Taking a Look Around
This content was originally featured on Amdmb.com and has been converted to PC Perspective’s website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.
The aluminum front bezel has been designed with typical Cooler Master style. It can be removed by unscrewing six sheet-metal screws from inside the case. (Note: the six exposed socket-head button cap screws on the front are for looks only.) The push switches and indicator lights are mounted vertically between the two oval air intake openings. The size and spacing of the two switches makes it obvious which is power and which is reset and should help eliminate any confusion with pressing the wrong button.
A collection of various ports is mounted across the lower edge of the front bezel for easy access to USB, sound and FireWire connectors.
Four exposed 5.25” drive bays and two exposed 3.5” drive bays are provided to accommodate your drive and accessory mounting needs. All six exposed bays come with aluminum drive covers installed. Behind the front panel is a removable HDD cage that will accept up to three 3.5” drives.
Both the top and two side panels are painted a dark charcoal gray. They are smooth with no indentations or holes. The top panel can be easily removed by first unscrewing one thumbscrew at the rear and sliding it back. Once the top panel has been taken off, both of the side panels lift up and slide out.
Moving around to the rear of the case we see a pretty standard layout, typical of most mid-tower entry-level cases. One item you may not have seen before is the vertical retention and security feature that helps protect installed PCI/AGP cards.
Cooler Master made provisions for mounting two 80 mm case fans in the Centurion enclosure, one in the front and one in the rear. A perforated aluminum screen is mounted on the inside of the front bezel and serves as an air filter. Both the internal HDD cage and front bezel must be removed to gain access for installing a front fan.
Of greater concern is the amount of steel left blocking the two fan openings. It is common practice for most manufacturers to use stamped case fan grills but the restricted openings on the Centurion are some of the worst I have seen.
The fan grill consists of 106 – 4 mm holes, which when compared to one 80 mm hole means 74% of the area is blocked by metal! Not only does this drastically reduce each fan’s airflow, it also creates unnecessary noise (turbulent air trying to squeeze thru all the tiny holes). As usual, I corrected this situation with my trusty hole-saw.
Note: A hole-saw is my preferred tool for making new fan openings and cleaning up pre-existing ones. I always clamp the part I am cutting. Securely clamping the part is very important for both safety and to insure a smooth, even cut.