Thermaltake Ceres 500 TG ARGB Case & LCD Panel Kit Review

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Happy New Year!

Today brings our first review of 2023, and a hands-on look at a brand-new product from Thermaltake, the Ceres 500 TG ARGB. Featuring a new chassis series, four CT140 ARGB fans, a lot of ventilation, and black and snow colour options. Let’s take a look…

Thermaltake Ceres 500 TG ARGB: Specifications

Product page: HERE

Thermaltake Ceres 500 TG ARGB: Unboxing and Closer Look

The case and accessories arrived safe and sound in a cardboard box with black print, which is common with many other cases in the Thermaltake range. The case itself is surrounded by polystyrene to ensure it was kept safe from knocks and bumps.

The front panel has airflow-optimised, perforated cut-outs down the whole panel with some randomly placed blanks throughout for aesthetic purposes. With three of the four mounted 140mm CT140 ARGB fans placed here it’s clear that the Ceres 500 TG ARB is optimised for strong airflow through the case. We also get a good look at the unique metal frame around the front of the case which is angled at the bottom where the Thermaltake logo is found. This adds a nice, distinctive, unique look to the Ceres 500.

Removing the front panel is easy, as it is held in place with clips at the top and middle. Oddly whilst the panel insert looks removable (as they typically are) from the front, it is a solid panel and the whole thing must be removed to get to the filter.

The air filter is held in place on the back of the panel with magnets, which is a running theme for all the filters in the case.
With the front panel removed, we get a much better look at the three CT140 fans attached to the front of the case.

The front IO is mounted on the left side of the front panel and stays in position when the front panel is removed. The IO includes a power button, power and HDD indicator LEDs, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 2x USB 3.0, separate 3.5mm HD audio jacks, and a small reset button. Overall, this is the typical IO we expect to see on a case in 2023.

The side panel is a lightly-tinted glass panel, which offers a good view of the components inside once they are installed.

The lower section of the panel features a removable ventilated panel with a magnetic dust filter on the left and a solid panel on the right, held in place with 2 captive thumbscrews.

The glass panel is mounted on a hinge and is locked in place with a knob. The nob is a large flathead screw, but you can easily turn it with your hands. I think it would have looked better without the flathead cutout, but for anyone who struggles to grip smaller objects, it is still a worthwhile addition.

The back panel is covered with a solid panel but is made to look like the side panel on the bottom section with ventilation cutouts around the power supply area. Again though, the ventilation comes with a magnetic dust filter, again captive thumbscrews hold it in place.

Internally, there are two mounting plates included capable of mounting two 3.5″ hard drives or four 2.5″ SSDs/HDDs as well as a caddy in the bottom section with trays for an additional two 2.5″ or 3.5″ drives.

A large cutout in the rear for CPU bracket installations as standard in Thermaltake cases is also found, along with cable management Velcro tabs to aid in cable management.
Down the centre, the two cable cutouts are covered with rubber grommets. They are the only cutouts in the case to have them, however.

Taking a closer look at the hard drive trays in the bottom shows us a brown box. This box includes a BIOS/UEFI speaker, a selection of cable ties, and a bag of mixed screws. Rather underwhelming when compared to the likes of Phanteks.

The bottom of the case is covered with a large dust filter between the four plastic feet. The feet are tipped with rubber to add grip on a desktop. The bottom of the case is also fully ventilated with more cutouts providing excellent ventilation.

The top of the case is a plastic panel. Again it looks like the insert is removable but it is fixed. There is a magnetic dust filter attached inside much like the front panel. Again captive thumbscrews secure it to the case.

With the top panel removed, we can see mounts for 3x 140mm or 120mm fans. It is also possible to mount a 360mm radiator/AIO here. This is where we’d recommend you install an AIO or full-loop radiator if you choose to use one.

The rear is a standard affair, but along with many other Thermaltake cases, the PCI slots can be rotated 90 degrees should you wish to horizontally mount the GPU, another nice touch. We can also see the fourth CT140 fan mounted above.

Thermaltake also includes a riser cable bracket should you wish to rotate the rear IO panel vertically. A GPU support bracket is also included inside the case in a plastic bag.

It mounts securely in the top and bottom of the case, with a few options to suit GPU length and fan positions. It must be said, once secured, this bracket is sturdy and will provide excellent support, thanks to its simple but very effective design. Points to Thermaltake for including this as standard.

We’ve seen the power supply bracket mount like this before in many other Thermaltake cases. The plate mounts to the PSU and is slid into the case through the rear securing with four additional screws.

 

Taking a look internally: the floor has a full-cover PSU shroud which is almost entirely perforated for ventilation. This goes the length of the floor but has a cut-out at the front to fit fans and radiators all the way down to the floor.
The rear has the CT140 fan alongside the IO cut-out and 7 PCI slots. The motherboard tray can mount ATX, M-ATX and ITX motherboards and has a large cut-out for easy CPU cooler black plate installation.
At the top, there is a single large cutout for easy cable management, and on the right side, there is a small cut-out on the top with 2 much larger cut-outs which have rubber grommets on them.
To the right of that is a plate where you can mount two 2.5″ SSDs or one 3.5″ HDD, bringing the total up to 5x 3.5″ and 8x 2.5″ drives.

