Cooler Master Gladiator 600 Mid-Tower CaseJan 7th, 2010 | By Jared
Cooler Master Gladiator 600 Mid-Tower Case
: 01/7/10 – 04:26:25 AM
Page 1 : Index
We've seen a quite a few different products around here at Overclockers Online lately from Cooler Master but it's actually been quite some time since we have had a new case come through. Well today we are jumping back into the Cooler Master strong suit of cases.
Mid-tower cases are the bread and butter of most case manufacturers and Cooler Master brings another potential winner today with the Gladiator 600 (RC-600). The Gladiator 600 has what Cooler Master states is an understated design with a few flashes to show its connection with the gladiators of old.
Page 2 : Package and Accessories
Packaging for the Gladiator comes in the familiar Cooler Master design of white with purple. The front prominently features a picture of the case itself with a few pictures on the back describing the features.
The sides list out specifications for the case, and as you can see there is a bit of damage to the box that you will see later that the packaging was successful in preventing any damage to the case.
Packaging is what we have grown accustomed to with Styrofoam ends encasing a plastic bag wrapped case.
Accessories include an instruction manual, PSU filter, 5.25′ to 3.5′ converter, hard drive rails and bags of misc screws and zip ties.
Page 3 : Features and Specifications
I grabbed specifications for the Gladiator 600 straight from Cooler Master's product page here..
While the Gladiator 600 is a mid tower, it has space for up to five 120mm/140mm fans so cooling should not be an issue. Now that we have seen the technical side, let's pry things open and get an eyeful.
Page 4 : Exterior
The first thing that stands out is the I/O panel on the front, with a metal coloring that looks similar to gunmetal. The front panel includes 2 USB ports, eSATA port, headphone/mic ports, power/reset buttons, fan LED on/off button and power/activity LEDs. The entire front including the five drive bays have mesh covering to improve cooling.
Towards the back on top is a vent for the top mounted 140mm fan. The front panel pulls off to reveal the filters located behind all of the mesh in front. Bay covers are held in by small tabs and easily removed.
The left side panel has openings for two fans, of 120mm or 140mm flavor of your choice.
The back side is pretty standard with a bottom mounted PSU and exhaust fan vent that can be fitted with up to a 120mm fan. Seven PCI expansion slots have solid covers. One thing missing that seems to be the norm for most any case these days is pre-drilled holes for water cooling.
This concludes our tour of the outside, now we'll have a peek inside.
Page 5 : Interior
Once we crack the case open you can see that the Gladiator 600 utilizes a hard drive bay that is situated sideways, it is here that the box of accessories is stored during shipment.
A closer look shows the panels have holes to allow ventilation to move across the hard drives. However, these holes are still pretty restrictive. The 5.25′ bays use a tool free design that is a bit different than most of the recent cases I have seen from Cooler Master. These have a small lever that you move front and back to lock/unlock the drive and then push down to lock in place.
There is an open vent below the PSU area to allow cool air in to the power supply. Since the case sits close to the ground, I'm not sure this would be too beneficial if the case were sitting on carpet. The PCI expansion slots all use a tool less design that is similar to what I have seen lately with a slight difference; they do not block the screw holes once engaged so you can still secure your cards that way if you choose without removing the mechanism. In the top is the 140mm exhaust fan and you can also see the large opening behind the CPU area for installing heatsinks with the motherboard still in the case.
On the backside of the motherboard tray there are numerous cutouts and 'rings' for cable management.
Front panel I/O connectors are pretty standard; USB, eSATA, AC'97/HD Audio, power/HD LED and power/reset switch.
Ok, field trip is over time to throw some hardware inside.
Page 6 : Installation
Once it came time to drop in some hardware, as with a lot of mid-towers larger heatsinks can cut things close. The Zalman CNPS9900LED had to be rotated to face down in order to fit. Meanwhile the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus fits without any issues.
As I mentioned earlier, I like the fact that the tool free PCI slots do not block the ability to secure the cards by screws if you wanted to. Longer cards like this HD4890 come close but still have enough room at the end.
One thing is for certain, even with a system installed the Gladiator 600 doesn't feel cramped which is a big plus for me with mid-tower cases seeing that I am a full tower junkie.
The power and HD LED lights look like they would be intense but even in a dark room are not bothersome. The front fan LED isn't too bright and can easily be turned off if you don't like it.
Installation was painless; now let's see how the Gladiator performs.
Page 7 : Testing
The following system was installed and used to gather temperatures.
- CPU: Intel E8400 w/Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus
- MB: Biostar TPower I45
- RAM: G.Skill PI Black PC6400
- Video: XFX HD4890 1GB
- PSU: Ultra X3 1000W
- HD: WD 80GB SATA
- DVD-Rom: Lite-On 18x DVD Burner – SATA
- OS: Microsoft Windows XP w SP3
- Ambient Temperature: 22-24C
- Cooler Master Gladiator 600
- Cooler Master HAF932
First up we'll do some testing to see how well the Gladiator 600 keeps things cool at idle. To get idle temperatures I started the PC up and allowed it to sit at idle for 3 hours with no processes running and recorded temperatures using Everest Ultimate.
The results under idle are pretty much as expected, where the smallest difference in temperatures are with the CPU. The good news in all of this is that most of these areas would benefit greatly by adding fans at the additional openings in the case.
Next was to load the PC and get some temperatures with a little more heat involved. To get load temperatures, I ran Orthos blend along with 3DMark06 in a continuous loop for 3 hours, again recording temperatures using Everest Ultimate.
Under load we see some larger differences as the larger fans of the HAF932 take care of things. Still considering the Gladiator only has two included fans (that are almost dead silent) and can be fitted with up to three more, these temperatures could easily be brought down.
Page 8 : Conclusion
It has been more than 6 months since I last got to check out a Cooler Master case, and the Gladiator 600 didn't disappoint. The Gladiator is well designed and feels larger than its mid-tower size. The included tool-free and cable management features make installation a breeze. Steel construction gives it a solid feel but yet it still retains a fairly light weight.
Like quite a few mid-tower cases the Gladiator 600 may have issues fitting some of the larger aftermarket heatsinks. While the Gladiator has a filter for the PSU intake, this intake nearly sits on the floor, not leaving a lot of room for fresh air.
These small things aside, the Gladiator 600 is a top notch mid-tower case that combines clean looks with some great features that I would happily recommend to anyone looking to build a PC.
- Clean and subtle styling
- Quiet with decent cooling
- Room for up to 5 fans
- Light and Sturdy construction
- Larger heatsinks may not fit
- Small clearance for PSU intake
Overclockers Online would like to thank Cooler Master for supplying the Gladiator 600 mid-tower case for review.