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The Centurion 5 II is a value mid-tower case from Cooler Master, available in two different trim colors (black or silver) and with or without a transparent side window. Costing only USD 50, it brings several features usually present only on more expensive products. Today we are reviewing the Japanese version of this case, which comes with its interior and rear panel painted black, and its motherboard tray and disk drive bays painted red.
The part number for the Centurion 5 II is RC-502, followed by the trim color (S for silver and K for black) and presence of a transparent side window (WN) or not (KN). The version with the interior painted red comes with a “JP” at the end of the part number. Therefore, we are reviewing the RC-502-KWN1-JP version of this case.
In Figure 3, you can see the transparent side window of the sample we reviewed. This window comes with a place for installing a 120 mm fan. The model that comes with a solid side panel has two meshes, allowing you to install two 120 mm fans. As explained, in the Japanese “special edition” version, the rear panel and the interior of the case are painted black, with the motherboard tray and disk drive bays painted red. In the normal versions, the interior is not painted; therefore, it has the typical steel gray color.
The Centurion 5 II comes with an air filter that can be installed either with the side 120 mm fan or on the mesh for the power supply fan.
[nextpage title=”The Front Panel”]
The front panel of the Cooler Master Centurion 5 II has five external 5.25” bays, all using meshed covers with air filters. One of the bays is used by the I/O connectors, so you actually have four available 5.25” bays. One interesting feature of this case is that you can move the I/O connectors to any other 5.25” bay. The sides of the front panel are made in aluminum, which is a finishing we wouldn’t expect on a USD 50 case.
The Centurion 5 II comes with two USB 2.0 ports, one eSATA port, and the traditional audio jacks. We can clearly see that the panel where these ports are installed has a cut-out for a FireWire port, but this port isn’t included.
At the bottom of the front panel there is a 140 mm fan (Cooler Master A14025-10CB-3BN-F1, 1,200 rpm, 19 dBA), which glows blue when turned on. There is an on/off switch for the LEDs of this fan, which is great. The case comes with an air filter in front of this fan, and the fan uses a three-pin power connector, allowing you to install it on your motherboard and monitor its speed. The fan comes with an adapter, in case you want to install it directly on your power supply.
[nextpage title=”The Top, Bottom and Rear Panels”]
The top panel of the Centurion 5 II features a mesh for installing a 120 mm or a 140 mm fan, which doesn’t come with the product.
On the bottom panel the Centurion 5 II has a mesh for the power supply fan.
As already explained, the rear panel and the interior of the Japanese version of the Cooler Master Centurion 5 II are painted black, while the motherboard tray and the disk drive bays are painted red. On the “normal” Centurion these parts aren’t painted at all.
The power supply is installed on the bottom part of the case, and the case comes with seven expansion slots.
There is a 120 mm fan on its rear panel (Cooler Master A12025-20RB-3BN-F1, 1,200 rpm, 17 dBA), using a three-pin power connector, allowing you to install it on your motherboard and, therefore, monitor its speed. This fan comes with an adapter for you to install it directly on the power supply, if you want.
Let’s now take a look inside the Cooler Master Centurion 5 II.
[nextpage title=”Inside the Cooler Master Centurion 5 II”]
Both panels are attached to the chassis using black thumbscrews, which is excellent to see on a case from this price range. The motherboard tray has a huge hole for you to access the backplate of the CPU cooler without having to remove the motherboard from the case, two holes for you to route cables behind it, and several metallic clips for you to fasten cables behind the motherboard tray using cable ties. The motherboard tray doesn’t go all the way to the front panel, leaving you enough space behind the disk drive bays for you to route cables.
In Figure 13, you have another overall look inside the case. Expansion cards are fastened individual tool-less plastic retention mechanisms. The Centurion 5 II supports video cards up to 9.8” (250 mm) long.
Note that the power supply can be installed with either its bottom fan facing up or facing down, so you can decide if you want the fan of your power supply pulling air from inside the case or from outside of it. The available mesh doesn’t come with an air filter installed, but this filter comes with the case, as shown before in Figure 4.
[nextpage title=”The Disk Drive Bays”]
The Cooler Master Centurion 5 II has five 5.25” external bays and five internal 3.5” bays. The I/O connectors from the front panel use one of the 5.25” bays, leaving you with four usable bays. One interesting feature of this case is the possibility of moving the I/O connectors to a different bay.
All 5.25” bays come with tool-less installation mechanisms, and standard 3.5” hard drives also use tool-less installation mechanisms, based on rulers; you need to attach one ruler to each side of the hard drive and then slide the hard drive inside the bay you want to use.
The case comes with two adapters. One converts any 5.25” bay into an external 3.5” bay. (It doesn’t officially support 3.5” hard drives, although one can be installed using only two screws instead of four.) The other adapter converts any internal 3.5” bay into an internal 2.5” or 1.8” bay.
[nextpage title=”Main Features”]
The main specifications for the Cooler Master Centurion 5 II case include:
- Style: Mid-tower
- Application: ATX and smaller form factors derived from this one
- Material: Zinc-coated steel (SECC) body
- Power supply: Doesn’t come with the product
- Available colors: Black with black or silver trim
- Side panel: Meshed or transparent
- Dimensions: 17.3 x 8 x 19.1 inches (440 x 202 x 485 mm) (H x W x D)
- Net weight: 17.5 lbs (7.8 kg)
- Gross weight: 20.5 lbs (9.4 kg)
- Bays: Four external 5.25” bays, one external 3.5” bay (converted from one external 5.25” bay), five internal 3.5” bays, and one 2.5”/1.8” bay (converted from one internal 3.5” bay)
- Expansion slots: Seven
- Maximum video card length: 9.8” (250 mm)
- Maximum CPU cooler height: NA
- Fans: One 140 mm fan on the front panel (1,200 rpm, 19 dBA, blue LEDs with on/off switch) and one 120 mm fan on the rear panel (1,200 rpm, 17 dBA)
- Optional fans: One (or two, on the version with solid side panel) 120 mm fan on the left-side panel and one 120 mm or 140 mm fan on the top panel
- More Information: https://coolermaster-usa.com
- MSRP in the US: USD 50.00
The Cooler Master Centurion 5 II is a terrific option for users on a budget. Of course, it could have more features, but then we would be talking about a more expensive product.
- Excellent cost/benefit ratio
- Air filter for the front fan
- Air filter for the power supply fan
- A huge hole in the motherboard tray for accessing the backplate of the CPU cooler
- Holes for routing cables behind the motherboard tray
- One 2.5” bay (converted from an internal 3.5” bay)
- I/O connectors of the front panel can be moved to any other 5.25” bay
- On the Japanese version the interior and rear panels are painted black, and the motherboard tray and disk drive bays are painted red
- Rear panel and interior not painted on the regular models
- Some users may want a model with at least one USB 3.0 port