The power supply is the single most important piece of hardware you can put into your system and while most enthusiasts like to go big and powerful, some of us are left with a much more down to earth budget for a new build. Cooler Master looks to fill this niche with its i-series power supplies that are meant to have a more budget oriented price tag while still providing high quality power and protection for your components. Today we preview the i500, the smallest in the line, and give it a once over to see if it is worth your attention.

Product Name: Cooler Master i500

Sample Provided by: Cooler Master

Written by: Debo

Pictures by: Debo

**Disclaimer**

LanOC Reviews only covers the features of power supplies due to not having the equipment to test them up to our standards. Because of this you will not see a performance section, a final verdict, or awards. Therefore we prefer to call this a preview rather than a review. Thank you for understanding; we keep our standard to the absolute highest for you, our reader.

Specifications

Model Number

RS-500-ACAA-B1

Output Power

500W

PFC

Active PFC

Form Factor

ATX 12V V2.3

Dimensions

140 x 150 x 86 mm (5.5 x 5.9 x 3.4 inch)

Coating

Black

Efficiency

80 PLUS Bronze

Connectors

20+4 pin for Motherboard

4+4 pin for CPU

PCI-e 6+2 pin

Peripheral 4pin

Floppy 4 pin

SATA

Fan

Fan Type

120mm Sleeve Bearing Fan

Fan Speed

2050 RPM


Packaging

Being a budget power supply, the i500 doesn’t try to wow us with its packaging and that is perfectly fine. The unit is packed away with all its accessories in a simple cardstock box. The front gives us the relevant information quickly with the watt rating, 80 PLUS rating and 5 year warranty clearly displayed. Flipping the box over we get a more in-depth look at the specifications and features.

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Diving into the box we find the i500 comes packaged with a users’ manual, a 6ft power cable and four mounting screws for installation.

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Finally we get our first look at the i500 unit. The first thing many will notice is that the power supply is not modular. As the i500 is a more budget oriented unit this really isn’t that surprising but still something to consider when setting up your system’s cable management.

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Photos and Features

As you can see, the i500 has a simple black outer finish to fit with most standard case coloring. The mesh side lets us peek in on the inner workings and provide a bit of airflow for the components when in operation. The unit comes with over voltage, over current and over power protection to hopefully prevent the loss of your other components should the power supply fail. There is also over temperature and short circuit protection to protect the unit, itself. All of this is backed by a 5 year warranty and is usually an area you find skimped upon in this budget price bracket.

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The i500 is cooled by a standard 120mm fan. Unfortunately there is no fan control for adjustability but the fan isn’t very loud in operation and is controlled by the unit so you need not worry about it being loud.

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With a non-modular power supply, the biggest thing to worry about is if there enough connections for your setup. The i500 actually has a decent amount available to you without the unit becoming a tangled mess. The standard 20+4 motherboard power, 4+4 pin CPU power and 6+2 pin VGA power cables are all present and decently long. The separation of the plugs on both the motherboard and CPU power cable seems a bit odd but gives the power supply the ability to operate in even older generation systems.

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As far as accessory power goes, the i500 has enough SATA power connectors to feed up to six devices as well as a chain of three 4 pin Molex and that ever elusive unicorn, the 4 pin floppy power connector. With this amount of connectors you can be assured the i500 can handle just about any system its 500W could be tasked to handle.

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Overall

Being a budget power supply you expect to find places where the corners were cut to lower the final price. With the i500 I was pleasantly surprised to see the usual places were not the ones Cooler Master chose. The unit bears all the necessary protections to ensure your system is safe, and while, yes, the 80 PLUS Bronze rating the power supply carries isn’t in the top tier of premium it still isn’t terrible. The i500 is a budget level power supply with the ability to capably power most entry to mid-range systems and still leave a bit of headroom for the odd HDD or VGA expansion down the road.

The power cords are, of course, the biggest issue and I would advise against using the unit in anything other than a mid tower. Some of the accessory cords and likely the CPU power cord may run into issue reaching when installed in a full tower case build.

Overall I will have to say the i500 stands up admirably for a budget level PSU. Without the necessary tools for testing I cannot say for sure if it delivers on its efficiency standard and power rating but its list of features are certainly ones not usually seen at its price range. If I was on a budget and looking for a power supply for my next build, I’d certainly keep the i500 from Cooler Master in mind.

Author Bio
William
Author: William
Review and Event Staff
William is the newest addition to both the Review and Event staff. Being in charge of power, hopefully you have to see very little of him during our lans. Outside of lans he can be found engaging in his unhealthy obsession with all things gaming in between writing the odd review and bothering Wes at all hours of the day. An avid gamer nearly all his life, it is common for the latest MMO release to cause him to drop off the face of the Earth for a week or two.

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