Thermaltake A500TG Aluminum Case Review: Gorgeous Versatility

The Thermaltake A500TG Aluminum is one of those rare chassis that can easily house everything from a high-end enthusiast build to an extreme gaming machine and everything in between. This makes the A500TG a very attractive case (figuratively and literally) to a wide variety of PC users. The one group I would not recommend this chassis to would be case modders. Normally, you don't buy an expensive, aluminum-clad chassis just to start cutting it up. Some extreme modders may but they are the exception, not the rule.

Thermaltake A500TG Specs

TypeMid-Tower ATX
Motherboard SupportMini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX
Dimensions (HxWxD)22 x 9.3 x 20.1 inches (560 x 236 x 510mm)
Space Above Motherboard3 inches (76.2mm)
Card Length11.6 / 16.5 inches (295 / 420mm)
CPU Cooler Height6.3 inches (160mm)
Power Supply Format8.7 inches (220mm)
Weight32.7 pounds (14.8kg)
External Bays
Internal Bays6x 3.5 inches / 1x 2.5 inches (+ 4x convertible from 3.5)
Card Slots8 + 2 vertical
Ports/Jacks1x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C
2x USB 3.0
2x USB 2.0
Headphone jack
Mic jack
Other4mm thick tempered glass panels on two sides
Front Fans2x 120mm (Supports up to 3x 120mm/140mm)
Rear Fans1x 120mm
Top Fans✗ (Supports up to 3x 120mm / 2x 140mm)
Bottom Fans
Side Fans
Damping
Warranty3 years, limited

Exterior

Constructed of precision CNC-milled anodized aluminum, the Thermaltake A500TG measures 22 x 9.3 x 20.1 inches (560 x 236 x 510mm) and weighs just under 33 pounds (14.8 kg). It retails for $250 (£189.36), although you can sometimes find it for about $17 cheaper at places like Amazon and Newegg. The case comes with a three-year limited warranty.

Four standard USB ports (two 2.0 and two 3.1), a single USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C, power button, HDD activity LED, headphone and microphone jacks and a reset button are embedded in the leading edge of a smooth and otherwise featureless top panel, a slab of high-quality aluminum. The front panel is also devoid of any features except a small Thermaltake logo at the base.

The 4mm-thick, tinted, tempered glass side panels have cut outs providing a path for fresh air to be drawn in through the dual-layer mesh air intake vents on either side of the top and front panels. It also makes for a rather distinct look. 

A slotted-head cam latch mechanism in the middle of the front edge holds the tempered glass side panels in place. Turning the latch clockwise releases the panel from the frame. There are also strong magnets at the top and bottom corners that keep the panels secure even when they are unlocked. Hing pins of uneven length make installation a lot easier than traditional pin configurations with even lengths.

Around back you'll find seven standard expansion-card slots (plus two vertical ones for video-card mounting), an opening for a bottom-mounted PSU and an exhaust-fan mounting location that that is outfitted with a 120mm fan.

The exhaust-fan mount is equipped with slotted screw holes allowing you to adjust the position of the fan to fine-tune airflow or make room for system components. A large plastic mesh filter covers the entire bottom of the case and is removable from the rear. The case's four feet keep it just over 0.5 inch off the ground.

The rubber pads at the bottom of the case's feet are installed very poorly, as evident from the large amount of glue residue visible from where the pads slid out of place before the glue dried.

The fan-filtration system on the A500TG leaves a lot to be desired. Removing the bottom filter from the case's rear requires moving your entire system to gain access. The dual-layer mesh front and top fan filters require removing the entire panel for cleaning and maintenance.

At this price point, it would have been nice to see Thermaltake take design cues from Riotoro (bottom filters removed from the side) and cases such as the NZXT H700i and Cougar Panzer EVO that feature removable filters in the front.

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