Case Interior and System Build
It has become a foregone conclusion that mid-tower enclosures will have a wide-open interior, and such is the case here.
It is easy to see how the CMT520 can optionally support EATX motherboards given the available width inside, and there is a little extra height compared to the average mid-tower as well which should aid in upper radiator support.
The front of the enclosure includes a trio of 120 mm LED fans, which are connected to a powered hub and RGB controller.
One very big discovery here: there is no screen filter for the front intake. This may have been an aesthetic choice as it could obscure the view of the RGB fans somewhat, but the lack of a filter here is pretty surprising considering the included filters on the top and bottom of the case.
The rear of the case offers another of the 120 mm LED fans for the exhaust, also connected to the hub and lighting controller.
Up top there are slots at both 120 and 140 mm widths for fans and radiators.
The case bottom (or is it?) reveals the floor mounts for the power supply and hard drives, but this will actually be covered by the time the build is complete.
Now to the rear of the enclosure:
Here we have a look at that hub and lighting controller on the left, which is actually a magnetic unit which can be placed anywhere on the steel frame that the fan cables might reach. Bottom right is the usual PSU floor mount, and storage slots include a lower left hard drive cage and a removable SSD mount on the back of the motherboard tray.
The installed ATX motherboard leaves plenty of space around the perimeter, though I will point out the lack of rubber grommets for the cable routing openings. A look to the far right reveals a pair of SSD mounts, adding to the available storage support.
Just look at the amount of space available above the motherboard:
After working within a few cases recently with barely enough room to force a liquid cooler on the top fan mounts this generous space is nice to see, and none of my conventional AiO liquid coolers face any clearance issues here.
Moving on to storage, this is a little limited in the 3.5-inch drive department at just two trays, though they are of a tool-free variety and were easy to attach to the hard drive with a trio of snaps on the bottom:
The hard drives slide in and are held securely with a snug fit in the metal cage.
SSDs can be mounted either on this dedicated bracket behind the motherboard tray, or on the spaces reserved to the right of the motherboard tray on the opposite side.
Next we'll take a look at the PSU mount, which uses a bracket that can first be attached to the power supply.
The exact reason for this mount is a little obscure as it is not held in place with thumbscrews and thus does not reduce the amount of time in mounting the PSU, but it is still a viable way to connect it to the enclosure. Once installed a window opening on the front-facing side shows off the power supply along with the rest of the finished build, a design touch perhaps indicative of the power supply heritage of FSP.
Finally we have a look at the intended use of the mysterious plastic panel accessory included with the CMT520:
With the panel magnetically attached there is now a removable case "floor" which is so shiny it reflects the components above and almost looks like glass.
On the next page we'll take a look at the finished build and then have a look at thermal and noise performance – and RGB lighting – before wrapping up the review.
Great review but they lost me
Great review but they lost me at only 2 3.5″ drive bays yet again. I am sorry but I am not willing to put 2 of my 4 4TB drives just sitting on the bottom of the case without any sort of way to make them safe in the case but hey it is a good thing I also have a 2.5″ Sata drive at least it will be safe.
PCPER if you are reading this can you please do a list up of case from 2017-2018 that support at least 4 3.5 drive bays and yet still offer all of the modern features such as tempered glass etc…if so Thank you.
I do not think I am asking much form these case makers they have all this room to play with but yet all they worry about is lights and stuff most people do not care about. In the real world most users want a fully functional case that looks good and works well. These toy cases are getting a bit tiresome.
Hmm, I seem to be hogging
Hmm, I seem to be hogging this article’s comments with very little about the article 🙂
I recently bought the Phanteks Enthoo Pro M with tempered glass – a very nice mid-sized ATX with mesh front, lots of filters and space for an external drive. It’s around $100 with no RGB and just 1 SSD tray provided. It fits 2 or 3 HDDs under the PSU shroud but you can buy optional drive trays that let you mount a LOT more HDDs out front (looks like room for 5 or 6) and place them wherever won’t block your airflow. I have a 2nd SSD but just tucked it in out of the way with the cables, it’s fine.
If you use 4 x 4TB
If you use 4 x 4TB drives you should seriously consider getting a NAS. I use a Synology 4-bay NAS on my network and can access it with my phone and tablet as well and also remotely as they provide an external IP. Having a PC with only SSDs is great – quieter and lighter. Have a look at your options.
Yea I thought about that as
Yea I thought about that as an option but I decided I wanted my storage to be local to just that system which is also a lot faster than going through the network plus I have about 4.5TB’s of just games alone installed so I would rather have the faster access to them when I run them. I guess I could take 2 of my 4TB drives out and put them in a NAS setup since they are just storage drives that hold things like the game file installers and content from when I buy the games and store the the content for a alter install. Those 2 drives also house media content and having them on a NAS would allow everyone in the house hold to be able to access that content when ever they wanted to. Hmmmm…lol
Having a NAS on the network
Having a NAS on the network means your Smart TV can probably also view the media content. It does for me. Synology has lots of apps for playing music, running a media library, etc.
Regarding the games, I tend to use Steam a lot. When I’m not going to be playing a game for a few months, I uninstall it and then I can download and install it later when I want to play it again (assuming you have a decent internet connection). In this way I can get a lot of use out of my 500GB SSD. Of course there are games that I don’t want to delete such as games not on Steam or games I have heavily modded so I understand that managing all games on an SSD is not for everyone.
My goal was to only have SSDs in my gaming PC and I’m happy with the results. I have 6TBs of space in my NAS that I now rarely use. If privacy is a concern you can create users and passwords on the NAS and limit which folders or partitions they have access to and whether they are allowed to make changes. I have had the Synology NAS for about 4 years and it’s still going strong with many software and security updates.
The lack of a front filter is
The lack of a front filter is a problem, especially on a case with so much glass where you will see the dust on the inside. It may be best to use the top fans as the intake as they have a filter but that would prevent cool air getting to the GPU and render the front fans almost useless. It’s difficult to find an optimal cooling solution for this one.