"t unheard of, but the last time I dealt with a case with this "feature" was in Corsair"s Carbide 88R. That was a $55 case released in 2013.

(Image credit: Tom"s Hardware)

The front I/O, which resides up above the 5.25-inch bay, could have (really should have) been decent. The Elite 500 ODD comes with two USB 3 Type-A ports, but this reviews unit came directly from Newegg and one of the ports was bent and broken when I received it. Also here: an audio jack, reset button & a power switch shaped lượt thích the Cooler Master logo. Aside from the broken USB port, everything else worked as expected.

(Image credit: Tom"s Hardware)

The inside the Elite 500 ODD, the design is simple và does the job, offering enough space to fit a standard-sized ATX motherboard. The case also provides pre-installed standoffs và cable cutouts. I’m overall happy with the kích cỡ of the Elite 500 on the inside, in that it"s not massive or cramped. Even though I installed a Micro ATX motherboard, it didn’t look too small for the case.

Underneath the PSU shroud is a hard drive cage that can be moved around to lớn make more room for cables & other components. The cage can house up lớn two 3.5-inch hard drives or three 2.5-inch SSDs. SSDs can also be installed directly behind the motherboard tray or lớn the left of the back side of the motherboard.

Building in the Cooler Master Elite 500 ODD

(Image credit: Tom"s Hardware)

Building in the Elite 500 was mostly easy--I was only limited in one area, which was radiator placement.

While it"s nice khổng lồ have an optical drive option, it never occurred to me how much space the 5.25-inch drive cất cánh took up until I went khổng lồ install the 240 milimet Corsair H100i AIO liquid cooler. You vì have a couple of options with mounting a mid-size radiator in this case, but neither is ideal.

The first option is mounting the radiator to lớn the front of the case.While it’s of course better to lớn mount radiators khổng lồ the top, mounting it to the front allows you lớn keep the optical drive drive bay. The second option is lớn remove the drive bay, which will allow for you to fit the radiator up top, but then you thua one of this case"s key selling points. If you decide khổng lồ go with the second option, at least Cooler Master does provide a cover for the empty front bay.

Mounting fans on the đứng top of the case was as easy. While the case supports up lớn two 140mm fans, I installed a Noctua NF-P12 120mm case fan at the vị trí cao nhất for exhaust because it was what I had on hand. I could’ve mounted another tín đồ up top, but I wanted to lớn maintain equal air pressure.

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(Image credit: Tom"s Hardware)

As I said, I like having 5.25-inch drive bays, but when I installed my Blu-ray drive into this case, the cutout on the front was a bit too wide. Even though the Blu-ray player stayed in place once isntalled, it looked a bit weird. There"s something to lớn be said about the more modern & clean case front aesthetic.

(Image credit: Tom"s Hardware)

The SSDs attach via four rubber grommets that grip on to lớn four standoff-looking screws that go into the bottom of your SSD. I was a bit concerned about whether these screws would hold my SSD, but they did

Installing SSDs can be done in three ways in this case: either in the hard drive cage, on the back of the motherboard tray or just to the left of the back of motherboard area.

(Image credit: Tom"s Hardware)

Generally, the main fan on your power supply should be installed facing downward, to lớn allow fresh air to be pulled in from the bottom. But Cooler Master gives you the option to lớn have airflow with the fan facing upward as well. The PSU shroud has some ventilation holes above the PSU mounting area. I"m not sure why you"d want to bởi vì this, but it"s an option I guess.

(Image credit: Tom"s Hardware)

I mentioned earlier how the expansion slot covers were the ones you pop out and don"t screw back in again. That"s a problem because, when I first installed the EVGA RTX 2080 Ti XC Ultra GPU, I accidentally popped out the wrong slot cover. Normally, that wouldn’t be an issue because in other cases you can just screw the slot cover back on -- but not here. Did this affect the performance of the case? No, but I hate when I see cases with mở cửa expansion card slots.