IO cables included with the Ceres 500 TG ARGB are power, reset and LED (power and HDD indicator) connectors, HD Audio, USB 3.0 connector and a USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C connector.

Thermaltake Ceres 500 TG ARGB: LCD Panel Kit

Thermaltake also kindly sent over the Ceres 500 LCD panel kit for review. The panel is a 3.9″ LCD display that allows you to monitor real-time information and upload any images or GIFs to add extra flair using the TT RGB Plus 2.0 software.
The latest software version includes climate mode and time mode for additional configurable options.

The panel mounts in the bottom right side of the case and replaces the blank panel. Overall the fit and finish is excellent and this kit gets a thumbs-up from us.

Overall, installing the kit was very easy, but note: you’ll need a USB 2.0 internal header to power the unit. It looks totally at home in position and adds a classy touch of aesthetic and customisation.

The LCD kit is available in black and snow to suit both available colours and will cost £109.

Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen an LCD kit for a Thermaltake case. It is also available for the Tower 500.

Thermaltake Ceres 500 TG ARGB: The Build

Building in the Ceres 500 TG ARGB was a breeze. Installing an AIO, in this case, would be very easy too with plenty of room to mount it in the top of the case, which is where we recommend you install it in this case, pun intended.
The roof area has 60mm of space between the roof of the case and the top edge of the motherboard.

Again, we’d recommend leaving the included CT140 fans in the front, unless you plan on using a double radiator setup, as these fans are capable of moving a lot of air and provide great cooling performance out of the box.
Full-loop water cooling isn’t out of the question either, with plenty of room for large radiators in both the front and top as well as room for pump/reservoir combos inside with a bit of imagination.
Air cooling is also a great option, as there is plenty of airflow on offer. Hence the choice to use the Deepcool AK620 Zero Dark we reviewed recently.

Well-placed cutouts and rubber grommets provide plenty of cable management options to easily manage cables for a clean aesthetic inside the case.

The CT140 fans each come with a passthrough ARGB and 4-pin PWM connector, this is to enable a single ARGB and 4-pin PWM fan cable to power all four included fans.
The three fans on the front of the case are pre-routed and the rear you have to do yourself so you can route both cables to ARGB and PWM fan headers on your motherboard. Typically those headers are found on the top edge of the motherboard and the cable length is plenty long enough to route easily.
Managing cables in the rear of the case is a very simple task in the Ceres 500 TG ARGB. The included Velcro ties and brackets make managing the bulk of the cables a breeze and the lip on the right side of the rear panel holds the 8-pin EPS (CPU power) cables in position. Note the pre-routed fan and ARGB cables on the left and top edges of the case. It’s great that there is a fair amount of space in the rear to easily route and store the cables with no panel bulge at all.

Thermaltake Ceres 500 TG ARGB: The Verdict

Building in the case was very simple and easy. It follows a traditional case layout internally and there was plenty of space which made installing components inside it a good, simple experience. You get cut-outs in expected locations making cable management a pleasure. With everything tucked away tidily the overall aesthetic of the build is very nice. The other thing we like is the choice to rotate the rear PCI-e IO should you wish to vertically mount the GPU, especially as Thermaltake has included the GPU riser support bracket in the box. This will make showing off your nice expensive GPU easy to do too! Though you will still need a riser cable. The inclusion of the GPU support bracket is another nice touch, and its easy installation and rock-solid support it provides is excellent.

The rear panel also had plenty of space to route cables behind the tray, which is something Thermaltake are on the ball with, having plenty of experience. There’s also a lot of room in the bottom section of the case under the PSU cover, which makes mounting 2.5″ and 3.5″ hard drives as well as the power supply easy. Overall, Thermaltake has included a lot of 2.5″ and 2.5″ drive mounting options with the Ceres 500 TG ARGB.

It’s clear that the case has been designed for airflow through the top, bottom, front and rear, with rounded perforations to around 60% of the entire case, paired with four CT140 ARGB fans offer good airflow to cool the latest CPU and GPU offerings.

The side panel LCD kit available for £109 is another nice addition to the line-up with a decent amount of customisation and preset display options.
At two-thirds the cost of the entire case, it’s something you’ll love the look of and will be happy to add to the basket or not at all. Thermaltake made the right call by offering this as a separate purchase kit.

Front panel IO is a typical affair here too, which ticks all the boxes. With two USB3.0 Type-A ports, a single USB3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, headphone and microphone jacks, power and reset buttons, and indicator LEDs.

The launch price is £160, at the time of the review, which puts this case on the more expensive side. But once you factor in the design aesthetic, and the four CT140 ARGB fans the price is great, competing hard against other Thermaltake cases in the price range.

Overall, the Thermaltake Ceres 500 TG ARGB case is an attractive offering, is priced competitively, and is one of the best we’ve seen from them in a long while. It’s certainly worthy of your consideration.

Thanks to Thermaltake for sending the Ceres 500 TG ARGB in for today’s review.

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