Product: S500 Mid-Tower ATX Case
Street Price: ~$47.00 + S&H
Date Reviewed: September 21, 2000
Reviewed By: Jason
Why I Wanted This Case:
I own several In-Win Cases, two full tower Q500's, and a mid
tower A500. I have been very pleased with these cases, but one little thing
bugged me about the A500. The design for the A500 has the power supply mounted
sideways in the case, which means it covers the area that the CPU is mounted.
This makes it near impossible to mount any exotic cooling in this case without
doing some major modifications. Keeping this in mind when I needed a case for my
Slot-A Thunderbird / KA7-100 system, I decided to head to the In-Win site and
see if they had anything better that would fit my needs without having to get a
full tower. My goal was to build a good LAN party box, and I didn't want
something huge to have to lug around. Clicking on the Mid Tower cases at the
In-Win site, I happened to notice that there was a case that looked like my
beloved A500, but seemed thinner and a bit taller. The marvelous wonder was
called the "S500", and after checking out the internal pictures on the
web site I knew I had to have this one.
Begin The Hunt:
Finding this case for sale proved harder than finding out that
it existed. After going through several price comparison sites, I finally
managed to find a store that had one for sale, with a 250w PS, and decent
shipping. For those of you interested, I got it from the Techstore.com
for roughly $47 plus about $10 for shipping.
Pictures & Inside Critique:
I have many things to say about the layout of the
inside of the S500 case & compare it to the older A500. You can see a
picture of the back of the older A500 below to the left, note the location of
the power supply.... very bad place indeed.
thing, this case has removable panels whereas the older S500 was a complete wrap
around that was a pain if you were constantly taking off your case to tinker
with the insides. Having the three separate removable panels makes access so
much easier and nicer.
Second, the power supply has been moved to the top which keeps
it out of the way and allows for massive heat sinks and water cooling (if that's
your thing) without any interference.
Third, there is now a hole for an 80mm fan in the back (along
with the regular front 80mm fan hole). The older A500 didn't have a spot for
mounting a extra fan in the back, however it did have the front 80mm fan hole.
Fourth, the S500 uses rails to mount the 5 1/4 & 3 1/2
drives. I typically don't like drive rails because I always end up loosing the
ones that I don't use at first, then later when I add more in I can't because I
lost the rails. The really irritating part about the rails is that they don't
screw in the components, rather they just have little metal clips that go in the
holes. I found this quite irritating as they would keep falling off while trying
to mount them in the bay. But once you have them in the bay, they are in there
good. I am going to try modifying them later by drilling holes to actually allow
you to screw them on. This is the one and only bad point of this case, but
hopefully with some modification this problem can be remedied. Also, if you
note, there is one 5 1/4 exposed bay and two internal 3 1/2 bays that don't use
rails. In-Win thought ahead on this one. I believe the reason is as follows: A
normal person will mount in a 3 1/2 floppy and maybe a zip drive in the two
exposed 3 1/2 drives (both of which that use rails), so there you will have no
extra's to loose. Then in the two 5 1/4 drives a person will typically mount a
CD-ROM & hard drive. Score! The other two rails are used up! So now there is
nothing to loose. The extra 3 places to mount hardware use normal screw holes!
Fifth, the S500 doesn't have a removable motherboard tray like
the older A500. Eh, I can live without that feature. It's pretty pointless since
you have direct access and PLENTY of room to work and mount your motherboard in
the case. This also cuts down on extra parts that can get bent, broken, rattle
from vibration, etc...
The front of the case sports three 5 1/4 exposed drive bays, two 3 1/2 exposed
drive bays, and two more 3 1/2 spots hidden under the two exposed ones. The
picture in the middle is with the front cover plate off. Notice how the lights
and switches are mounted on the case rather than on the front bezel. This is a
nice change from the older S500 which had the lights mounted on the bezel which
meant you had to yank the connectors off your motherboard if you wanted to take
off the bezel. Also you can see a better picture of the back with the extra 80mm
fan mount. There are also some knock out places for some Serial ports / SCSI /
On To Page Two!