Something else that"s worth mentioning, which I also see too often from even higher-end cases lượt thích my $200 Enthoo 719: When I was screwing in the đứng top fan, I noticed that the metal was very thin. Even though it didn’t bend out of shape, it sure was flimsy. But given the price và the fact that this happens with cases that cost much more, it"s hard khổng lồ knock Cooler Master much for it here in an $80 budget option.

(Image credit: Tom"s Hardware)

Cooler Master didn’t include much with this case besides one 3-pin 120mm rear exhaust fan. The quality of the tín đồ is what you’d expect out of an $80 case, but I honestly recommend that you pick up some better chất lượng spinners, lượt thích a five-pack of Arctic P12 PWM fans for just $31 (opens in new tab).

Besides the one fan, Cooler Master includes some extra cable ties, screws & rubber grommets to help dampen vibrations from hard drives.

Cable Management

Proper cable management can be far from easy in many cases, but routing cables within the Elite 500 was simple. I didn’t have any issues aside from looks, as there are no grommets to help disguise the cutouts. In this build, I was using a non-modular nguồn supply, so I had more cables stuffed in the case than I wanted. & even though the drive cage is moveable khổng lồ allow for more cable space, I didn’t need lớn move it, và the rear side panel closed with ease.

(Image credit: Tom"s Hardware)

I am by no means a cable management expert, especially when there’s an AIO with RGB cables involved, but Cooler Master did a good enough job here, providing an ample amount of cable room and tie points behind the motherboard panel.


Despite the deceptively vented front panel and the limited (unless modified) radiator mounting potential, the Elite 500 does offer room for up to two 140 mm fans on the top và front of the case, and there"s one 120 mm in the rear.

The Elite 500 has a vertical CPU cooler clearance of 161mm (6.34 inches), so my Noctua NH-D15 Chromax (opens in new tab) didn"t fit, but but there is room for some of the air coolers on our Best CPU Coolers list, like the Zalman CNPS10x Performa Black. So if you"re going lớn go the air-cooling route, you have quite a few options here.

As noted earlier, the front panel of the Elite 500 ODD is ventilated, but I wouldn’t say that it’s ideal for airflow. It’s better than a glass front panel, but with a radiator placed in the front, I never felt lượt thích the Corsair ML120 Pro fans were generating enough static pressure without getting extremely loud. Again, if you are going to lớn install lots of high-end hardware, and particularly if you plan on overclocking, you should consider other case options, or at the very least get some good 140 mm fans to mount in the front khổng lồ maximize airflow.

Finished Build and Conclusion

(Image credit: Tom"s Hardware)

Cooler Master’s Elite 500 ODD is very easy to build in & has a decent amount of cable management lớn help even the messiest of builders. But that said, even for just $80 the Elite 500 ODD cuts too many corners in terms of design & build unique to be truly competitive with the best cases in this price range.

The front panel looks more ventilated than it is, and the pop-out PCIe slot covers feel like a holdover from budget cases from a decade ago. I do like that Cooler Master incorporates a 5.25-inch drive bay. But unless you truly need an optical drive, the Corsair 4000D is a much better case for about $10 more. It comes with two fans rather than one, has even better cable management, sports a USB-C port. The Corsair also looks and feels more refined overall, and it lets you mount your graphics card vertically, provided you bring your own riser cable. And again, the Phanteks P360A is a great case for the same $80 as the Elite 500 ODD.

But if you"re specifically in need of a budget case that has an optical drive bay, you"re putting together a budget or mid-range system và you don"t have a lot of building experience, the Cooler Master Elite 500 ODD is a decent option. But you should probably stick to lớn air cooling if you"re going to lớn keep that 5.25-inch bay, & maybe find some old fans to lớn install in the front khổng lồ improve airflow from the front panel. Và if you don"t need that optical drive bay, there are definitely better options in the sub-$100 PC case space.

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