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Cooler Master Centurion Micro ATX 540/541 Casing
By Zachary Chan
Category : Casings And Coolers
Published by Jimmy Tang on Thursday, 21st July, 2005
Rating : 3.5 out of 5 stars   (Most Value For Money Award)


The Centurion Micro ATX 540 and 541 casings are twins of each other in terms of build and design with the only exception being the exterior front facade. Both casings come in a full black body with silver trimmings for a little touch of style. The 540 sports a solid brushed metal front cover with a large meshed intake vent at the center. The design is understated and traditional, yet its simplicity makes the 540 quite the eye turner. The 541 however, features a fully meshed front cover, similar to the Centurion 530 and shares an uncanny resemblance to the older Centurion 5 down to its use of the same power button panel. As usual, all intake vents are fitted with air filters to help prevent dust build-up within the interior.

Both 540 and 541 share an identical design and build with the exception of the front cover.

The 541 uses the same power button panel as the old Centurion 5 casing. Silver over black gives it a sexy look.

The 540 has a reversed button scheme from the 541. In order to maintain the smooth look though, there are no markings no the 540. However, you'd be hard pressed to mistake the power from the reset button.

Both 540 and 541 feature the same front panel connectivity located at the bottom of the chassis with the ports available clearly marked.

While it is not quite apparent on the 541, the large meshed vent at the center seems to be able to fit a 120mm fan and smells incredibly like a BTX layout. Since Cooler Master does indeed offer BTX versions of the Centurion 540 and 541, our suspicions were confirmed. The Centurion Micro ATX 540 and 541 are actually modeled after the BTX versions, keeping much of the BTX characteristics. This becomes even more apparent later in our review.

In the top half of the chassis, there are two 5.25-inch and two 3.5-inch external drive bays, all of which can are covered with regular snap-in face plates. You might be disappointed that the Centurion 540 and 541 do not feature the hidden spring variety, but seeing that they are Micro-ATX mainstream casings, we can't blame them. In most cases, the drive bay face plates can be removed with relative ease, but Cooler Master has a habit of using industrial strength latches to keep things locked down. Still, tight as they are, they indirectly help to prevent any loose vibrating parts that can drive you crazy with rattling noises.

Both the Centurion 540 and 541 are no different, greatly increasing the difficulty of removing the face plates. There is no way that the face plate can be pushed in from the outside and any attempt at removal through the inside is an open invitation to injury. The easiest way to get the face plates out is to first take off the front cover. However, this is itself no simple task. The entire front cover is also a snap-in component to the main chassis. Remember the industrial strength latches? The front cover uses them as well, six of them to be precise and they do a wonderful job of securing it to the chassis. You have to pull out the front cover before you can then attempt to the remove the drive bay face plates. Thank you very much, but we'd rather pry open bear traps.

Pull here to attempt removing the front cover. Pull hard.

This is the only way to properly remove the drive bay front panels with ease.

With both front covers removed, you can also take out the dust filters for cleaning. Of course, seeing how hard it is to remove the covers in the first place, we don't see this happening very often.

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