Review : Thermaltake CTE T500




Airflow :

Additional ventilation takes the form of a Fractal Silent Series R2 fan positioned at the rear in extraction and a Riing 14 also positioned in extraction at the top.

CPU airflow, original ventilation then supplemented :

Let’s start with the CPU temperature. We’ll keep the front and top of our test case. Let’s see if the airflow is sufficient to cool the Ryzen 7 1700X properly.


In its basic configuration, the basic ventilation and overall airflow are more than adequate. By default, it’s one of the most efficient cases in terms of processor cooling. It has to be said that the large panels with their wide openings place few restrictions on airflow.

What’s more, there are still some interesting gains to be made by topping up the ventilation. If you have an air-cooling ventirad, the trick is to mount a fan on the power supply cover. Positioned so that it sprays the ventirad, we saved almost 6°C.

Original CPU airflow without front panel or top :

To ascertain the limiting factor in the story (and by how much), we remove the top covers while mounting the mesh front panel. The aim here is to show the raw performance of the integrated ventilation.

Removing the front panel as well as the upper part of the case has no great impact on the temperatures obtained on our processor. At low speeds, temperatures remain more or less the same, while with the fan fully up, temperatures drop by 1.6°C. As for the processor, the case is designed so that ventilation is only slightly affected by the front panel. With a glass front, it would have been a different matter.

GPU airflow, original ventilation then completed:

We repeat the operation, but with measurements taken on the graphics card. Here, we’re testing with original ventilation and supplemented ventilation.

On the graphics card side, the basic ventilation does a good job, since the temperatures obtained on our HD 7970 blower are satisfactory. It has to be said that, with a 140 mm fan directly spraying the graphics card, there’s nothing to worry about. Nonetheless, its positioning means that it will mainly be spraying the card shell and not the turbine, so we assume that this is why there’s 5°C up for grabs when topping up the ventilation.

Original GPU ventilation airflow without front panel ortop:

We repeat the same test, but remove the front and top panels. Let’s see how this affects card temperatures.

As with the processor, the various panels making up the CTE T500 clearly don’t hinder the cooling of the graphics card. By removing them, we only gain 4°C at low speed and 1°C at full speed on our good old CG. In comparison, it’s not impossible to achieve a 10°C difference with and without panels on other models like the MasterBox 520, for example.

Insulation :

Here, we’re simply measuring the noise emitted by our configuration when running CPU cooling and GPU cooling at high speed.

On the other hand, insulation isn’t exactly top-notch either. This is the disadvantage of this type of case: if you have panels offering little airflow restriction, this degrades your case’s natural insolation. As you can see, the D40 is well insulated, but on the other hand, it’s a component oven. You don’t want your components to be too noisy.

Original fan noise:

This time, we measure the noise emitted by the case’s original ventilation. To do this, the configuration is run in idle mode ( CPU and GPU ventilation at minimum), while readings are taken successively at 5V, 8V and 12V on the case ventilation.

Thermaltake CTE T500 bruit

Basic ventilation is not what you’d call particularly quiet. On the contrary, it tends to make itself heard as soon as it’s pushed up to the level of NZXT’s H5 Elite . Fortunately, as speed is reduced, the noise level drops below 37 dB at mid-range, stabilizing at 31 dB at low speed.

To sum up:

Thermaltake’s CTE T500 is a very good box in thermal terms. It is equipped with panels that offer very few restrictions on airflow. This is good news for our components, especially as the original ventilation is quite efficient, albeit noisy, particularly at high speeds.