A major concern with many steel chassis is the sharp edges that can sometimes cut an installer, or worse yet, slice that new cable you just spent hard earned money on. This wasn’t quite the issue I expected, although our installer did receive a few minor gouges. Cooler Master did a very nice job of smoothing and buffing the edges of this case.
Moving on to the internal layout of the Centurion 5, we see a total of ten available bays: five 5.25 drive bays, and five 3.25 drive bays, more than adequate for any possible configuration. Cooler Master chose to use a sliding lever system to secure devices within the drive bays. Simply slide your device into the bay, slide the lever forward and your device is securely fastened within the bay. For those of us that love to spend all day installing screws, Cooler Master graciously included the standard screw holes and plenty of screws to keep you busy.
The sliding lock system is a wonderful design. No more attaching troublesome rails to your device before installing them. Although we moved our test model from spot to spot we have yet to see any movement with installed devices.
One item noticeably absent from the Centurion 5 is a removable motherboard tray. Though not a huge concern, it is a handy item to have for those of us with less dexterity in our phalanges (fingers for us slow people).
The PCI slots also incorporated locking mechanisms to hold your PCI cards. Though again, Cooler Master chose to include screws and screw holes for those wanting to use them. The removal of the steel PCI covers can be a bit precarious since they are only secured with tiny tabs that must be broken to remove the individual covers. The major issue we had with this is that once removed they cannot be replaced. Be careful removing these as this was a painful and slightly battle scared lesson for our installer.
I felt the “tool-less” design implemented by Cooler Master worked extremely well, and outside of the tabbed PCI slot covers the installation and layout were outstanding. I also like the fact that Cooler Master, while billing the Centurion 5 as a “tool-less” case, left the option of using screws up to the individual.